Our Nataša for Media Marketing has highlighted some of the latest trends in the world of influencers.
As with any other new communication channel, trend in influencer marketing are rapidly changing, and bring new challenges
Over the last two years, influencers’ marketing has gone a long way from a trend that blazed through the communications industry to one of the key elements of marketing strategies and budgets. Whether it’s about launching a new product for which you need to build awareness in a particular population, or increase of sales of an existing product or service, influencer marketing is a worthwhile tool to deliver results.
If you are already working with influencers, or are just thinking about this form of communication, the following five trends briefly sum up the current state of things:
Investments in influencer marketing are continuously growing
According to research, whopping 94% marketing experts who use influencer marketing consider it effective. Not surprisingly, 39% of them are planning to increase investment in this form of communication in the near future. It is also encouraging that influencer marketing achieves 11 times greater ROI than traditional forms of communication, or $6.50 return on each dollar.
Majority of brands are still in an experimental phase of collaborating with influencers
While investments are increasing, most brands are still in the learning process, and the most common reasons why brands decide to collaborate with influencers on social networks are still: reaching new and / or specific audiences on different platforms outside their own channel, creating authentic, creative, and quality content that will resonate on social, encourage interaction, and ultimately demand for particular products or services.
Credibility of influencers is under increasing scrutiny
Forms of collaborations vary from short-term, such as product reviews, or influencers participating at events and real-time social network following, to the more long-term character where influencers assume the role of brand ambassadors. There are several common features that distinguish successful collaborations – credibility, creativity, and quality content, whether the selected person uses or has used the promoted product and / or service, how relevant the influencer is in the audience segment to which the product is promoted and how much their message will resonate with their audience. Credibility is increasingly valued, so one of the most important trends are longer-term collaborations that encourage confidence among the audience in the authenticity of content.
Less can be more
With the increasing number of social network followers the number of their questions and comments often reduces. Given that trust and “relationship with the influencer” are key to the decision to purchase a promoted product or service, there is a growing trend of micro-influencers that, in comparison to celebrities, are generally perceived as the most credible source of information. When it comes to engagement, campaigning with micro-influencers is much more effective than macro-influencers, and achieves up to 60% higher engagement rates. However, if the most important goal of the campaign is the high reach, macro-influencers continue to be the first choice.
Instagram is the top network for influencers
When it comes to platforms where influencers publish content and communicate with their followers, Instagram leads the pack. 99% of the influencers spend time on this platform, followed by Facebook with 70%. While the importance of newcomer stars like Snapchat is declining, well-known formats such as blogs are regaining interest.
As with any other new communication channel, trends in influencer marketing are quickly changing and bringing new challenges. Among those that will require more attention are new algorithms on social networks that determine which content we see on our newsfeed, bots that automatically generate communication, buying of followers in the light of credibility, regulation of co-operation between influencers and brands in terms of sponsored content, and ultimately measuring results and tighter linking influencer marketing goals with sales, since the increasing investments require more solid evidence of cost-effectiveness.