Influencer marketing is expanding at an exponential rate. A majority of brands are now using influencer marketing in some capacity. It is more important than ever to follow emerging trends so that you don’t get lost in the crowd.
Whether you just want to ensure you’re staying ahead of the game or you’re new to influencer marketing, here are the top upcoming trends you must know.
The Importance of Balancing Micro-Influencers and Resources
As you may know already, micro-influencers are influencers that have a small but highly engaged following. While they may not have an impressively-sized audience (typically less than 100,000), don’t let that fool you. These micro-influencers’ engagement rates can be nearly 8 times higher than an influencer with 500,000+ followers. As a result, micro-influencers are incredibly valuable and are great at generating action with consumers.
Not only are micro-influencers less costly than their larger audience counterparts, but they’re also more readily available to build a meaningful, long-term relationship with your brand. However, before reaching out, you should decide if a micro-influencer is right for your goals and your resources. For example, if your main goal is to reach a large audience, then you should keep in mind that you will generally need to manage more micro-influencers to reach that large audience compared to choosing one influencer with a very large following (macro-influencers). Though, keep in mind that a macro-influencer is going to be very expensive and typically has much lower engagement rates than micro-influencers. In the end, it’s all about balancing your budget and your goals.
Brands are Valuing Long-Term Relationships With Influencers
As influencer marketing becomes more saturated, it’s important for a brand to build long-term, dedicated relationships with their influencers. Brands are starting to recognize the value of having long-term partnerships with influencers. This is a win-win scenario for both parties since the influencer will make a steady, trusted income from a brand and that brand will have a stream of content created. In addition, long-term collaborations will introduce your product/service to your target audience in a way that’s more organic and consistent. In a long-term partnership with an influencer, you can expect steady growth and exposure for your brand.
Multi-Brand Collaborations Are on the Rise
Now, you might be thinking that a multi-brand collaboration may split potential customers, but that’s not necessarily the case; if you do it right. You can partner up with another, non-competing, brand that complements your own and then work with influencers that will highlight both brands in their upcoming content. This way, you can share the costs and both benefit from working with each other and the influencers.
Something to keep in mind is that these multi-brand collaborations tend to perform best with consumer brands. For example, a makeup brand might collaborate with the influencer’s content.
Business-to-Business (B2B) Influencer Marketing is Thriving
B2B influencer marketing is becoming more and more prevalent. An influencer can be anyone that has some form of industry credibility or known-expertise. This can include not just social media influencers, but public figures, industry experts, or even your most outspoken customers.
An easy way to get started finding a B2B influencer for your business is to make a list of industry bloggers. Contact them to inquire about writing a guest post on their site. To make it mutually beneficial, be sure to offer these influencers a space on your platform for a guest post as well. This will also drive more and new traffic to your site.
Brands Are Implementing Influencer Events
The final trend is brand-hosted, influencer events. These events are put on for a select group of influencers and allow brands to connect with influencers, create in-depth partnerships, and secure multiple marketing opportunities… all in one event!
Successful influencer events also allow influencers to use your product/service. For example, a beauty brand may throw an influencer event that allows influencers to try out and take home samples of their new products. This will generate genuine interest with your brand and create some lucrative influencer partnerships. During these events, you can also receive valuable feedback from influencers that you can use to better your product/service.
These five emerging trends offer a glimpse into the future of influencer marketing. However, as more brands start to use influencer marketing, it’s expected that new opportunities and challenges will arise.
Lastly, it is becoming increasingly important for brands to ensure that they understand the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) disclosure requirements and that brands are working with influencers that truly believe in your product/service. At the end of the day, the one thing that will always remain constant is the importance of authenticity in your influencer campaigns and building genuine relationships with influencers.