After analyzing a variety of trends, we've developed 5 influencer marketing predictions for 2017.
Influencer marketing. It’s been booming … because it works. A huge 94 percent of marketers who have used it believe it’s an effective strategy. So what’s next? It’s still a relatively new tactic so it seems to be changing all the time.
2017 will be the year that influencer marketing will end up being better than advertising both for the brand and for the consumer. I know, this is a big statement to make, but we stand by it.
We will also continue to see a battle between celebrities and real people playing the influencer roles, but the winners are going to the ones who weave real storytelling in content marketing. This will come from the real people because they are becoming experts at weaving brands into their daily lives and content stream.
Let’s break influencer into the five most important influencer marketing predictions inspired by trends we see continuing into 2017 and beyond:
TREND 1: The battle between celebrity influencers and micro-influencers
Yes, budgets for celebs doing “influencer” marketing will get bigger and bigger, growing even beyond the $187,000 they are now. Micro-influencer budgets on a per unit basis will remain around the same, with more modest increase.
Because it’s well-publicized that true celebs and online celebs (the big names) are getting paid increasing amounts, some micro-influencers will also try to increase their rates. Our belief is that brands won’t buy it – there are so many influencers out there looking for work that unless they’re really different, it’s going to be harder for them to raise prices in a significant way. Some will, but those who aren’t really differentiated will not be able to double their rates as they may hope.
We’ll see more brands recognizing that significant and measurable business results come from conducting campaigns with targeted and authentic micro-influencers (rather than spending/wasting big bucks on celebs).
The reason we’ve aligned our business with micro-influencer campaigns is we have seen continued and significant business results that come from micro influencers.
We’ll see further fragmentation of the industry – as brands and influencers alike wrestle with what is worth what, how much they should be paying/charging and how to give up a certain degree of control in order to both satisfy the FTC and get content that actually resonates with the audiences they’re trying to reach.
TREND 2: Budgets will continue to increase
AdWeek predicts that overall influencer marketing budgets will double in the next 12 months – something that validates what we’ve been saying all along. Influencer campaigns work. As brands will devote more of their marketing dollars to influencer led campaigns, these larger budgets will mean more campaigns and more influencers being employed.
Budgets will increase because influencer campaigns deliver much more bang for the buck than traditional digital marketing – and the ROI for influencer campaigns continues to be favorable.
TREND 3: Increasing importance of Live Video, for now
2016 saw heavy emphasis on live streaming. Heck, Facebook even sprung for TV commercials to convince people to use Facebook Live and Instagram added live video in November. It’s been interesting to watch how it has rolled out and taken hold. It’s getting significant engagement because Facebook has been prioritizing live streams by sending notifications when anyone goes live.
In 2017, we’ll see the continuation of this trend and, as long as Facebook keeps prioritizing it, live streams will deliver outsized results. When newsfeeds become too crowded though, Facebook will start to back off. By then, it will be more mainstream and influencers and brands alike will be comfortable incorporating it into campaigns.
TREND 4: Native Advertising Will Dominate 2017
We expect to see an uptick in brands and consumers reaping the benefits from good native advertising and influencer campaigns - more and more, regular people will inspire others to use a product, they’ll see new ways to use it that are exciting, brands will develop ambassador relationships with influencers, and consumers will come to prefer and potentially rely on the recommendations of people that they trust more than brands themselves.
Particularly as ad blockers continue to gain strength, it will become increasingly difficult to get a brand message through using traditional media.
TREND 5: Renewed Emphasis on Organic Reach
Organic reach will continue to be a valuable tool for brands. While it is definitely more and more difficult to achieve, it’s still important because it allows brands to test their content before spending money to boost it. Those who understand that organic reach is not an end, but a means to an end, will save more than 50% on their boosting budgets
Overall, we believe that influencer marketing will continue to gain momentum as small and large brands alike recognize it is not only a cost-effective way to communicate with their customers, but also a uniquely targeted method that delivers their branded content to audiences that have been difficult to reach.
The proven ROI of influencer marketing will attract more and more converts and will ultimately see influencer marketing as a mainstream way for brands to deliver their message.