Influencer marketing has grown from being a recurring trend to being a complete strategy in itself. An offshoot of social media marketing, a successful influencer marketing campaign harnesses the popularity of a social media influencer. It promotes a product or a service, while building brand awareness and creating a sense of community. These campaigns are placed where the target audience is most active and there is ease of access. They are characterized by a wide scope of customization and high engagement, while being cost effective at the same time. Owing to this, the field has progressively bourgeoned.
The trajectory of influencer marketing is going to be no different in 2018. In fact, it is expected to grow even more, with marketers and brands seeking comfort from its reliability. Moving forward, the following trends are likely to exhibit themselves.
GENERATING QUALITY VIDEO CONTENT
In a fast-paced world, videos are the surest way to garner a user’s attention. However, this holds true only if the video has great content. Tapping into the art of story-telling, a strong narrative is key to an impressionable video. Collaborate with influencers in order to create videos which have consistent visual identity and meet high quality standards. The same can be integrated with e-commerce, wherever applicable.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT INFLUENCER
Be picky when it comes to selecting an influencer. They should have ties to or expertise in the relevant business domain. They should be open to co-creation and bring their own creativity to the table. A strong personal brand makes for an added plus!
BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP AND AVOIDING ONE-OFFS
An influencer’s one-time involvement with a brand is useful in garnering visibility. However, it doesn’t ensure a lasting engagement with either the audience or the brand. Developing a relationship with them ensures that they become something akin to ambassadors for a brand. This enhances reliability for consumers, along with making the brand identifiable by association.
DIVERSIFYING THE INFLUENCER BASE
Seeking out both macro and micro influencers diversifies audience base. Micro-influencers are like specialists in their domain, with a niche yet specific following. Macro-influencers, on the contrary, hold considerable influence and have a wide follower segment. This can target both relevance as well as greater visibility.
MAKING IT MORE THAN JUST A PR STRATEGY
The purpose of influencer marketing is fast evolving itself. It is no longer a strategy for product promotion. In 2018, the focus has to shift to integrating it with marketing activities. Influencer marketing should be able to drive ROI and boost sales. The format should no longer be like that of an ad, with the risk of being run-of-the-mill sponsored content. It should have premium content at its core.
ALLOCATING A GREATER BUDGET
Higher budget allocation to influencer marketing will elevate the cost of service. This, in turn, will result in quality output generation and value addition. Brands will also be able to invest more in maintaining relationships with influencers.
DEFINING AND TRACKING KPIS
Influencer marketing has come a long way from being utilized solely for promotional reasons. While the non-monetary value still exists, influencers are also crucial for profit-generation. In order to ensure ROI, outline lucid key performance indicators (KPIs) for campaigns. This is a crucial tracking mechanism for the effectiveness of these campaigns. KPIs also act as tools for reviewing and re-structuring the same.
Influencer marketing is well beyond views on Facebook and likes on Instagram. It is a way to get closer to consumers, receive real-time feedback and viable ideas for product improvements. Owing to the above trends, 2018 will be the year of organic growth within the domain.