4 Influencer Marketing Trends for 2018
To put things in perspective, here are some eye-popping stats about influencer marketing from veritable latest reports and studies.
- Influencer marketing delivers 11 times the ROI compared to traditional digital marketing.
- 49% of people suggest that they depend on influencers for their purchase decisions.
- Twitter users reported 5.2 times increase in intent to purchase when exposed to influencer content.
Chances are that you’re already investing time and money in influencer marketing. However, what are the hottest trends that will make your brand grow big by riding on the influencer marketing train in 2018? In this guide, I will reveal 4 of them.
1- Micro-Influencers Are The Force You Need By Your Brand’s Side
Make no mistake, big influencers come with bigger price tags. The reason – there’s too much demand and too little supply. Whereas this poses a barrier to entry for small brands, it also gives them the opportunity to leverage micro-influencers for their digital marketing and brand building.
Micro influencers are people of reputation, relevant to highly niche markets, with a followership of 10,000 or less. In early 2016, 90% of posts by influencers were done by those with less than 1 million followers. Now, companies are aiming towards 20-30 influencers with smaller followings.
Social media monitoring tools prove invaluable for small businesses in identifying micro-influencers. You can set up campaigns in these tools to monitor for social media and web activity on niche keywords across social media platforms, websites, mainstream news websites, discussion boards, and forums. These tools bring together the power of analytics and visual reporting apart from on-stop dashboards to help marketers connect with and manage micro-influencers. Using filters such as the number of mentions, social media reach, influencer score, email alerts, newest mentions, sentiment analysis, other filters, you can easily shortlist relevant micro-influencers.
I recommend you get started with one of the free social media monitoring tools listed in this Brandwatch list.
2- Platform Agnosticism in Influencer Marketing
The initial days of influencer marketing were mostly about Facebook and Twitter, which begged the question – is it a strategy limited to social media only? The answer is – NO.
Also, influencer marketing is not only about driving sales, but also about driving brand awareness and increasing brand outreach. Moreover, it’s believed that customers need 3 to 5 touchpoints with your brand in their online journey’s to be able to make a purchase.
All these forces mean that influencer marketing is increasingly becoming agnostic towards social platforms, and that’s where the term ‘multichannel influencer marketing’ pops up.
This is a strategy that spreads across many web platforms while defining the scope of influencer marketing. Because most influencers have many online accounts (YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, and more), this strategy helps you work with existing collaborators to multiply the outreach across platforms. Also, this enables marketers to repurpose content across platforms for more ROI on influencer marketing budgets.
3- ROI of Influencer Marketing: A Challenge
Linqia’s “State of Influencer Marketing 2017” survey reports how marketers considered ROI measurement the biggest challenge in managing influencer marketing. Also, more than 50% respondents suggested that they’d increase influencer marketing investments in the subsequent year.
These facts make influencer marketing ROI a crucial parameter for sustainable success. Here are some best practices for you to do better on influencer marketing ROIs.
- Be specific about your goals: Make them SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, time-bound. So, ‘increase engagement’ is not right, say ‘expose my product to 3,000 high net worth individuals in 1 month.’
- Some important metrics to consider are – website views, referrals, increase in the number of social media subscribers, sales, email newsletter subscriptions, etc.
- Use tracking methods such as ‘tracking pixels’ to measure results linked to influencer marketing.
- Organize specific and isolated events and link them to your influencer marketing campaign; for instance, a trade fair visit, a content generation best contest, a charity fundraiser, etc.
- Generate coupon codes for each influencer marketing campaign, and give them to your influencer. Redemption of these coupons can be linked to influencer-led results.
4- Nurture Long-Lasting Relationships with Influencers
Expect millennial customers to execute faux excitement among influencers, particularly when they know how easy it is for influencers to switch from one endorsement to another. This alone is the biggest driver of efforts towards nurturing long-lasting relationships with brands and influencers.
To do so, here are some practices to follow: Look for the 5 most recent products/brands an influencer promoted, and look for the first post he/she did about that brand.
Also, use social media monitoring tools to find out the number of mentions an influencer pushes for a brand. Innovate with reward mechanisms, to motivate influencers to stick to your brand. Most importantly, look to build relationships, and think about ways you can have your influencers collaborate, and feed off from each other’s best assets.