The Evolution of Influencer Marketing, Industry Experts Weigh In
2017 is starting off as an interesting year for influencers. We're seeing changes in content, focus, and what brands are looking for in an influencer.
We chatted with a few industry experts that weighed in on trends they are seeing in influencer marketing this year.
THE CONTINUING RISE OF MICRO INFLUENCERS
In 2016 we saw the shift of large influencers with huge numbers not necessarily winning over smaller but more niche audiences from micro-influencers. Sarah Ware, CEO and Co-Founder of Markerly comments, "micro-influencers have proven to be more cost-effective and engaging when compared to their celebrity counterparts."
SOCIAL IMPACT AND CONSCIOUS BRANDS
Influencers are becoming more vocal about causes and organizations that they care about, and brands are following suite in supporting social, eco, and culturally correct goods. Influencer Branden Harvey speaks about how brands are connecting with him, "all of the brands I work with now reach out because they like the unique work I do in the world of social good. Sometimes they even gear an entire campaign around an influencer they find to be doing interesting work".
THE SPEND WILL CHANGE
Anybody currently working as an influencer knows what it's like to receive tons of invitations to social networks and influencer platforms, and Danielle Holke a marketing consultant and influencer agrees, she says "in 2017 we'll see a rise of the influencer ranking platforms, while brands will take greater care in choosing how to spend their influencer marketing budgets."
TRACKING ROI AND IMPACT
The constant discussion about brands and companies utilizing influencers concerns ROI. Influencer Vickens Moscova says "when working with brands, influencers will have to be held more accountable for quality marketing work so that the brand can actually create sales to have a positive ROI".
TRUST AND AWARENESS
Often brands expect returns the day a post comes out from an influencer, but in reality influencer marketing is meant to create a conversation about the brand, and to grow awareness. Kelly McFarland is a fashion blogger and influencer, she says "while it is difficult to measure immediate ROI, influencer marketing is most effective for bringing awareness to a brand and for garnering clout/trustworthiness in markets that are difficult to penetrate."
BE F*CKING CREATIVE
Anyone can post on social media, but finding someone that has an eye for the creative, understands and is willing to put time into the product, and is able to write their thoughts in an intriguing manner - is not as easy as you might think. Ben Trihn who works in influencer marketing at Lyft says "I think influencer marketing is now taking a turn, finding an influencer is easy if you have the money. But finding an influencer who can make anything look organic, is a craft."
INFLUENCER MARKETING BEING THE NORM
For the past few years influencer marketing has been experiencing tremendous growth, but this year we'll see it taking up larger budgets from more traditional companies. Gil Eyal, founder of Hypr shared some very insightful data with us backing this statement: "Influencer market size is estimated to be <$2b in 2016. Early 2017 data suggests continued explosive growth."
As you see, we'll be expecting an even larger rise in Micro Influencers, brands and companies to be utilizing influencers on the regular, and a larger focus on quality and type of content! Do you have any influencer trends or predictions for 2017? We've love to hear your thoughts!