It’s hard to believe that we are closing the door on 2017. In a year that marked YouTube chat, FTC crackdowns, Instagram stories, Snapchat filters and Facebook page branded content, what could we possibly expect in 2018 from influencer marketing? In short – BIG THINGS! In 2017 alone, the average business generated $6.50 for every $1 invested in influencer marketing.(source) The bottom line? Influencers aren’t going anywhere for a long time.
Video marketing is going to reign in 2018. With outlets like Tasty taking the internet by storm one food prep video at a time in 2017, we can expect to see more influencer-produced video marketing in other niches. The popularity of Instagram Stories and Facebook Live also contribute to brand’s virality and ability to dive deep into communities with the help of influencers.
Instagram will become the largest social network, making successful users more attractive to brands. In 2017, the photo sharing platform celebrated 800 million active users, putting them on track to break 1 billion in 2018.(source)
What does that mean for Instagram influencers? Serious cash. Businesses and brands will be flocking to influencers with engaged communities for partnerships more than ever before. That said, in an age where influencers can easily boost numbers and followers with a couple dollars, brands and businesses need to be wary about which influencers actually have influence. Make sure your influencers have been properly vetted and consider a long-term relationship for even better engagement with prospective clients and consumers.
Speaking of long-term relationships – brands and businesses are going to need them. With the rise of influencer marketing over the past several years, influencers have become their own brands with loyal followings and communities. With that comes loyalty to certain brands, businesses and experiences that consumers come to expect. Investing in a long term relationship with an influencer drums up engagement that can only be garnished with an audience that has been cultivated.
For a long time, influencers operated under a blanket of micro-influencer (10-90k following) versus macro-influencer (100k+ following), with brands and businesses vying strongly for macro influencer partnership. In 2018, we can expect to see brands leaning heavily toward a niche of influencers, both micro and macro, that are going to fit in overarching marketing plans. While 100k+ followers can be highly attractive, smaller influencers with authority can often be a louder voice and in 2018 brands are going to capitalize.
The FTC is going to get serious about influencers being completely transparent, more so than they already are. With a greater insurgence of influencer marketing, there are bound to be influencers and brands that aren’t complying with regulations. With 90% of celebrity social endorsement still going undisclosed, the FTC is going to be more diligent than ever about finding and punishing offenders, both influencers and brands alike.
Influencer marketing has changed the way businesses and brands reach consumers. As long as 94% of businesses continue to agree that influencer marketing yields effective results, we can expect to see it leveraged in communications plans for the long haul. (source)
About the Author: Kait Hanson is a Hawaii-based writer who focuses on food, travel and lifestyle topics. She is a bar columnist for Metro Honolulu and contributing writer for Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, People Magazine and more. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying a new restaurant with her husband or playing with her two chocolate Labs, Judy and Bill, at the beach.