Influencer marketing is now more controversial than ever before largely due to its potential to attract fakers, that is influencers who push up branded interactions by purchasing fake likes, clicks or followers.
But as 2019 rolls on, there are a few key trends, brands and businesses should be aware of this year.
It’s an Instagram world
The Facebook-owned imaging app has become a popular tool for influencers as well as influencer marketing campaigns. Indeed, last year, 88% of influencers were using Instagram in the US, followed by Facebook (87%) and Twitter (82%).
According to Influencer DB, there are now over 558,000 influencers on Instagram that have over 15,000 followers. More importantly, a third of UK Instagram consumers admitted that they previously purchased a product promoted by an influencer endorsing the platform even further.
Video leads the way
When it comes to choosing an engaging format for an influencer marketing campaign, video is the tool of choice. Indeed, the format attracts 21.2% more interactions that other media types, according to Quintly. Unsurprisingly, larger influencer accounts (1m+ followers) on Instagram have caught on to this trend and are more likely to use videos (27%) compared to small profiles (9%). That’s unlikely to change in 2019.
With marketers becoming more at ease with influencer-driven campaigns, they are likely to incorporate and combine multiple creative strategies in 2019 and beyond. Marketing is undoubtedly more about content this year. This means brands and retailers are increasingly incorporating influencer campaigns as part of larger campaigns – managed by the same team – in an effort to measure performance more effectively.
The rise of the micro-influencer
Micro-influencers are generally defined as those with 10,000 or fewer followers and in 2019 they are likely to attract more brand connections than ever more. The days where just big celebrities could attract sponsored product deals are long gone. Micro-influencers have shown time and again that they have authentic and strong connections to their audiences. 2019 will be about building networks with smaller influencers. This shift also has an effect on the average relationship between a brand and an influencer. By expanding focus to building networks, brands are ultimately entering long-term relationships with talent rather than focusing on short-term goals and turn-arounds.
Fraud still a key area of concern
Influencer marketing fraud continues to be a leading concern for many brands when considering talent-sponsored campaign types. Indeed, 42% of marketers said that fake followers and bots were their main concerns when it comes to influencer marketing. Although 65% of marketers plan to up their budgets for influencer-based campaigns, 96% of them consider the quality of an influencer’s followers as critical whilst 93% also believe reputation to be a core factor. Luckily, there are technologies and strategies in place to help brands in finding the right talent.