Just when you thought you had your head wrapped around influencer marketing, it dared to evolve! Here’s how this pivotal marketing concept continues to change.
Social influencers have been around for centuries, but only in the past few years has the concept of influencer marketing become an integral part of the creative marketing process and it continues to evolve at a rapid pace.
How Is Influencer Marketing Changing?
- Business leaders are using it as a trust-building tool: Influencer marketing has enabled business leaders to incrementally improve their connectivity and social involvement with the buying public. And the way today’s younger and more creative business leaders tend to adopt influencer marketing and social media strategies enable better framing of social initiatives.
- Blogs and quality content will be even more important in the future: Nearly 4 out of every 5 businesses in a recent national survey indicated they plan on upping their content creation budgets and will more strategically leverage blogs and high-quality social media posts to foster a more robust social identity for their organizations.
- Instant content sharing by influencers: Since we’re all seemingly glued to our mobile devices throughout the day, why optimize digital content for a desktop or even laptop computer when mobile devices are the hottest thing in town? And, since content production and sharing has become simpler, why not give fans easily digestible content that is shareable and captures the attention in seconds? YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram enable quick content sharing and allow influencers to feed users quick bites of information instead of lengthy pieces of content.
- Augmented reality is the new reality for influencers: As technology continues to improve in this space, influencers will find creative new ways to combine augmented reality and their content or message. Consider Pokemon Go, itself a $500 million phenomenon that uses augmented reality to immerse the user in another word, all while remaining somewhat planted in the real world. Influencers can use AR to create more engaging and episodic content that will keep users focused on the underlying message and entertained at the same time.
- Greater regulation around compensation and transparency: It didn’t take long for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to get involved in the influencer marketing gig, but they did. They came down hard recently on several major brands (Xbox, Warner Brothers) and a handful of high-profile social influencers who failed to adequately and clearly disclose the nature of their relationships. Simply put, the influencers didn’t acknowledge that they were being sponsored by their respective brands, and the fallout has been lost credibility on behalf of the businesses and their influencers.
- Greater overall adoption of social influencers: A recent survey by Tomoson concluded that 7 out of 10 companies who use influencers consider it a sound marketing practice, and more than 9 out of 10 indicate that it helped to boost awareness of their brand in a measurable way. Even smaller businesses are jumping on the influencer marketing bandwagon, as client engagement has emerged as a powerful indicator of a company’s overall potential and customers are becoming more brand-disloyal by the minute. Influencers help to corral those who stray too far.
- Non-celebrity influencers: Marketers today aren’t forced to rely on the ideals of celebrities, politicians, or other high-profile individuals to drive brand identity. In fact, non-celebrity influencers are often seen as less corrupted than big name stars – who often accept large paychecks or lucrative deals to hawk whatever you put in front of them. Lesser-known influencers can quickly amass gigantic fan bases by simply engaging with their fans in a natural way, and they’ll do so in an affordable manner.
Influencers are now reaching millions of fans with the swipe of a screen, the tap of a key, or a 30-second video clip. Influencer marketing is enjoying explosive and well-deserved visibility in today’s marketing world – the trick is – can you keep up with the evolution?