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The impact of influencer marketing campaigns reached an all-time high in 2017 and shows no signs of slowing down this year. With significant advances in technology, targeting, and reach across all social media platforms and the proven effectiveness of influencer campaigns in driving sales, it’s not surprising that most B2C marketers plan to increase or maintain their budgets for influencer campaigns in 2018.
What can brands and marketers expect from influencers in 2018? How can businesses leverage new content strategies and evolving social media channels?
Learn more about the top three trends that will dominate influencer programs in 2018:
1. A Continued Shift Towards Video Content
The biggest influencer marketing trend in 2018 will be the continued rise in video content across all social channels. A study from Influicity projects that video consumption will hit 80% of global online traffic by 2020. In addition, multiple studies have proven that video is the most effective driver of sales when compared to text-based or static content in influencer campaigns.
Over this year, influencers must become more skilled in video production across a wide range of social platforms, not just on YouTube. In turn, video creators will want to learn more about integrating brand deals, sponsorships, and other influencer marketing opportunities into their content.
Whether it’s on Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Snapchat, augmented reality, or wherever, it will not be difficult to find the right video stars and personalities for your brand.
2. The Rise of Ephemeral Content
Snapchat was the reigning leader in ephemeral content before it was dethroned by Instagram Stories. Within one year of being launched, Instagram Stories accrued more than 250 million daily users. That’s astonishing when compared to the 173 million daily active users it took Snapchat years to build.
With the stories features being expanded even further into Facebook, WhatsApp, and other platforms, 2018 will see a spike in the prevalence of ephemeral content on social media.
The fleeting nature of this type of content adds to its novelty and appeal among audiences, especially younger ones. Because ephemeral content is short-lived and spontaneous, it is thought of as being more authentic than sponsored posts and raises the potential of “FOMO” (fear of missing out). As a result, viewers tend to act fast and purchase now.
There is a great opportunity for influencers and marketers to capitalize on the high engagement and ROI ephemeral content sparks while it is still fairly unique and relatively uncharted territory for brands.
3. Shoppable Content and E-Commerce Opportunities
The Influicity study also predicts more influencers will be interested in creating their own branded products that complement their online personality and niche. “With their reach and authority growing at an accelerated rate, influencers will start to explore new avenues of revenue generation, primarily e-commerce.”
New features like Shopping on Instagram, Buyable Pins on Pinterest, and Collections ads on Facebook make it possible for influencers and brands to drive purchases directly from a social media post. In 2017, Amazon rolled out a new program called Amazon Spark that enables customers to follow influencers and, with one tap, purchase the item that they saw on the app.
The growth and expansion of these e-commerce tools in 2018 allows brands to leverage more specific calls-to-action to purchase in influencer campaigns and experiment with different programs. It also makes it easier than ever before for customers to directly purchase products shown in influencer content and for brands to determine campaign successes through solid KPIs like foot traffic, e-commerce sales, and subscriptions.