You may have heard of influencers like Zach King or PewDiePie, who have tens of millions of followers on social media, and wondered if you should leverage influencer marketing for your business. Sure, you may not have the budget to hire influencers of that caliber, but with the influencer industry projected to grow to $13.8 billion this year, it’s no wonder why brands are hopping on the bandwagon. If you’re thinking of using influencer marketing for your company, or already have an influencer marketing strategy in place but are looking to refine it, we’ve compiled the top three influencer marketing trends to take advantage of this year.
1. Nano- and micro-influencers are getting more attention
Unlike the aforementioned stars, there are other types who have a significantly smaller following including nano-influencers (a few thousand followers) and micro-influencers (a following under 25,000). Although the overall engagement rate on Instagram is declining, nano- and micro-influencers with an engagement rate of around 7% are still sought after by companies. When working with nano- and micro-influencers, your brand will get the most out of its budget while having an influencer who’s small enough to still have a strong connection with their followers.
2. Authenticity matters
These days, you can’t partner with just any influencer to promote your products or services. Social media users can see right through the business deal if you don’t work with the right influencer who cares about your brand.
For your brand’s audience to overlap with influencers’, their sponsored posts must seem authentic. This doesn’t necessarily mean you must abandon studio lighting and editing, but they need to show genuine excitement for the product or service they are promoting. Value-driven content like Q&As or how-to videos can help build trust between your brand and their audience.
3. Influencers will be more niche-focused
From beauty and fashion to gaming and health, more influencers are crafting their careers around a specific niche. Within their niche or industry, influencers are consistently developing their expertise, putting them in high demand for businesses in their shared verticals.
There are even some influencers calling themselves “content creators” since they are so skilled in what they do—photography, gaming, beauty, fitness—that they’d rather be known for their craft instead of being called an “influencer.” As these content creators become more specialized and knowledgeable, their audience will find them more credible and will be more likely to convert to your brand.