marketing trends

4 INFLUENCER MARKETING TRENDS IN 2018 

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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.

 

Got a question about Influencer Marketing? Email us on hello@findyourinfluencer.co.uk or call 0161 731 0048

Why Influencer Marketing Will Dominate Media In 2018

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This article was originally published in The International Business Times

Keyword stuffing, link building, QR codes, and automated cross-channel posting — all were once promising marketing tactics and strategies that have since been characterized by some as marketing fads. At one point, marketers wondered if influencer marketing was going to suffer the same fate. Many claimed that blogs were dying and changing social media algorithms continued to diminish the organic reach of influencers.

However, influencer marketing has done the exact opposite: The channel is only growing stronger as the industry matures and evolves. And as with any tactic that drives concrete business results, marketers are responding by increasing their investment in the channel.

WIDESPREAD ADOPTION OF INFLUENCER MARKETING

Eighty-three percent of global consumers report that online advertising interrupts their online experience and the time spent watching traditional TV is dropping for every adult age group. As a result, marketers must find new ways to reach consumers with relevant messages in ways that establish trust and drive measurable results. Micro-influencer marketing has gained traction in recent years because it provides brands with the ability to reach their target audience through the voices of those they trust most: their peers.

Today, 86 per cent of marketers are using influencer marketing, 92 percent of whom find it to be effective. Nearly a third of marketers run more than five programmes per year per brand; and according to a new report, The State of Influencer Marketing 2018, marketers are calling for more. Thirty-nine percent of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets in 2018 to accommodate for more frequent and larger-scale influencer marketing programs. The continued widespread adoption of influencer marketing indicates it is becoming an integral part of the marketing mix and is not a passing fad.

INFLUENCER MARKETING DRIVES REAL BUSINESS VALUE  

As the industry matures, we are starting to see marketers use influencer marketing to drive lower-funnel actions like signups, downloads and purchases. For example, Mezzetta, a popular CPG brand specializing in pickled vegetables, spreads and sauces, launched a three-part influencer marketing campaign to raise brand awareness and grow its email database as part of a broader initiative to increase its U.S. market share. By employing an “always-on” micro-influencer marketing strategy, the brand was able to grow its email marketing database from zero to over 70,000 qualified consumers.

Influencer marketing has also proven that it can successfully drive product sales. Gerber, which turned to micro-influencer marketing to launch its new Lil’ Beanies snack product, was able to drive a 5 percent national sales lift. When asked what made the programme so successful, Gerber’s brand manager said, “If you Googled Gerber, or just Lil’ Beanies, you would see [influencer] sites come up organically that featured beautiful photography of children eating the product or the mum looking for it [in store].”

INFLUENCER MARKETING TRENDS AND CHALLENGES FOR 2018

Influencer marketing is not going away. As the industry evolves, the channel is adapting to keep pace. While 2017 saw the rise of the micro-influencer, the survey found that 52 percent of marketers plan to leverage multiple types of influencers (celebrities, top-tier, mid-tier and micro-influencers) as part of an integrated strategy in 2018. Determining the ROI of influencer marketing remains the top challenge going into 2018, calling for marketers to take a serious look at their measurement methodologies and hold their influencer marketing programmes to the same measurement standards as their other media investments.

The key to realising influencer marketing ROI is to leverage the content beyond the initial campaign to improve the performance of other programmes. The survey found that 81 percent of marketers are using influencer content in other channels, with 51 percent reporting that it outperforms brand-created content. Of those that haven’t tested influencer content against brand created content yet, 59 percent plan to do so. In 2018, you will start to see marketers use influencer marketing to develop a strategic blueprint that will enable them to drive greater returns from their paid, owned and earned media.