Influencer marketing today makes the most of social media and digital marketing. Over other marketing methods influencer marketing always enjoyed an upper hand because influencers are more organic and are more relied upon than other channels. This is why the growth of influencer marketing is estimated to reach a phenomenal level of $10 billion by 2020.
But even influencer marketing isn’t static and it is continuously evolving. New trends are continuing to emerge and transforming the way influencers have a say on our buying decisions and online interactions. Since the digital marketing space continues to be competitive, influencer marketing has become key to marketing success and increased business conversion.
Besides the so-called marketing trends, the role of influencers is also changing on a continuous basis. In the very early stage, influencers were mainly content creators with a good number of followers or regular audience. Later on, with the celebrities from art, media and public life playing a bigger role and dominating the presence across digital and social media platforms, they became big influencers. From film celebrities to industry leaders to people with specific expertise emerged as influencers with great following and voice that can influence others.
Obviously, the same kind of influencers cannot make or break the purchase patterns and buying trends for all businesses. The choice of influencers for specific brands largely depends upon a number of factors. These are also factors that play a role in the evolution of influencer marketing trends.
The Increasing Importance of Unique and Original Content
How can a marketing campaign look really commonplace and without any influencing capabilities? Well, when you use easily available stock images, common video content or readily available graphic content for marketing campaigns, they just look too generic. This is particularly seen in campaigns where marketers failed to use unique and creative content instead of the generic ones. From images to copywriting to graphic storytelling or the video, in every aspect the content should be thoroughly unique.
As social media users we encounter the same image or memes number of times throughout our feed and this often turns off our mood. This leads to inattentiveness to the content posted by the marketers. To make an influence, first of all the content needs to grab attention and engage the audience. To help easy discovery and to help remember things for longer, creating unique and original content is a must. Most dominant influencers who have an influence on a large number of followers are always known for their unique approach to content creation.
Millennials and Young Influencers
Those days are gone when for the expertise you look for some elderly voice with a lot of experience in the respective niche. These days, even a millennial or a teenager can have a great audience with considerable influence on their decisions regarding purchases and online interactions. Since the young audience makes up the larger part of social media and online audiences, they also emerge as the influential age group for too many young buyers and users.
In recent years, some really fresh young minds helped many major brands reaching out to a wider audience with ease. For example, Ben Azelart and Jayden Bartels who campaigned for Facemoji Keyboard in recent months can be cited as examples of influencers belonging to generation-Z.
The teens and millennials typically with their trendy air and funky stylish appearance can create a perception that using a particular product or service is the in-thing. Naturally, when appropriately utilized, this young audience can create a bigger influence and drive more followers than the so-called experienced industry stalwarts and celebrity veterans.
Micro-Influencers Instead of Celebrity Influencers
Do you know global celebrities like Kim Kardashian make a few hundred thousand dollars for just a single post on Instagram or Twitter? Such a huge sum of money seems to be quite non-realistic for most small budget marketing campaigns that make up the majority. This is why some less known influencers who are also called micro-influencers with a neat and organic follower base are now enjoying more influence on the marketing campaigns.
It has been seen that a considerable portion of the consumers enjoy more trust concerning the products and services than the business brands they are promoting. This is why partnering with trustworthy influencers is no longer just an option but a necessity for business brands.
There are too many examples of how less known influencers with a limited audience can actually deliver better output in terms of business conversion than so-called famous celebrities. For example, instead of signing a Messi or a Ronaldo for your football equipment, you can just make a campaign featuring a successful junior soccer team of your city.
Often consumers can easily relate to such a down-to-earth normal audience more easily than so-called celebrities. While the big celebrities featured in your posts appear more like traditional ad materials, the original influence is better created by small-town people with limited reach. While the first appears like paid promotions, the later comes with actual influence.
Influencers With a Similar Value Proposition
There are certain business brands and offerings that fail to achieve enough traction solely for the reason of choosing the wrong brand ambassador. It is not uncommon to find instances when the so-called influencers really pulled down the campaigns with detrimental value propositions.
Controversial remarks and behavior in public life by the influencers can harm the marketing campaign of a brand tremendously. For example, a video smacking racism or showcasing gate speech in the feed if the influencers can ruin the reputation of a brand he is promoting. This is why it is extremely important for the brands to find influencers with similar value propositions. A mismatch of value between the business brand and influencer can have a seriously detrimental effect on the brand’s message and campaign output.
When choosing an influencer for the marketing campaign, the business brand must find people with similar value propositions. Just because someone is famous and well known you cannot choose him or her as your brand a bass or for influencer marketing. You need to find a perfect match in the person boasting a similar value proposition.
This also depends on how you want to create a perception of the brand. For a brand with the mainstream audience with conservative notions, you need to pick influencers with a mainstream value proposition. Their social media presence should be in line with the dominant social value of your target market. For a business brand targeting a smaller niche of influencers with Avant-grade or marginal values, you can rather go for controversial voices.
Influencer Marketing Based on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
There can be hardly any doubt that artificial intelligence will have an impact on influencer marketing throughout 2020 and years beyond. With every successive year, AI is playing a bigger and more decisive role in digital and content marketing. Thanks to AI finding and partnering with the right influencers became easier than ever before. Thanks to AI, influencer marketing us enjoying increased engagement, a lesser number of fake followers, and enhanced scope of return on investment (ROI).
Do you want to know how AI is really transforming influencer marketing? Well, let us find some of the crucial and impactful ways AI is transforming the influencer marketing.
- Image recognition by using ANN (Artificial Neural Networks) technology
- Tracking influencer marketing impact by using NLP (Natural Language Processing) technology
- Prediction of marketing incentives by using ANN technology
- Evaluating the impact and influence of an influencer
- Post flagging that doesn’t comply with the disclosure guidelines.
- Tracking and eliminating fake audience engagement through spambots
A number of global business brands in recent years have been benefited hugely by AI-powered influencer marketing. For example, the Nestle subsidiary called Nestlé Pure Life used AI-powered influencer platform Linqia to find the ideal influencers for their campaigns. After using the platform the brand garnered great positive outcomes through their marketing campaigns. Firm generating 22M potential impressions for their content to a huge increase in website visits, the impact has been all-round.
Bigger Emphasis on Performance Metrics
A key and primary roadblock for influencer marketing is measuring and tracking the success of the campaigns. There are several metrics to hang on and measure a campaign with, but the most important one is the performance metrics. Since, creating fake followers is a big trend to showcase influence that actually doesn’t exist, evaluating the performance metrics is of seminal importance for influencer campaigns.
To track genuine engagement of users and business conversion on social platforms, there are several useful metrics that brands are after these days. This is why while running influencer campaigns, businesses need to keep a closer eye on the actual stats and numbers relating to the audience engagement and business conversion. When you track the numbers and stats and keep a close vigil, having a tangible target for your influencer marketing becomes easier. You constantly need to track the number and details of social interactions such as Likes, Shares, Clicks and other interactions.
As traditional ads and expensive media campaigns already look superfluous and unnecessarily cost-intensive, influencer marketing is likely to dominate digital marketing in the years to come. The above trends will have a bigger impact on the way brands plan utilizing the presence of influencers.
About the author – Atman Rathod is the Co-founder at CMARIX TechnoLabs Pvt. Ltd., a leading web and Mobile App Development Services with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.