No one can actually predict the future, but based on data and past history, we’re going to share with you what we think you can expect from influencer marketing in 2016. You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz going around about influencer marketing lately and it’s for good reason. Influencers and social media are changing the way we share, buy, sell and review products and services.
Brands used to rely on loyalty and market share to turn a profit. Now with younger generations emerging, influencers are impacting consumer’s purchasing habits and evolving technology. Therefore marketers need to revamp their strategy. See our top 3 predictions for where influencer marketing is headed and how you can prepare for the changes ahead.
1. Building Relationships with Social Influencers Will Be Key
Influencer marketing is all about finding the right influencers who believe in your brand, can clearly communicate your message and who have built a following made up of people who trust and value their opinion. A brand’s success now largely depends on which influencers they are able to build relationships with.
Many influencers are part of the Millennial generation, a group of people who like to be involved with the latest trends, see their involvement in projects make an impact and feel appreciated. Without open communication, trust, follow-up and clear direction, influencers will not deliver successful results. So the best thing brands can do is focus their time and effort on finding the right influencers, building personal relationships with the best influencers and guiding them down the right road to success.
Marketers can no longer expect to see the same results from their campaigns, unless they get the voice of influencers to spread their message. The future of successful marketing relies on influencers.
2. User Generated Content (UGC) is Necessary to Increase Brand Reach
Consumers have spoken, and they’ve made it clear that they’ll let everyone know if they like or dislike a product or service and exactly why they feel this way. Between word of mouth and social media, you can guarantee that disappointed and frustrated customers are sharing their experiences with brands. On the flip side, you can also expect consumers to post about their positive experiences as well. So why is UGC crucial to your marketing strategy? Simple, consumers want to hear from their peers, real humans who have experienced a product and can give an authentic perspective. Brand marketing campaigns are loosing credibility with their target audience because consumers know the message is carefully crafted and tested to paint a picture of perfection. Then the consumer is bombarded with the same message across numerous channels 24/7. So consumers tune out or completely block the marketing message all together, giving marketers a false sense of reach and resonance.
UGC works because it’s authentic, honest and engaging. With UGC a brand is able to spread their message to a larger audience, and it is never the exact same message twice. Brands should encourage their customers, fans, influencers and employees to share UGC to serve as social proof. They already have the power and passion to sway an audience. So why not leverage their content to increase reach, sales and brand loyalty?
3. Content Will Be Delivered Based On Activities & Emotions, Not Just Location
The days of targeting audiences by location only are becoming a thing of the past. Location based targeting will continue to be used in cases where locality makes sense, for example with a particular service or sale, but savvy marketers know it is better to target people by behavior and persona. Content that connects with customers on an emotional level will influence more effectively than solely location.
Consumers are fed too much content that is not directly relevant to them, and they are starving for content that’s specifically tailored to them. It makes much more sense to target consumers by what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, what they love and what genuinely interests them. If you can do this, they are almost guaranteed to take action. Take time to understand your target demographic so you can more effectively engage and convert them.
There’s a lot that brands should be excited about when it comes to influencer marketing. Many companies are making large strides to provide better tools to manage social influencers and report on measurable results. This means marketers will have the best tools to scale their influencer marketing strategy and better prove the significant impact on brand growth. Marketers should evaluate influencer marketing software now, so they can have a solid plan in place for 2016.