New year, new possibilities, and not to forget, new trends on the radar. In this blog post, we give you our view on the five most important trends for 2019 when it comes to – yes, you said it – influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing is growing rapidly and is now starting to establish as an obvious marketing channel among many advertisers. A study from the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA) from 2018 shows that more than 65% of global advertisers are planning to increase their investment in influencer marketing over the next 12 months, i.e. into the new year.
So, which trends do we think will get extra attention in 2019, and what will be critical for marketers questing to succeed with influencer marketing? Here is our view on the most important influencer marketing trends that every marketer should know of, and prepare to master!
The importance of having a long-term perspective and a clear strategy in place
One of the keys to profitability when it comes to influencer marketing is continuity. Until now, a common tactic among companies has been to “test a little and see what happens”, but the companies that really succeed are those that have a long-term plan, right from the start. By setting clear goals, measurable KPI’s and allocating the right resources to influencer marketing, you will be able to track and measure your results, just as with any other type of marketing activity. In 2019, more and more companies will leave the testing phase behind and start to adopt a more long-term approach in order to succeed.
Smarter audience selection using AI
When it comes to creating a successful influencer marketing campaign, being able to identify the right target audience is the alpha and omega. The process for how these are selected has historically been primarily manual, but with the help of AI, you can now identify important touch points of followers of the accounts that have performed best. Based on this information, you can create and use so-called lookalike audiences – in other words, target groups similar to those you know have worked well before.
Influencer marketing platforms with built-in AI can be found on the market today, and is something that we at Cure Media offer to our customers. We believe that this type of technology will become critical in 2019, both as it saves time in the selection process and since it increases your chances of a successful campaign.
Influencer marketing as an integrated part of the media mix
Historically, influencer marketing has been treated as something of a complement to the other marketing efforts. In 2019, we will see a shift in this behaviour. To be able to join the group of companies that have really succeeded with their influencer marketing initiatives, you have to treat it as an integrated part of the media mix – not as a stand-alone element. In other words, it needs to get as much love and care, or planning and budget if you like, as your other channels. Here it is important that you clearly define the purpose and value of the channel and understand how it can complement and enhance your other marketing efforts. Understanding the value of, and knowing how to integrate, influencer marketing in the media mix will be crucial in 2019, and more companies will need to embrace a more strategic approach to succeed.
You can’t write a blog post about 2019’s trends in influencer marketing without mentioning the phenomenon that has entered our social media feeds lately, i.e. virtual influencers, or robot influencers. You have probably heard of one of the biggest profiles, Miquela Souza, a 19-year-old model who lives in Los Angeles with over 1,5 million followers on Instagram – but who doesn’t exist in real life. In 2019, we’ll probably see even more of this type of artificial influencers, and it will be exciting to follow its impact. Only time will tell if this phenomena will play a significant role in the influencer marketing arena in the future.
Authenticity och credibility
Research shows that an important key to success in influencer marketing is based on the sense of trust between the influencer and his or her followers. The last trend that we’d like to highlight is therefore about the very essence of influencer marketing, i.e. the ability to create credibility in a genuine way. Just like the phenomenon of virtual influencers is important to mention, we can’t stress enough the importance for a company to always strive to create a sense of authenticity through the influencers they choose to work with. To cut through the noise, it’s all about finding the right influencers that match your brand and design content that is based on the interests of your target audience. In 2019, this will be more important than ever.
Sanna is the Head of Marketing at Cure and her background is in digital marketing. She loves finding creative solutions to all sorts of challenges, eating way too spicy food, and planning her next travel adventure somewhere in the world.