Based on a combination of our own influencer marketing expertise and experience, and the topics driving our influencer discussions everyday, we’ve rounded up our top 10 predictions of the trends that will shape influencer marketing in the coming months. Included are some screenshots and examples of what we at Socialix are doing to prepare for these changes.
1. Influencer Deals to Eclipse Celebrity Endorsements
Online content creators will become more valuable than celebrities. Celebrities are followed for their offline talents in sports, music and movies while true online influencers are valued for their content and online creativity. For example, meet Socialix member Clay LaBrant. At just age 16 he already has an audience over 500K followers and has a strong connection with fans, creating 8.2K engagements on average per Instagram post.
Source: Socialix Profile
2. Strength of Following to Become a Core Metric
Follower strength will win over follower numbers (quality over quantity). Boasting a large following does little if your audience does not feel engaged by your content and compelled to take action. It’s tempting to focus primarily on reach, but influencer strategists have learned (sometimes the hard way) that a smaller and more engaged audience base is more powerful than a large and dormant audience base. Reaching a wide audience is easy, but reaching a targeted and relevant audience requires real work.
Source: Socialix Profile
3. Video Influencers Will be the Most Valuable
Every major social network is placing a higher priority on video content. From Instagram’s expansion to 60 second videos to Facebook’s VR video push, it is clear that social networks see a future centered on social video. Video content also resonates with consumers. In the past six months alone Instagram video views have increased by 40%. As brands continue to seek quality engagement opportunities with audiences, influencers who are proficient at producing compelling videos will see their stocks rise.
Source: Socialix Influencer Post
4. Predictive Intelligence Technology will Be Key
The major algorithmic updates we’ve seen from social networks have been centered on predictive capabilities; each platform’s algorithm uses unique signals to predict audiences’ responses to content. Following in the footsteps of social networks, brands will also begin investing more into predictive intelligence platforms. While it’s impossible to predict the outcome of a campaign with 100% accuracy, brands will want to do everything in their power to forecast results, rather than blindly activating influencers. As influencer marketing continues to demand higher portions of marketing budgets, brands will turn to predictive analytics to get a grasp of the potential ROI.
Source: Socialix Influencer Discovery
5. Niche Influencers to Lead the Charge
A key component to influencer marketing success is finding the right influencer to amplify a message. Audiences look to influencers for very specific interests. While it’s good to have a variety of content, social media personalities who do not anchor their content within a specific niche, but instead try to speak to interests all over the map, run the risk of losing authority, and subsequently, losing engagement. Brands are recognizing the power of niche content creators and will seek scale with larger numbers of niche influencers, as opposed to fewer posts with big name influencers. Utilizing comprehensive technology and discovery tools will help brands target and activate the niche second and third-tier influencers who can deliver immersed audiences.
Source: Socialix Campaign
6. Localized Targeting To Take Over
Geo-targeting plays a significant role in how brands connect with audiences across other facets of marketing and locality will soon become a defining feature within influencer marketing campaigns.With advances in social influencer technology, brand’s will have the capability to target more specific ranges based on the influencers real-time location and the locations of their followers.
Source: Socialix Profile
7. Influencers will Activate Brands
With the advent of two-way marketplaces, influencers will be able to proactively establish relationships with brands. Pitching brands, as opposed to just waiting for brands to pitch them, will allow influencers to be more assertive in compensation conversations. Additionally, two-way marketplaces will also help brands to discover and activate outside-the-box influencers who can bring in new audience segments.
Source: Socialix Influencer Offer
8. Influencer Rates Will Stabilize
Influencer pricing will become more standardized and stabilized. As of right now, there are no compensation rules; influencers have the freedom to price themselves at any rate. This practice will change as influencers gradually begin to understand their own worth and as brands gain more experience sponsoring content.
9. More Influencers will Have Representation
More influencer management firms will emerge and traditional Hollywood agencies will seek to extend their social media rosters by offering representation to new media personalities.
Source: Socialix Talent Agency
10. The FTC will Crack Down Harder than Ever
Influencer marketing will become more and more regulated. Watch out, you’ve been warned!