2016 was the year of the unexpected. From a Trump presidency to Brexit, I think I speak for most us when I say that I’m excited that 2017 is finally here.
There’s a lot to look forward this year but not all change is bad. Especially when we’re discussing significant changes in digital marketing, specifically within the world of influencer marketing. As marketing budgets continue to shrink and brands become more pressed for a better ROI, the industry is in for a big shift and our insight’s team is on the forefront.
In true marketer fashion, we’re always looking to stay ahead of the curve and to learn from the past. So our dedicated insights team has put together our “Tap Ten” list of predictions for the industry that will help marketers develop a sound strategy in this New Year.
Without further ado, we bring you our Tap Ten 2017 Predictions:
Authenticity Will Be Questioned: After decades of use, the veneer on celebrity endorsements will finally crack and brands will come to realize that fame does not automatically bring influence. I mean, really, do you think Kim Kardashian drives a Buick?
Agencies Who Build Practices Around Influencer Marketing Will Win: Agencies that are already investing in influencer marketing as a core competency and building practices at scale will win business and drive their own revenue/growth.
Marketing Technology Will Become Accessible and Further Differentiate Challenger Brands: With limited resources, smaller brands need efficient ways of reaching the right consumers in order to steal share away from established competitors. They will seek solutions that reduce strain on their human resources without straining their budgets, squeezing the highest possible ROI out of any campaign and marketing spend.
Scalable Influencer Marketing Will Integrate into the Martech Stack: Increasing popularity of influencer marketing has created increased demand for efficiencies and IM technology. Marketers desperately need ways to see the whole landscape, and we predict rapid integrations between influencer marketing technology and other business systems as well as business intelligence (BI) platforms.
Influencer Marketing Will Penetrate B2B: Innovative B2B marketers will recognize that their buyers are people too and purchasing decisions are made by real people who distrust brand messaging and do their homework.
Brands Will Connect the Dots Between Offline and Online: Influencers have the power to bridge that gap and marketers will leverage online influencers to spark offline action from consumers. Product-specific influencer content can serve as point-of-sale persuasion to consumers in physical stores.
Real Time Social Channels Will Require Brands to Give up Creative Control: Influencers will no longer accept every opportunity that is presented to them. They are becoming selective with partnerships and maintaining authenticity in the content they create for their audience.
Audience Will Become More Important Than Influencer: Audience targeting in influencer marketing demonstrates the natural application of traditional marketing strategy to this emerging discipline. Marketers will need to shift away from choosing influencers who resemble a target consumer, and instead, build campaigns based on an influencer’s audience and performance data.
People Will Call a Timeout on Traditional Social Engagement Metrics: True ROI will be more important than ever. As top brands and agencies lean into influencer marketing, they will need to confirm that it’s actually affecting their bottom line.
Micro-Influencers Will Stake Their Claim: Niche-focused creators who will be recognized as the powerhouse marketing channels that they are. Marketers will realize that true influence means an engaged audience and authentic conversations, not necessarily a massive following that you find with famous bloggers, high-reach social media stars, traditional celebrities.
If you forget EVERYTHING we just outlined for you above, do your best to remember this ONE thing: Stop micromanaging. Let others, influencers, tell your story from a place of truth and authenticity. THAT is what will move the needle and how you’ll be sure to deliver a message to your audience will actually read.
Promise Phelon is the CEO of TapInfluence, the leading influencer marketing company combining data science, technology and a robust marketplace of content creators. Promise is an accomplished tech entrepreneur and CEO, she has deep expertise in venture fundraising, scaling Software-as-a-Service, and accelerating revenue growth. Currently an active mentor for TechStars, Phelon has been a key advisor for upcoming leaders in some of today’s most innovative and high-growth companies, helping create impactful product strategies and actionable GTM plans.