It’s no secret that the future of influencer marketing is bright.
No matter which social media platform you check out, you’re bound to come across influencer marketing campaigns.
From Shoppable posts to glamorous photos, you’ll see influencer posts of different kinds out there.
And there’s a lot more exciting stuff coming!
If you are a marketer planning to invest in influencer marketing in the coming years, here are some future trends you should keep in mind:
1. New Social Media Channels Will Crop Up
Move beyond Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and TikTok for influencer marketing.
New social media platforms are likely to be all the rage soon. For instance, Clubhouse, an audio-based social media app, gained popularity in 2020.
It’s an invitation-only app which makes it a super exclusive club.
Also, it topples the narrative on social media.
While most other platforms are video-centric, Clubhouse is only an audio app. Using it, influencers can host live discussions on anything from life philosophy to movies.
Just like Clubhouse, you can expect new social media channels to take over the influencer marketing landscape soon.
2. Employee-Driven Content Will Increase
The future of influencer marketing is all about authenticity.
And what’s more authentic than employees rooting for your brand?
Take a cue from Macy’s.
Their Style Crew ambassador program gives incentives and financial rewards to employees who promote their brand on social media.
Essentially, you create brand advocates out of your employees. Since they are already connected to your brand name, their content gives off a sense of relatability.
Such in-house influencer marketing programs are the future of influencer marketing.
And guess what?
They minimize the cost of influencer marketing campaigns too.
You don’t have to pay huge fees to your employees for these social media posts as you would have to when partnering with influencers.
3. Performance-Based Deals Will Increase
Influencer marketing is all set to become more performance-oriented.
Instead of deals based on sponsored posts, you can expect contracts to be based on how well a campaign performs.
So, the number of clicks or leads generated will be the ultimate deciding factor on the final payment to the influencer.
As influencer marketing becomes more sophisticated as a field, brands and specialized agencies are likely to expect full delivery on the promises made by influencers.
Because of this, you can also expect brands to focus more on data.
For influencers, it will become more important to understand which social media metrics need to be tracked.
As a result, platforms like Upfluence that make it easy to monitor campaigns will become more popular.
4. Brands Will Seek Out Super Niche Influencers
Deep niches are the future of influencer marketing.
Organic food, Artificial Intelligence, Zumba influencers — all of these are examples of super-specific or deep niches.
As a part of their influencer marketing strategy, brands will seek out influencers who have made their mark in such a niche. That’s because they can provide access to a targeted audience.
But how can brands find these influencers?
The best way to find influencers on platforms like Instagram is to leverage influencer discovery tools. You can easily filter out the influencers based on their audience size, niche, and more using them.
5. CGI Influencers Will Become More Popular
Over the years, computer-generated imagery (CGI) has become more sophisticated.
It’s even changing the way influencer marketing works. CGI influencers are virtual characters that programmers spend hours designing.
Just like a typical influencer, a CGI influencer’s profile shows them traveling, eating at fancy restaurants, and enjoying life in general.
Luxury brands including Prada, Diesel, and Calvin Klein have collaborated with CGI influencers to promote their products.
They aren’t real, yet they are popular.
Brands get a lot more control over the kind of content that they create for promotional campaigns. From the background locations to the outfit colors, you can customize it all.
You can plan things to the finest detail.
In the future, you can expect more brands to launch CGI influencer marketing campaigns.
And what if you want to get on the bandwagon?
All you need to do is hire a graphic designer who’s got a digital media degree. They can then create CGI influencers for you or even come up with design ideas for your campaigns.
6. Tougher Guidelines For Influencer Content
We’ve all read about influencer scandals like The Fyre Festival.
After such fiascos, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been more watchful of unfair practices going on.
They’ve even come out with guidelines that can protect a consumer’s best interests. According to them, influencers should disclose any relationship with brands.
Even if they have only received a free product, they need to highlight their association with the brand.
That’s why you’ll find influencers using #sponsored and #paid on their posts.
The idea behind this practice is to bring in more transparency in influencer marketing. In the future, you can expect tougher guidelines to stop deceptive advertisements from being circulated.
7. Videos Are Set to Become More Popular
This trend isn’t exactly a new one.
For the last couple of years, the consumption of videos online has increased.
In fact, video ads were the most popular way consumers discovered a brand that they later made a purchase from.
If you are an influencer marketer, video content should be on your mind.
From hour-long live videos to 60-second Reels, there is a lot of variety in the kind of video content available as well.
And it’s a marketing trend that is set to stay in place for years to come. After all, there’s so much you can do from product launches to how-to videos and unboxing.
8. SEO Will Become More Crucial
In 2020, Instagram announced a new search functionality: Keyword search.
It enables users to search for particular keywords so that they are not limited to locations, popular hashtags, and profiles.
As you can see, Instagram has added specific search terms that can make your post more visible.
Earlier, it was all about using relevant hashtags. This functionality makes keyword searches more important.
However, Instagram has clarified that their search results will be based on multiple factors, including:
- Type of posts
- When it was posted
While only certain terms will become searchable, it will still make SEO more important. While planning influencer posts, this trend should be on your mind.
9. Long-Term Associations Between Brands and Influencers Will Increase
The future of influencer marketing isn’t about one-off, short-term associations.
Whenever an influencer is brought on board, it may take some time for them to generate sales for you.
Even those influencers who have the most engaged audiences may find it difficult to generate sizable leads via a single promotional post.
Plus, long-term associations make the partnership seem more genuine. If you are planning an influencer marketing campaign in the future, make sure you are in it for the long haul.
As you can see, the future of influencer marketing holds a lot of interesting opportunities.
Based on these predictions, are you ready to plan an innovative influencer marketing campaign for your brand?