Influencer marketing has experienced exponential growth over the past few years. The tactic was once viewed as an experimental channel but has since evolved into a core strategy for marketing organizations. That may be due in part to the estimated growth of influencer marketing; the industry is expected to reach upwards of $10 billion by 2020.
However, as is the case with any emerging market, Influencer Marketing must continue to adapt and evolve if it is to survive. And as the industry continues its growth and rapid ascent, it’s become increasingly difficult for brands to achieve consistent success.
Here are the most important trends we’re expecting to see in 2019.
1- Measuring ROI
The more brands start to invest in influencer marketing the more demand there is to track the success of their campaigns. A number of tools are available in the market to help you not only track ROI from influencer marketing, but identify who the right influencers are to approach for your brand. Metrics such as impressions and post numbers are a great starting point, then reach will give you a bit more detail on impact.
2- Increased Emphasis on Performance Metrics
One of the initial obstacles that influencer marketing encountered was that it was difficult to accurately measure success.
As a result, people have had to put an increased effort into determining both genuine engagement and conversion statistics on social. Increased spending on influencer marketing is continuing, particularly by brands who have been reluctant to embrace it in the past. So businesses are keeping an even closer eye on the most relevant stats than ever before. Brands have come around to the idea that they need to set clear, attainable goals for an influencer campaign.
In turn, influencers are likely to place a greater focus on driving likes, clicks, comments, shares and other forms of engagement in their content.
3- Increased Transparency in social advertising
Concern from government agencies about the blurred lines of sponsored social media posts is continuing to rise, even as regulations have been put in place to make branded content more transparent on social media. So much so that the Federal Trade Commission sent out letters to influencers and marketers ordering them to “clearly and conspicuously disclose their relationships to brands when promoting or endorsing products on social media.”
The best thing about transparent advertising is that it also levels the playing field, making it so influencers and brands are all playing by the same rules. So even if the content seems like an obvious ad, the partnership must be disclosed in each and every paid post. One popular option that has been employed is using hashtags such as #ad, #sponsored or #paidpost to make it clear that a social post has been sponsored.
4- Growing Emphasis on Original Content
If there is a single thing that makes a marketing campaign look bland or generic, it’s through the use of stock images and videos in the campaign content. This issue exists primarily when marketers and creators use free-image sites to source their marketing material. There is only a limited selection of different pictures on these sites that are relevant to any specific keyword, which is why they tend to pop up regularly across the internet.
As brands now become more aware of this, they are shifting their focus towards creating completely unique, brand-centric content that sticks out from the crowd.
5- The Rise of Influencer Podcasts and Series
The consumption of video and audio content is rapidly expanding, and plenty of businesses are capitalizing on this trend.
This trend is not only applicable for the influencers themselves, but also for influencer marketing trends as well. Partnering with influencers on their existing podcasts, series, and videos can prove to be a seamless way to tap into their audience while they’re fully engaged. Podcasts allow for much more personal interaction and intimate discussions with the audience. So lookout for even more influencer podcasts to premiere this year and beyond.
6- Instagram Stories Will Continue Gaining Traction
Ever since its launch in 2016, Instagram Stories has been an important part of Instagram marketing. Brands have leveraged the Stories feature in a myriad of creative ways and will continue doing so.
Due to the versatility of Instagram Stories, it has become an important aspect of any marketer’s Instagram marketing strategy. And with the addition of filters, stickers, and other visual effects, Stories are now more engaging than ever before.
Following are some of the numerous ways in which you can leverage Stories for your Instagram marketing:
-For Ads and Promotions
A lot of brands use Instagram Stories to promote their deals, giveaways, contests or just to feature display or short-form video ads. The transient nature of Stories develops a sense of urgency, which is ideal for promoting deals and giveaways. Stories are short, engaging, and addictive, are an effective medium for brand ads and promotions.
-For Running a Poll or Contest
Running a poll or contest via your brand’s Instagram Stories is a good way to engage your audience.
You can use polls to gather consumer insights and understand consumer preferences for your brand or products. Polls can also be used to get ideas on what the customers would want next from your brand. Giving your customers a choice and making them involved in the process works wonders for any brand’s customer loyalty.
You can also use Stories to run a contest and reward the winning entries. This is another tried and tested way to get your customers to engage with your brand.
-To Announce New Product Launches
You can also leverage Instagram Stories to announce new product launches or just showcase featured products.