5 Influencer Marketing Trends to Be Aware Of

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Brands continue to turn to influencer marketing to reach the audiences that matter most to them. That’s because influencer marketing creates trust when done right. But most likely it’s because most marketers agree that a strong influencer marketing program, delivers 11x higher ROI than other forms of digital marketing.

As you build your influencer marketing campaigns, here are 5 trends to be aware of:

  1. Privacy. Influencers, and brands, are finding that lowering a curtain on their content is actually an effective way to build followers. Members-only Facebook groups, Instagram accounts set to private – these might seem like turn offs, but in fact, appear to be the latest and greatest way to grow an audience.  That’s because private accounts force someone to like an account in order to see the content. When an account is set to public, people can scroll by, check out the latest post, and move on.
  2. Video. Working with an influencer? Ask them to produce video. According to a study by WebpageFX, by 2019, 80 percent of online content consumed will be video. Not only will video content get looked at, it will be remembered. People retain over 90 percent of a message delivered via video versus via text.
  3. Audience Integrity. This is just a fancy term for: No fake followers please! It is relatively easy to check an influencer’s audience and see if it is real or not. An influencer with 100,000 followers is useless if the majority of those follows are from bots. You can use a tool to suss out the phonies and you can apply basic common sense: Did the following spike overnight? Are most of the followers from a random location? Does that six-figure following only net 3 comments per post? If so, something’s not adding up.
  4. Engagement. This trend is closely related to audience integrity. Ask yourself, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” No wait, wrong question. Ask yourself if no one engages with your sponsored content, was your marketing budget well spent? Probably not. Remember, small influencers often have the most engaged audiences.
  5. Disclosures. And finally, savvy influencers and brands don’t skip the required disclosures. The FTC has cracked down on bloggers, Hollywood celebrities, and Instagram influencers for not properly disclosing paid relationships. Don’t put yourself in that position. Disclosures are not off-putting to consumers. As Sarah Penny writes in Marketing Week, “If a credible partnership between a brand and influencer who share a genuine affinity is achieved, the issue of admitting that money has exchanged hands becomes irrelevant.”