Influencer Marketing Trends for 2018

Influencer marketing was a huge trend in 2017, and it will continue to grow in the coming years. Instagram influencer marketing continues to be a popular choice. Other platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Snapchat have also created exciting new opportunities.

Each year, more companies are adopting this strategy into their marketing plans. As a result, best practices are evolving to keep up with the rapid growth. Here’s what you can expect in 2018 and beyond.

The Continued Rise of Influencer Marketing

The way we consume information continues to evolve. Television viewership and radio use have significantly declined. More internet users are also taking advantage of ad blocking software.

These trends require businesses to think outside the box. Google trends show that interest in print and video advertising is on the decline. At the same time, Instagram influencer marketing continues to grow in popularity.

Some Important Influencer Marketing Statistics

Still not sure influencer marketing is a trend that’s here to stay? Consider these statistics:

  • 73% of companies have a budget allocation for influencer marketing
  • 71% of consumers are more likely to buy a product seen on social media
  • 70% of teen YouTube subscribers say they trust the opinion of influencers over celebrities

Companies of all sizes have embraced the effectiveness of Instagram influencer marketing. You can expect it to become a staple of the standard marketing plan over the next few years.

Focus on Micro-Influencers

Seasoned influencers with huge followings also come with a huge price tag. More companies are now interested in micro-influencers with less than 10,000 followers. This levels the playing field, making influencer marketing strategies available to smaller brands.

Micro-influencer success depends on personality, relevance, and reputation within a niche market. It creates an effect similar to a heartfelt recommendation from a close friend. Those who do it right can create a fierce sense of consumer loyalty and trust.

Companies with larger budgets may create relationships with 20 to 30 smaller influencers. This diversification offers a level of protection. Otherwise, a single influencer falling out of favor can destroy an entire campaign.

Importance of Personal Connections

Brands are starting to look beyond basic statistics like the number of followers. Instead, they’re focused on true user engagement.

The best influencers build legitimate personal connections with their audience. Authenticity and trustworthiness will continue to be the hottest commodities.

Successful influencers already have a passion for the brand they’re promoting. Authenticity isn’t a struggle because it already exists.

Higher Quality Video

Customers want to be a part of real experiences. This makes the use of live video one of the top trends for influencer marketing in 2018.

Equipment costs are also coming down. Influencers now have the ability to make high-quality professional-looking videos.

Don’t make the mistake, however, of thinking consumers want professionally scripted videos. Instead, content should continue to feel like honest recommendations from a trusted friend.

Continued Importance of Personal Branding

Social media influencers know the importance of branding themselves over the product they’re promoting. They will continue to focus on establishing personal credibility and building close relationships.

Most people turn to social media for personal connections. Influencers who resort to blatant advertising will soon find themselves unfriended or blocked.

Online media is present in almost every aspect of our lives. This means that almost every person has a brand whether they actively create one or not. Making the effort to mold your brand allows you to ensure it develops in a way that supports your goals.

Long-Term Relationships

Instagram influencer marketing will soon be all about long-term relationships. Individual posts, testimonials, or events may create a short-term boost in revenue. However, lasting relationships create far more effective results.

Expect companies to offer influencers exclusive contracts with longer terms. The goal will be to keep them from bouncing around.

This trend benefits influencers by allowing them to stay true to their recommendations. Constantly hopping from brand to brand hurts credibility and can damage reputations.

Increased Accountability

As more companies put influencers on the payroll, they’ll expect measurable results. A large social network is no longer enough.

Instagram influencer marketing relationships must increase the bottom line. Otherwise, companies will direct their marketing dollars elsewhere.

Monitoring technology helps gauge audience response and effectiveness of various campaigns. A quality software program can measure important factors including:

  • Social media reach
  • Number of mentions
  • Email alerts
  • Influencer score
  • Sentiment analysis

Both companies and influencers can benefit from tracking trends towards achieving measurable goals. This helps ensure all parties understand the effectiveness. It also gives you the ability to proactively make adjustments as needed.

Multichannel Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is no longer relegated only to Facebook and Instagram. In fact, it’s no longer exclusive to social media at all.

This trend is known as multichannel influencer marketing. It allows you to repurpose content and multiply outreach across platforms. The result is a significant increase in return on investment (ROI).

You can also post influencer content on your company website. You can further promote your influencer’s work by sending out press releases. There’s a chance that it may be picked up by TV or radio news channels, spreading your message even further.

Increased Demand for YouTube Marketers

More people are cutting the cord from cable. The result is that they’re exploring alternative digital entertainment options. YouTube is now one of the fastest-growing influencer marketing platforms.

Daily video blogs continue to rise in popularity. Keeping viewers engaged with fresh content will help lock in your audience.

YouTube is also the second largest internet search engine, after Google. This makes it an excellent platform for getting in front of new viewers. These viewers are often open to exploring new brand relationships.

Instagram Influencer Marketing Challenges

Instagram’s mysterious algorithm continues to pose challenges for influencer marketers. Recent changes came about with little explanation of the thought process behind them.

No one is completely sure exactly what factors help Instagram decide which posts to show. However, the following tips may help:

  • Improve engagement by adding hashtags
  • Post photos that are relevant to the niche you’re promoting
  • Encourage your followers to turn on post notifications
  • Post no more than twice a day to avoid over-saturation
  • Develop a consistent posting schedule

New artificial intelligence programs may also cause Instagram influencer marketing problems. These programs are designed to flag inappropriate or dangerous content. The problem is that they may cause non-threatening posts to be incorrectly blocked.

Expect some hiccups along the way as more safety measures are added to the platform.

Influencer Marketing for Building MLM Networks

Instagram influencer marketing strategies can help grow your multi-level marketing (MLM) business. It allows you to effectively promote your products and recruit new network prospects. You may choose to do this by hiring an influencer, or become one yourself.

How to Find the Perfect Influence Marketer for Your Brand

The best Instagram influence marketer is a thought-leader. He or she is a trusted voice in your particular niche or industry. Here are some tips to help you find the right person to be your brand advocate.

Find Your Target Network’s Preferred Platform

The most important step may be determining where your target network “hangs out.” In other words, which platform are they most likely to use? The influencer you choose should have a strong presence in this location.

Define Your Brand’s Image

Take the time to determine exactly what your brand is all about. Make sure your brand image is consistent and resonates with your target audience. Your chosen influencer must clearly understand your message to properly promote your brand.

Examine the Influencer’s Audience

Make sure the influencer’s audience coincides with the group you’re trying to target. If the demographics don’t match up, that particular influencer may not be right for you.

Analyze the Influencer’s Engagement

Check out your potential influencer’s social media platforms. He or she should have an active online presence and a decent number of followers. Make sure engaging content is consistently posted and followers are responding.

Provide Clear Goals and Objectives

Create a clear outline of your Instagram influencer marketing campaign objectives. Also, provide a framework for your overall message. Doing this ahead of time will give you an idea of whether you’ve chosen the right person for the job.

Allow Room for Creativity

It’s also important to give your influencer some room to breathe. Be careful not to be overly picky or bombard them with demands. If you do this, your influencers won’t be able to bring value through creativity.

Encourage Collaboration

As you grow more comfortable with influencers, their opinions should carry more weight. Encourage collaboration regarding the content of future Instagram influencer marketing campaigns.

Accepting feedback will help to create a more authentic brand message.

How to Create Your Own Instagram Influencer Marketing Campaign

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you may find that the best advocate for your brand is you. Building your own Instagram influencer marketing requires you to create a sense of authority. You’ll have to give people a reason to follow you and to value your opinion.

Here’s how to get started with Instagram influencer marketing.

Decide on Your Social Media Platforms

Best practices dictate choosing two to four social media channels to cover. This may be influenced by your brand goals and the type of content you want to create.

If you’re visually oriented, Instagram influencer marketing may be best for you. Those who prefer video may be most comfortable on YouTube. If you want to use a variety of formats, Facebook is probably your best option.

Create Compelling Content

Writing posts on your own blog or third-party sites will help you build influence. If you prefer video format, do that instead. It’s the content you provide that really matters.

Covering breaking news and new trends helps to establish you as a thought-leader. It’s important to publish consistently so your name is in front of people in your niche on a regular basis.

Avoid Obsessive Pursuit of Perfection

When representing yourself, a desire for perfection is understandable. However, obsessive pursuit of perfection can be the enemy of progress. Know when to draw the line and decide that finished is better than flawless.

Build Your Community

Once your social media platforms are ready, it’s time to encourage new visitors. Explore similar groups, forums, and fan pages. Start introducing yourself and getting the word out about what you’re doing.

Check the rules for each page you visit, and share your content everywhere it’s allowed. The key to success here lies in taking a helpful approach. Avoid shameless self-promotion and instead simply share information that others may find helpful.

Connect with Other Influencers

Take the time to build legitimate friendships with influencers in your space. You can do this by finding common interests and other ways to connect.

Always be genuine in your interactions. Remember that popular influencers are usually quite busy. Don’t be surprised if you have to try several times before making a real connection.

Fake it Until You Make it

“Fake it Until You Make it” may be a cliche, but it’s also good advice for fledgling influencers. Have full confidence in your Instagram influencer marketing campaign. Before you know it, people will start listening and following you.

Instagram influencer marketing takes time. Continue to be patient and don’t give up until you succeed.

Are You Ready to Make 2018 Your Best Year Ever?

If you want to take your business to the next level, Instagram influencer marketing is just the beginning. You need a well-rounded strategy that covers all aspects of your business plan.

We’re here to help you jumpstart your 2018 network marketing efforts. Want to learn how? Sign up for a personal demo today.

Our program will teach you everything you need to know about getting organized, automating sales, saving time, and growing a network marketing team to make your business thrive.

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