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It always seems like when a digital marketing strategy begins to go mainstream those “in-the-know” begin to proclaim the death of that strategy. So, is influencer marketing dead?

Statistics say no! Over 90% of online advertisers still proclaim that influencer marketing continues to work for them and has been responsible for creating a higher ROI than more traditional advertising methods – up to 11x more!

Influencer Marketing Has Been Around For a Long Time

This form of advertising is not just a “flash-in-the-pan” digital marketing hack. Offline brands have been using it for ages – getting celebrities and industry leaders to tout their products & services. However, online influencer marketing did not catch up to its traditional counterpart until 2004, when social media giants like Facebook & Twitter came into power.

The fact is that influencer marketing has been used as a successful digital marketing strategy for over 14 years and stood the test of time. That is not to say, however, that it has not seen its shares of ups & downs, but that is exactly what makes a successful strategy successful over the long term – the ability to weather the storm!

The current state of influencer marketing seems to prove that this method is far from “dead” and doing better than ever. In fact, not so long ago (2017) it proved itself to be the fastest growing customer-acquisition digital marketing strategy around.

3 Trends That Will Propel Influencer Marketing in 2019

If influencer marketing has already proven itself in the past and continues to hold its own among other digital marketing strategies right now, then what can online advertisers expect to gain from it in the future? Predicting advertising success is very difficult but what can be deciphered from current trends pertaining to this strategy is that the future of influencer marketing, at least for next year, is looking bright.

Trend 1: Follower Fraud

Social media platforms have been working hard this past year (208) to clean up their act in the areas of fake followers, bot-traffic, & bot-responses (social signals). This rush to produce higher “audience-integrity” was a response to a recent backlash among industry leaders who were losing a hefty sum because of unscrupulous influencer marketer accounts with fake followings. Many of the biggest platforms in social media who also happen to have the highest influencer marketing reach, like Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram, all followed suit and answered back with the following actions:

-Facebook: Disabled over a billion fake accounts.

-Twitter: Erased millions of “fake” followers from its platform.

-Instagram: Announced its intention to remove fake followers and likes.

These actions should prove themselves to be a positive boost for influencer marketing in 2019, as legitimate accounts with legitimate followers will only lead to a higher response rate & higher ROI for advertisers.

Trend 2: Direct Response

The last couple of years has seen influencer marketing move from a brand awareness marketing strategy into an effective direct response channel. In fact, online marketers have found that they can not only enlighten potential prospects of their products through influencer marketing but also earn immediate profits on those prospects as well. On average, brands earn roughly $7.65 per each $1 spent on their influencer marketing campaigns.

Trend 3: Nano-Influencers

Large influencers with over 1 million followers have led the influencer marketing pack for years but the past couple of years has seen the rise of micro-influencers – trusted names who have a social media following of 100 thousand or less – because of their ability to produce higher engagement among their followers at a much lower cost than big influencers charge.

However, most recently, “nano-influencers” – trusted names & brands within a given niche or industry who have a social media following of 1 thousand or less – are being used more and more for higher engagement and much lower advertising costs than both large and micro influencers charge.

The reason these nano-influencers can engage their audience at a much higher level than those with a large to mid-size following is the personalized touch they can offer them – it is easier to respond to comments & questions when an influencer has a following of 100 people rather than a following of 1 million or even 100 thousand.

Digital marketers have seen some good returns on their nano-influencer investments, and of course love the fact that they can pay a fraction of the price of what it would usually cost for running an ad to a larger following that ends up producing less awareness, engagement, and conversions anyway.

Conclusion

Influencer marketing is thriving!

This marketing strategy has been around for quite some time and continues to produce stellar results for digital marketers and online businesses who use it correctly. The above 3 trends that were just discussed will only cement influencer marketing even further within the digital marketing world for its ability to bring more awareness, leads, and sales to businesses & brands of all shapes and sizes.

As social media platforms continue to provide a more authentic following among their users, those who employ influencer marketing should see even better results with their campaigns. What is more, statistics drawn over the past couple of ears in regards to its effectiveness have proven that followers trust influencers and increasingly engage with their messages, especially when the influencer is able to communicate with them on a more personal basis.