We made it past the duckface era (thank god), and the culture of influencer marketing is rapidly changing along with the rest of the internet. But we’re still learning. In an ever-evolving space like digital marketing, it can be hard to keep up with (and ahead of) new trends and best practices. So let’s talk about the new era of influencer marketing.
Five Trends to Look for in the Future of Influencer Marketing
1. Invisible influence
Forget about follower count and focus on invisible influence. We’re much less impressed with the vanity metrics of the past. We all know that someone can have a huge audience with very little engagement… which has no value at all for a company trying to promote a new product. But we’re also starting to see that even large influencer accounts with genuine fans and high engagement can result in big reach that still doesn’t convert to sales.
The truth is small accounts with dedicated followers, and real relationships have a much higher conversion rate.
It might be harder to measure, but the invisible influence factor makes a big difference!
2. Outside-the-box strategies
Social media influencers (and hopefuls) are on the rise, but old-school techniques aren’t working the way they have in the past. Creative strategies and bold, unique campaigns are making the most impact. As the online marketing space becomes more crowded, the way to stand out is not by following trends… it’s by making a splash!
3. Social Listening
Large corporations and small businesses alike are learning to pay attention to what kind of content their followers and fans actually engage with. Successful influencer marketing campaigns in the new era start by asking audiences what they like, want, and need. The best influencers aren’t just telling followers what to buy. They are asking them about their interests and then providing them with solutions.
4. Unconventional solutions
Marketers will have to be more creative than ever to stand out and connect with their audiences. Watch for the continued rise of street art, virtual reality, live streaming, and gamification as engagement strategies. The shifting focus on entertainment is here to stay! Online marketing is saturated, but everyone wants to be entertained. The best marketing campaigns can grab your attention and sell to you at the same time.
5. Rise of alternative influencers
Look for influencer campaigns being used in non-traditional ways, including b2b marketing. Many corporations are looking to LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with other businesses and are partnering with micro-influencers in their field to sell products and increase awareness. Companies will continue to partner with content creators in specific fields to leverage their expertise and following.
Agencies and Influencer Management
With the rise of the new era of influencer marketing comes an increase in management opportunities. Agencies are popping up to help connect influencers and brands with legitimate opportunities. Look for an agency with a solid legal contract and a solid onboarding process. Whether you’re a brand or a content creator, don’t be afraid to ask questions to make sure your agency is equipped to help you!