As social media continues to grow into an integral aspect of many of our lives, there’s no denying the powerful impact influencer marketing is having on consumer behavior and brand awareness. Marketers and public relations professionals are realizing the significance of this movement and are rushing to capitalize on the boundless possibilities being generated by the influencer marketing whirlwind.
According to Activate by Bloglovin’ research, 67 percent of marketers believe that influencer marketing campaigns helped them reach a more targeted audience in the past few years, leading to more impactful results and confirming that if brands fail to tap into this market, they could miss out on key opportunities in the next year.
In the coming years, it will be crucial for industry leaders to perfect how to navigate this emerging market—estimated to be worth $2 billion in 2017 and set to reach $10 billion by 2020—and reap the benefits of placing products in the hands of the people that matter most to meticulously reach your intended audience at the right time, on the right platform. Consumers are increasingly reliant on user-based reviews (such as Yelp or Angie’s List) beyond the usual social media channels, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram. Influencers put a trustworthy face and backstory to those claims, and earn commission for their work. Tomorrow’s tastemakers are on the Internet, posting on social media and getting paid for developing an aesthetic and gaining a loyal following that brands otherwise would miss.
Facebook recently modified their algorithms to emphasize content from friends and family over sponsored content and advertisements. These changes mean that businesses will see less organic reach – which puts greater pressure on brands to generate quality content that people want to engage with.
While Facebook remains the most popular and influential social media channel, as it continues to come under fire from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and as reports emerge that one in 10 people have deleted their Facebook accounts, this paves the way for new platforms to take the lead in reaching audiences online.
As Facebook-owned Instagram also shuts down its API, preventing brands and influencers from gaining insights on Instagram-run campaigns, this will undoubtedly affect a company’s marketing strategy. According to Pierre-Loic Assayag, CEO and Cofounder of Traackr (a Gravitate PR client), “Whenever a platform makes significant changes in how they operate and move toward less open sharing, it creates more challenges for influencers to grow their audience as fast as they could otherwise, making it harder for them to earn top dollars from brands… Marketers will need to observe if shifts to other platforms take place in the coming months. From the brand’s point of view, without metrics and KPIs available to them, they are forced to look at the platform as a silo, and based on history, decrease investment in these platforms. I expect that 2018 marketing dollars might not get spent in the way they were intended just a few days ago.”
To remain relevant, and reach and engage with the right influencers and audiences, brands need to stay vigilant in understanding the influencer marketing landscape, and how such changes will affect their strategies. Rather than focusing on the platform per se for investing your marketing dollars, focus first on where your influencers are and build the right approaches around them.