4 Influencer marketing trends to watch

Influencer marketing has recently come under the spotlight. YouTuber Elle Darby was publicly labelled a ‘blagger’ by a Dublin hotel after she requested a complimentary stay in exchange for publishing video and social media content. In the following weeks, we’ve seen media coverage critique the way bloggers and influencers work and a survey by Prizeology highlighted nearly three-quarters of the public incorrectly believe there are no rules or regulations surrounding influencer marketing and almost half think influencer marketing is damaging society.

Damning stuff! But in reality, effective engagement with bloggers, vloggers and Instagrammers is and will remain a key element of our communications programmes.  In defence of online comms (and to redress the balance a little)2017 figures from the State of Global Customer Service Report showed that 74% of millennials say social media responsiveness improves their perception of a brand. And (perhaps inevitably) bringing some truth to the old claim that there is no such thing as bad publicity, Elle Darby did in fact increase her subscribers by 10,000.  Although we are not sure how well her plans for a weekend in Dublin are going.

Read on for our top tips for smarter influencer marketing:

#1

Micro-influencers will show their worth

Mega-influencers are useful for getting simple product messages to spread far and wide, however micro-influencers are best for influencing purchase criteria.  Brands need to remember that the top 1% of influencers may have 10,000 followers but won’t engage or convert followers into customers. However, micro-influencers who charge less can generate the brand a better ROI as they have a more active and organic relationship with their followers. Micro-influencers have also been seen to drive 60% higher campaign engagement rates -  research by Experticity found that 82% of purchasers take recommendations from their favourite micro-influencers.

 

#2

Invest in relationships

Influencer marketing aims to build an experience and emotional connection between a brand and its target audiences. Strengthening relationships with the influencers you work with will see influencers’ content become more personal and authentic, therefore increasing trust with followers and sequentially influencing peer buying habits.  The brands that see success with influencer marketing are going to be the ones that build long-term relationships with influencers rather than engaging on an as-and-when basis just to deliver one-off campaigns.

 

#3

Demand more Stories

For 2018, Hootsuite has predicted that digital will overtake traditional TV advertising spend with more brands investing in influencer Instagram Stories as a way of showcasing products. By keeping this content un-scripted brands will also be seen as more authentic and genuine. This quick and easy way to get a message across will give your audience a behind-the scenes view of your product, as well as placing the brand in the palm of the consumer hand.

#4

Go beyond Instagram

While Instagram is likely to remain the dominant social platform, brands shouldn’t ignore other channels. Influencers base their pricing on the follower count, engagement and demand, therefore if the majority of offers are to promote brands on Instagram, those influencers with large numbers of followers will drive their price up. However, they may have fewer followers on other sites such as Facebook, Snapchat and Pinterest which in turn could mean the demand for advertising on these platforms will be lower. While you may not reach the same number of people, you could generate a better ROI from lower costs.

What else is new?

Go on an #EmojiJourney

Air New Zealand launched a new destination campaign which advices travellers on the ideal locations for them based on a string of emojis.  Connecting with Generation Z and Millennial’s love of emojis and travelling, Air New Zealand’s has launched an interactive map through its social channels to allow visitors to explore locations and learn more about recommended places to visit. By using emojis to comment on Air New Zealand’s Facebook or Twitter posts, travellers are sent a link to a personalised interactive map of the country with emojis highlighting points of interest.

Snap back to the old Snapchat

Snapchat users have been up in arms regarding its latest update. Users did not appreciate the channel’s attempt to make the discover page a key feature to “separate social from media.” However, the update presents new opportunities for brands as they now have access to an insights tool, allowing them to track content performance and profile viewers by sex, age and interests. As a result, brands, influencers and celebrities will be able to produce more engaging content to please their followers on the discover page.

Fashion stops pollution 

In the aftermath of Blue Planet there has been knock on effect with more industries, including fashion, showing off their eco-credentials. No-where has this been more prevalent than at London Fashion Week.  Designers Vin + Omi took London Fashion Week by storm by using their eco-textiles clothes to share a political message concerning waste created by our clothes. The sustainable fashion range features 11 ‘eco-textiles’ including leathers made from the skins of chestnuts and wool-like fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles. To reduce the amount of clothes ending up at the back of the closet or being sent to landfills Vin and Omi invite customers to send their old clothes back to them to incorporate into a future collection. The British Fashion Council has also launched an initiative called Positive Fashion, rewarding designers that meet certain ethical standards, including manufacturing in the UK and switching to green energy sources.  

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