The 6 Key Trends of Influencer Marketing in 2019
Whether it was a crisis of confidence, a sudden rush to Instagram or the World Cup, the influence sector saw its fair share of twists and turns in 2018.
Changes that are shuffling things up and helping us predict the coming trends for 2019. Here’s our overview!
1. Long-awaited professionalisation
The days of selecting influencers at random, boat posts and payment in kind are over; now influencer marketing is being taken seriously.
Marketers have fully realised the effectiveness of influencer marketing and have increased their budgets.
So they aren’t leaving anything up to chance or risking bad buzz any more. They are safeguarding themselves with experts to manage collaborations with great skill.
These experts are increasingly reliable thanks to the growth and concentration of specialised companies, in the form of both platforms and agencies.
And the influencers themselves, having become Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), are also going professional and demanding fair treatment, contracts and payment, just like any other service provider.
2. KPIs: Towards key performance indicators
If you increase the budget and professionalise a sector, you are entitled to expect some kind of confirmation of how successful it is.
Now that advertisers know how to influence market, their return on investment needs measuring so it’s easier to understand what is and isn’t working and justify budgets, etc.
And above all, find the magic formula to suit each brand!
Branding KPIs specific to social networks (reach, impressions, views, even Earned Media Value) are no longer enough by themselves. There is now a need for performance KPIS such as downloads, registrations, purchases, etc. And there are already influencer marketing tools out there for measuring them.
3. The growing influence of data
In order to stand out in a very competitive market, driving partnerships through data analysis has become essential.
Optimising influencer marketing therefore lies in the combination of precision data use (aided by AI and machine learning) and a well applied sense of creativity. Machines can’t do everything, but they can do a lot!
On top of that, the Cambridge Analytica scandal has shaken up how data is used.
The GDPR regulations, the move to https and the blocking of certain APIs shows that 2019 will be characterised by the desire to protect internet users’ privacy.
This move towards checks and enforcement is all the more reason to turn to technological experts in influencer marketing.
4. New types of influencers to follow
This year, a new type of influencer has emerged with resounding success.
With unparalleled freedom of expression, their values are simple yet committed and they’ve even been seen posing with stars.
These personalities, who are followed by millions of people, are none other than virtual influencers!
They are avatars created from scratch by production studios based in Japan or the United States. They have been so successful that some people are going as far as to predict that they spell an end to the dominance of KOLs in the flesh.
In France, the visual innovation agency WANDS and the Paris School of Luxury have just created Gaïa, the first virtual influencer made in France.
With just a few hundred subscribers, this avatar has still got some way to go before joining the ranks of the American megastars. We’ve yet to see if this phenomenon develops further in France in 2019.
5. Will Instagram remain the lead influence platform?
Nothing could be less certain.
Although everybody agrees that the network accumulating 1 billion active users each month and record engagement rates still has a bright future ahead of it, the ascension of Instagram influencers is in question.
TikTok (formerly Musical.ly), the karaoke video app became a real phenomenon at the end of 2018. The app even kicked YouTube, Snapchat and Facebook off the top spot in the App Store rankings.
With more than 130 million active monthly accounts, TikTok – trusted by Gen Z – could grow in influence next year. Could it grow in influencers also?
6. The era of the ephemeral
On Instagram and elsewhere, content will be temporary if anything.
The big social media platforms have already recognised that temporary videos—or « stories« —are set to reign supreme.
In 2018, there were already 300 million users of Instagram stories.
Since December 2018, YouTube has allowed channels with over 10,000 subscribers to produce stories (that last 7 days instead of 24 hours) and even LinkedIn, the professional social network, has joined the trend.
Influence partnerships will continue to migrate from feeds to stories which are more spontaneous and interactive.
And Kolsquare has already taken this step by integrating stories into its platform so that key players in influencer marketing can exploit all the stats!