The market estimated to reach $10 billion by 2020…

Influencer marketing has expanded exponentially over the past two years. It was on every trend list in 2017 and will continue to be a focus of smart marketers throughout 2018. We’ve seen the industry go from a rising marketing tactic to an essential part of most marketing budgets.

Brands and marketers have recently grasped how Influencer marketing is helping their bottom line and continuing to implement additional campaigns. In fact, Activate by Bloglovin’s research has found that 67 percent of marketers think influencer marketing campaigns helped them reach a more targeted audience, thus leading to more impactful results.

Cross-channel social campaigns have also become more common, and brands have begun to expand outside of their own industries for influencers to work with. Whether it’s a fashion influencer working with restaurants or a mum blogger working with a fashion brand, the results are clear that working with influencers outside of one’s core industry can reach new audiences and raise further awareness for a brand.

Some top influencers, marketing thought leaders and industry insiders share their thoughts on where influencer marketing is headed in 2018 and beyond below…

Influencers:

Rachel Levin– Social media star with 20 million followers on social: For 2018, I don’t believe that there is any specific set influencer marketing trend that will appear, aside from: There will more influencers used in every company’s basic marketing strategy. More and more people are learning the power that influencers have. I believe that it will be rare for any brand to launch a campaign that doesn’t involve at lease one social media influencer. The trajectory is going to grow steeper and steeper as more and more small companies are starting to do things in this new way; which is social media.

Lauren Riihimaki, known as LaurDIY Social media star with 15 million followers on social: Influencer marketing has evolved a lot this year. Some of my favorite brands are only now getting into it and it’s been amazing to work with them and see them find major success. I’ve also been lucky enough to find some amazing longer-term partnerships, like Mudd and Fanta, where I’m able to become an ambassador for the brand and help them build a relationship with my audience. Instead of working on a bunch of smaller campaigns, with a lot of influencers, brands are starting to see the value in aligning with a few really great creators that they can trust and that reflect their views. I’m really looking forward to being able to announce some of the projects I’m about to start working on with some incredible brands!

Wengie– YouTuber with over 12 million followers on social: The trend I see is influencers trying new things! They are using their audience to develop their passions, whether it’s acting, singing or writing. I’m seeing influencers do really well in a new space which is interesting because many are going solo, not needing the distribution machine that talent has needed in the past, like record labels or publishing houses.

Marketing Thought Leaders:

Murray Newlands– Entrepreneur, investor, business advisor and marketing guru: As more advertising dollars move to influencer marketing, 2018 will be the year where brands truly start to look beyond likes and follower counts and begin to focus on engagement…On the consumer side we are seeing consumers start to look for greater authenticity from influencers and to try and look beyond the post to what the influencer actually likes and what their day is like…This will provide an opportunity for brands to find even more novels ways to feature products in the lives and routines of influencers and drive customer engagement.

Cynthia Johnson Entrepreneur, marketing professional, author, and keynote speaker: It won’t enough to just pay someone to post anymore; Brand ambassadors will be necessary. The rise in personnel branding will also continue to be more important. The use of micro-influencers will continue to rise. Finally, I see live video, or real experiences, being the ideal way to consume content and work with brands.

John Rampton– Entrepreneur, connector, influencer: With influencer marketing likes, clicks, engagement and comments mean nothing if it’s not generating revenue. Focus your efforts on driving likes, clicks, comments and different types of engagement that actually drives top line revenue to your business. If you’re not driving dollars, eventually you’ll run out of it.

Industry People:

Agnes Kozera-Founder of FameBit: As YouTube creator collaborations continue to prove more effective at driving results, brands will look to do more with organic branded video beyond distributing content to creator owned channels. Whether it be remarketing to creators’ audiences or repurposing creator produced cut-downs for TrueView, 2018 will be about combining the best of influencer marketing and media, and further shortening the path to purchase. As part of Google and YouTube, FameBit is focused on making it easier than ever for brands to get smarter about using real time data on creator’s already engaged audiences and content, helping to reach the brand’s target market in a way that is truly native to the YouTube platform.

Stephanie Horbaczewski-CEO/Founder of StyleHaul: One industry trend is that the space is evolving to require more accountability in regard to measurable results driven for all influencer marketing spend. As a result, in our own business at StyleHaul, we increasingly use data and technology to monitor how an audience responds to a branded content post in order to measure impact, and also to create more meaningful and effective campaigns. A second trend is that we’re seeing greater dispersion of influence both across platforms, and in reach of audience. Influencers are no longer just YouTube megastars, but can be micro-influencers on smaller platforms like Musical.ly. As a result, in our own business, we’ve expanded our pool of creators, and now operate on many different platforms.

Scott Fisher Founder of Select Management Group: In 2018, brands will continue to look beyond integrated social content posts and partner with creators, or influencers, in more meaningful ways as long-term spokespeople and licensing partners.  We also see a trend of influencers moving toward building their own consumer brands; whether it be in licensing, merchandising, or talent investing in new tech and media businesses.

Follow this link for current opportunities is this ever evolving and rapidly growing space.

Sources: http://www.adweek.com/digital/giordano-contestabile-activate-by-bloglovin-guest-post-influencer-marketing-in-2018https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomward/2017/12/01/the-influencer-marketing-trends-that-will-dominate-2018/#3dfd7dc55398

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