Social media influencers have been trending since a decade ago and counting. Influencer marketing has become one of the most effective digital marketing strategies today. In fact, Google searches for “influencer marketing” arose to more than 1500%.
A survey also shows that 63% of marketers invest more in influencer marketing than other marketing strategies. Social media influencers carry credibility and influence over a vast fan base that marketers want to optimize.
Let us see the future of social media influencers to watch out for beginning this year:
7 Trends in Social Media Influencing
- Social media influencers will prioritize authentic engagements.
More and more, audiences are demanding authentic engagements. For example, Instagram likes are no longer publicly available, but only open to those who follow a profile. Removing likes pushes influencers to create content that engages the viewer by focusing on better SMO (Social Media Optimization).
Brands will seek out social media influencers to partner with that already have an authentic user base. Brands will check actual impressions or analytics. These impressions show how many views a social media influencer gets compared to how many followers they have.
If the impressions are supported by the number of followers a social media influencer has, it shows brands that the impressions were organic.
Brands go for organic impressions because consumers trust peer reviews more than what brands say of themselves. Consumers can also tell apart which social media users are authentic, and which are not. Organic following builds trust and loyalty even more.
- Social media influencers will continue to gain long-term collaborations with different brands.
Customers will be increasingly attentive to a brand’s marketing strategy in 2020. They will not tolerate social media influencers who promote products just for profit or promote products that do not fit with the culture of the target niche.
Again, since customers are looking for genuine content, brands will be more careful in selecting social media influencers to partner with.
Social media influencers must bear this in mind. Instant fame just because of viral content is not enough.
Brands go for organic growth of followers because they are more loyal and tend to purchase products or support services compared to other customers acquired to advertising or viral content.
Long-term partnerships with brands allow social media influencers to create content with creative freedom, resulting in more effective and genuine campaigns.
- Micro-Influencers in social media will be more in-demand.
Micro-influencers have followers anywhere between 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Social media micro-influencers target a particular niche and strive to become a specialist or expert in that niche.
A social media micro-influencer develops stronger relationships with their followers than global influencers. They also have a reliable audience. Brands go for social media micro-influencers because they contribute more, conversion wise, at less the cost of collaborating with global influencers.
- Social media influencer networks will increase.
Social media influencers are also grouping themselves, forming networks with other influencers. Doing so not only gives social media influencers a sense of community and support, but it also gives them more credibility by association.
Again, people look for authenticity from influencers they follow. Audiences have ad-fatigue due to intrusive advertising strategies over the years. It is why social media influencers are trending. Consumers would rather hear it from an influencer than an advertisement.
Influencer networks can also form between overlapping niches like technology and cybersecurity, hospitality and travel, and much more.
- Social media influencers will incorporate storytelling more and more.
Brands will collaborate more with social media influencers and use storytelling to convey their brand to the influencer’s audience.
Social media influencers are effective in portraying how products can be a part of their follower’s daily lives, and storytelling is one effective way.
For instance, social media influencers who dealt with the issue regarding the pandemic openly saw more engagements amid the crisis. These influencers told stories about how they adapted to quarantine or lockdown. Storytelling came in many forms, like TikTok challenges, Facebook Live, and Instagram posts.
Brands collaborated with trending influencers to maintain social media presence at a time of the pandemic.
- Social media influencers will use video content in higher capacity.
Video content remains a widespread phenomenon in social media influencer marketing. It increases engagement, web traffic, and sales volumes. Websites also surpass the competition when they optimize video content. In fact, 54% of consumers demand higher video content from brands they support.
It is why we will see video content used by social media influencers in greater capacity and more engagingly and creatively ever. Compelling video content helps translate audiences to what the content is conveying and encourage engagements, interactions, and conversions.
Influencers see more leads by using video in their content mix or line-up, reaching as many viewers as possible. Aside from YouTube, social media influencers also post video content on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and even TikTok.
- Along with the video, social media influencers will use live content even more.
When Instagram first launched Instagram Live, it did not trend immediately. That is not the case today. Live video is now commonplace, especially in the feeds of beauty and fashion, travel, and recently, distance-learning or work from home-related brands.
Brands have gone digital, bringing their content to live like interviews and the like. It enabled brands to bring the same value they have been bringing to audiences, now straight to their homes, even increasing the authenticity of these brands through social media.
Social media influencers who collaborate with brands also contribute to the live content, like live chats, a day in the life contents, and instant reactions. It is more than likely that social media influencers will continue to optimize live video not only to bring awareness and add value but make interactions and engagements more genuine and closer to home.
Conclusion: The Future for Social Media Influencers is Bright
Social media influencers have become more creative, more collaborative, and more strategic over the years. Social media influencing is no longer a hobby or a random thing.
Social media influencers know the value of the influence they have built through the years. Because it is now a legitimately viable career, social media influencers are more careful than ever in nurturing their name, which is their brand.
Social media influencers must learn how to optimize their brand name and the influence they carry, bringing value to the lives of their followers. Their future is bright, and they will continue to be in demand if they stay true what made them popular initially and continue to find ways to bring valuable content to their followers.