If you’re like 86% of marketers, you used influencer marketing in 2017. And if you’re like 100% of marketers (we made up the stat, but just go with us for a sec), you want your marketing efforts — influencer marketing included — to do the following:
- Raise awareness
- Convert consumers
- Have positive ROI
- Increase sales
No, we didn’t pull that stat from anywhere, because we know that you know influencer marketing should be able to do that for you. But it doesn’t always. However, it does often:
- Cost around 100k per post
- Get caught up in murky FTC regulation
- Turn off consumers who don’t like being advertised to
- Leave questions about ROI and sales lift unanswered
But at the beginning of a new year, we propose what 2019 will bring with influencer marketing, and how you can see it work in an impactful way that’s both reasonable and scalable for your brand.
UGC will change advertising
Brands are using real people in advertising. From Nike to Spotify, real people are starting to play important roles in the storylines big brands use to promote their products, and it’s powerful. Whether for a laugh or a cry, seeing a person who is “just like you” is emotionally resonant. The best way for a brand to convert a consumer most effectively is for that consumer’s friend or family member —someone “just like you” — to give them a personalized recommendation. Which leads us to…
Everyone will become an influencer…sort of
Today 60% of in-store shoppers are influenced by the social media and blog posts, and 70% of millennial consumers decide what products to buy based on recommendations from their peers. With more than 1 billion monthly active users on Instagram alone, the content typical users share in their social feeds has the potential to become monetized for a brand. These so-called “real people” also carry the weight of trust and authenticity that the typical “traditional” influencer simply can’t. Why? Because they’re giving organic, non-transactional recommendations.
Reviews will give way to the more credible recommendations
Just as fighting fake followers has become a critical part of influencer marketing, fighting fake reviews will come to a head in 2019. Transparency is more important than ever to consumers, and trusting that brands and retailers are honest is paramount to the consumer buying journey. While the typical online review was once the gold standard, influencer marketing has the opportunity to make true, personalized recommendations the most effective form of word-of-mouth marketing.
We’ll be nano obsessed
The New York Times recently profiled why small so-called influencers (anywhere from 1k-5k followers) are the wave of the future of influencer marketing. In fact, the oft-referenced micro-influencer delivers 7 times more engagement on Instagram than users with mega-follower counts. There are two benefits to this shift from grand-scale, celebrity-oriented influencer marketing: cost savings and increased consumer trust. But there’s a big asterisk with that, too, because at the heart of paying nano-influencers to promote your brand is a transaction. Consumers see those transactions as paid endorsements, and therefore view them as inauthentic. It feels like a bait-and-switch, but it doesn’t have to be. Brands who want to win at influencer marketing can and should be nano obsessed, provided they do it authentically.
Want to learn more about how to engage the recommenders your consumers trust? Contact us here.