2018 Influencer Marketing Trend Forecast

In an era where consumers are getting tired of pop up ads, installing ad blockers, and transitioning away from old media such as TV and radio, influencer marketing has proven itself to be an effective form of communication. 2017 saw a rise in the industry as more brands launched successful campaigns. Where is influencer marketing headed in 2018?

Brand Ambassadors

This trend began in 2017 and will only grow in 2018, where influencers will be integrated into a brand’s entire marketing strategy. Influencers undoubtedly have great power over consumer decisions, and that power can be leveraged through ambassadorships for brands. Therefore, expanding the influence of a blogger beyond social media channels into the entirety of an advertising campaign will be a trend to look out for in 2018. This will mean taking large, macro influencers and assigning them to be the face of a brand, creating long-term partnerships with the influencers so that the campaign essentially becomes a part of their daily lives. For example, if the brand is Evian water, instead of posting once with the brand telling their followers it is the best water, followers can actually see it — in the influencer's various posts and in their stories every week — reminding them of the brand on a constant basis. This is much more effective, and mirrors the way that other social media advertising techniques allow brands to decide when and where consumers see their ads multiple times.

Content Creation

The second trend forecast for influencer marketing is commissioning influencers to create content that is released on the brand’s own channels rather than solely on the influencer’s social media accounts. Influencers are incredibly talented, acting as art directors, models, stylists, photo editors, and photographers. Brands can leverage these talents for their advertising materials through commissioning more content than is posted to use for print and other digital advertising.

Influencer Sponsored Content

Content creation can be expanded to include influencers sponsoring their posts so that their followers see them multiple times on their feeds. With discussions about the Instagram algorithm, and many influencers asking why fewer people are viewing their posts, the “Sponsored by” feature allows influencers to increase their reach significantly. Companies can therefore pay influencers to have them share content using the Instagram advertising feature. Companies can also use influencer content for their own sponsored posts.

Micro Micro Micro

Another impactful trend of 2018 will be the rise of the extreme micro influencer that mimics peer to peer advertising. Companies have seen how powerful this strategy can be as consumers see content from their direct network. People take product suggestions from their friends, especially those who hold aspirational qualities. If companies pay these tastemakers small amounts of money to post with products, trends will emerge and their communities will follow. This creates a more authentic relationship with a brand than larger influencers are able to produce. Working with hundreds of Micro influencers at a time creates greater engagement and impact as opposed to having a large influencer post once with a product.

Video is King

51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. On social media, video creates a high number of views and has an impact not possible through a static image. Videos will be increasingly important for beauty influencer marketing, which allows for tutorial style advertising.

Making A Splash

As the industry becomes more saturated, creating content that is interesting, unique, and stands out will be increasingly important. Striking a pose in an outfit will no longer be enough for brands who want their influencer marketing to reflect the feeling of the brand. This will lead to an uprising of luxurious events, trips, and experiences for influencers to be a part of and share with their followers. Instagram stories play a large role in the impact of these experiences, as followers can get an inside peak into the brand. Campaigns will begin to look more like the campaign Pulse did with Biossance, allowing influencers to visit the lab where products are made and create a real connection with the company that is communicated to their followings.

Paid Partnership Feature

The paid partnership tagging feature was released in 2017 and Pulse was one of the first companies sought after to test the tool in its induction. Since then, there has been an increasing number of influencers who have gotten access to the tool and use it for their campaigns. The tool allows for the company to gain access to the insights from the campaign without relying on the influencer to provide that information. It also makes advertising more clear than a hashtag, allowing consumers to immediately see a link to the advertiser connected to the content.

2018 will be a year of growth and changes for the influencer marketing industry. Campaigns will get bigger and better as companies use influencer ambassadors and take their campaigns to more innovative and unique levels. Pulse is excited to be on the forefront of this innovation in the new year, creating campaigns for clients better than ever before.