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Influencer marketing in 2019: The trends we’re putting our money onDate Posted: 20 December, 2018
If there’s one term that has dominated the comms industry in 2018, it’s been influencer marketing. We’ve seen the best and the worst of influencers in the last year, with both brands and the influencers themselves at times to blame. Needless to say, it’s been a hell of a ride.
With Statista estimating the Instagram influencer marketing industry alone will grow from 1.6 billion dollars in 2018 to 2.39 billion in 2019, it certainly doesn’t seem as if it’s likely to slow down either. So neither are we. Here at Ranieri HQ, we’ve put our heads together and come up with what we think will be the biggest influencer marketing trends in 2019.
Less one-off projects and more ambassador programs
Over the last year or so we’ve seen a growing trend towards brands answering influencers’ cries and investing in longer-term partnerships. We’ve experienced this ourselves in particular with our client JBL, which has led to a number of successful ongoing campaigns. There’s no doubt however that there’s still much work to be done. Influencers are more valuable and produce better content when working with brands on an ongoing basis, becoming a part of the team and not just a one-off thing.
As influencer The Runner Beans, aka Charlie Watson, said in our guide to influencer marketing: “I recommend longer term partnerships rather than just individual campaigns to build trust and authenticity with the influencer’s audience for the best gains all round’’.
New social media networks (such as TikTok)
We mentioned in our post on 2019 social media trendshow we reckon there will be an influx of new networks cropping up over the next year or so. TikTok is certainly one to keep an eye on, though as people start to look for new ways to communicate online, there will inevitably be more that rise up to take even more of our time. This will obviously change the way brands work with influencers, as well as the types of influencers they tap in to, depending whether the networks are instant, image-led, text-led etc. It will require brands to be more flexible in their approach to partnerships moving forward.
Wider use of virtual influencers
Some of you may remember the nineteen-year-old Brazilian-Spanish model, Miquela Sousa, and her takeover of Prada’s Instagram during their catwalk show earlier this year. The most interesting part about her, however, wasn’t her 1.4 million Instagram followers, or association with the brand. It was the fact she was CGI. Virtual influencers are becoming increasingly popular, with other high profile brands such as Gucci also investing in a virtual aid. More bespoke to your brand, less prone than a human to do something offensive; you dismiss the value of virtual influencers at your own risk, and they’ll continue to rise in popularity over the next year.
More investment in influencer marketing efforts
On the back of such a stellar year for influencer marketing, we’re going to be fairly uncontroversial and say that 2019 will continue to see more and more budget and time allocated to campaigns. As the industry and brands’ understanding of influencer marketing matures, there will be greater integration across disciplines, as the likes of PR and social media become more and more integrated with influencer activities. The ROI to influencer marketing and its ability to speak directly to and influence specific audiences however mean it will continue to become a higher priority in communications campaigns.
A serious crackdown on fake followers
Both Twitter and Instagram went on purging sprees in 2018 in an attempt to cut down on fake followers and bots. This is undoubtedly a trend we’ll see continue into 2019, as purchasing fake followers and bots is hurting the reputation of influencers in general. In order for the industry to continue growing as it has been, additional purges are certainly needed as brands are looking for greater transparency and results from their campaigns.
By Jannic Nielssen, Influencer Marketing Manager.
To keep up to date with Jannic’s influencer insights, head over to his LinkedIn here.