I t ’s rare to find consumers who still trust only traditional media and advertising formats. With the democratisation of knowledge in the age of social media, understanding how to use these platforms to engage with audiences is of vital importance.

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing focuses on creating awareness on an individual level by word-of-mouth marketing. Influencers have credibility and influence over a large network of people. These individuals have a significant impact on vertical markets and/or social media platforms. Brands and agencies partner with influencers in order to create authentic engagement and awareness around products and services.

In its ‘Trust in Advertising’ report, Nielsen stated that 92% of consumers trust recommendations above all other forms of advertising, and of those, 83% take action as a result of recommendations. As a result, marketers who are using influencer content see a massive difference between the performance of brand content and influencer content.

Choosing the right influencer

Ask yourself the following questions to establish whether a particular influencer would be the right fit for your brand or business:

  • Which platform would be the most effective for my needs? Is the influencer active on this platform?
  • What does this influencer usually promote?
  • Do their ideals align with those of my brand or business?
  • Are their followers real or are there many bots?
  • What is this influencer’s reach?
  • How much engagement do they usually generate with a post?

  • Top 10 influencer marketing trends

    1. Building long-term brand ambassadors
    Influencers will no longer have short interactions with brands, but will rather establish relationships with non-competition clauses and perpetual rights for content and remarketing.

    2. Authenticity in engagement
    Influencers will endorse products because they believe in them, not just as a result of being compensated.

    3. Presenting to targeted demographics per social media channel
    The opportunity to speak to your direct audience and the ability to measure real return on investment (ROI) will continue to reduce the effectiveness of traditional media channels.

    4. Influencers will begin to understand their role in the marketing cycle
    Influencers reflect how honest opinions can create monetising possibilities.

    5. Influencer content creation
    Brands will see a drop in brandcreated content and a growth in sharing and remarketing of influencer-created content, especially using original photos and videos.

    6. Engagement valued more than reach
    An increase in demand for quality metrics will reveal the real return on investment of influencer marketing campaigns. In-depth metrics and insights will indicate how effective campaigns are against the key performance indicators.

    7. Cross-chanel marketing
    The audience will define the selection of platforms utilised for cross-channel marketing; this will require deep analytical insight of each influencer during the influencer selection process.

    8. Instagram stories and TV
    Instagram is experiencing phenomenal growth in user numbers, with Stories and the newly launched Instagram TV on a meteoric rise. According to HubSpot, there was a 197% increase in influencer marketing on Instagram in 2017.

    9. Guidelines regarding disclosure of reimbursement
    The appearance of #ad or #sponsored tags in social media posts reveal reimbursement. All influencers should disclose that they’ve been reimbursed for their content. This creates authentic messaging and builds trust with the influencer’s audience.

    10. Larger pools of influencers
    We see a move away from restricted pools of influencers on platforms and a search for the most appropriate influencer per campaign, regardless of whether they’re listed on a specific platform or not.