As 2018 winds down, now's a great time to reflect on the past year and look at four major occurrences in the influencer marketing world worth learning from.
#1. FTC Crackdowns
We came into 2018 fresh off of letters from the FTC warning influencers to start practicing proper compliance. Not much happened though during the year until just recently, TINA.org filed a complaint to the FTC against Diageo for misleading consumers with undisclosed influencer marketing for their Ciroc brand. I think this is the perfect example that the FTC will want to crack down on, something highly visible to make an example of someone. As you go into 2019, don't be the one made an example of.
#2. The Rise Against Fake Followers
Earlier this year, Keith Weed from Unilever called out the industry and asked marketers to stop using influencers with fake followers. Not only is that a really good call to action, but now the platforms have stepped up and begun purging fake accounts more frequently. YouTube just in the last week, but Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, they've all knocked away these fake accounts. Expect to see that more often in 2019 as well.
#3. Social Commerce Capabilities Matured
Third, social commerce became more mature, a trend I think will continue into 2019. You saw Instagram launch shoppable content, and we're seeing more shoppable content on blog posts. Snapchat also has some partnerships with Amazon where you can click through to buy.
#4. Not All Social Networks Survived
And finally, not everything worked this year. There are some times when people wanted to get influencers over to certain platforms and it didn't take off. Remember Vero which was hot for about a week? Then IGTV launched with huge fanfare this year, but hasn't taken off, at least from an influencer marketing perspective; and Google Plus, Google's latest attempt at a social network, like all their other attempts at a social network, is closing down as well. So we're really with just a few big players: Facebook and Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube (and maybe Snapchat). It'll be interesting to see if that dynamic changes in 2019. Check out our predictions post to see what else might take off next year!
From all of us here are Carusele, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!