Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In 2016, around three quarters of content and influencer marketers in the US had past-year experience with the technique. And one-third of organizations had influencer marketing budgets totaling more than half a million dollars, according to the State of the Creator Economy Study (SOCE). It’s safe to say influencer marketing trends are here to stay.
As more and more people get involved with influencer marketing, and more and more consumers become aware of it as a marketing practice, the technique has evolved. Take a look at some of the influencer marketing trends driving the industry today, and see if your brand can benefit from trying them out.
As far as influencer marketing trends go, big isn’t always better. The hottest of all the influencer marketing trends are Micro-influencers. These tier-2 influencers typically have follower counts in the thousands or tens of thousands rather than hundreds of thousands or millions, are perhaps the biggest influencer marketing trend of the year.
Micro-influencers tend to have higher rates of engagement than those with bigger followings. Your message might be seen by fewer people, but the people who do see it are going to be more likely to take action.
Micro-influencers also tend to fit into specific niches, and to focus on just one or two subjects, while macro- or mega-influencers tend to jump around from one subject to the next. While you might not reach a huge audience when you work with a micro-influencer, you’re more likely to reach an audience that cares about what you have to say.
2.) Greater Relevancy and Authenticity
A renewed focus on relevancy and authenticity has come along with an increased interest in working with micro-influencers. Influencer marketing became more popular as more and more people began blocking ads. And as studies such as Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising have revealed, the majority of people now put their trust in online recommendations and reviews.
As the industry grew, one of the influencer marketing trends was to move away from relevancy and authenticity. Some influencers began promoting brands and products left and right, with little regard for how or if that brand was a good fit for their audience.
But, thankfully, influencer marketing trends are now shifting back toward authenticity and relevancy. Both brands and influencers realize that maintaining trust with an audience is key to the continued success of influencer marketing. The SOCE found that influencers and content creators rated “audience finds interesting/relevant” as the second most important factor when deciding to work on a campaign.
3.) Influencer Saturation
What’s better than one influencer? For some brands, the answer is many influencers. Take a look at Daniel Wellington, the Swedish watch brand that has had nearly 5,000 percent growth over the course of just a couple of years. The secret to its success? It’s one of the latest influencer marketing trends: using lots and lots of influencers. Currently, there are more than 1.4 million Instagram posts featuring the hashtag #danielwellington.
Fashion Nova is another brand that has taken the “more is more” approach (working with up to 5,000 influencers), and it’s paid off. The brand’s Instagram follower count has jumped to six million, and 75 percent of customers return to its website within three months.
4.) Rise of Brand-Owned Resources
In the early days of influencer marketing trends, the common tactic was to have an influencer take a picture or made a video featuring a product, then post it to his or her social media profile.
Brands are now taking more control by having influencers create content that is published on brand-owned properties. A good example is the ASOS Insider program. It gives each influencer their own ASOS-affiliated Instagram account and features style tips on the retailer’s website.
5.) In-Person Events
The last and not least of the influencer marketing trends is the use of in-person events. Influencer events, like the RewardStyle conference for fashion and beauty influencers, brings influencers and brands together in real life. Those influencers then write about or Instagram their experiences at the event, showcasing the brands that are there.
It might seem counter-intuitive to hold in-person events for influencer marketing. But, it really helps to put a face and person to the name. And it helps influencers feel a more concrete connection with the brands they work with.