Influencer marketing was a huge trend in 2017, and it is continuing to expand. According to a Tomoson study from 2015, the average business makes $6.50 for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, making it an enticing marketing option for many brands.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing identifies individuals who can influence potential buyers and focuses marketing activities around these influencers. Ideally, the influencer has a significant following in a particular niche and regularly engages with his/her followers. That special bond is key to what makes influencer marketing a success.
While influencer marketing did originate from celebrities endorsing products, it is now so much more. Today, influencers are typically individuals with an established reputation as an expert in their niche. Influencers spend significant time and energy building their personal brand and cultivating their audience, making them equivalent to celebrities of their own digital niche.
One way the influencer can help a brand by posting a blog/video highlighting a product or service. They can also promote a brand on social media by sharing information about the brand or sharing content that already exists on the brand’s website.
According to Forbes, influencer marketing is especially useful when targeting Generation Z consumers. Gen Z is skilled at tuning out traditional forms of advertising, but influencer marketing is a way to reach their generation in an effective way. Influencer marketing allows these consumers to learn about a brand from a trusted source in a way that holds their attention. Instagram is the most popular platform for influencer marketing, but YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat are other options.
Facebook is making changes this year that will optimize influencer marketing on their site, making their site more similar to YouTube and Google in some ways. Firstly, they will test out engagement leaderboards that can allow creators to better interact with their fans. Facebook will also introduce the ability for influencers to set up a portfolio that highlights their audience, expertise, etc. Yet another change will be the option for monthly subscriptions so fans can easily access their favorite creator’s content. The subscription option will also help influencers who don’t have enough subscribers to activate AdSense on YouTube and other platforms.
The biggest trend expected in 2018 is greater transparency about the partnerships between brands and influencers. This is partly thanks to Federal Trade Commission guidelines that state a relationship between an influencer and a brand must be “clearly and conspicuously disclosed.”
Influencer marketing is only expected to grow in the coming years. It is definitely a legitimate option for brands and businesses to consider.