Influencer marketing is the art of connecting brands and the powerful voices of digital content creators. This connection helps to drive authentic conversations around a product message, conclusively driving awareness and engagement. Influencer marketing provides brands with the opportunity to reach and engage audiences via individuals they rely on and trust.
As brands develop their marketing strategies, it’s important to understand the future of influencer marketing.
Performance-based influencer marketing
Over the last few years, a trend in influencer marketing has developed: performance-based influencer marketing. In order to achieve success, brands must align influencer campaigns to strategic business goals and incorporate them into their holistic digital marketing strategy.
For years, the benchmark for measuring influencer marketing success was through clicks and likes. These tended to be more of a vanity metric and less performance based. Today, many brands are looking to influencer marketing to directly drive sales.
Today, brands can find success by providing influencers with a unique discount code and exclusive offers, affiliate links, amplifying social posts through paid efforts that include a strong call to action, as well as product collaborations to drive sales. It is critical that brands are tracking results. If they have built landing pages, are collaborating with influencers on using hashtags, creating tags, they will be able to correctly attribute every sale to the post from which it originated.
Metrics like total reach, engagements and impressions can be applied to determine the strength of how these strategies influence the behavior of consumers.
Bringing influencer marketing into the performance realm can help brands identify influencers who are truly committed to making the partnership work. The results of an efficient, performance-driven influencer partnership are often evident not just in the campaign results themselves but also the strength of the brand-influencer dynamic.
Cultivating the brand-influencer relationship
With performance-based influencer marketing in mind, brands can take advantage of the personalization stack and choose long-term influencer partnerships over one-off engagements.
Influencers will become the go-to resource brands harness to generate content at high volume and drive personalization, which supports improved engagement rates.
Through establishing longer-term relationships with influencers, brands will be able to deepen their personalization strategies and engage influencers who directly speak to their target audience. By optimizing the behavior and interests of the influencer’s followers, brands can get the attention of existing and new users. You must invest in your winners, and allow the new data acquired from each campaign to inform recruiting and influencer program scaling efforts moving forward. With each new campaign iteration, your activation will become more powerful. The relationship with your influencers will evolve and you will be able to drive revenue in ways you did not think were possible.
Video content on the rise
Video shows no signs of slowing down in 2021, having evolved into a core marketing strategy that is practiced by over 80% of marketers. Surveys show that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television, proving that the role of video content is imperative to help brands connect with their audiences.
Videos continue to be dynamic media that provide consumers with a visual storytelling experience. While this form of content can be the most time consuming to create, influencers often see the most follower growth by consistently publishing new videos.
The average earned media value for every dollar spent on influencer marketing is $5.78. Combining the growth of video with the effectiveness of influencer marketing is certain to increase a campaign’s ROI.
Emergence of Artificial Intelligence + Virtual Reality
Many of today’s most disruptive brands are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learnings, exploring how it can further their marketing efforts. Notable brands like Warby Parker have already jumped on board. Using their mobile app, users can “try on” glasses in their home before buying.
To fully reap the benefit of virtual reality, brands will rely on deeper data to make decisions about their campaigns, from influencer selection to campaign optimization.
All of which will continue to make finding the right influencers and influencer marketing technology to distribute and promote these disruptive initiatives so critical.
Jamie Reardon is co-founder and CEO of Find Your Influence, the industry’s first all-in-one influencer marketing solution. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Find Your Influence has worked with more than 600 brands to execute more than 12,000 influencer campaigns.