1. Marketers Fight Against Influencer Marketing Fraud
The shift from surface level, fluffy metrics like reach and awareness signals the growing importance of influencer marketing fraud prevention in 2018. Marketers are willing to invest in the security needed to guarantee the quality of influencers and their audiences in order to maintain the authenticity of influencer content and protect their brands from fraudulent activities. This often includes working with influencer marketing agencies such as Find Your Influencer, who will go the extra mile to monitor the veracity of audience size, online engagements, and click numbers.
2. Influencer Content Drives Greater Returns from Paid, Owned, and Earned Media
Influencer content is nuanced, original, and authentic. The most successful influencer marketing campaigns are the ones where the influencer content is used beyond the original scope of the campaign to improve the performance of other channels (email, website, paid social, native advertising, etc.). 51% of marketers that repurpose influencer content report that it outperforms brand-created content, and of those who have yet to test influencer content against brand created content, 59% plan to do so this year.
Expect to see more brands A/B testing influencer content against brand-created content to determine what pieces will deliver the best results. Advanced marketers will then develop a strategic blueprint using those assets to drive incremental performance from their paid, owned and earned media.
3. Influencer Content Integrates with E-Commerce to Drive Sales
More marketers are looking at the full consumer journey and holding influencer marketing accountable for driving lower funnel metrics in addition to awareness and engagement. High-impact recommendations, like those from a friend or trusted influencer, are 50 times more likely to trigger a purchase than low-impact recommendations, like ads in a magazine.
4. Advertising/Media Takes Ownership
As targeting capabilities evolve, advertising and media teams, who traditionally have larger budgets, are taking ownership of influencer marketing and managing campaigns with the same rigor that they use with other digital advertising channels. In 2017, 38% of influencer marketing owners were on advertising/media teams, whereas only 15% identified as PR/communications, a notable decrease from 31% in 2016.
In 2018, influencer marketing will more commonly become a line item in the advertising/media budget. The extra pounds allocated to these teams allows marketers to scale the size of their influencer marketing campaigns, increasing the number of influencers they work with and putting more pounds behind the content that’s proven to perform.
It’s no longer a question of whether or not influencer marketing works as it’s been proven to drive concrete business results time and time again. So what can we expect to see from influencer marketing in 2018? Not only will brands invest more in the tactic to combat fraud and ensure its authenticity, but they will also use influencer marketing to test various methods to identify which strategies are the most effective at driving results. Once they’ve developed a strategic blueprint, we’ll see the advanced brands scale their campaigns to drive lower-funnel metrics and greater returns from paid, owned, and earned media.
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