Influencer marketing is “Word-of-mouth on Steroids”. The conventional approach of reaching customers such as online advertising are becoming less prevalent due to the rise of the ad-blockers and growing popularity of social media.
If effectively implemented, influencer marketing can guarantee high returns and can turn prospects into loyal customers. As the realm of influencer marketing is continuing to grow and evolve, here are five trends in the industry that are already changing the game:
Rise in the budget
More than 50% of brands are of the opinion that influencer marketing generates better customers compared to other conventional methods of online advertising. Based on data compiled by Mckinsey, it is predicted that digital marketing spending will increase by $22,000 Million in 2016 and will account for 50% of the overall marketing budget by 2019. The growing number of ad-blockers and consumers’ mistrust for brand-created content have led to the increasing popularity of native advertising and sponsored content. Subsequently, marketers can expect a significant shift in the portion spent on influencer marketing in the following years.
Measure, measure, and measure
Influencer marketing is currently known to be the wild west of marketing. However, this is changing as influencer marketing is reaching maturity and more analytical platforms are popping up. Like any other marketing strategy, it is essential to track KPIs and relevant metrics to ensure the return justifies the cost. Brands are increasingly relying on online platforms to measure these parameters. Instagram also announced their new analytics insight to help marketers see how their campaigns are performing. As Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella state in their “Influence Marketing” book, “True influence marketing is about measurable customer acquisition and lead conversion.”
Reach Vs. Engagement
Now brands are more and more realizing that influencer marketing is not just a numbers games. Collaborating with influencers purely based on their number of followers does not guarantee results. Implementing those with a niche audience who are highly engaged is more likely to turn their readers into loyal customers. Brands are partnering up with micro influencers who are experts in a particular vertical and have built a unified network around those topics. “An influencer with a smaller audience can be just as powerful as someone with a bigger audience. We’re in the business to create opportunities for people to share and start conversations, and we find that micro influencers often have more passionate readers than celebrity influencers have.” Susannah Costello, VP of Global Brand at Visit Florida.
IRM is the new CRM
Brands can deepen their customer relationship via relevant influencers. These influencers may not necessarily be current customers, but they have a sway on the customers and can impact their behaviour. Through targeting the right influencers, brands not only can hear the voice of their audience but they can have an impact on their behavior as well. Focusing on IRM helps brands to increase positive mentions by opinion leaders and increases brand awareness.
Less blog more social
With the growing prevalence of social media and the ease of consuming short-form content, more influencer marketing campaigns will focus on social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube, and Facebook than blogs. Also, there will be more focus on cross-platform strategies as brands will incorporate platform-specific influencers and will subsequently promote those content across other social channels.