Brands that aren’t implementing influencer marketing into their strategy are already behind in 2018. Why? It’s no longer just another social media marketing fad. In fact, it currently produces the best ROI and is the fastest-growing online acquisition channel. According to Forbes magazine, influencer marketing has proven to be the “most effective form of advertising.”
Influencer campaigns are gaining popularity for several reasons. They are highly versatile and noninvasive, and can reach large numbers of potential customers. If you want to take your marketing efforts to the next level, here are four influencer marketing trends that we think will gain traction in 2018:
Micro-influencers will become even more valuable
If an Instagram user has between 2,000 and 25,000 followers, plus hundreds of comments and likes on their photos, that person is considered a micro-influencer. Although they aren’t at celebrity level, micro-influencers can still make an impact for your brand if your product aligns with their lifestyle or interests. By generating a partnership with an established influencer, your brand or product can gain visibility.
Brands will focus more on building relationships
Another trend we’ve seen emerge over the past year is the decision to move away from one-off campaigns and lean toward building authentic relationships with consumers. How do you build those relationships? You guessed it—with influencers. Think about it. Let’s say you’ve been browsing the net for over an hour trying to find the perfect pillow. You’re not sure which one to choose… until your favorite social media “influencer” posts a photo of her couch and tags the pillow company. Bam. You’re sold. (Actually, I’m sold, because this is a true story of how I found my new couch pillows last week.) Imagine how much your brand could benefit from partnering with the right influencer.
There will be an increase in video marketing
If you haven’t heard this enough already, we’ll say it again. Video marketing is here, and it’s not going away. Brands lacking video content are living in the past. Marketers are noticing a decline in engagement with ads that include only images and text. People are less likely to stop and look at your static content when their newsfeed is filled with engaging videos. Try incorporating video content and see the results. Listen to your audience, and take note of what types of content perform best when planning future campaigns.
The rise of “fake” influencers
Beware of bogus influencers who claim to have thousands of loyal followers. Since the rise of influencer marketing, we’ve run into a few imposters that have disguised themselves as credible sources to make a quick buck. To rule these fakers out, take a close look at their content and its engagement. Are they posting a few times a week, or multiple times a day? Is their engagement high on each post? Do they have quality content that has a purpose? The general rule of thumb is to make sure they’re posting often (but not too often), have a high engagement rate, and produce quality content that flows with their niche or specialty.
Although there are always new trends on the horizon, we feel these four will be a significant part of the influencer engagement landscape in 2018. Whether you’re just starting to use influencers or you’re looking to see a greater ROI on collaborations, it’s never too late to make this your most successful year yet.