In particular, Micro-influencers.
What are micro influencers?
Micro-influencers are influencers across social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) that have somewhat of a smaller following than celebrities and monster influencers (such as the Kardashians), but have a strong loyal audience.
82% of people are likely to follow the recommendations of a micro-influencer.
Think about it, do you trust the quality of a product more from an online review, or a friend? Influencers have established trust with their audiences making whatever they promote desirable in their audiences’ eyes.
Now, you may think, how do I find these micro-influencers and will I need to find more of them to reach a large amount of people? While the process can be a bit manual (Google searches, researching within the platforms, and tapping into community hashtags), you will see an increase in affordable platforms to help connect you with influencers in 2017. As for reaching a broad target audience, it would be advantageous to find and establish a relationship with these micro-influencers in the beginning when they are not so well known and willing to work at low cost. This way, as they grow they are more likely to continue promoting your brand.
Now that you know the basics, let’s get into the nitty gritty. Why should you hand your wallets (advertising dollars) over to influencers? Simple, as the world of social media grows and changes, traditional advertising will become more expensive and competitive. Let the influencers do the competing for you. Find the ones that are on target with your brand and create a mutually beneficial relationship. They have what you want: a platform to reach your target audience. You have what they want: products or services they are interested in that will also help grow their networks. Usually the cost for collaborations with micro-influencers is relatively lower than launching a large campaign.
Here are some things to look out for with influencer marketing in 2017:
Prepare for Ad Blocking
Ad-blocking is also an obstacle you will encounter with traditional advertising. As ad-blocking grows and marketing efforts become more difficult, influencers give you the opportunity to meet your consumers without being ignored. Right in the consumers feed. Now that’s powerful.
Influencers will begin to use Facebook and Instagram livestreams for product reviews. It is quick easy, and engagements can be calculated by the number of engaged viewers and live comments. It is a totally new user experience where the influencer can communicate directly in real time with their audience by answering relevant questions.
No Standard Payment
Since influencer marketing is still new and thriving, there is no prediction on what prices to expect from these influencers. There is still no in depth way to measure their ROI and influence, making it easy for them to establish their own prices. Are the Kardashians worth the reported $300,000 per Instagram post? Probably not, but big companies are willing to dish out the money to compete for their attention. It will be up to businesses to establish boundaries for the level of influence they are willing to pay for.
With Growth Comes Understanding
One of my favorite quotes comes from Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck’s speech at the 2016 Inbound Marketing convention in Boston was “The thing I know more than the sun will come up tomorrow, is that marketers…ruin…everything. It’s what we do! You show me attention…and I’ll show you a place that I want to sell”. Same thing is true for influencer marketing. As influencer marketing grows in 2017, marketers will become more accountable for ROI and sales data, and influencers will start to learn in depth metrics for measuring their influence and putting a price on it. Slowly but surely, as we are witnessing now, influencers will take over our social platforms with native ads.
Influencer marketing will become expensive and competitive in given time just like anything that gains momentum and popularity. Start now. There are plenty of headlines showing that influencer marketing is what will change the digital marketing industry. Get ahead and establish these relationships and I guarantee years down the road these influencers that are familiar with your brand, will remember you and have an astronomical impact on your business.
Influencer marketing is still fairly new and a relatively gray area in the eyes of the FTC. Take advantage of it while you can before rules are established based off of unethical practices. Be sure to follow the current guidelines or you may risk hefty fines. Influencer marketing services should be a part of your inbound marketing strategy going into 2017. What we do know for sure is that all eyes are on these influencers. So do what any smart marketer would do, have them advertise your brand!