Influencer Marketing, and where it's headed in 2019.

It’s no secret that influencer marketing within the ecommerce space can be game changing when it comes to increasing your brand awareness and conversion rate. But if there’s one thing I’ve learnt as a social media marketer, it’s that the digital marketing space changes often and FAST. Which has me pondering over what the future looks like for influencer marketing.

As a heavy consumer myself (I do love a cheeky online shop), I’ve noticed a change in my own attitude towards larger influencers over the past 12 months. In other words, I am much better at differentiating between someone genuinely recommending a product than someone who is being paid to promote it.

Influencer marketing emerged from a consumer demand for authenticity. We grew tired of seeing traditional advertisements, created to simply sell/make money, and instead we began to gravitate towards individuals we already *knew* who presented us with trustworthy information.

Enter the tidal wave of influencer marketing.

And enter brands that have absolutely KILLED their social media through influencer marketing alone, e.g. my social media strategy client BondiBoost, Tribe Skincare, HelloSmile, Fashion Nova, the list goes awwwn.

But in 2019? I’m sensing a shift.

With influencer marketing becoming an extremely saturated industry, i.e. more & more influencers being commissioned to speak on behalf of brands - the trust factor is beginning to fade. We, as consumers, are pretty savvy when it comes to identifying a sponsored post EVEN when it’s not specifically stated that it’s sponsored. The level of authenticity we require as consumers continues to grow, as we watch carefully for signs of sincerity and accuracy from the people we follow on social media.

Now, I’m by no-means saying that influencer marketing is dead, but I am saying that we need to be more strategic when commissioning influencers to work with our own brands.

To get you started with this, here are a couple of tips:

1. Give the influencer freedom to write their own captions to go with the sponsored post. This will ensure the post is still in their tone of voice and therefore more authentic/less salesy. Of course, it’s important to give them guidelines on things you might like to mention about your product or service, but try give the influencer the freedom to write their own copy.

2. Where possible, try to make your relationship with the influencer long term. The longer they’re an ambassoder for your brand and the more that they speak about your brand, the more trustworthy consumers will perceive the source / sponsored content.

3. Choose your influencers WISELY. Make sure they align with your brand’s core values, and have an audience that is genuinely interested in your industry. E.g. if you’re a skincare brand, you might choose an influencer known for being in the ”beauty” niche rather than, say, the “health and wellness” niche.

I’d love to know your thoughts on influencer marketing. Are you as savvy as I am when it comes to identifying sponsored content?