Influencer marketing is an ever-evolving and essential part of the modern marketing mix. Influencer marketing trends change fast and it’s important for marketers to stay up-to-date in this dynamic field. So let’s take a look at some of the top recent influencer marketing trends and discuss how marketers can put these insights into action to take campaigns to the next level.
Rise of Nano and Micro-Influencers
Big name celebrities and social media stars are probably the first people that spring to mind when we think about influencer marketing. Smaller influencers, sometimes called micro or nano influencers, may have smaller audiences but those audiences tend to be more deeply engaged. With mega vs. micro or nano influencers, it’s a quantity vs. quality discussion. Brands that recognize the benefits of working with smaller influencers, tapping into that strong audience connection can help to drive more targeted, authentic engagement.
Consider partnering with nano and micro-influencers who have a highly engaged audience that aligns with your brand’s values and messaging. These influencers may have a smaller reach, but they can provide a more targeted and authentic connection with your target audience.
Lights, Camera, Action
It’s no secret that video is where it’s at in content today. That importance will only grow. As viewers increasingly come to expect high production quality in video content, the influencers who create that engaging and high-quality video content will see their stock continue to rise. There will always be a place for lo-fi content but brands looking for new ways to connect with their audiences shine brightest in well produced video content.
Work with influencers who have experience and expertise in creating the kind of quality video content that will reflect well on your brand. Take the time to understand the creator’s content and production value. Consider including some minimum production specs in your content creator terms of engagement.
Authenticity and Transparency
Audience expectations continue to evolve. Audiences can sense inauthentic endorsements and superficiality and don’t have much patience for either. We’re already seeing an emphasis on authenticity and transparency in influencer marketing. This emphasis will only get stronger as brands look to build deeper, more meaningful relationships with audiences. Content creators who are open and honest with their followers and who only work with brands that align closely with their personal values will be the most effective partners for brands.
Look for content creators who align closely with your brand’s values and messaging. Seek those who are honest with their followers and in turn, respect their content and audience expertise. Force-fitting brand messages into a creator’s content creates inauthenticity and hinders relationships.
The ideal content creator / brand partnership is not a one-and-done affair. Smart brands and marketers are looking to build long-term relationships with content creators, not just secure them for a one-off campaign. These relationships can help to build a more consistent and sustained connection with audiences, help build a brand/creator narrative and help unlock that all-important authenticity. These partnerships also provide content creators with a more stable, predictable income so they can continue making the content that connects with audiences.
As always, look for content creators that align closely with your brand’s values and messaging. A one-off engagement is a fine place to start but express your hope to build a longer-term partnership up front. Remember that good relationships are reciprocal.
Find Your Niche
Content creators with a highly specific focus or niche have a pre-qualified audience for any product or brand that solves a problem for that niche. By working with influencers who have a deep understanding of a specific industry or interest group, brands can create highly targeted campaigns that resonate strongly with the audience.
For niche brands and products, niche marketing makes obvious sense. Other more “general interest” products or services can think about how their wares can help a specific niche meet their goals, then target messaging to that goal. By working with niche content creators, marketers can create highly targeted campaigns that connect with the audience.
In-House Content Influencers
Brands are increasingly looking to content creators not just for influencer marketing but also to create in-house content. We already know that content creators create engaging and high-quality content that can be used across a variety of channels. By bringing a content creator in-house, brands can avail themselves of this ability and get some exclusive content out of the deal. This can help to build brand awareness and credibility, while also providing content creators with new opportunities for reliable income and further exposure.
If you have a content creator you like working with and who “gets it,” consider deepening that relationship by inviting them to create in-house content. Look at content creators not just as promotional vehicles but as potential partners who can help build or augment your internal content engine.
Performance-Based Influencer Marketing
With influencer marketing a mainstay of the modern marketing budget, marketers look to get ever more value out of their spend. Rather than paying content creators a set fee, some brands might opt to pay for performance instead. In this model, content creators are paid each time a campaign goal is reached as a result of their content, whether that means a sale, a sign-up or something else. Performance-based campaigns give content creators a direct incentive to deliver results that marketers are happy to pay for.
Consider whether a performance-based approach might work for your campaign. Be prepared for the fact that applying performance metrics will require some extra work for marketers and content creators at both the front and back end of the engagement.
If there’s one constant in marketing, it’s change. Staying up-to-date on the latest trends can help marketers and content creators keep with the times.
Even better than following trends, though, is setting them. BENlabs can help there. Get the power of super smart AI trained on decades of proprietary data and expertise on your next campaign. Access Predictive Analytics and Smart Matching that aligns creators and brands where both shine bright. Let’s talk.