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What’s the future of influencer marketing?

The last five years has been a whirlwind for brands. Social media is changing every decision a marketer comes across and this acceleration is far from slowing down, especially for the influencer industry.

Being CEO of one of the world’s fastest growing influencer marketplaces, I’m confident that Micro Influencer about to boom, and is the ‘first phase’ of something much, much bigger.

Let’s break it down:

Traditionally, ‘influencer campaigns’ consisted of one sole influencer – online celebrity endorsements with the Kardashians ruling this space.

In 2016, we saw brands experiment with influencers numbering in the tens. The Zoellas and Kayla Itsines of the world exploded, reaping the rewards of their strong social media presence. In 2017, we, at TRIBE, are facilitating influencer campaigns with 100+ Micro Influencers involved (influencers with 3-100k followers).

For 2018 and ahead? That number will continue its exponential trajectory.

@zoella

The Emerging Pattern

If you take a close look at the industry’s growth, there’s a distinct pattern. With each maturation of the influencer industry, brand managers are more willing to shift down the popularity ‘hierarchy’ to influencers with smaller audience and accept a greater volume of influencers for campaigns.

Why? The smaller an influencer’s audience, the more powerful. Micro Influencers boast higher engagement rates than their celebrity counterparts. Now, technology is catching up with this fast-moving space to allow scaleable influencer marketing campaigns. More influencers, in less time, for less money.

As a result, ‘popularity’ on social media is now less important to brands. With the help of scaleable tech, they can access millions of eyeballs through hundreds of Micro Influencers in relatively no time, for the same (if not cheaper) price as a single celebrity.

@nourish_naturally

The Future Opportunity

With distribution and engagement becoming more accessible, marketers are prioritising imagery celebrating their brand as the most important influencer marketing element and it just so happens that the gap between ‘professional’ and ‘amateur’ visual content creator is closing at a staggering rate.

The steady evolution of smartphones is giving everyday consumers a ‘creative suite’ at their fingertips: just scroll through your Instagram feed; breathtaking, awe-inspiring imagery created entirely by your friends and family. So this leaves us at an incredibly interesting point in time, as we’re about to witness a game-changing convergence of three trends:

First, social media is giving everyone the ability to effectively ‘influence’ hundreds/thousands of people. Brands are looking farther and wider for creative and distribution channels with smartphones matching the capabilities of DSLR cameras and editing software.

In the next 5 years advertising will shift into groundbreaking territory. The question remains, how can brands capitalise on this influencer marketing boom?

Want to hear more from Anthony Svirskis, CEO of TRIBE,? Join ‘The Future of Influencer Marketing’ at Futures Melbourne. For tickets, head to the WGSN website.

Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.

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