Another week, another influencer marketing post for you all! This one is looking into the future and what trends we might see this year.
Woah, hold up, say all that again?
Around the start of every year, you will find people predicting where they think the industry will go and what might happen. I’ve never really done a predictions post before and in all honesty, it is a tricky one. The industry moves so fast and I am so new to it to be able to predict what I think may happen. So instead, I’ve had a good read and rounded up a few 2019 trends from others that got my brain going!
I briefly spoke about this in my last post about Fyre Festival but the topic of micro-influencers has been discussed a lot in the articles I’m reading. We know influencer marketing works but at what point does one influencer become more credible or authentic than another? A micro influencer (the definition can vary, the one I read for this article was from Forbes) is someone with anything from 10,000 to 100,000 followers. These people tend to have more engaged followers and it is a question (especially following the Fyre Festival) as to whether these type of influencers will become the authentic way to be doing influencer marketing in 2019. Will we see more of these individuals this year? Will these be the individuals that are partnering with brands as opposed to the ones with huge followings?
I can’t help but also wonder what will happen to celebrities this year too. The social space is getting pretty full and how trusted are they now? The line is beginning to blur already…
Growth of voice
It still shocks me even now how fast the voice market has grown. It’s one of those things that crept up on me until I took a step back to realise how popular it actually is. A lot of people have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home in their houses now and this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. According to OC&C Strategy Consultants, voice shopping is set to reach $5 billion in the UK by 2022. It’s taken a while for these devices to come to life since the launch of Siri but they have been taken pretty well. I can’t help but wonder where voice search will go and how much we will all unknowingly be relying on it in a year’s time. It does make you think about how fast technology changes and who knows what we will be using even in five years time.
Review of trust within the industry
This post wouldn’t be what it is without this point. The influencer marketing industry is one that is so prominent and visible to everyone. What with regulations tightening, FYRE festival and consumers becoming more clued up, trust within it has taken a bit of a tumble but maybe 2019 is the year it starts to rebuild itself. In the last quarter of 2018, Facebook removed 754 million fake accounts (SEEN connects) and the ASA/CMA have tightened their guidelines whilst warning certain celebrities and influencers about labelling their content correctly. It will be interesting to see how this year unfolds and what happens to the level of trust. Will it rock the boat or will trust slowly begin to rise again? I wonder how it will affect coverage within the PR industry and how much influencers will share.
I could go on forever about that but three words prompted this post and I do believe they speak a lot about what 2019 could hold:
Authenticity, Honesty and Innovation.
2019 is the year that authenticity will stand out. Consumers are smart and communications need to be meaningful and authentic to cut through. With the level of trust looking a bit on the low side, the need for it is only growing.
That’s not forgetting honesty which does go alongside authenticity. We live in such a digital society where brands need to make an impact to stand out. Trust is so easily lost and it pays to be honest.
Innovation. Who knows what will be invented this year. Brands will need to be innovative in the way they are communicating just to break through the number of messages we all receive in one day.
In one way or another, those three concepts are definitely something I will be watching this year and they definitely got me thinking. I don’t think they will be the last we will hear of them. I’m quite looking forward to seeing how 2019 plays out trend-wise. Scarily enough, it’s not long until these trends will impact a job I may be doing too…..now that is scary!
But anyway, there’s plenty of food for thought for one evening – see you next time!