The Evolution of Influencer Marketing, Industry Experts Weigh In

 Influencer and Blogger  Ashley Guyatt  for  Bezalel

Influencer and Blogger Ashley Guyatt for Bezalel


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. 


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."

 Menswear Blogger  Christian Pena  for  Life/After/Denim

Menswear Blogger Christian Pena for Life/After/Denim


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". 

 Entrepreneur and Photographer  CJ Johnson  for  P&Co

Entrepreneur and Photographer CJ Johnson for P&Co


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."

 Furniture Designer  Chris Earl  for  Hizzy

Furniture Designer Chris Earl for Hizzy


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".

 Musician and Song Writer Shae Brock for 7eFit Spa

Musician and Song Writer Shae Brock for 7eFit Spa


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."

 Influencer  Daniel Miller , YouTubers  Dion York  and  Sebastian Argo , and Creative Director  Ambar Januel  for  GalPal App

Influencer Daniel Miller, YouTubers Dion York and Sebastian Argo, and Creative Director Ambar Januel for GalPal App


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 and Song Writer  Trevor Holmes  for  Life/After/Denim

Influencer and Song Writer Trevor Holmes for Life/After/Denim


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." 

 Fashion Blogger and Stylist  Willie Sparks &nbsp;for  Bezalel

Fashion Blogger and Stylist Willie Sparks for Bezalel

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!