Top Influencer Marketing Trends to Track in 2019

Trends That Will Dominate Instagram Influencer Marketing

Instagram influencer marketing has become a vital component of every brand's marketing strategy. This year alone,  close to $5 billion dollars will be spent on influencer marketing as more brands embrace today's fastest growing marketing platform. This is over double the amount spent in the course of 2017, with many established brands prioritizing Instagram influencer marketing over email, organic search, and digital advertising.

This impressive momentum is set to continue throughout 2019 and beyond, as influencer marketing steadily trumps other digital marketing channels in terms of return on investment. In fact, studies show that over two 70% of all businesses plan to increase their influencer marketing allocations in 2019.

To keep pace with the latest trends, Instagram is continuously upgrading the platform to make it more engaging for users, as well as to present greater interaction between businesses and consumers. Any business working with influencers, must, therefore, be cognizant of these changes in order to stay ahead of the curve, or risk employing strategies that are outdated or no longer effective. 

Instagram Is Changing, And So Should Your Marketing Strategy

Instagram now boasts the highest engagement level of any social network; a veritable goldmine for any marketing campaign. New features, such as Stories, IGTv, shoppable posts, IG Live, and vertical videos are part of Instagram's transformation from the photo sharing site of old, into a more visual and engaging platform.

These features are a response to the growing need to capture the ever diminishing attention of digital audiences. Fortunately, and unlike other marketing channels, the attention, loyalty, and trust of today's digital audiences can now be won by trendsetting Instagram influencers who are guaranteed to deliver remarkable conversions. 

By tracking the latest trends in Instagram influencer marketing, and incorporating them into every campaign, a business can deploy strategies that yield the widest reach and engagement, as well as impressive rates of lead conversion.

Here are the top trends that are poised to dominate the instagram influencer space:

#1 Brand Ambassadorships Are In Vogue

It's customary for businesses to strike one-off deals with influencers, where each post attracts an agreed fee. However, these transactional relationships, just like paid advertising, are losing credibility with audiences.

To leverage the trust and loyalty of an influencer's following, brands are now looking to forge lasting partnerships with influencers, which are less transactional and more strategic, with the aim of building credibility and trust with consumers. 

Brand ambassadorships also provide continuity; successful campaigns can be replicated over and over again with a similar level of success. Additionally, by acting as brand ambassadors, influencers who consistently promote the same product will appear more authentic and credible to their audiences.

Such lasting partnerships are therefore a win-win for both influencers and businesses, and are more likely to generate higher engagement levels and greater conversions as well. 

#2 Focus On Alignment, Not Follower Size

Businesses are now smarter when it comes to choosing between potential influencers. In the early days of influencer marketing, brands showed a preference for influencers with the largest number of followers to maximize  campaign reach. Today, businesses are, instead, looking for influencers who align best with their brand for maximum engagement with a target audience. 

An influencer needs to have a good reputation, public image and personality that fits the brand, while exerting influence in a relevant niche. Brands are realizing that having a wide reach and influence over the wrong type of audience doesn't deliver appreciable conversions.

The idea that an influencer is paid to recommend a product to as many followers as possible is a thing of the past; businesses will need to verify that the personas thet are targeting are well represented in an influencer's following. 

#3 Macro And Micro Influencers Rock

The success of any campaign comes from getting up-close and personal with target audiences, and then engaging them as highly as possible. Studies show that micro, nano, and macro influencers have much higher engagement rates than mega or celebrity influencers.

For this reason, the preference has shifted to macro and micro influencers with established expertise in their respective niches, where they have high credibility and are trusted as experts. As a result, businesses are seeking brand partnerships with influencers with follower numbers of about 100,000 or even less, who have specialist expertise, informative content, and highly engaged audiences in a related niche.

These influencers not only cost much less than mega influencers, but have huge talent as content creators. After all, businesses will need very high quality content to engage audiences as competition in the industry increases.

#4 Verifiable Metrics And ROI

As more money is spent on influencers, there is a higher expectation to justify returns from influencer outlays. Businesses will require specific performance measurements for every dollar spent on influencer marketing, rather than simple counts of likes, impressions or views per post.

Furthermore, with a growing variety of influencers to choose from, as well as the persistent problem of fake followers, businesses will be more selective and demand ever greater verification and accountability.

Engagement metrics such as views and comments, will therefore be scrutinized more carefully than before to ensure they originate from genuine followers and real accounts. Instagram and other platforms are also developing tools to make it easier to verify these metrics.For example, it is expected that other platforms will follow Facebook's lead and allow access to first party cookies.

Such developments should make it easier to track the performance of influencer content as well as ads. ROI metrics such as cost per conversation, average order value per conversion, and customer lifetime value per conversion will therefore be a key factor in every influencer campaign.

#5 Instagram Is Miles Ahead

Instagram is the engagement platform of choice for a vast majority of online users and businesses. Its user base continues to expand rapidly and, just last year, it surpassed one billion active monthly users. This massive growth is expected to increase even further as more users and businesses switch to Instagram in the coming years. 

Many influencers are cross-platform celebrities who also use Facebook, Twitter, and to a lesser extent, Snapchat. However, the superior features of Instagram makes it by far, the preferred platform for influencers. This is because Instagram makes it much easier for influencers and businesses to use the platform by adding useful functionalities, along with simple tools for measuring engagement.

Additionally, the visual nature of instagram, compared to other social networks, gives it an edge in a world dominated by photos and video. By adding unique features such as Stories, IG Live, and IGTv, Instagram has become the most engaging platform; it's highly active users increasingly shop and interact with brands on a daily basis more than on any other social network. 

Are You Leveraging The Latest Influencer Trends?

Going forward, it will become more and more difficult to engage audiences as competition in influencer marketing becomes fierce. If you are thinking of partnering with an influencer, or rethinking your current campaign, then call us today to reap from the latest Instagram marketing tools and strategies.

At Big Crowd Media, we insist on state of the art influencer marketing strategies that effectively target the latest preferences of a target audience. Our dedicated team will endeavor to keep your marketing strategy well ahead of the curve as new trends emerge.

This is the only proven method of delivering highly engaging influencer campaigns with the highest conversion rates.