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What Is the Future of Influencer Marketing?

By Editorial Staff

Influencer marketing has made some huge strides in the past few years. One of the reasons why it’s so effective is because people are tired of seeing ads and pitches everywhere they go. Brands and their marketing departments don’t address the customers in a way they want to hear them. People want to hear genuine, authentic voices from people like them about the products and services they are interested in. Of course, influencer marketing is not without its flaws, such as fake followers or lack of transparency on the behalf of influencers. What can we expect from the future of influencer marketing?

Those hiccups aside, influencer marketing is not going anywhere, and the numbers reflect that. For example, as much as 70% of teens trust influencers more than celebrities. Teens and Millennials make up a huge chunk of the audience online, which makes this stat even more crucial. Furthermore, 4 out of 10 Millennial subscribers have stated that their favorite influencers understand them better than their friends.

When it comes to marketing, things are constantly changing and evolving, and in that aspect, influencer marketing is no exception. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what the future of influencer marketing holds, along with some of the trends for the following year.

1. Brands and Companies Will Focus on Confluence Marketing

In case you haven’t picked up on it, “confluence” is a portmanteau of “content” and “influence”. Given the rate at which influencer marketing is growing right now, it is going to overtake any other form of marketing, and especially those which are going for the hard sell. And rest assured that companies aren’t sleeping on this trend. They will start to invest more and more into influencer marketing, perhaps even at the expense of other forms of marketing.

They will start spending more money on those influencers who are able to create amazing content and tell a story, and sell their products that way. Storytelling and content will become primary drivers in the future of influencer marketing.

2. Increase in Content Format Variety

Video is probably the most popular content format among influencers, as well as their audiences, and it’s easy to see why. It is visually more appealing than text, and it’s easy to view and digest, even on mobile devices. But, as exciting as video can be, we are going to see other content formats emerge that are arguably even more eye-catching, and that includes interactive, VR, and AR. Moreover, the same trend is going to spill over into the B2B world, where brands will work with influencers to make their content more appealing.

Blog posts, articles, white papers, and case studies will remain relevant, but they will no longer serve as the only way to deliver important information.

3. Podcasts Will Become Even More Popular

Podcasts are not exactly new on the block, but influencers and brands are going to rely on them more and more. First of all, software and hardware necessary to create a decent podcast are cheaper and more user-friendly than ever. In other words, anyone with a camera or mic and some editing software can start their own podcast in no time. And if you’re thinking they have a limited audience, think again. People can listen to audio podcasts on their way to and from work, and when it comes to video podcasts, they are bigger than ever.

Podcasters such as Joe Rogan are able to get millions of viewers and even secure guest spots from celebrities. Rogan, for instance, is promoting brands like the Dollar Shave Club, which can be seen if you choose to view his podcast through his official website.

4. Long-Term Influencer Partnerships Will Emerge

Right now, brands and companies collaborate with influencers on a campaign by campaign basis for the most part. Although there are examples of influencers getting hired more than once, most collaborations were short-term and temporary. We might see that change in 2020 and onwards,  with brands hiring influencers and building long-term relationships with them, especially those with which they’ve had a successful partnership in the past.

This saves brands the time and effort needed to seek out new influencers after every campaign. This is something that has been done in the past, where you had multiple marketing campaigns featuring the same celebrity.

5. Twitch Influencer Marketing Is Becoming a Thing

Although the first platform that springs to mind when it comes to the future of influencer marketing is YouTube, followed by Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, there is one platform that has been gaining in popularity. We are talking about Twitch, which was designed as a platform that enables users to stream whatever they are doing at the moment, from arts and crafts, cooking to playing music and, in most cases, gaming. At first glance, it doesn’t sound that much different from YouTube, so why bother switching to another platform?

Well, apart from the fact that Twitch is more community-oriented, another reason why it’s so popular is that it doesn’t allow for any sponsored links. But, it is possible for brands to advertise by sponsoring events organized by influencers or getting influencers to mention them. And that doesn’t apply just to the gaming industry either. Companies producing energy drinks, for example, can also use Twitch as part of their influencer marketing campaign.

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6. Stricter Regulations for Influencers

Even though influencers have a look to forward to in the future of influencer marketing, they will have to be more careful about how they approach the campaign they are a part of. You see, the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) and various watchdog groups have already raised concerns and sent out warnings to influencers which have failed at being transparent when it comes to sponsored content. And they are going to put even more pressure on influencers in the coming years.

The FTC is going to be especially vigilant when it comes to influencers not disclosing full information about a product or service, and that includes their side effects. So, in order to stay safe, influencers will have to put more effort into being transparent.

7. There Will be More Employees as Influencers

One of the newer tactics when it comes to the future of influencer marketing is brands and companies using their employees as influencers. That may seem questionable at first glance, especially in terms of authenticity. But, since employee endorsement is voluntary, it comes off as genuine. And unlike that of an external influencer, employee’s opinion about the product or brand is more informed, because they know all the ins and out of their companies, as well as everything about the product they are endorsing.

More importantly, they are also aware of what’s going on inside the company in terms of marketing, content, and other operations. Large companies, such as Macy’s, have already tried this approach with over 300 of their employees. One added bonus of this is that it helps you build a stronger relationship with your employees, and nurture their loyalty.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is definitely here to stay, as it works for both companies and customers. Companies get to rely on another form of marketing to reach their customers, and customers benefit from a more genuine experience that only influencers can provide them with. In the end, everybody wins.

Author Bio: Tobias Foster is an experienced journalist, editor, and essay writing service UK writer. Apart from writing and journalism, he is also interested in marketing, business, and philosophy. He is constantly expanding his knowledge in each of these fields.

This article was written by Tobias Foster

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