2016 has been a mixed bag with several unexpected outcomes. Even though not all such changes were bad, there’s a lot to look forward to in 2017. There are several likely (significant) changes in digital marketing, especially within the world of influencer marketing.
2016 saw the aura of celebrity endorsements finally lose its sheen after decades of use and brands woke up to realize that fame and popularity do not automatically translate into brand equity. True marketers always look to learn from the past and stay ahead of the curve. They have come to the inevitable realization that purchasing decisions are made by real people who distrust brand messaging and do their homework.
Agencies are already looking at influencer marketing as a core competency and building practices to scale in order to win over businesses, thus driving their own revenue/growth. This increasing popularity of influencer marketing has created increased demand for efficiencies and IM technology. Marketers desperately need ways to view the whole landscape; thus integration of influencer marketing technology and business intelligence (BI) platforms, as well as other business systems, will rapidly scale up.
Marketers will need to shift focus away from choosing influencers who resemble their target consumer and instead, construct campaigns based on particular influencer’s audience and performance. Such audience targeting through influencer marketing demonstrates the application of traditional marketing strategies to this emerging discipline. Micro-Influencers or Niche-focused creators will be recognized for the power of marketing that they wield.
Brands will also look to bridge the divide separating offline and online. Influencers possess the power to connect the dots and marketers will look to leverage such online influencers to entice offline action from consumers. Product-oriented influential content can function as point-of-sale persuasion for consumers in physical stores.
Marketers will have to accept that true influence is not necessarily a massive following, but an engaged audience and authentic conversation. Such a rethink of traditional social engagement metrics will make true ROI become more important than ever. As major brands and agencies take to influencer marketing, they will need assurance that it’s actually benefitting their bottom line. With increasingly shrinking marketing budgets and brands striving for better ROI, proven Influencers will be in demand.
Smaller brands with limited resources will seek more efficient ways of reaching the right consumers in order to wean away share from established competitors. They will look at solutions that can reduce the strain on their human resources and budgets, aiming at squeezing the highest possible ROI out of any campaign and marketing spend.
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