The influencer marketing industry is booming. It is set to nearly double from $8 billion in 2019 to $15 billion by 2022, according to a Business Insider Intelligence Report.
With the growing popularity and potential of blogging and vlogging, brands are increasingly shifting their marketing focus from traditional methods. Additionally, there is an unprecedented desire among brands to be seen as approachable personas. Consequently, marketing professionals are revising their strategies and coming up with innovative marketing techniques.
While the pandemic has adversely affected many sectors, one-stop-shop creatives have benefitted due to higher screen times and closed studios. From the rise of content creators to the fall of celebrity influencers and everything in between, there are some important influencer marketing trends that brands and creators must watch right now.
Authenticity Is Significant
With the increasing popularity of influencer marketing, the consumers are now more cautious of fake and fraud reviews which are driving marketers to revise their strategy and execute well-researched collaborations. The “bigger influencer” approach is losing its significance and position of being the only favoured approach as there is an increased focus on authenticity. As a result, there is an ever-increasing demand for smaller influencers or individuals not classified as professional influencers.
Authenticity may sound like an overused buzzword, but the honesty of an influencer is an instrumental factor in the success of any campaign. We may also call it the guiding principle of influencer marketing and that its success largely depends on it. Further, storytelling lays the foundation of marketing, and with influencers becoming trusted storyteller to their audience, a brand must do all it can to ensure that the narrative is believable.
Content that is descriptive, motivational, engaging, reflective, tells a story that attracts readers and drives them to come back is gaining popularity. When such a post is associated with a product, readers tend to connect its authenticity with the brand.
Prioritise Long Term Relationships
The principle that helps content creators to become and remain influencers is to build long-term relationships and this is what brands should also capitalise on the stronger partnership built on mutual interest and trust. Moreover, it saves the brand the effort, time, and expense of searching for and vetting new influencers.
A brand’s relationship with influencers can help them gain an edge over their competitors. Similar to how influencers build long-term relationships with their followers, brands also need to create lasting and strong connections with influencers for an effective marketing strategy. Strong influencer collaborations result in brand loyalty, authenticity, higher audience engagement, high-quality content and increased brand awareness.
Find The Right Type Of Influencer
Different influencers have different areas of specialisation – beauty, travel, food, business, fashion, and fitness, among many others. You must choose influencers out of celebrities, bloggers, bloggers, or media personalities whose style and value match your brand.
If your brand is relatively small, micro-influencers are a better choice than a celebrity endorsement. The important principles guiding your choice of influencers are relevance, large audience reach, and their content’s resonance with your desired audience. Brands should also devote enough time to vetting potential influencers to ensure that they do not reflect negatively on their brand.
The Channel Matters
The kind of products you sell or services you provide play a major role in what channel you choose for influencer marketing. There are some kinds of brands for which Facebook and Instagram might not be the best options, unlike the trend. Channels like Linkedin or Reddit may be the best fit for these brands. It is important to find a channel and subsequently, an influencer who establishes deeper ties with your niche audiences.
Merge The Strategies
Brands use a variety of strategies to increase brand awareness, engage customers and drive sales. These strategies including social media marketing, content marketing and influencer marketing work best when used together.
Influencer and content marketing cannot work in separate compartments. Both of them are very closely related to each other and thus, interdependent. When done correctly and executed together, it forms the best strategy to build credibility and trust through content shared by prominent figures on social media. Ebooks, webinars, or whitepapers are important components of content marketing. However, they lack human touch which is added by influencer marketing.
Summing It All Up
A 2019 report of Influencer Marketing Hub revealed that influencer platform agencies increased from 190 in 2015 to 420 in 2017 and 740 in 2018. Also, businesses continue to gain impressive returns from influencer marketing, over $18 in earned media value for every dollar spent, $5.20 being the average.
Influencers are now dominating the inbound marketing landscape and therefore, marketers’ budgets for influencer marketing is growing in double and triple digits. Brands and also budding content creators need to dig deep into the know-how of influencer marketing.