Instagram Marketing

How to ace influencer marketing in 2019 and beyond

Studies have shown that influencer marketing returns as much as $6.50 for every $1 spent.

What’s more, influencer marketing can generate up to a whopping 11x the return of investment of traditional advertising.

It should come as no surprise considering that 61% of consumers rely on social media as the most important source of information when shopping.

If you’ve not yet invested in influencer marketing now is the time.

So, where do these influencers spend their time? 99% of influencers in 2018 could be found on Instagram. It makes sense considering it’s a highly visual platform that’s super popular amongst millennials.

But, with huge changes set to happen to Instagram, such as the testing of a new feature which would hide the number of ‘Likes’ a post receives and an update that allows consumers to purchase directly through the app, what will happen to the world of influencer marketing in 2019 and beyond?

In this article we’ll explain how to ace your influencer marketing strategy amidst the ever-changing landscape of social media. Ready to get ahead of the competition and receive strong returns from your influencer marketing strategy?

Influencer Marketing Defined

 

First things first, what exactly is influencer marketing and who is counted as an influencer?

Quite simply, an influencer is someone with influence amongst their audience. People who are able to influence the decisions of their audience, usually because they are trusted and liked by them.

Influencer marketing is the process of promoting your brand or business through an influencer in order to reach this engaged, highly targeted audience.

Influencer marketing campaign goals vary from campaign to campaign – they could be to increase exposure, boost sales, promote a new product or service or gain more traffic.

Whatever your goal, there’s no doubt that influencer marketing works. A massive 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations which is the fastest growing online customer acquisition method.

But with significant changes set to roll out on Instagram in the near future, how will influencer marketing be affected? What should you be doing differently and what should stay the same in your influencer marketing strategy?

Will changes to Instagram mean the end of influencer marketing?

 

Instagram is currently testing a new future that would hide the number of ‘likes’ that posts receive.

 

We’re testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get” – an Instagram spokesperson has told Techcrunch.

Instagram will start testing in Canada where there are over 24 million people using their family of apps every month.

The issue here lies in the hundreds of thousands of influencers whose work is dependent on these very likes. What will happen to them? At the end of the day aren’t ‘likes’ the currency in influencer marketing?

 

Well, it’s important to remember that the update won’t actually prevent people from seeing who liked a post. Users will continue to see a list of users who have liked a post, they just won’t see the ‘likes’ counter. Likewise, it won’t stop users from seeing their own post’s likes.

But, this change could negatively impact post engagement.

Under the current Instagram algorithm, posts that receive a lot of likes initially tend to snowball in popularity. Would removing the ‘likes’ counter stop this from happening so often? If so, this could result in more posts getting fewer Likes.

Sponsored posts rely heavily on user engagement. Taking away the likes could mean that Instagram posts receive less engagement which could in turn lead to decreased ad spend.

Many influencers are paid by brands directly. A downturn in the number of likes on an influencer’s content could reduce brands’ willingness to work with influencers directly, instead, putting their ad spend budget towards their own platform.

What’s more, although influencers will be able to see the number of likes on their own posts, brands won’t be able to see this. This may well make it more difficult for brands to decide whether to work with an influencer or not.

What else is changing with Instagram? – Instagram Checkout

 

Almost one third of Instagram’s one billion users have purchased something they found using the app. Clearly, it holds huge commercial power – and Instagram has recently unveiled a new ecommerce feature which will make purchasing even easier.

Instagram checkout is a new feature which offers brands the opportunity to sell their products directly through Instagram.

By adding a Checkout button to a post, users can buy products without leaving the app. Instagram will then save the customer’s payment data ready for future purchases.

At the moment, just 20 brands are eligible to use the feature, including the likes of Nike, Zara, and Prada.

The new Instagram Checkout addresses issues many brands and businesses have with measuring return of investment and conversion rates on Instagram. It is hoped that the new feature will make it much easier for brands to track the return of investment on their influencer marketing campaigns, helping them identify which influencers are bringing in the most value for them.

With that in mind, how should you do influencer marketing in the new world?

 

Instagram will remain the key influencer marketing platform

Despite the significant changes that will roll out on Instagram, it is set to remain the key influencer marketing channel.

According to TechCrunch, in 2018 Instagram reached 1 billion monthly active users and this figure is set to grow in the coming months.

Between 2017 – 2018 Instagram saw a 39% rise of sponsored influencer activity. Again, this is forecasted to increase.

Instagram is the place to be. Plus, with changes like Instagram Checkout, brands and businesses will now be able to measure their ROI from their Instagram influencer marketing campaigns and optimise their budgets accordingly.

‘Likes’ may not be public, but this is by no means the only measure of success for an influencer campaign.

Instagram Insights offer engagement and exposure analytics, plus with the new Checkout feature brands can refine the influencers they work with to those that drive a lot of return.

Start building relationships that last

As we move into 2019, there’s going to be a real emphasis on authenticity. What this means is that you should aim to move away from one-off influencer interactions towards forming strategic partnerships.

Having merely transactional relationships with influencers just won’t cut it anymore. You need to focus on nurturing relationships with your influencers and working with those influencers for a good amount of time.

This will ensure that the influencer’s content appears more authentic to their followers and will build up credibility for your brand amongst their audience.

Forming and maintaining strong relationships with influencers will be an important part of nurturing customer relationships. After all, 71% of influencers state that it is an honest and authentic voice that keeps their audience engaged.

As the number of influencers continues to rise, it is more authentic for influencers to build lasting partnerships with brands. This not only reflects well on the influencer and your brand, it’s also incredible exposure for your brand.

Optimise your Budget

With more and more money being invested into influencer marketing there’s set to be a much bigger focus on the measurement of results and return of investment in the coming months and years.

65% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budgets in the coming 12 months, so if you want to compete you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is.

With the addition of Instagram Checkout this will be far easier than it currently is. You will be able to clearly see which influencers have brought in sales as well as measure metrics such as engagement and exposure.

What this means is that you can start to track and measure the performance of your campaigns efficiently and optimise your budget accordingly.

With Instagram Checkout, brands will be able to refine who they work with by measuring and evaluating which influencers drive the most returns.

 

Choose to work with Micro-influencers

 

Micro-influencers are influencers with between 1,000-1,000,000 followers who are considered to be experts in their respective niche.

Micro-influencers can be found in any field – from fashion, photography to food.

These smaller, more focused experts usually connect with their audience on a deeper level and therefore generate greater engagement. In fact, influencers with 1,000 followers generate 85% higher engagement than those with 100,000 followers, and as the number of followers increases engagement tends to decrease.

Working with micro-influencers with up to 100,000 followers is the sweet spot.

These influencers have higher engagement rates and are more affordable than celebrity influencers. They also tend to drive higher conversion rates. It’s no wonder considering that 49% of people say that they’d trust the recommendations by influencers when making purchase decisions.

These micro-influencers have authority amongst their audience.

A celebrity influencer may have a million followers but if they put a message out, is anybody really going to listen?

Micro-influencers who are experts in their niche have real clout amongst their followers who trust their authority and advice.

Plus, consider this. If Instagram do decide to get rid of the ‘Likes’ count worldwide, genuine interactions on a post will be everything. This means that post comments will be super valuable.

This is where working with smaller micro-influencers comes in – they have real connections with their audience.

Without the ability to publicly view an influencer’s likes, in other words their engagement, you will need to work with micro-influencers who consistently receive and engage with a healthy number of comments and interaction on their posts.

Building an Influencer Marketing Strategy

 

Now you know how to do influencer marketing in 2019, it’s time to get your plan into motion.

First, as with any great strategy, you need to establish your campaign goals, whether it is to:

  • Build Brand Awareness
  • Attract a new audience
  • Get More Leads

Next, you’ll need to find influencers to work with

 

Influencer marketing is only effective if you’re working with the right influencer. A tech company pairing up with a beauty blogger is hardly a match made in heaven.

The right influencer is someone who fits in with your brand, your image and your ethos.

Your brand and your influencer need to share the same audience. This means that the influencer’s audience will be interested in the brand and their products and that the brand can reach this audience through the influencer.

Once you’ve found the right influencers to work with it’s time to create content.

How do I work with an Influencer?

There are several ways you can work with an influencer, including:

  • Financial: this involves paying a fee to the influencer in exchange for an agreed amount of coverage of your products/services
  • Commission: if the influencer brings in sales this is where you offer them commission
  • Gifts: this is where you give the influencer a product or service for free

Remember, it is crucial that the influencer discloses the partnership or sponsorship. They can do this simply by using the hashtag #ad in their post.

What’s the key to killer influencer marketing content in 2019?

 

Influencer marketing was born out of people’s demand for authenticity.

Bearing that in mind, in 2019 and beyond influencer’s content needs be transparent, authentic and genuine. This will ensure that their audience continues to trust in them and therefore trusts your brands and products.

Next Steps – are you ready for the new world of influencer marketing?

 

The world of Influencer Marketing doesn’t stand still. As changes to Instagram are rolled out and the number of influencers continues to increase, you’ve got to put real time and effort into strategizing who you will work with, how you will work with them and how you will measure your success to optimise your campaigns and draw real returns.

For more help with crafting a killer influencer marketing strategy, talk to the Report Central team today. We’re experts at marketing your business in the digital world, finding the right influencers who will make a real difference for your brand.

learn how report central drives results

Request a free consultation with our team of experts.

FREE CONSULTATION

Share this blog post:

award nominations and accreditations.