Written by: Tim Brown
For the last year or two, you can’t go anywhere without hearing about influencers and the incredible power they wield as marketers. When it comes to influencer marketing spending, 2018 is going to prove to be another banner year. So, be prepared to free up a portion of your budget to take advantage of this growing phenomenon. Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the key trends that are going to be affecting influencer marketing, and how you spend money on it in 2018.
The Continued Reign of Micro-Influencers
One of the most significant influencer marketing trends in 2017 was the rise of the micro-influencer. Previously, brands used influencers who had massive platforms and huge followings to share their message. While this approach has been successful, in many ways, it doesn’t inspire the level of consumer trust that makes an influencer campaign a real home run.
Today, consumer trust is more important than ever, and consumers have a much easier time trusting someone who is more similar to themselves than a typical spokesperson, as the graph below illustrates.
Enter the micro-influencer. These influencers typically have followings in the thousands, not the millions. While they don’t offer nearly the same reach as larger influencers, they tend to provide a much more engaged following that’s more inclined to act on the recommendation of the influencer.
This trend is going to continue to 2018. So, instead of putting all of your eggs into one basket and working with a more substantial influencer, companies are going to continue to look to spread the budget around and work with more smaller influencers. If you’re unsure where you stand with 2018’s budget so far, this marketing budget calculator may be a huge help. Crunching some numbers will help give you a clearer picture of what percentage of your budget you can allocate to influencer marketing.
Rapid Growth in Influencer Marketing Solutions
Since influencer marketing is such a new concept, it’s no surprise that the landscape is a bit of a crapshoot, presently. Look for that to change in 2018. You can expect to see several different solutions which will become available throughout the year. These new solutions will make it much easier to manage influencer campaigns through a single platform.
In 2018, businesses will be able to locate influencers, hire them, review content, and track its effectiveness from one place, which will be a far cry from the more “wild west” style that we see right now.
Influencer Marketing – It’s Not Just For B2C Any More
Initially, influencer marketing was seen almost strictly as a B2C marketing tactic. In 2017, some B2B businesses dipped their toes into the influencer marketing pond with seriously impressive results .
Businesses like SAP, IBM, TopRank and Video Fruit all launched B2B campaigns in 2017 with various influencers, and the results of these campaigns were impressive, to say the least.
As a result, more B2B brands will be taking notice of the potential that influencer marketing may have for their business, and act according. Expect 2018 to be a banner year for B2B influencer marketing.
Even More Saturation
Considering the success of influencer marketing thus far, it’s no wonder that some companies began asking the question “what if we had, even more, influencers promoting our products?” When it comes to influencer marketing spending, 2018 will be the year that companies spread their budgets out and start working with thousands of different influencers at once instead of just a few to drive brand awareness and sales.
Brands like Fashion Nova enlisted the help of nearly 5,000 influencers in 2017, and for their trouble, they were rewarded with incredible growth in both brand awareness and sales. While Fashion Nova’s approach was groundbreaking, expect other businesses to take notice and begin working with influencers on a much larger level to achieve a common goal.
Initially, a brand would contact an influencer, they would arrange terms, and then the influencer would post a photo or video of themselves interacting with the product on their social networks. While this has worked splendidly to date, it doesn’t address content ownership.
Already, some brands are taking greater control of the content produced by their influencers, and that’s going to become a larger trend in 2018. Marketers can expect this to lead to higher prices for influencer campaigns, but they’ll finally be the owners of their own content.