This year has seen an explosive growth in influencer marketing. In 2017, 92% of marketers that used influencer marketing found it to be effective. It has come a long way as brands dedicate more of their funds to invest in social media influencers to promote their brand alongside traditional marketing efforts. Budgets in 2018 were predicted to range anywhere from $25,000 to $100,000, which means that even more money will be allocated to these campaign tactics in the near future. The developing atmosphere has marketers looking at how to change their strategy going into the new year. Here are our predictions on the future trends of influencer marketing for 2019.
Not to be confused with micro influencers, nano influencers have a smaller audience, ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 followers. Their audience consists of close-knit followers composed of friends and family. Compared to larger influencers, they have the highest level of engagement as their content is seen as more authentic, which makes them the perfect candidates for campaigns that measure success based on engagement. Their opinion is more trusted as they are the everyday consumer, driving purchases to products while still creating high-level content for brands to use. It’s also beneficial for small local businesses with little budget who can tap into creators in their area to push traffic. Brands large and small will opt to sign many nano influencers as opposed to one or two macro influencers.
A change in talent
Brands are no longer playing it safe when it comes to their selection of influencers. Marketers are tapping into “edgy” influencers, such as Bella Thorne and Bhad Bhabie, to create content on their social media channels. Consumers praise them for their uncensored authenticity, leading to their insane growth. For example, Curology worked with 17-year-old Emma Chamberlain in May 2018 for a sponsored YouTube video, which was her first brand deal. She stated in her video that she’s not seen as “brand friendly” and it’s hard for her to land brand deals because of this. It was a big chance they took on her, but in return, the video has been viewed close to two million times, along with generating comments that showed purchase intention and love for her video by keeping true to her comedic style. We’ll see more brands tap into this new wave of influencers for a more raw look into their products.
Creative input from influencers
Creators will push to have more voice when it comes to creating content for campaigns in 2019. To maintain an authentic storytelling aspect to content they’re producing for a client, they want to have it match what they create on a daily basis. Anwar Jibawi, a content creator with 10 million followers on social media, said to Forbes, “Anytime I have the opportunity to create a brand deal video, I want to make sure that the content is enjoyable, while also presenting a product that I believe in. If the content isn’t funny, or if it feels like a 100% scripted ad, then viewers aren’t going to pick that up.” They leverage this to brands as it will generate more engagement as compared to something that looks clearly sponsored. Influencers will look to negotiate more in creative briefs to deliver something that the both the brand and themselves will be happy with.
Opportunity in gaming channels
Gaming blew up this year. Ryan Wyatt, Global Head of Gaming at YouTube, reported that over 50 billion hours of gaming content was watched and 200 million logged in users were watching gaming content every single day in 2018. Streamers have a great opportunity to engage with their audience; with this comes a new market for brands to tap into. Wyatt also commented that they’re investing in new features like Super Chat, Channel Memberships and Merchandising to give more opportunities to creators to make money while on YouTube. Keep a close eye on the continuing growth of the influencer market in the gaming realm.
Curated spaces for content
We saw a rise in the amount of custom experiences and pop-ups that brands created in major cities such as New York City and Los Angeles for Instagram-worthy moments. With this will come incorporation into daily content. Companies such as Peerspace have grown increasingly popular with their wide access of unique venues for photo shoots, launch parties, and much more to rent. Users have put up their eye-catching residential spaces for use by top-tier influencers and brands alike. For example, you can find a cozy studio apartment filled with greenery and a hammock right in Brooklyn. Content creators are drawn to these spaces that will showcase aspirational imagery to stand out from other creators. As users are more drawn to this type of content, we’ll see more venues catered specifically to influencers.