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8 predictions on how influencer marketing will develop in 2019

8 predictions on how influencer marketing will develop in 2019

By Edward East, founder and CEO of influencer marketing agency Billion Dollar Boy.

One of the most common antitheses in the English language - there is no pleasure without pain.

While influencer marketing in 2019 has the propensity to deliver some pain, we can look forward to plenty of pleasure as the industry becomes increasingly (artificially) intelligent, more measurable, more robust and more lucrative.

Here are my predictions for how the industry will develop in 2019.


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  • Influencer marketing will finally take a seat at the top of the marketing table

    Agencies, clients and the platforms will work hard to alleviate the issues that have plagued the industry – measurement, fake followers, trust, to name a but a few.

    And when this happens clients will start to see that it isn’t just a bolt-on at the end of the campaign, but an integral part of the entire marketing plan. And as fresh influencers and extra budgets flood in, influencer marketing will begin driving more reach into email, web and content marketing.


  • Influencer marketing will be driven by AI and machine learning

    AI and machine learning will be the primary solution for enhancing measurability, uncovering ROI, and authenticity. From image recognition to eliminating fake followers and spambots to determining campaign performance and NLP. This will scale massively next year.

    We incorporated AI into our product StoryTracker last year. It enables brand professionals to locate, save, download and analyse Instagram Stories before they disappear. Basically, removing the need to manually track campaigns; saving a significant amount of time and money - and the sanity of many account execs.


  • Instagram’s war on fake followers will create a seismic shift in the industry

    This will be a real positive for brands. For the first time, there will finally be clarity over what they are paying for (at least from a reach perspective, if not always from an engagement context).

    Engagement will solely be reliant on the quality of the influencer's posts and into their audience. This opportunity, although the end of some influencers’ credibility, will offer businesses greater confidence in their influencer investment.


  • Influencers will continue to launch their own brands but on larger scales

    2018 saw forward-thinking influencers drive huge success by launching their own brands. The best examples being the likes of Arielle Charnas - Something Navy and Natalie Off Duty (Natalie Suarez) debuting a label for Macy’s.

    The latter was part of a collaboration with Inspr, a socially driven and ethically responsible fashion label designed to facilitate these specific partnerships. 2019 will see influencers becoming increasingly suited to being contracted by big retailers in developing their own brands or capsule collections.


  • Influencers will ask for/be given stakes in small brands in exchange for promotion

    Research shows that 3 out of 4 clients now invest in influencer marketing. Many of those are smaller brands trying to build dedicated customer bases quickly and cost-effectively.

    However, the top influencers are now becoming inaccessible to these brands in a traditional payment model. So, brands will begin offering a stake in their business. The trend is very much in its infancy now, but will really take off in 2019 as the power of the influencer comes to the fore.


  • Influencers will focus more on their personal sites to avoid the risk of changes to Instagram API

    The blogs are back. As Influencers begin to build their own fame and grow their following, they will begin to migrate their work and content to their own websites or blogs, providing more freedom, creativity and control. It will also mean they are less reliant on the major platforms, and their ever-changing APIs.


  • …and build their own production teams

    As the surviving influencers who haven’t been taken down for having fake followers get more work and continue to increase the production values of their content, they will begin treating themselves like agencies and hire their own production teams to handle the growth in output.


  • There will be a concerted push for more talent from diverse backgrounds

    As with all other areas of marketing, clients will begin to look for more diversity among the influencers selected for any given campaign. We have seen this happen with a few of our clients already who have specifically requested we find more diverse influencers.

    This will tie in with an industry-wide push to find more talent in general, as over-worked and over-saturated traditional influencers begin to under-deliver.


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