Message from the King Monkey about Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is when a brand leverages influencers—celebrities, well-known experts/authorities, target audience peers with large social media followings, bloggers, reviewers, and others—in its field or industry to drive engagement.
Now as technology and the reach of social media makes connecting with and influencing a large audience more efficient than ever, I thought this would be a good time to revisit the topic.
In fact, influencer marketing is considered an essential part of marketing budgets by 67% of marketers who say it helps them reach a more targeted audience.
In the following guest blog, Maddie Davis, co-founder of Enlightened Digital, explores trends in influencer marketing for 2019.
Social Media – A Revolutionary Form Of Business
Over the past few years, social media has evolved from merely from a social hub to a revolutionary form of business and marketing. Influencer marketing is providing brands with the opportunity to connect with their target audiences through a more authentic and relatable channel, and consumers a chance to take on a unique role as a part of their favorite brands’ marketing efforts. As this trend continues to grow, we’ve laid out a few things to expect of influencer marketing in 2019.
Instagram Reigns Supreme
In 2018, Instagram led the way as the top platform for influencer marketing. With one billion monthly active users, Instagram is expected to continue to grow and likely remain the most utilized platform for marketing efforts of fashion, food, and entertainment brands.
Based on interactions, these three industries prove most successful on “the gram” with a quarter of all sponsored posts covering fashion, followed by food at 12%, and entertainment at 11%.
Technology, on the other hand, accounts for just 1% of posts and likely will not change in the new year.
Bigger Budgets, Better Strategy
According to a study by Linqia, 39% of marketers plan on increasing their influencer marketing budgets, with the majority of marketers projected to spend anywhere from $25,000 to over a million dollars.
To make the most of these spends, brands are rethinking how they are interacting with influencers and what is expected of them. “Gifting,” in reference to sending free products to influencers in exchange for Instagram posts and reviews, is proving to be the most effective strategy for generating exposure and sales for brands. Through this method, rather than reposting a pre-templated ad, influencers have the freedom to create their own authentic review best suited for their audiences and in their own voices.
Saving brands money and providing successful results, gifting will continue to grow in 2019 for brands working with micro and major influencers.
Transparency is Key
As influencer marketing has become more commonplace, there is no fooling audiences with traditional advertising methods and stock photos. In 2019 the demand for consistent authenticity and transparency will continue to rise. As platforms such as Instagram begin requiring sponsored posts to be labeled as such, brands and influencers will have to work harder to provide truly authentic content.
Quality Over Quantity
In 2019, brands will explore opportunities with a greater range of influencers. As brands begin to put a heavier focus on brand alignment rather than an influencer’s number of followers, micro influencers will become more popular. CEO of influencer marketing platform Traackr, Pierre-Loïc Assayag has stated in his predictions for 2019, that no longer will brands focus on reach but instead focus more on the quality of engagement, identity and voice of the influencer, audience relevance, and how the audience is interacting with the content.
Influencer marketing will shift away from mass messaging in 2019 and will take on a more personalized and experiential tone. Micro influencers working at a local level will be utilized to create individualized experiences for customers involving brand events and cross-channel programs, appealing to more niche groups for greater interaction, and building more impactful relationships.
The effects of influencer marketing are undeniable. With 81 percent of today’s consumers regularly purchasing items after seeing them shared on social media, and 70 percent of millennials making purchasing decisions based on recommendations from peers, in 2019 brands have no choice but to hop on this social bandwagon.
About the Author: Maddie Davis is co-founder of Enlightened Digital and a tech-obsessed female from the Big Apple. She lives by building websites, running marathons, and reading anything and everything on the New York Times Best Sellers list.