Today, as marketing continues to shift to include more targeted digital elements, supplementing or replacing traditional mass media marketing, influencer marketing is becoming a more important component. It’s popular, because it works. But, as we all know, markets aren’t stagnant. Consumer habits and tastes will shift, and, when they do, what happens to what’s hot today? What is the future of influencer marketing?
While no one has a crystal ball to predict the future, it’s highly likely that influencer marketing will continue on an upward trend. The method will continue to be effective, both in bringing attention to a brand, as well as increasing sales and consumer brand loyalty. This is due to several factors, but three of the most important are that influencer marketing creates natural engagement, it’s inherently connective, and it’s easily measurable.
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Influencer marketing creates natural engagement, because it takes advantage of all the best aspects of social media. It’s easy to join up, simple to become part of something, and strangers quickly meet a lot of people who share at least some of their interests. These common interests create immediate affinity. Combine that with the back-and-forth with the influencer, and the motive to stay engaged is amplified.
Influencer marketing is also connective, because, as these strangers get to know each other, they want to share their interactions with people who share their interests but are outside the group. Thus, they build deeper relationships with people they meet online away from that platform, or the platform that brought them together becomes a nominal factor in what’s keeping them connected.
Effective influencers also deepen the connection between the brand and their followers. They put a personal, recognizable face on the brand, giving consumers a personal, emotional reason to give that brand more attention.
One of the primary complaints about mobile or digital marketing, is that people think it’s difficult to measure. It’s hard to know how effective campaign elements are, which makes it difficult to know when, where, and how to course correct. That’s becoming less the case just about every day, and it’s certainly not the case with influencer marketing.
Influencers can be measured by the number of fans or followers, the number of times they post, and the responses to those interactions – but how are fans and followers responding? Are brands noticing an uptick in sales, searches, or touches that corresponds with mentions by the influencer? If so, there’s likely a connection. Brands can also look at how engaged the fans are. Are they commenting on or sharing the content offered by the influencer? If so, how often? What kind of content is being shared more? Why? All of these important questions can create a detailed picture of how effective the influencer is.
As it becomes easier to attain accurate metrics to gauge and rate influencer marketing efforts, it’s likely that this method of digital marketing will continue to grow, both in popularity and effectiveness.