Keep an eye out in 2016—here are the influencer marketing trends you’ll want to capitalize on.
Influencer Marketing Trends for 2016
1. The Growth of Teen Influencers
According to a June 2015 survey from YouGov, “teens wield significant influence over household spending, chiefly in the purchase of consumer electronics.” If you’re a mommy blogger (or just a mom!), you can probably attest to that without a survey. 😉
As such, teen influencers (or “celebrity” teens) have been on the rise, and they’re only going to grow. But brands are also looking for everyday teens to reach younger people. One way to do so has been approaching teen bloggers with target audiences between 12-22—they can act as the bridge between brands and the younger people the brands are trying to reach.
To leverage this important demographic, Blogger Babes just launched what we believe to be the first female teen network. We already have a Teen Board of nearly a dozen 13-19 year old girls from across the United States, and just over 100 influencers in the U.S. (more globally) network today. Great start, wouldn’t you say?
2. Social Media Influencers will Lean Towards Blogging and Email Marketing
We’re hopeful that social media influencers will learn that blogging and email marketing are effective ways to own traffic, followers, readers, etc. If you’re heavily invested in a social media platform like Twitter or Vine, you might have to deal with the platform closing down or changing rules. That’s why hosting your own domain and blog is an all-around safer business practice—you’re the boss, and you own all of your content.
We’ve made our Learning Library available to all influencers for that very reason. Even if you don’t have a blog yet, we advocate at least having an email list. Then when you have the time, start a WordPress blog and co-brand it to your username or handle.
3. More Video Integration by Bloggers
We said that video was going to be huge back in 2015, and we’re sticking to it in 2016. YouTube, Vine, Periscope, Vimeo, and other video platforms are still growing—a report that “tracked data from 5000 million clicks and 15 million conversions” confirmed that YouTube is “the clear winner in the first stage of the purchase funnel when it comes to paid advertising on social media platforms.” No wonder our advertisers have been requesting video campaigns!
Multiple Fortune 500 companies have sliced a huge chunk of their 2016 ad budgets specifically for influencer videos ads. So if bloggers have followings on those platforms to supplement their written content, they’ll be offered more money.
Blogger Babes and TheAmbitionista didn’t jump and go BIG with video this year, but we did debut small and steady! If you couldn’t make it to any of our members-only webinars, we’ve made them available on YouTube, and you’ll be seeing some of our marketing/blogging tutorials on there, too. Here was our first.
Slow and steady wins the race, but big and HUGE may very well make you a noticeable forerunner… so make the jump to video ASAP.
UPDATE: If you’re a fashion or beauty vlogger, get on our email list now and comment below as we’re launching a big partnership specifically for this market later this month!
4. Rise in Platform-specific Influencer Campaigns
Regardless of points #2 and #3, brands are also starting to sponsor exclusive, platform-specific campaigns—whether that be Instagram-only, Twitter-only, Pinterest-only, etc.
For example, brands mostly sponsored tweets and instagrams during events like Vanity Fair’s Art Basel. Meanwhile, our #Balance2015 event was strictly on Twitter and Instagram, and the IFB-Blogger Babes party got the same treatment.
If you’re looking for an influencer to partner with, pay close attention to the platforms where you’ll find your target demographic. If you’re an influencer yourself, make sure you know which demographics you can reach!
5. Rise in “Representation” from Influencer Networks
We think that it’ll be more common to see “celebrity” social media stars or bloggers with managers, agents, and publicists. Just as we’ve chosen to represent a range of influencers—female lifestyle bloggers—other networks will start “representing” bloggers/influencers as well.
This will be especially true for “micro influencers.” Luxury Society says:
Rather than boasting millions of mass fans through their channels, these micro-influencers [carve …] exclusive niche[s] for themselves via their writing skills, editorial viewpoint, or knowledge of a certain subject, and are followed by “[…] relatively small, but devoted and—perhaps more importantly—authentic audience[s]”.
When it comes to agencies and being an influencer, be aware that some agency contracts claim “exclusive” rights to represent you, like a private agent or publicist. Other networks or organizations simply say they’ll represent you for a minority percentage of the hired contract or campaign agreement.
Currently, Blogger Babes members are getting premium jobs and recurring opportunities (rather than one-off posts or promotions) through our network. We don’t ask for exclusive rights—we’re simply trying to solicit as many jobs as possible for all our members at all levels.
We’re proud that 100% of our clientele to date have rehired us a second or multiple times, and that brands recall bloggers that they want to be part of their new campaigns. Best of all, they’re willing to pay more to secure those top influencers again. The more active and diligent influencers are, the more they get both Blogger Babes’ and a brand attention. Since we’re running a few campaigns with tight deadlines, those diligent influencers get preferred campaign treatment and we actively pitch them to brands for consideration, too.
6. Rise in Cinemagraphs and GIFs
In fashion, lifestyle, and crafty blogs—like do-it-yourself, art, and home decor blogs—visual elements are key. How many times have you just scrolled through one of these blogs taking in the pretty pictures?
That’s why we think cinemagraphs and prettier GIFs are going to be big. We say “prettier” because we’re not just talking about reaction GIFs from Tumblr or BuzzFeed—cinemagraphs are more seamless, simple and elegant:
Beautiful, aren’t they? And if you have a cinemagraph idea in mind, you know who to call. 😉
7. Storytelling, Survey, and Poll Embedding Services
Barely two months ago, Twitter introduced the ability for users to create polls. Now everyday users, social media influencers, and even industry giants are using polls in their tweets to garner user engagement.
Twitter was right on their game—advertisement agencies have been making use of storytelling techniques, surveys, and poll embedding services to roll out more interactive ads that users aren’t compelled to ad-block. One cool new app, Apester, re-imagines advertising with its sleek, simple interface. Using their service, GQ magazine amassed 180,000 unique completed engagements in a poll for which actor readers thought should play the next James Bond. The average engagement was 70%!
With those kinds of results, there’s no better time to start than now… We’re going to start using polls and surveys more often, too! Can’t wait to see your thoughts… a new, easier alternative to commenting, right?
You’ll get a different question to answer in the comments based on your answer to our survey. How cool is that? 🙂
Eager to hear your kind thoughts below as well. And, if you think we’re spot-on, please do share this article with your pals. Thanks!
This article was written with the assistance of Janet Thaeler of NewspaperGrl.com.