Influencer Marketing 101: Top Trends
Influencer marketing involves marketing products and services through those who have an effect over the things other people buy. This market influence generally stems from an individual’s expertise, popularity, or reputation. Influence can come from a broad range of places, such as a person, group, celebrity, brand, or place.
Existing trends in influencer marketing are constantly evolving, and new trends are appearing every day. Research shows that influencer marketing is on the rise, and is the best thing in marketing since, sorry for the cliché, sliced bread.
The following are five current growing trends in influencer marketing.
Trend #1: The growth of influencer marketing over traditional marketing strategies
The first trend comes from the Google Trends graph below. It compares the shift in interest from ‘content marketing’ to ‘influencer marketing’ over the last three years. In a recent study conducted by the Google Trends team, they found that print advertising continues to steadily drop, while influencer marketing is only beginning to gain momentum along with online video advertising. In fact influencer marketing has been steadily growing in popularity and is closing the gap with video advertising.
Trend #2: YouTube Stars Influence
In another study conducted by Google, they found that YouTube creators are some of the most effective influencers towards the teenage and millennial demographics. YouTube creators listen to and interact with their fans, resulting in communities that look more like friendships than “fanships”. This creates more honest and meaningful connections between the influencers and their audiences. Millennials think YouTube stars are the trendsetters of today, even more so than main stream celebrities.
“70% of teenage YouTube subscribers say they relate to YouTube creators more than traditional celebrities.” ~ Google“4 in 10 millennial subscribers say their favorite creator understands them better than their friends” ~ Google
Trend #3: High percentage of online consumers using ad blockers
According to a study done by the University of Oxford, they found that 47% of online consumers use ad blockers. Users are tired of being bombarded with ads while browsing the Internet. Due to people using ad blockers, marketers are instead turning to influencers to generate authentic sponsored content that actually reaches and impacts their target audience.
Trend #4: Invest in live video
Live video is still a new concept in influencer marketing, but it’s getting more productive and important every day. Investing in good equipment to make the production level better will result in rewards for a brand and influencer. Facebook is leading the way in this format and they are currently looking at the ability for brands to run 15-second ads in the middle of their live broadcasts.
Trend #5: Value of influencers on Twitter
In a study conducted by Twitter, they found that nearly 40% of their users say they’ve made a purchase as a direct result of a Tweet from an influencer.
From these five trends, it’s apparent that influencer marketing is on the rise, and is one of the top choices for marketers today to effectively increase brand awareness by enabling companies to reach a larger portion of their target audience than ever before. And since most consumers are on social media these days, I expect to continue seeing the importance of influencer marketing grow and new trends to develop for years to come.
Influencer marketing is not only the marketing of the future, but it is the marketing of today. If a company is not embracing the power of influencer marketing, then it is falling behind in their marketing efforts.