If we traveled back 15-20 years and asked someone what they thought about influencer marketing, they wouldn’t have a clue what to say. Influencer marketing is a byproduct of this decade’s surge of social media platforms, so it’s safe to say that it changes on a regular basis. So you know the landscape of influencer marketing is evolving, but what exactly does that mean? Let’s dive in and learn about it!
What is influencer marketing?
Let’s tackle the basics. Influencer marketing is an online form of digital marketing when someone with a large following (aka, influencer) partners up with various brands to promote their products and/or services. It’s a common misconception that influencers are celebrities. Sure, they’re in the public eye and a lot of people know their name, but they’re not classified as celebrities. An influencer is someone who has built their brand almost exclusively online, and they engage with their followers online (via social profiles, vlogs, blogs, etc.)
How is it changing?
For starters, it’s growing up. It’s getting bigger. It’s getting better. And it’s getting a lot more real.
What do we mean by that? The days of model-esque, perfect influencers are running out, and now influencers are a lot more relatable. That means there are more opportunities for folks to become an influencer, so the competitive landscape is shifting. In other words, be you — but make sure you find a way to stand out. That’s a baseline, but there are lots of other ways you can expect influencer marketing to change in 2020 and beyond:
Most people associate Instagram with influencers, and that’s because it’s a great way to start. In a recent study, 75% of the influencers surveyed indicated that Instagram is their number one platform. But that’s changing — quickly.
Say hello to TikTok influencers, Twitch influencers and YouTube influencers who are finding new ways to gain a following on their favorite platform. Video is rapidly growing in the marketing realm, so we can expect to see more influencers playing with their niche on video.
No limits on influencing
We touched on this before — influencer types are also evolving. We’re seeing all kinds of sizes, personalities and industries because what people want is different. Gen Z is a unique generation that loves social media but also loves being real. These kinds of followers are looking for an influencer’s true colors, so we’re seeing more personality and less makeup.
Numbers are becoming sexy
You read that right. As a whole, marketing is making numbers sexy. We’re now using data to support marketing claims, and influencer marketing is hopping on the same bandwagon. Influencers can expect that their brand partners may want numbers integrated into posts and relevant communications with followers. It may sound intimidating, but it just empowers us to continue to be creative as marketers and influencers.
- Ramping up creativity
Speaking of getting creative, that’s another change we can expect in influencer marketing. We’re hitting a “been there, done that” roadblock where we need to find new ways to engage followers. We’re starting to see more behind-the-scenes posts/videos, user-generated content and real, down-to-earth posts that keep followers engaged while still showing off the product/service in the spotlight.
Storytelling like never before
We touched on the authenticity factor — influencers are getting a lot more real with their followers. But now, we’re also seeing storytelling as a growing trend. Influencers are doing more than just posting “Love this product” or “Go buy XYZ product today!” Instead, they’re telling an anecdote about why it’s a great product, how it works for them and what role it plays in their lives.
Phew — that was a lot! As you can see, influencer marketing is evolving quickly. While we can’t tell you exactly what to do with your business, we’d like to emphasize just how important it is that you stay updated on the latest trends in the world of influencer marketing. It’s changing all the time, but hey — isn’t that half the fun? Buckle up! Who knows what’s next?