Now that the January lull has come to a close, it is time to look forward into 2018 and identify the opportunities Influencer Marketing it has to offer.
Firstly, what is an influencer?
An influencer is an individual who has above-average impact on a specific niche process.
Influencers are normal people, who are often connected to key roles of media outlets, consumer groups, industry associations or community tribes. Influencers may or may not be aware of your company, but represent control of an audience segment that is important to your business.
With that in mind, here are seven influencer marketing trends that you should embrace in 2018.
Value of services is going to increase
Influencers are more highly sought-after on social media platforms than ever before. We are witnessing the rise of accounts, both male, and female, with thousands of followers. This increase has led to more and more businesses choosing to include influencer marketing as part of their marketing strategy to promote their products or services. Higher demand for social media personalities also increased the value of their services.
Most influencers deal with same things, brands approach them on a daily basis and they want to establish collaboration based on mutual benefit. While in 2017 and before, sending free samples or some other form of compensation could work, in the upcoming year you’ll need to put more effort into the process.
Increased value due to higher demand doesn’t necessarily revolve around money, influencers will start looking for meaningful partnerships. They gained thousands of followers and their future engagements with some companies will depend on whether they feel it’s a right fit for them and their follower base. What can you learn from this? When contacting an influencer, go beyond finances and show how they can benefit from your partnership or how it can improve their career.
Measuring and KPI and ROI
Businesses often cite the inability to track results as the key reason behind their reluctance to include influencer marking in their strategy. In 2018, with the increased demand and value of influencer marketing campaigns, measuring key performance indicators (KPI) and the campaign return on investment (ROI) is imperative.
Using appropriate tools to track and measure KPI and ROI as well as engagement by monitoring total audience, likes, hashtags and comments, businesses evaluate the success of a campaign and increase their reach.
Users are experiencing post fatigue. Worn down by an onslaught of identical, heavily processed images, perfected in Photoshop portraying a flawless man or woman and portraying the illusion of a perfect life. Users are demanding real, and videos make that happen. Video content eliminates generic communication, requires less manipulation and it’s more engaging.
Video content in the timelines and stories sections is expected to be the biggest influencer marketing trend in 2018. Research conducted by Geometry Global shows that video content can be twice as effective in driving sales as text-based content, so expect business to invest in video content heavily in 2018.
‘Fake’ Influencers with Purchased Audiences
Any user can, with a small amount of money and a smaller amount of time acquire thousands of followers. This has created a new generation of “fake” influencers; users who have curated a large fan base by purchasing it, not cultivating an engaged audience.
As more and more people strive to be social media celebrities, we can expect an increase of these types of accounts. This can leave businesses vulnerable as working with fake users will cause marketing efforts to fail and often derail the entire marketing strategy.
An easy way to avoid this pitfall is to implement a thorough influencer vetting selection process. Businesses should focus less on the size and more on the quality and engagement of influences audiences.
Influencer campaigns have the incredible potential to improve the online visibility of just about any business, but it’s important to explore all options and types of influencers. We can classify influencers into three groups: mega-influencers (usually celebrities), macro-influencers, and micro-influencers.
The year 2017 was all about micro-influencers, but 2018 will focus on integration. The upcoming year will see brands combining different types of influencers to achieve their marketing goals. Each of these groups reaches a specific target audience, which helps your company reach more people than ever.
Besides combining mega-, macro-, and micro-influencers, companies will also merge other word-of-mouth strategies like referral programs, advocacy, and loyalty. In 2018, your campaign isn’t just a mere promotion any longer but aims to build an experience and emotional connection between your company and target audience.
At The Schaefer Group we create marketing strategies that make the most of our clients’ potential. To Unzip Your Potential contact The Schaefer Group on 1300 855 410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.