Influencer marketing is not a new concept - in fact the idea has been around for decades where marketers target social media saavy folks they think might be a good ambassador to share the love about their product. There has also been this perception that the more popular the influencer is (or well know), the better the success of the posts will be. Scratch that. There’s proof now to argue that that’s not always the case. I’m sure you’ve seen tons of sponsored ads or videos floating around social media where you see a familiar face – a well known comedian, a recent heart break-ee from The Bachelor, a popular YouTuber. We’re not hating on brands who use celebs to endorse products, however we can tell you that there are some upcoming trends we’ve seen rise to fame (pun intended) throughout 2017 and we can promise you will rapidly grow into 2018.
The use of Micro-influencers. If you live and dream in marketing land, this is probably not a new concept to you. Influencer marketing traditionally excelled (and real fast) through brands using what we call macro-influencers (aka celebrities, thought leaders, those who make a living being an “influencer” of sorts), which I think we can all agree on is getting super old. Fine, sometimes we all wish we could trust the skinny tea will work, but is this actually an effective method in spending marketing dollars? Consumers are starting to catch on that macro-influencers don’t always care whether the product works for them or not (and perhaps some misperceptions about how it works). Because brands have put trust in influencers, and their large follower count, they are more expensive albeit less authentic and trustworthy. Remember this: quality over quantity.
Micro-influencers on the other hand are unique. They have a smaller following on social media however their content resonates more with followers who trust what they say is coming from good intentions. Micro-influencers care a lot about their personal brand and would not tarnish that through falsely promoting a product or service they haven’t tried and loved themselves (which is why they love trying the product first for free as “payment”!). These are your brand ambassadors, cheerleaders, and loyal customers. Money and influence aside, they would likely be buying your product anyways. We have been seeing a huge rise (understandably!) in brands trying to find micro-influencers to share the love about their product. And the effectiveness is in the numbers. The ROI research has shown that you can expect 9x more effectiveness in influencer marketing than other marketing efforts. I mean how could you not want in?! We expect this trend to skyrocket in the coming year.
Video it, even if you’re shy af. The speed at which we all want information delivered to us now is... actually impressive. When we have a question we need answered, we don’t have time to go digging for the answers (I too need to learn on how to shorten my blog writing). It’s so much easier for videos to exist to solve this problem. Think about how you can incorporate videos into your marketing and social media strategy to answer some questions your customers or clients might have. Even just videos of goats jumping on things will suffice if you don’t have time to create new content. Video engagement works wonders in boosting your visibility online. This is a trend that applies in any industry.
IM Software tools to the rescue. Ok here is where I tell you the most important step in launching a badass influencer marketing campaign for your biz. You can’t do it alone. I mean you could, but you would be taking away precious time that you could be doing something else (like adult colouring or table tennis). Influencer outreach is very strategic, and there’s a formula that helps determine who your top performers would be in a given influencer marketing campaign based on the goals of your project. How would you find your influencers? How would you track engagement rates of their followers? How would you find out which of your own followers were following the competition so that you could reach out to them first? How could you possibly set up trackers to monitor targeted conversations happening in real time across several platforms? Exactly. Invest in a tool to help you. We promise it will be worth it!
You can expect to see more tools/apps to help you achieve these goals as influencer marketing becomes more mainstream. Think about the new Hootsuite for influencer marketing. Jump on it now and get ahead of the game!
Authentic relationships building We can’t emphasize it enough. Having an authentic relationship with your audience is key when conducting influencer marketing. Sales is no longer about being pushy and short-cutting your customers. It’s about talking about genuine solutions to genuine problems and building a relationship along the way. Don’t just pay-per-post, build a long term strategy for influencers to continuously benefit from your brand and share with their audience. It becomes more natural when an influencers continues to use a product they love, rather than push one post and never talk about it again. Even better is if your influencer is continuously reviewing new products. Treat it as an influencer feedback channel - listening to the feedback of the influencer..or even the comment of the viewers. For example, imagine you own an insulated water bottle company and want to grow sales for the summer months. If you only have 2 colors of bottles and the feedback of the influencers and their following is their wish to have alternative colours, begin to build a strategy to ‘give the people what they want’ (Yeezus lyrics, anyone?). The best way to do this is with social listening. Follow influencers post and the conversation under your brand's handle or hashtag to listen to real people with real thoughts leave real reviews.
Let us know what you think of these hot trends. Did we miss any you suspect to become a thing going into 2018? Comment below.👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼