Influencer marketing is one of the fastest growing trends in the marketing field. With massive amounts of content being produced and posted every day, the rising clutter cost has started to take its toll on virtually every brand. As a consequence, brands are constantly searching for new ways to make an impact. This shift from content to influencer marketing is perfectly showcased in the following Google Trends graph.
Even though the marketing field is as unpredictable as ever, there's one thing that's certain - influencer marketing is in for the long run. With more and more brands increasing their influence marketing budgets, marketers worldwide have started to pay a lot more attention to this trend, as it represents a way to get spectacular results.
With the hope of helping marketers to better understand this trend, I've researched and written some predictions for the Influencer Marketing trend in 2017.
The rich media influencers growth will continue
The days in which the press releases were sent to bloggers are long gone, so if your marketing strategy includes this type of activities, it would be best for you to leave it behind.
The nature of the content your targeted audience is consuming is constantly evolving and so should your strategy if you want to continue to have an impact.
Platforms such as YouTube, and Instagram experience exponential growth, and brands look at them with a renewed interest, when it comes to collaborating with influencers. A Google study - discovered that Millennials see leading YouTube figures as more influent than celebrities.
As a consequence, we'll see marketers, brands and influencers set a new standard regarding content. I believe that the peak of YouTubers and Instagrammers won't be reached in the following years and collaborations such as the one between Mercedes Benz and Loki The Dog will continue to appear.
The rules and regulations hype will wind down
As the Influencer Marketing field is growing so does the demand for it to be subjected to rules and regulations. Last year we saw a great buzz around the newly introduced FTC guidelines, as people weren't sure how they should react.
Naturally, as an industry is growing rules and regulations will appear, and that is not a bad thing. I believe that the Influencer Marketing industry is no different when it comes to this than any other industry. After all, rules and regulations are adopted to protect every party involved - consumers, influencers and brands As everyone gets used to them, the buzz will wind down.
I believe that rules should be seen as some guideline that helps us create campaigns from which:
- The influencer's pleased with the content
- The audience enjoys the content
- The content helps the brand achieve its business goals
The barter will slowly disappear
In the early days of the influencer marketing industry, influencers were paid for content not with money, but with free products. What initially seemed harmless turned into a fully fledged culture.
In order for the industry to evolve and reach new heights, marketers need to leave the bartering system behind and get accustomed to paying a standardized rate for the influencer's services. After all, there's so much product you can offer as payment. One of the best things about our influencer platform is that it provides guidelines when it comes to price to influencers as well as marketers.
In fact, the influencer marketing industry is quite similar in evolution to the retail industry. If at the beginning people were trading goods for goods, in the end, standardization kicked in and the industry matured.
The problem-solving platforms will prevail
This prediction is based on the natural evolution process of the industry. The last two years so an exponential growth in new platforms, with thousands of influencers flooding in. The truth is that the effort of finding thousands of influencers pales in comparison with the effort of finding the right one.
The ones that will survive are those that not only find influencers but also help marketers solve real problems. In the near future, marketers will have to establish the value of a platform by the way it helps them solve real challenges, and not by the number of followers.
Brands will have their own networks
One of the most important thing that will happen in 2017 is a shift from platforms that have influencers networks to platforms that enable brands to own influencer networks. The ones that provide brands with the tools to create such networks will be the most valuable ones, mainly because you're providing marketers who are intimately familiar with the brand with new powers.
The time is now
In an industry such as the digital marketing industry where things change faster than ever, time is of the essence. The more a brand or business ignores this fast paced field, the less likely it is for it to be considered relevant by their target.