Influencer marketing has earned a lot of interest over the last few years. In the last three years, the number of Google searches for “influencer marketing” has increased by 1500%. This shows that the future of influencer marketing is available for future opportunities. As more companies realize the advantages of influencer marketing, they will invest more money into it.
This research revealed that 63% of marketers plan to increase their budget this year and they set the budget of influencer marketing to become a $10 million market by 2020. Obviously influencer marketing is here to stay. But what does the future of influencer marketing hold?
It’s bound to change with new technologies and trends, like all other marketing strategies. Let’s take a look at a few changes in the industry that we can expect in the future.
Focusing on Micro-Influencers
Influencer marketing grew out of celebrity marketing. To the average person in the street, influencer marketing involves brands working with famous people. Brands have realized that sometimes less is more. The success of any campaign doesn’t completely ride on the number of followers.
We have extensively written about the different types of influencers over the past few years. In particular, we have signposted the increase in the popularity of micro-influencers. One prediction for the future of Influencer Marketing is that micro-influencers will have more influence than celebrities would.
However, definitions for the micro-influencers have remained elastic over the years. The globally accepted definition is that Micro-influencers are someone who has between 1,000 and 100,000 followers. While their following may be small, their authenticity is high.
Many influencers buy fake followers, so their engagement rate is low. On the contrary, micro-influencers have fewer followers but they work to maintain personal bonds with their audience. Therefore, their posts get higher engagement.
Unlike popular influencers who have a huge following on social media, micro-influencers are more reasonably priced. Micro-influencers will rule the future of influencer marketing.
The rise of Influencer Networks
The future of influencer marketing is all about the networks. Instead of individuals, marketers may start to group influencers based on whom they are associated with. After all, influencer marketing is about connecting with the right people.
If your brand is related to an influencer, its reputation grows based on how much authority they have. Moreover, an influencer’s reputation depends on which brands they promote.
Each of the influence centers is linked to each other because many niches overlap. Take, for example, a brand that sells sunscreen lotion. For such a brand, the obvious choice would be to reach out to influencers in fashion, beauty, and lifestyle niches. However, they could also reach out to influencers in the travel and sports industry.
The future of influencer marketing emphasizes connecting or “the interconnectedness” of different niches. The influencers who have the power to transfer ideas between different groups will be the most influential ones.
Brands Will Cultivate Long-Terms Relationships with Influencers
As more brands realize the importance of collaborating with influencers, they are seeking new ways to work with them. At the same time, they realize that building long-term associations with influencers is essential for better marketing. It has been common until now for brands to think short term with their influencer campaigns. They have an idea for a campaign. They search for influencers.
Either the brand or the influencers create the campaign, depending on the amount of control the brand requires. The brand then analyses the results of their campaign and then moves onto the next campaign which repeats the whole influencer identification process.
However, as influencer marketing becomes more popular, there is a danger that influencers will pick the brands with whom they wish to work. Good influencers are likely to “fill up” their calendar with paid promotions. If a brand isn’t careful, they will lose their best influencers because of short-term thinking. There are signs in early 2019, however, that this trend is changing. When brands find suitable influencers, they now focus on building longer-term relationships.
Brands and celebrities have built long-term relationships for years. This is predicted that Influencer Marketing will more closely follow this trend for a few years.
Computer-Generated Imagery Influencers
These influencers aren’t real or human. As the name “CGI influencers” suggests, they are generated by computers. But they have already started to revolutionize influencer marketing. They’re the next big thing in the world of influencer marketing.
The entry of CGI influencers into the influencer marketing industry has changed the way brands view collaborations. For the uninitiated, CGI influencers are influencers who are created with the help of computer-generated imagery.
Manufactured in the virtual world, programmers and designers work for hours to create each scene from a CGI influencer’s life. On their social media channels, CGI influencers can be seen posing at exotic locations.
Riding in on the curiosity that CGI influencers evoke, many luxury brands have started collaborating with them. Lil Miquela, one of the most popular CGI influencers, has already partnered with Calvin Klein, Diesel, and Prada.
CGI influencers are becoming increasingly popular for brands because they allow brands to completely control how their products are advertised. The unpredictability that comes with real-life influencers can be avoided.