Influencer marketing has come a long way in the last three years. And we have seen many clear influencer marketing trends develop. We expect some influencer marketing trends to continue to grow and some to diminish in 2018.
Brands have discovered that influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness and increase customer acquisitions. Not just online, but in general. Traditional digital advertising no longer works as effectively due to a combination of factors, including banner blindness and ad blocker popularity. Also, most brands don’t have the social reach to spread their messages to a wide enough audience themselves.
Influencer marketing is evolving the digital marketing industry. And it is that time of year when we look to the future and make our predictions for the influencer marketing trends we expect to see in 2018.
1. More Influencer Competition will Optimise Marketing Spends
While we expect there to be more demand for influencer marketing in 2018, this will be matched by an increase in people pitching themselves as online influencers. This should keep the price of influencers under control, as influencers will be competing with each other to collaborate with the better brands (we previously offered strategies to use when negotiating with influencers).
The more influencers operating in a niche, the easier it will be for you to come to an agreement with them. More competition in the influencer space will result in more competitive pricing.
As influencer marketing matures as an industry, brands will continue to discover which influencers are right for them, and which influencers are not. As a result, they will be more willing to pay a premium to their favoured influencers in order to optimise their influencer spends.
Influencers will be happy to negotiate reduced rates with brands they love. In fact, influencers who love the products they promote often continue to push the product for free after a campaign’s official end, which again will improve the ROI of your brand.
2. More Companies Will Increase Their Influencer Budget
‘Influencer marketing in 2018 will become an integral part of a brand’s marketing mission’: Panasonic
You could have accurately made this prediction for each of the last two years – it is becoming one of the most recurring influencer marketing trends. The difference in 2018, though, is that influencer marketing has now advanced through the business cycle. It is no longer the “new kid on the block”. Influencer marketing has been around long enough to prove its effectiveness.
Due to this, trendsetting businesses have seen positive results from their influencer marketing spending over the last few years. As Mark Zuckerberg stated: “People influence people”. Nothing influences people more than recommendations from those that are trusted.
Many marketers in businesses conducting influencer campaigns now have enough evidence to show their CEOs to expand their influencer marketing expenditure for 2018.
With the success of influencer marketing in 2017, we also expect more local businesses and SME’s to start adopting their own influencer marketing strategies. Influencer marketing leapt past the $1 billion mark last year and this number is set to grow exponentially in 2018.
3. Companies Will Move Away From Using Softwares to Find Influencers
One of the influencer marketing trends we saw last year was, some companies trying to simplify the influencer-selection process. They used automated software to find influencers, in the hope of saving time (however, finding influencers, is one of the smallest parts of the process).
Many influencer identification software users found the results to be unsatisfactory. These software’s can pick ‘popular’ social media users with high follower counts, but it does nothing to ensure that they are a good fit for your brand and that their followers or social engagements are genuine in the first place. Current algorithms of available influencer software’s do not find effective influencers.
In addition, the careless automation of influencer marketing can make your brand, and the influencers you use, come across as unauthentic. Brands are discovering that automated influencer programs are harming their campaigns. Luckily most are not giving up on influencer marketing, they are just changing their methods back to a personalised influencer selection process – utilising influencer marketing agencies who already have expertise in the market.
4. Increased Demand for Chromo-Influencers®
As stated previously, the increased popularity of influencer marketing has also increased the desire for regular people to become influencers. But more influencers doesn’t necessarily mean a good thing. In fact, it makes it more difficult for brands to identify the most effective influencers.
It will soon be rare for any sizeable company to not involve some form of influencer activity in their marketing spend. Your company must select the right influencers. Judging prospective influencers based on their reach, engagement brand relevancy is not enough with many influencers faking it (purchasing fake followers and engagements). So how do you decide the pecking order when selecting influencers?
In reality, this pecking order already exists. The PMYB team have developed a cutting-edge scientific approach to vetting influencers – This led to the discovery of the Chromo-Influencer®.
Chromo-Influencers® are the top 3% of influencers which typically achieve over four times more conversions than the other 97% of influencers. We discovered that these people in the top 3% rate highly against 46 important data points, known as Chromo-Factors! This Influencer vetting process sees the PMYB team conduct an in-depth evaluation of every influencer before inviting them to take part in their campaigns. This vetting process is carried out to ensure companies optimise their influencer spends and don’t waste money on ineffective influencers. To learn more about the story behind Chromo-Influencers® read here.
5. Popularisation of New Influencer Niches
Influencer marketing has been often associated with certain niches, including fashion, beauty and fitness. However, influencer marketing has evolved tremendously and more and more influencer niches keep appearing. Influencer marketing is evolving and influencers are spotting gaps in the market where they can develop audiences in.
The evolution of influencer marketing has led to the growth of numerous industries.
We predict the appearance of a lot more interesting niches in the upcoming months. You can expect to see a growing number of influencers coming out of fairly untapped industries, such as the engineering, real estate and financial industries.
6. More Influencers Will Appear on Television
New media and old media appear to be converging.
As online influencers gain fame, it is inevitable that they spread their activities offline. This is particularly so for influencers whose popularity give them an element of celebrity status.
Reality television has been successful for some years now. It is now common for shows to produce celebrity editions of their staple reality shows. The celebrities who take part come from a broad pool of talent. They range from sports stars to musicians to television actors to people who have already gained fame through reality shows.
It is inevitable that online influencers will continue to be invited to take part in these “celebrity editions” of reality and game shows.
With the fragmentation of television viewing nowadays, many people watch shows online anyway. Some television programmes have almost as many online viewers as watch them live. There will be more convergence between the stars of the different types of media.
We have seen Jack Maynard appear on I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Famous YouTuber, Tyler Oakley (who we profiled in Trevor Youth Suicide Prevention Project) also makes regular television appearances on shows like the Late Late Show with James Corden and the Ellen Show.
There will be a lot more online influencers appearing on our televisions in 2018.
7. More Celebrities Will Become YouTubers
The followings of major YouTube stars, suggests YouTube is clearly a very powerful platform when it comes to growing an audience. PewDiePie has attracted more than 50 million followers in less than a decade.
To put this into context, the most watched program on UK television in 2017 was Blue Planet II, with 14 million viewers. The American television market is even more fragmented. Their top-rated 2016-17 program was NBC Sunday Night Football, with 12.2 million viewers.
Most videos attract somewhere between 4 and 5 million viewers. Sure, not all PewDiePie’s followers watch all his videos, but there are now so many people watching YouTube that it is inevitable that celebrities will want to be part of the action.
One of the top-rated YouTube channels is TheEllenShow. This is the official YouTube channel for Ellen DeGeneres show and has attracted 22 million subscribers. In one YouTube video, Ellen introduces Will Smith to the wonders of Instagram (a social media network he hasn’t used). She gives Will tips on how to utilise the platform.
We have also seen that there are more and more overlaps between traditional media stars and influencer marketing campaigns. For instance, our recent roundup of Christmas influencer marketing campaigns gave examples of television celebrities being utilised alongside influencers in marketing campaigns. The Kate Spade #missadventure series is in many ways like a television series – just one that is shared online by influencers. It starred television actor, Anna Kendrick, and the second series used another minor television celebrity, Zosia Mamet, in the lead role.
2018 should see a further considerable crossover between traditional celebrities /television stars and influencers. And we expect more traditional celebrities to go on and become YouTubers.
Our Predicted Influencer Marketing Trends
However you look at it, influencer marketing is booming, and this will continue into 2018. All the influencer marketing trends we see suggest that there will be more of it in 2018. Industry laggards will start to dip their toes in the water. Experienced brands will try new ideas. Influencer marketing will become commonplace in whole new industries, and there will be a new breed of influencers.