Influencer marketing burst onto the scene a few years ago and the initial results were amazing. Brands were pumping large amounts of money into the pockets of anyone with a large social media following. Over time, the approach has changed drastically, and you can no long base your campaigns around the sheer number of followers an influencer has.
It’s already changed tremendously over the past year, but many feel it will continue to, as consumers have become immune to sponsored posts. Here is how several business owners think influencer marketing is going to change in the coming years.
It’s going to still be utilized as much as it is now.
“Influencer marketing will continue to be used heavily. It isn’t exactly a new method. Endorsement deals have been around a very long time. The biggest changes are that audiences are shifting platforms so who influencers are continues to change.” — Matthew Kolb of All High Schools
Shift towards bloggers from Instagram.
“I think we will see a shift of focus from Instagram to personal blogs. Instagram content remains visible for a short period of time and the algorithm makes organic discovery difficult. Blogs give much longer life in terms of exposure and they also give the influencer more space to create content.” — Tom Munroe, CEO of RugStudio
Shift towards smaller celebrities.
“The long tail of influencer marketing will continue to grow. Smaller influencers — those that might not be celebs — but are very passionate about brands — will be a great source of promotion for those brands. The authentic brand fans, no matter how big of a following, can amplify a message.” — Shawn Schulze of HomeArea.com
More focus on attention.
“In order to stay ahead of the curve, businesses need to get attention to their brands and products. In our social media-driven world, leveraging the power of the most popular personalities who garner a lot of attention is a great way to get in front of your audience.” — Joseph W. Belluck of Belluck & Fox, LLP
More authentic approaches.
“Authentic marketing approaches. Influencers being more upfront on who is paying them and for what. Once you get that out of the way the audience is more likely and willing to buy into what you are saying; Changing the narrative builds a trust which increases engagement.” — Shawn Freeman, Founder and CEO of TWT Group
FTC will crack down.
“I think the FTC is really going to crack down. Instagram and Facebook make it very easy for influencers to tag partners and make it known that a post is a paid promotion, but you still see a lot of influencers posting blatant ads and trying to mask them as organic.” — Christopher Dziak, CEO of Pure Nootropics
Post for product deals will become more popular.
“I see more influencers realizing that the days of huge paydays for a simple post with no effort behind it are long gone. I think more influencers are going to be willing to post just for product and those that do earn money are going to have to be much more involved than they were in the past.” — Robert Cox, Founder & CEO of Sundog Structures
It will change multiple times.
“Marketing is a headache for most small businesses. Never overlook how influencer marketing can prove to be extremely effective. With social media, the aspects can change overnight and influencer marketing is no different.” — Marc Webb, Founder of Real PDL Help
More focus on real audiences.
“Influencer marketing has been evolving for a while now and I think it will continue to move toward the smaller influencers with real audiences. It costs so much money to have a celebrity influencer that the smaller niche influencers trend should continue.” — Ben Walker, Founder of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
Shift to more specialized accounts.
“I think the trend will continue to shift to a more focused micro-influencer play. I think brands are realizing that the big names are demanding far too much money and the return just isn’t there at all. It was effective at first but it’s almost ran its course, as sponsored content is easy to spot.” — Andrew Tran, Founder of Therapy
“It’s become saturated with bots to exaggerate engagement rates and follower counts. It may not be the most trustworthy approach to connect with your audience now, so unless there’s a better way to validate whether the influencer’s audience is real, I’d focus on Google and Facebook ads.“ — Sean Christman, Founder of Slamdot
“I think we will see even more transparency on the platforms. Instagram and Facebook already let influencers tag business partners and notate posts to be sponsored, but I think they are going to do something soon to make those posts stand out even more or give users the option to hide sponsored posts.” — Ari Evans of AAA Handbags
It will slow down slightly.
“I think it’s going to slow down. The days of getting thousands of dollars per post are long gone, aside from a few people. The return just isn’t there for brands any more. The audiences have seen it all. If you look at comments on some sponsored posts it’s mainly complaints. It’s less effective.” — Jim Epton of Dom Huga Ltd