The following is an exclusive guest contributed post from Kamiu Lee, Head of Business Development & Strategy at Bloglovin’
In 2016, Influencer Marketing grew in popularity, becoming a more prevalent advertising and marketing tool. Growing concerns regarding ad-blockers have only convinced more brands to go the storytelling route to get their product or service in front of more consumers. A recent study from McKinsey even found that consumer-to-consumer word of mouth from marketing-induced content generates more than twice the sales of paid advertising. Influencers also gained more media attention than ever before. Media outlets such as Fortune and successful broadcast programs including 60 Minutes profiled influencers both large and small, proving the rising success of the industry. It has become increasingly clear that the industry is only just beginning to mature into its creative potential, and there are seven key trends forming for 2017.
- Better Technology Will Increase Efficiency for Brands and Influencers
The rise in technology in the industry will allow brands and marketers to scale out their programs and work with more influencers than ever before. This means big wins for both brands and influencers, with smaller influencers gaining opportunities earlier, larger influencers gaining exponentially more opportunities overall and the general marketplace becoming more competitive. In turn, brands will continue to see more ROI and therefore invest more in Influencer Marketing campaigns.
- Micro-Influencers & Audience Scaling in Niche Markets
2017 will bring more flexibility for brands in working with influencers. The growth of Influencer Marketing technologies that allow brands to search for the right fit, facilitate payment and communications with influencers, manage the overall campaign, and provide analytics and measurement afford brands increased flexibility and scalability in their campaigns. The last year has brought a moment in the spotlight for smaller micro-influencers, who often have rich connections with their niche audiences and therefore stronger engagement rates. Working with a large set of smaller influencers will continue to increase and become more measurable in the next year due to improved technology.
- Advancements in Analytics Offer More Engaging Content
The increase of stronger analytics and measurement tactics this year lead to a reign in the importance of KPIs over reach and traffic. This will only continue to be solidified in 2017 as brands and agencies confirm that influencers have an optimum level of creative control in their sponsored content, leading to higher engagement rates for the influencer and the brand.
- Multichannel Campaigns Power Consumer Attention
Recent research from Bloglovin’s digitally savvy users confirmed that 88% of female consumers follow their favorite influencers on two or more channels, proving the need for more cross-channel campaigns. To capture the attention of today’s distracted consumer, brands will increase their multiplatform strategies, creating content across multiple channels and tailoring the content to best engage each platform’s audience. We expect this trend, which began to take form in 2016, to continue and evolve in the next year.
- Longer Term Partnerships, Supported by Data
Instead of working with a variety of influencers for single posts and quick boosts, perceptive brands and marketers will begin to find more value in long-term relationships with influencers. Not only will this kind of partnership create a more genuine, deeper relationship between the brand and influencer, but it will also help to form a larger story from the influencer. Increased measurement capabilities will show stronger engagements, and higher levels of trust and brand recall from their posts.
- Choosing the Right Influencers Based On Aesthetic and Style
The majority of brand partnerships in the past have been focused around staying in their own industries’ categories, but why should beauty brands be limited only to beauty influencers? The year ahead will bring more partnerships outside of an influencers “core” category. Choosing an influencer that represents a brand’s philosophy rather than just its category can lead to a more engaging and unique campaign.
- Regulations Increase as Influencer Marketing Becomes Mainstream
As Influencer Marketing continues to progress as a more mainstream tactic for advertisers and brands, we can expect to see regulations increase. In 2016, the FTC specified how they expect brands and influencers to work together properly to disclose sponsored content. However, about half of markets admit they aren’t sure what the current FTC guidelines are, and the guidelines themselves are continuing to evolve. It’s crucial as regulations continue to change in the next year that there is better education for both marketers and influencers on how to make sure their successful campaigns are also legal.
Bloglovin’ connects 10M+ users with their favorite influencers, helps influencers reach a wider audience through the Bloglovin’ media platform, and partners with brands through Activate by Bloglovin’–the world’s leading influencer marketing platform, with access to 1M+ registered influencers. Bloglovin’ partners with many of the world’s most respected brands on native advertising and influencer marketing campaigns, including Burberry, Campbell’s, Gucci, H&M, NARS, Post Foods, and Tom’s of Maine. Brand and agency partners come to Bloglovin’ to identify the right influencers for their brand, create scalable custom content campaigns across influencers’ blogs and social channels, and manage and measure these campaigns every step of the way.
Kamiu Lee is VP of Business Development & Strategy at Bloglovin’, where she oversees business development, finance and strategic initiatives. Prior to Bloglovin’, Kamiu worked in Business Development and Strategy roles at Rent the Runway and Refinery29, as well as in early-stage investments at Gotham Ventures. Kamiu started her career as an investment banker based in New York, London and Sao Paulo, where she focused on M&A and equity fundraising for consumer and media companies. Kamiu holds a B.S. from Boston University and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School. Kamiu is passionate about the potential of the influencer marketing space, and has been quoted on the topic in WWD, Fortune, Digiday, Glossy and Racked, as well as a presenter/panelist at FashTech NYC, Influencer Marketing Days Conference, International Style Institute, TUMBLR, and Rakuten Experience.