The marketing landscape has changed significantly in 2016, with businesses forced to develop strategies in correlation with the rise and maturity of social media usage as a means to make purchases and influence culture. Mainstream visibility of social media stars, therefore, has prompted adoption of influencers outside of niche marketing tactics, and due to the ever-increasing fees associated with tier 1 influencers, paved the way for a new type of influencer: the micro-influencer. The term depicts someone with a large, but not hundreds of thousand strong following, who's following often owes more to their audiences' interest in their own creative content than the following amassed due to the celebrity of their tier 1 counterparts. Direct ROI & sales become more important as smaller businesses consider its use as a cost-effective method of selling online.
The benefits of working with micro influencers next year are abundant. Financially they're must cheaper, and sometimes even free in return for products, although this trend will decrease in popularity as the concept of influencers becomes more widely used and marketing agencies capitalise. Their following, however, is often much more specific and loyal than celebrity influencers, with their accessibility prompting users to interact with them and engage with the content on the page. This combines to suggest the return on investment will be greater, especially when companies utilise the creative abilities of the micro influencers coupled with the knowledge of their audience to produce content specific to the interests of the consumer, the more niche the better. Partnerships will be the most effective way.
As far as platforms go, Snapchat will continue to dominate, maturing outside of the perceived sole-usage of teenagers. It is Instagram, however who, will take hijack snapchat's previously unique capabilties to offer a more diverse landscape in which to provide visibility opportunities to businesses. With an average of 70 interactions per 1000 followers (study by TrackMaven,) its the leading platform in terms of interactions, as it continues to aggresively attack social commerce. Facebook's prior experience in monetising its audience is proving crucial in its younger siblings showdown with snapchat. As instagram becomes the prime platform for influencers to share content, its recent acquisition of face metrics allows more snapchat-like capabilities that have previously been a real winner for snapchat. Rabbit ears and cat eyes are on their way!
YouTube will continue its rise in viewership and recently released figures to show its big hitters are allowing room for smaller bloggers to come to prominence. 7 in 10 YouTube subscribers say creators change and shape culture, whilst 6 in 10 say follow advice on what to buy from their favourite TV or movie personality. Videos can be produced on small budgets and allow viewers to watch in their own time, a trend directly responsible for the decline in viewerships and resulting effectiveness of television adverts. Facebook Live will continue to grow, due to its accessibility and usability for small businesses and influencers alike. Videos can be viewed live and/or boosted to a specific audience afterwards, using facebook's ever-maturing ad software, which is still relatively cheap in terms of cost-per-aqusition in relation to traditional methods.
As platforms mature, and the marketplace becomes more saturated, its important to ensure both the vehicle and the delivery of content is on-trend, native, engaging and inspiring to the end-user. Influencers are fast becoming the new celebrities, easier to reach and more relevant to consumers lifestyles, therefore proving suitable role-models to appease the budgets and everyday lifestyles of users.
To discuss you're online marketing strategy in 2017 further, contact me at Loui@disruptivesocialclub.com