Why influencer marketing will go from strength to strength this year
If you thought influencer marketing was big in 2016, you thought wrong. At its core, Influencer Marketing is about to explode this year. This year, marketers are doubling down on their influencer marketing efforts, increasing their budgets to include the tactic as a strategic piece of their overall marketing mix. With newer types of marketing methods being introduced each day, influencer marketing is likely to stay in the limelight.
A recent survey has it that around 84% marketers have at least one influencer marketing campaign planned for 2017. Simply put, the Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to drive their brand’s message to the larger market segment. In other words, it helps you concentrate on the central figures in marketing rather than focusing on marketing as a niche. These key leaders can be anyone from A-list celebrities to Instagram stars and Vloggers. Influencer marketing relies on technology; whereby influencers are expected to spread the word through their personal social channels.
There is no denying that traditional ads are no longer as appealing to consumers as they once were. With so many ads popping out on print, electronic and social media, consumers are left with no choice but to ignore or block them. Unlike traditional ads, influencer marketing is proving its value as an effective marketing tool. Whereas conventional ads are no longer as effective because ad blockers are becoming increasingly popular and easy to use. The same applies to social media and pay-per-click ads that can be avoided through ad blockers. 47% online consumers are using ad blockers and this is set to rise, so the advertising model has to change.
Influencer marketing leverages the popularity and trend-setting power of influencers. For example, you saw your favorite celebrity sharing a post in which she mentioned buying her favorite jeans and affiliation to that particular brand. The next day, you went out to buy the same brand thinking that it would be cool. Influencer marketing is having a critical impact on brand marketing. The trend is being followed by not only big celebrities, but also by small boutiques and businesses. They’ll not shy away from spending money on an influencer having a thousand followers.
Influencer Marketing Trends That will Dominate in 2017
In the 2000s, social marketing was the hot trend, then came content marketing and today, it is influencer marketing. After all, nothing influences a person more than another person, and what could be more influencing than famous celebrities? The core theme behind influencer marketing is to get individuals with a fan following and make them endorse your brand. Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
Influencer marketing is further aided by the fact the online consumers are preferably keeping a distance from most forms of ads. As such, influencer marketing is the perfect way of marketing your service without making them feel offended. So much so that most online consumers gladly participate and become a part of influencer marketing campaigns.
The beginning of 2017 has seen many consumers relying on social media and reviews when buying a product, eating at a restaurant or even places to visit. But, things began to favor influencer marketing several years ago. Back in 2015, Lord & Taylor, a well-known department store collaborated with 50 Instagrammers and asked them to post a picture of themselves wearing a specific dress on a specific day and in exchange, the Instagrammers would be receiving a $1000 - $4000 incentive.
As a result, the campaign reached a total of 11.4 million Instagram users, with about 328,000 brand engagements on Lord & Taylor’s account. This specific dress was sold out in no time. Though this was an advertising and paid incentive, none of the buyers cared, and still bought the dress anyway. Seeing the trend, Adweek predicted that influencer marketing would likely dominate the digital marketing arena in 2016. 2017 will be no different, as the trends will likely expand to other industries as well. Here are some of the top influencer marketing trends to watch out in 2017:
Influencers Or Celebrities?
You might be following a person on social media that you find intelligent, humorous, or loveable. Other followers may be following the person for reasons known to them. In fact, like you, most people may or may not know of his/ her profession, and despite that, they follow. Do you know if your favorite person is a celebrity or not? Likewise, some people may be following a star without knowing the fact.
The big difference between an influencer and a celebrity is easy to judge from their respected levels of engaging with followers. A celebrity was known even before social media. Whereas, an influencer is respected for being herself/himself. Both have the ability to push forward your brand to their respected followers.
Branded Content Will Make Its Way
In all likelihood, branded content will increase, much as it did in the case of TV commercials. They started as necessary commercials but later rivaled soap operas regarding entertainment. One wonders whether the commercial will lose its viability for consumers. After all, people used to see such long, boring commercials on TV all the time. According to Max Polisar of the Awesomeness TV says that presenting a great show is all that viewers care. They don’t mind how long the show goes as long as it stays relevant and interesting. It is all about telling a worthy story to consumers.
Nativity Will Increase
When it comes to influencer marketing, nativity is the name of the game. Renowned influencer marketing platform Blogmint predicts that influencer marketing is not just here to stay, it will increase it reach coming years. Make no mistake about its effectiveness as it is already going an as the favorite hot medium to promote online brands and products by several entrepreneurs.
With up to 60% of online businesses in its fist, influencer marketing is going just one direction i.e. upwards. As such, marketers now realize that nativity is the prime factor that can lure in more market share for years to come. By 2017, this percentage will likely increase to up to 75% if everything goes as planned.
Research Is The Key
Influencer marketing requires plenty of research before you think about getting involved. For starters, there is the identification phase of your campaign. Make sure you don’t pay full rates for the campaign. Though entrepreneurs would love to have complete control over the campaign, it is often not possible. Also, keep an eye on content quality and strategies to engage many customers among other metrics commonly used marketers.
Despite this, it is a must to experience a degree of caution before proceeding with your influencer marketing campaign. As many smart marketers would do, maintain a clear and concise focus on your goals, plan the attack accordingly and ensure it stays within your budget. Also, don’t overlook the importance of micro-influencers. These can be of prime importance if your campaign is targeting a very specific set of audience. Micro-influencers can be quite handy for marketers who prefer their campaigns to be location based.
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool, brands are also able to receive exposure to a wider audience and will allow brands to promote a particular product indirectly. When working with influencers, it’s a way for the brand to build trust and credibility because many of these influencers have already built a loyal following that both trust and look up to them for advice or tips on fashion, food, and overall lifestyle. While you are at it, do ensure that you are honest in your approach and expect the same from your campaign manager. The only way your influencer marketing will meet all your goals will be if both parties involved work with devotion and honesty.
There is no denying that influencer marketing is here to stay and will likely change how we do global marketing in years to come. Though it will take some time to reach there eventually, early signs are a testament to its inevitable, overwhelming success in the online business world.
Not Convinced Yet?
Influencer marketing is the real deal. Influencer marketing is taking over typical advertisements. Think about it for one second, when was the last time you sat through a commercial without bringing out your phone? While you wait until your favorite show comes back on, you scroll through your Instagram or Facebook feed, and without even knowing, you still see advertisements. Your favorite influencers, which you already follow, are reaping products and promoting brands, while still staying true to their unique voice and story.
Overall, influencer marketing is something a brand or business should start (if you haven’t already) investing to be successful this year. Influencer marketing benefits not only the brand but also the influence as well. The brand has the opportunity of getting their campaign message heard by an engaged audience while also reaching out to a group of new consumers. While the influence can be creative and should enhance visibility.
This is just the beginning; influencer marketing will only continue to grow at the fastest speed during 2017. So you better start planning a strategy and start building your influencer network!