Influencer marketing is no longer a buzzword, but a powerful reality for brand success. Influencer marketing boosts brand awareness, increases social visibility, and drives sales. In this article, we look at the future of influencer marketing – from the fall of macro-influencers, to the rise of micro-influencers.
According to the 2017 “Influence 2.0: The Future of Influencer Marketing” by Traackr, 43 percent of marketers are still experimenting with influencer marketing. However, the report found that 71 percent of marketers find their influencer marketing programs highly strategic.
This is certainly a call to action for brands, marketers, and influencers. Influencer marketing has an unbelievable ROI of $6.50 for every dollar invested, and maximizing influencer marketing won’t stop there.What is the Future of Influencer Marketing - micro- versus macro-influencersClick To Tweet
The Future of Influencer Marketing
What is the future of influencer marketing? Let’s take a closer look at how this powerful marketing asset will continue to grow?
Growth of the Micro-Influencer
Micro-influencers will be a big factor in the future of influencer marketing. As influencer programs continue to grow, the top influencers in your industry may be harder to reach.
Micro-influencers on the other hand will be in demand, and are in many cases more attainable. You may think that identifying only top influencers in your industry niche is best. However, never underestimate the power and sway of a micro-influencer.
These are essentially the middle class influencers with tens of thousands of followers. Sure, they don’t have a million fans, but they do wield the power of engagement. If you want to drive traffic and increase sales, engagement is a necessity.
“I think the trend and the importance of micro-influencers will increase in 2017, but more importantly – companies/brands will look to the business results they can drive with their influencer programs versus awareness and reach,” says Amisha Gandhi, Senior Director of Influencer Marketing at SAP.
Growth for Authenticity
The demand for authentic influencers will be at the top of the list for most brands’ influencer marketing campaigns. The increase in paid professional influencers will drive this factor.
Brands will look to pair organic outreach with paid, and this emphasizes the need for authenticity in brand messages, content, and social engagements. Non-paid influencers will be the focus, since industry experts and top tier influencers will be increasingly harder to connect with.
“We have already seen the power of authenticity when it comes to working with influencers and I think next year will continued to be focused on that,” says Douglas Dawson, GM of Influencer Relations at Microsoft.
Growth in Employee Advocacy
The future of influencer marketing will showcase employee advocacy programs. Brands will leverage employees as advocates to build trust and rapport among their customers.
In fact, 31 percent of brands have employee advocacy programs currently in place, according to a collaborative report by Hinge and Social Media Today. Employee advocates promote brand messages and share owned content through these programs.
“Key factors will be a brand’s focus on customer experience, in this case in brand publishing, and much improved understanding of building long-term, human-to-human influencer relationships,” says Konnie Brown, Leading Corporate Social and University Influencer Relations at Dell.
Growth of Influencer Marketing Tools
The powerful nature of influencer marketing is driving innovative tools to meet the demands of the brand/influencer relationship cycle. These tools and platforms will assist brands in identifying influencers and measure their campaign results.What is the Future of Influencer Marketing - the end of the macro-influencer?!Click To Tweet
Category influencer platforms, customer advocacy platforms, and employee advocacy platforms are the three main focuses, according to a report by Forrester. These platforms will allow brands to cut influencer outreach costs and streamline campaign efforts.
“Rather than wasting precious time manually searching for influencers, brands can find the perfect fit for their campaigns from a database of pre-screened and categorized influencers using the platform’s unique algorithm,” says Francis Trapp of Adweek.
The future of influencer marketing will be innovative and offer new ways to measure your influencer campaigns success. However, the successes of your influencer marketing efforts can only be measured by your ability to cultivate meaningful influencer relationships. What are the most successful aspects of your influencer marketing strategy?
About the author, Nick Rojas
Nick Rojas is a business consultant, specialialising in digital and SEO marketing, and journalist / writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. His work often discusses social media, marketing, and branding in regards to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Previously, he was Director at Comms Axis, a full service marketing agency specialising in content, social media & website services for businesses of all sizes.
Dan Purvis writes for a number of leading business, social media and marketing sites, including Smart Insights, MarketingProfs, Marketo, MarTech Advisor, Marketing Tech News, MarTech Today, MarTech Exec, and more.
Dan was also ranked by Brand Republic as one of the Top 50 UK Marketing & Social Media influencers.
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