Content Marketing otherwise known as non-interruption marketing is essentially creating valuable, relevant and consistent content for your consumers that will engage and create awareness about your brand.
Influencer marketing has been drastically growing over the last couple of years and has proven to be one of the most effective forms of connecting with the community. In 2018 many brands focused their strategies on implementing different techniques and approaches for influencer marketing.
However, in 2019 there are a wide range of trends that are set to shape influencer marketing including:
Instagram – Key Influencer Marketing Channel
Instagram has proven to be an extremely successful social media platform, experiencing massive growth each year. In 2018, the platform reached one billion monthly active users and is expected to continue growing and to be the leading network for brand-influencer collaboration. Instagram’s high performance lies in its highly engaged community filled with exclusive and interactive visual content. Hence, in 2019, brands that are utilising their visual content to amplify their voice stand to succeed and show return from the network.
Since the massive growth of influencer marketing, more brands are looking for influencer content that is consistently on message. Therefore, relationships between brands and influencers will move from a transactional/one-off interaction towards strong strategic partnerships. Influencers have gained the trust of their audiences and as their audiences grow their credibility is getting higher which is encouraging brands to rely on them for strategic insights into maintaining a community of loyal fans.
User Generated Content (UGC)
While some brands are incorporating influencer content across their marketing channels, others are communicating UGC which performs exceptionally well on social media through great user engagement.
In 2019 more brands are expected to adopt a different approach and start mixing influencer content with UGC across all marketing channels. This will help retain an authentic and consistent brand whilst the audience will receive credible messaging through tailored experiences for the channel used.
Influencers on the rise
As social media platforms are increasingly being utilised, the generation born using them are reaching purchasing maturity. Therefore, there are more businesses creating unique branded content and more people able to make purchasing decisions.
Due to social media amplification, everyone can become an influencer of a varying degree. Furthermore, hashtags have become a hyper-populated area of engagement, therefore brands need to start seeking out influencers’ content in mentions and location tags so that they can experience high-quality user engagement.
Traditional adverts and stock photos are becoming unpopular with audiences and the demand for authentic and transparent content will continue to grow in 2019. Influencers on social media will continue delivering an authentic flavour for brands looking to attract their audience, whilst people will continue connecting with influencers, seeking their honest opinion and transparent insight on certain products/services. Therefore, future marketing campaigns should be focused on delivering authentic and sponsored content.
Micro- or Mega-Influencers
According to Forbes, when brands are targeting influencers for advertising campaigns, they usually approach mega-influencers with 100,000+ followers. Other brands with more limited budgets have experienced highly successful campaigns delivered by micro-influencers with 10,000+ followers.
However, these influencers are only part of the User Generated Content picture. Social media platforms are naturally embracing “word of mouth marketing” instead of private conversations and these networks are bringing these conversations to the spotlight where one-to-one interaction is immediately transformed to the masses. Word of mouth marketing is not a new concept, but successful brands will realise the value of positive customer content shared on social media in 2019.
As the brands’ budgets for influencer marketing strategies have been increased, so has the expectation to show real return on investment. Brands will have to use strong ROI metrics when justifying influencer marketing budgets. The top metrics marketers are focusing on include:
Conversation rate from UGC images compared to their own image library
Cost per conversation from UGC images
Average order value from UGC conversations
Customer lifetime value from UGC conversations
Influencer marketing has proven to be highly successful due to the delivered opportunity of a new realm of human to human connection and unique brand creativity, bolstered by an endless network of individuals resembling their own media. Therefore, 2019 will be another year promising even greater growth of influencer marketing.
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Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.David Beebe, TV Producer