The growth of an influencer is out to happen as social media becomes more ingrained in people’s lives and takes on other functions beyond communication. As e-commerce and social media emerge, influencers will become crucial intermediaries, linking brands with consumers on social media is resonating and authentic in ways that can generate results.
It’s an industry that’s as fluid as the marketing mix supplied to brands these days. If a brand wants to be relevant and connected in the future, it must understand the definitions and trends of how to use this force.
Knowing where the influencer marketing business is headed will help you adjust your marketing plan. Influencer marketing, like any other digital marketing strategy, is always changing, making it tough to foresee every trend. However, there are a few major changes to influencer marketing that firms could take advantage of in 2022.
The Rise of Micro-Influencers
Source: Galactic Fed 2020
Influencers are categorized according to the number of followers they have. Influencer categories vary depending on where you look, however, this is the most common method of segmenting influencers:
- Nano-Influencers: 1k – 10k followers
- Micro-Influencers: 10k – 100k followers
- Macro-Influencers: 100k – 1M followers
- Mega or Celebrity Influencers 1M+ followers
In the beginning, a large following was the most essential aspect of the influencer book, but the market is now crowded and flooded with purchased, fraudulent followers, leading to distrust among influencers with enormous followings. Due to this, brands started to focus on micro-influencers, who have between 10,000 and 100,000 followers.
As the demand for authenticity grew, a new type of influencer emerged: the Nano-influencer, who may have a following of fewer than 10,000 individuals. This type of influencer has a significant impact on their audience, has great recommendation power, and has a higher engagement rate on Instagram (7.2%) than micro and macro-influencers.
Marketing to Gen-Z
Source: Global Web Index
As we know, influencer marketing is causing major changes in the digital ad industry. One of them is that, as a result of Gen Z’s dominance in the influencer space, marketers are beginning to take them seriously as customers as well as content creators.
This move is similar to what happened 10 years ago when millennials became a significant growing audience. Financial statistics show that the millennial market is still quickly expanding, but that millennials are notoriously difficult to reach through traditional advertising methods because they just do not believe in advertisements. This is especially true for Gen Z, who have a much lower tolerance for things they consider irrelevant.
Influencer marketing and Generation Z are a pairing made in heaven.
- Influencers have Gen Z’s support. Almost two-thirds say they pay attention to an influencer campaign, and half say they trust their advice.
- They do, however, prefer brands to use more relatable artists in their advertisements rather than celebrities.
- Influencers aren’t the only ones who like them. They want to be like them, implying that sponsored sponsorships are acceptable to the typical ‘Zoomer.’
Also, Gen Z is constantly on social media. They’re in sync with influencers and care about the social context in which their products are used. Influencer marketing appears to be THE way to reach them.
Leveraging Long-term Partnerships
‘Long-term partnerships’ is the buzzword in the creator community right now. Despite the fact that influencer ambassador programs have been around for a while, with big brands and conglomerates paving the way for others, this is still the case.
While just a few businesses and influencers first followed this strategy, it’s apparent that brands and influencers are increasingly gravitating toward longer-term partnerships.
The pendulum is clearly swinging away from one-off brand-influencer relationships, which can be perceived as less convincing and transactional, and toward more stable, longer-term commitments with potential brand advocates.
Influencers are no longer hired for one-off campaigns, but rather on a long-term and continual basis. According to research, approximately half of advertisers work with influencers for six months or longer, with 37% claiming that they collaborate with businesses for a longer period of time than one-off initiatives.
A long-term influencer collaboration between businesses and influencers saves time, resources, and money while also establishing trust and having a larger impact on the target audience.
Overall, this is a win-win situation because everyone is invested in the outcome. Influencer marketing pays off right away if you partner with the right influencer who resonates with your target demographic.
Valuing Fit Over Followers
For some marketing campaigns, your mother, father, sister, or brother may be a better influencer than an “Instagram celebrity” with a million followers. The beauty of influencer marketing right now and in the future is that anyone who has developed an online community of people who are passionate about certain topics might be a good fit.
Companies with long-term views are beginning to see this. Rather than being excited over large numbers of followers, they’re seeking people whose viewpoints, tone of voice and interests align with the campaign’s content – and whose followers, in turn, have shown an interest by engaging around these topics.
Rather than tossing a large sum of money at one single celebrity, spending the money across a number of people with smaller but highly active and engaged followings can be a much more efficient use of funds. This explains why 59 percent of marketers use influencers with 50,000 to 100,000 followers.
While the number of followers should be considered when selecting influencers, it is only one piece of the puzzle. The more data you have, the better you can tailor your influencer selection to your specific brand, product line, and campaign objectives.
Hosting Influencer Events
Brands are coming up with more creative strategies to attract influencers and encourage them to share their content as influencers grow more swamped with brands seeking to offer them products.
An influencer event – a (usually beautiful and Instagrammable) get-together for influencers to socialize and have fun — allows them to provide live stories on their experiences.
Influencers can try out products or services and get first looks at new brand offerings at these events. They also allow the company to connect with influencers on a more personal level, strengthening bonds and improving the likelihood of future collaborations.
Influencer Events: A Step-by-Step Guide
Here are some of the most effective techniques for leveraging influencers to promote your events:
Step 1: Provide monetary incentives
If you want to use influencers to advertise your event, you’ll need to consider what you can provide in return.
Step 2: Research Your Social Media Audience
Monitor social media networks to gain a better understanding of your audience’s preferences and which posts they’re responding to.
Step 3: Create a visually appealing event promotion
Make your event promotion appealing to your target audience visually. Encourage your influencers to use branded hashtags in their selfies.
Step 4: Promote Your Guests
Make the guest list for your event public to all of your influencers. Request that they publicize the event and that they feel free to mention the identities of attendees.
Step 5: Share Content Even After The Event
Ask your influencers to continue to promote your event on social media after it has ended. They can share photos and other information with their followers to raise business exposure.
Turning Influencer Relationships Into Brand Ambassadors
There has been a shift in the way brands approach influencer partnerships. Rather than one-off influencer relationships, corporations are forming influencer ambassador programs.
Companies can save time and money by engaging with a team of trusted influencers on a regular basis to streamline the content review process. This also guarantees that high-quality content is consistently produced to increase brand visibility and high engagement.
The change from short-term influencer campaigns to a long-term influencer ambassador program requires some planning and time upfront, but the payoff is well worth it. Setting goals and deciding on an incentive strategy are the two most crucial aspects of establishing a successful influencer ambassador program.
What is the major benefit of a brand ambassador? Choose influencers that are excited about your brand and products for your ambassador’s program. They’ll be authentic with the message and will organically share it with their followers.