The reach of digital ads are all but snuffed out by the common ad blockers– resulting in very close to zero impressions of that ad. The alternative, if you look around (and it is hard to ignore these days), is the number of online buyers being influenced by recommendations and opinions of other friends, family, and celebrities (both in Hollywood and out. Industry experts and the familiar face).
According to Hubspot, more than 70% of online consumers now make a purchase by getting influenced by a social media reference. According to Twitter, 40% of Twitter users say they made purchase influenced directly by a tweet.
The person with the high follower count (at least 100k) has a significant influence. These influencers vary from industry stalwarts to niche experts to people with significant following and celebrities. They can quickly turn a conversation, draw the attention of thousands and drive opinions in favor of something. We call it influencer marketing.
But even influencer marketing evolved a lot as marketers continued to take advantage of this. Here we have tried to summarize some of the critical trends of influencer marketing for the coming year and beyond.
- Influencer marketing will surpass other channels
Influencer marketing as of now has proved itself to be the budget solution with most effective results to reach and engage the target audience. This is why all small and medium business brands who are not in the position to afford expensive media ads succumbed to influencer marketing. But as their success almost set a robust trend, almost all major brands across the niches are also now stepping in to reap the benefits of influencers. With the influencers showing their credible power to make or break a brand’s reputation, in the time to come, they can actually surpass all other channels.
- Evaluating the metrics will be crucial
If you think influencer marketing is just a low-cost alternative to traditional media ads and marketing channels, you are terribly mistaken. In fact, influencer marketing is popular principally because it is easy to evaluate and track results. As you continue your investigation of influencer marketing, start also considering how you will track the success of this campaign as well. There is an array of sophisticated tools and software that allow businesses to track the results if each influencer marketing campaign especially if you are using a digital medium like email, website, video, etc. Using a free tool, Google Analytics, you can see exactly where your viewership originated from, their demographics, and much, much more.
- Influencers are going to charge a premium
A Tap Influencer study revealed that close to 70% of influencers find earning as their main source of motivation. So, those days of getting recommended and discussed for free are practically over.
By far, influencer marketing has been cheaper compared to most other channels. But as more brands including tons of reputed and globally acclaimed ones are eagerly going after niche influencers if their niche, influencers are increasingly gaining the weight and reputation of separate personal brands just as celebrities. Naturally, with a growth of this channel, we can find influencers more sought after charging a premium for lending their weight behind a campaign. We can see influencers to grow as key movers in many big budget online campaigns and that is not going to be cheap as before.
Here is what one source suggests for cost–Digiday suggests paying $1000 to an Instagram influencer who has 100,000 followers. In some cases, however, if that influencer is particularly motivated by your brand, they do it at no charge.
- The phenomenal growth of B2B influencers
Influencer marketing is mostly seen as an emerging channel to influence the opinion of consumers through social media and other touchpoints. But despite that, there are many B2B marketers who successfully leveraged influencers for their business audience. When B2B marketers take help of this channel it is rather common to partner influencers and at the same time launching campaigns on business-specific channels like LinkedIn. Solutions like Buzzsumo has become particularly popular for B2B influencer marketing. In contrast to influencer marketing for the consumers B2B influencer marketing focus on building long-term partnerships with valuable industry influencers.
- The rise of micro-influencers
Who are the influencers you really count upon when spreading your brand message? Obviously, the people whose opinion holds real value for your target audience should be the right influencers for your business. Now, depending on your business niche and audience there can be several options including industry-recognized stalwarts to influencers who can make a difference within a limited number of audience. While the first can be more expensive and not easily available, often the other option proves effective and easily reachable. We call these second group of people as micro influencers. Typically with less than 100,000 followers and a limited budget for outreach ,they can quickly deliver a great campaign.
Micro influencers are getting popular as they enjoy neat microspheres of followers seeking an opinion. These Micro influencers are more likely to represent a niché speciality. Marketers can choose micro influencers as per the suitability of their campaign in respect of audience and outreach. Often such influencers can be quickly engaged without actually making a professional offer. Even when you need to pay them for their output, it is never an expensive deal.
Apart from all the above, influencer marketing in the time to come will also observe a rapid growth of tools and software to make the job influencing much easier. What was just merely about creating buzz has now become a standalone and sought after marketing channel. Influencer marketing will continue to grow and gain influence for everyone in the years ahead.