As we head into the new year, we always make it a point to reflect on the development of influencer marketing over the last 12 months and prepare ourselves for what is to come. More than ever, influencer marketing is rapidly evolving and 2019 will be no exception — with new trends appearing ever so quickly, staying up to date is a must in order to maximize the effectiveness of ones’ strategy.
Let’s begin by listing the statistics showing the value of influencer marketing (source: Digital Marketing Institute):
- 70% of Millennials say they trust influencers more than traditional celebrities
- More than 50% of women purchase a product due to an influencer post on Instagram or Facebook
- 49% of online shoppers depend on recommendations made by influencers
- 59% of digital marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the next years
- Influencer marketing campaigns generate an impressive ROI of $6.50 for every $1 spent.
These impressive stats once again suggest that influencer marketing will be one of the hottest digital marketing strategies in 2019.
We’ve curated a list of the top 6 trends we predict will gain greater momentum in 2019.
1. Instagram will be the Most Popular Platform for Influencer Marketing
Influencers use various social media platforms, but unsurprisingly, Instagram appears the most effective one in terms of delivering positive marketing results. According to eMarketer’s Influencer Marketing Roundup 2018, it was the most popular platform of choice of social influencers worldwide in 2018.
Instagram is by far the most popular social media platform for influencer marketing, so we recommend you stick with it for your own strategy as well. But with the competition on this specific social media platform as well as others increasing, you’ll need to find a way to differentiate your brand, which brings us to the second trend.
2. Content Relevancy and Authenticity
“Internet audiences are fed up with the hard sell and in-your-face advertising, so exposing them to such content would be like sending obnoxious salespeople to their doors,” says James Daily, content manager, and founder of Brainished blog. “That’s why relevancy, transparency, and authenticity of your influencer marketing will be extremely important in 2019.”
The majority of Millennials trust influencers more than traditional celebrities. This is a perfect example of a generation who find traditional advertising boring and uninspiring, so relying on traditional advertising methods in your digital marketing is not advised.
In fact, 2017 Consumer Content Report found that authenticity was critically important for building relationships with Internet audiences. Accordingly, 90% of Millennials, 85% of Gen Xers, and 80% of Baby Boomers said they valued authenticity when deciding which brand they like and support.
So, authenticity is vital in influencer marketing, make sure that your content can resonate with your target audience. The most successful example of such content is user-generated content, according to the same report.
User-generated content is a goldmine for brands — not only is it the most authentic but with the permission of the original poster, brands can repost and further engage with their community. Such a tactic fortifies a brand’s authenticity, builds community and encourages other members of the brand community to contribute their own content.
3. Influencer Marketing Will Become a Permanent Part of a Digital Marketing Strategy
Influencer marketing is a big deal for online businesses. “In fact, it’s so important it can help to achieve such complex marketing goals like raising awareness and increasing sales,” claims Amanda Sparks, digital marketer and author of Top Down Writer.
The aforementioned Influencer Marketing Roundup 2018, for example, supports this. Specifically, it reported that 88% of PR/marketing professionals found influencer marketing to be either “extremely effective” or “effective” in “raising awareness about their companies and products.”
As you can see, 65% and 53% of PR/marketing professionals thought that influencer marketing was effective in increasing customer loyalty and driving sales, respectively. Clearly, using this strategy apart from the main digital marketing strategy is impossible to reach maximum results because coordination is necessary.
As such, more and more brands will continue to deeply integrate influencer marketing into the overall digital marketing strategy.
4. Influencers Will Demand More and Better Incentives/Rewards
According to The State of Influencer Marketing 2018 report by Linqia, brands spend varying amounts of their marketing budget on their influencer marketing programs. Specifically, 11% of marketers spent “Under $10,000” while only 2% reported paying more than $500,000 to their influencers.
The majority of marketers surveyed in the Linqia report – 30% – spent between $25,000 and $50,000, but these are 2017 figures we’re talking about. How will they change in 2019?
The State of Influencer Marketing report discovered that 39% of marketers said they’re planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets already this year.
This trend will continue in 2019, so it’s safe to suggest that brands will need to make decisions between mega-influencers and fewer posts or micro-influencers and more posts.
5. New Integrated Functionality in Social Media
“Social media sites are constantly adding new features to improve user experience and make it easier to do business,” says Brian Courson, the head of the marketing department at Top Australia Writers. “One of the most prominent examples of new integrated functionality that you’ll need to watch for is Instagram’s standalone app for shopping.”
For example, one of the first reports about this app was made by The Verge, which claimed that it will be called IG Shopping and “let users browse collections of goods from merchants that they follow and purchase them directly within the app.”
The development is still ongoing, and Instagram is planning a major expansion into e-commerce, says the report. And this makes a perfect sense, with so many business accounts and potential customers using the platform.
6. Brands Will Focus More on The ROI Metrics of Individual Influencer
Measuring ROI will be huge in 2019 because it’ll show whether a particular influencer helps achieve a pre-defined marketing goal. Social media marketing metrics are increasingly including influencer marketing ROI tools, so they will be used by more businesses to assess the performance of influencers.
“The results of this analysis will be critical to achieving marketing goals because they’ll show where the overall strategy needs an improvement, which strategy gives the highest value, and which campaign best suits your target audience,” reveals Sara Sadler, the social marketing expert forGetGoodGrade.com.
Here’s what brands should consider ensuring an accurate calculation of ROI of individual influencers in 2019:
Selecting the best influencer to get the best possible ROI
Knowing which performance metrics to track on each social media platform
Knowing how to track these metrics
Preparing reports that show ROI value and make appropriate changes to influencer marketing strategy.
Over to You
Influencer marketing is alive and thriving in 2018, and it’ll only get more important for businesses in 2019. To get ahead of the pack and maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, you’ll have to anticipate changes and follow the latest trend. Interested in figuring out how you can get ahead of the curve and implement these trends into your own marketing strategy? The feel free to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to help you figure out how to do just that.