Influencer marketing is a growing business with many marketers trying to jump onto this lucrative bandwagon. With the growing competition and ever changing trends, it is getting increasingly difficult for brands to build up an effective influencer marketing strategy. However, by keeping up to date with influencer marketing trends and being aware of successful marketing strategies, brands can achieve great results in their campaigns. These are the 5 game changing trends that you need to know to be on top of your game.
1) Using micro influencers
Gone are the days when celebrities rule the advertising world. Brands these days are seeking to engage micro influencers in their marketing campaigns. Besides micro influencers being less expensive to work with compared to signing on huge celebrities, they also prove to have a higher engagement with their followers. This will lead to higher ROI in the long run due to a higher conversion rate. However, on the other side of the coin, multiple micro influencers are required to achieve the extent of reach that macro influencer can easily achieve and the finding of the right micro influencers can be especially draining for companies. As such, a reliable influencer marketing analytics platform like Popular Chips is essential to finding the right influencers to maximise your company’s ROI.
2) Increase in the number of B2B influencers
No longer is influencer marketing used solely by consumer brands, but large business companies use it for B2B marketing as well. By utilizing testimonies from employees and clients, brands can effectively build up their portfolio and credibility. One such company is IBM which engages employees as influencers for its brand. Since no one knows the brand and products as well as the employees themselves, they are able to provide good advocacy for themselves.
“(We) drove 50,000 new registrations to IBM Verse in the first two weeks of launch, due to employee advocacy.”
3) Relationship building vs Short-term profits
Influencer marketing isn’t about short term profits anymore but about building strong relationships with influencers. Planning for a long term partnership with influencers forces brands to plan ahead and be strategic in using social media as a tool to play into the larger marketing mix. Such a method proves to be more cost efficient in the long run as it helps brand to build a greater brand story and familiarize themselves with the followers of the influencers. Needless to say, followers will express much more interest in products that influencers have genuine affinity with.
The great success story of L’Oréal’s influencer marketing comes from its long term relationships with its influencers.
I don’t want a ‘one post one cheque’ type of contractual relationship. That’s not what we’re looking for. It’s the same way we work with spokespeople on L’Oréal Paris. We work with people by forming a human relationship for the long term.
By working with influencers who are beauty gurus themselves on a long term basis, L’Oréal manages to build up a positive image and trust with the followers. As such, this shows the importance of building long term, organic relationships with influencers rather than seeing them as contractual transactions.
4) Telling a unique story
It’s no longer enough for brands to just select influencers from their niche market, but they must be able to create a story that sets your them apart from through the collaboration with influencers. This is the case for Outdoor Voices which sells technical and sports apparels. While big brands such as Nike and Adidas engage huge fashion and sports influencers, Outdoor Voices worked with micro influencers that provide their own unique voices. For example one of their influencers, Liz Adams is a mom and a wife – which appeals to busy working parents who do not need clothes to run a marathon but to work out comfortably in. This allow Outdoor Voices to appeal to the mass population rather than just sport fanatics.
Therefore, it is becoming important for brands to find multiple micro influencers who are able to talk about the brands in their own unique manner. By doing so will allow them to gain affinity with different groups of consumers and thus be able to gain benefits in the long run.
Just recently, FTC has sent out more than 90 letters reminding influencers and celebrities that they are obliged to state clearly their connections with brands when promoting or endorsing products through social media. Some might see the need to be transparent as a disadvantage to brands, however, the truth is that, besides protecting influencers and brands from legal troubles, full disclosure actually strengthens the trust between influencers and their followers which will increase credibility towards the brands.
Furthermore, with quality content and strategic marketing, it is not true that sponsored ads can’t get as much or even more engagement than organic posts. Just look at Selena Gomez‘s Coca Cola advertisement for example.
This post by Selena Gomez was fully disclosed to be a sponsored one yet it performed so well that it became the most popular celebrity post of 2016. With the disclosure guidelines becoming a growing trend, brands has to focus on creating quality content and building trust with the audience.
To end off….
The nature of influencer marketing has always been rather dynamic. This could be attributed to the unpredictable nature of social media and consumer taste. However, the ability of brands to adapt and keep up with such trends will ensure that they will be able to gain from influencer marketing in the long run. As anticipated, such will not be possible without a reliable analytic platform that is able to pick up changes in social trends quickly and translate them to effective marketing strategies.