You’ve probably heard the news that influencer marketing is on the rise.
Unless you are living beneath a rock, you’ve probably heard the news that influencer marketing is on the rise. During The Martin Group’s Happy Medium: Social Media Trends Seminar, panelists including Lauren Christopher from Labatt USA/North American Breweries, Greg Pokriki from Invest Buffalo Niagara and Lindsay Robson, creator of Buffalo Blogging Network, led a session discussing the “Impact of Influencers.”
Here are some of our favorite takeaways:
Trends in the Influencer Space in 2018
- Video is Becoming Hotter and Hotter. People are tired of the heavily-photoshopped, stagnant photos they are seeing online, and influencers are quickly realizing that their audience is demanding more engaging and authentic content – the kind that exists via video. What’s more, research by Business Insider found that video is twice as effective at driving sales than other forms of content, and – by 2020 – 80 percent of global internet traffic will be attributed to video.
- The Rise of the Micro Influencer. Gone are the days of paying through the roof for a high-profile influencer. Brands are finding that just because an influencer has a larger following or celebrity status, it doesn’t mean the engagement will be more significant – hence the law of diminishing returns. Oftentimes, brands can gain the best results, while saving money, by working with a “micro influencer,” a local individual with a reach anywhere from 10,000 – 100,000. These micro influencers typically have incredibly engaged followings, which often amplifies their impact despite their lower follower numbers as compared to traditional celebrity influencers.
- Stricter Rules and Regulations. Due to the increasingly strict guidelines imposed by the Federal Trade Commission and Advertising Standards Authority, brands must be more cautious than ever when enlisting the support of influencers as a means for promoting a client’s product or service. 2017 was the first year brands were reprimanded for failing to uphold industry standards by not disclosing paid promotions. Influencers can only expect stricter rules and more lawsuits in 2018 – especially since up to 93 percent of paid endorsements remained undisclosed by both the brand and the influencer in 2017.
Tools for Engaging Influencers
In order to jump on the train of engaging influencers as part of an overall marketing strategy, you must first research those influencers, and then form a partnership. See below for helpful websites to kick off a partnership with local, mid-sized or celebrity influencers in Western New York and nationally.
- Buffalo Blogging Network – Looking to partner with local influencers? Look no further than Lindsay Robson’s Buffalo Blogging Network – a community of more than 95 influencers in the Western New York region. Shoot Lindsay an email to get started. With influencers ranging in size from 500 to 50,000-plus followers, the Buffalo Blogging Network is a quick way to form both paid and unpaid relationships with local influencers.
- Who Represents – Dreaming of a celebrity endorsement? Who Represents is a paid subscription service that allows you to track down the contact information for celebrities and their agents. While, yes, a true paid celebrity endorsement will cost you at least six figures, there are tricks to getting around the high price tag and building organic relationships. If you think you have the perfect product for a celebrity, you always have the option of throwing caution to the wind and sending your product to their agent in hopes that it will end up in their hands. Yes, the item could get thrown away or shoved in a closet for perpetuity. And, yes, you run the risk of the celebrity bashing your brand. But, the slim possibility of the stars aligning and an organic relationship forming could be the difference between a failing and a profitable brand.
- Digital Brand Architects – Believe it or not, many influencers – similar to celebrities or athletes – have agents of their own. Looking to connect your brand with a high-profile influencer? Work with a company like Digital Brand Architects (DBA). DBA is a top digital influencer agency building influencer’s online and social authority by developing their brands and partnering them with fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands. Another plus of working with companies like DBA is that they can help you narrow down the list of a bazillion influencers across the country by leveraging specific search criteria (i.e. mom with two kids under five, gluten-free and single).
To learn more about marketing through the use of influencers, peruse The Martin Group’s Happy Medium: Social Media Trends Seminar presentation.