Influencer marketing is evolving every day and marketers across all industries are struggling to keep up. In the ever-changing arena of social media, staying ahead of the curve is imperative for edging out the competition and taking advantage of new opportunities.

With over 85% of all marketers having reported using influencer marketing this year alone, the strategy once seen as reserved for millennials is now becoming mainstream. Marketing surveys predict that influencer marketing could grow to up to a $2 billion industry in the next 2 years. This unprecedented growth will undoubtedly lead to a continuing environment of rapid change. As best practices for influencer marketing will continuously be taking on new forms, it’s important to stay informed and in the know. Here are three trends you need to know right now:

  1. Brands are recognizing the value of long-term influencer relationships

Many brands are beginning to understand the value of cultivating long-term relationships with the influencers they’re working with. While we’re naturally wired to focus on the present or short-term return of our investments, brands are looking beyond the value of the one-time influencer partnership. The trend is moving more towards longer term campaigns that last anywhere from 6 months to several years.

These types of campaigns on social media lead to a more organic and genuine collaboration. When the influencer is seen to be vouching for your brand for on a repeated basis, their followers are more likely to trust their recommendation. Moreover, the bang for your buck will be much higher than with doing one-offs with different influencers.

  1. Multi-brand collaborations are on the rise

Another big trend we’re seeing right now is multiple brands collaborating with one another for a single campaign. Brands who are complementary (and not competitors) are joining forces to secure big-time influencers for campaigns featuring both parties. Not only does this allow for them to split the hiring cost but it helps expand each brand’s total reach.

These types of multi-brand collaborations typically work well with consumer products that go hand in hand with each other. For example, a clothing and jewelry brand may hire an influencer to shoot themselves wearing both products to show how they can be styled together. When debating on what brands to collaborate with, consider how your consumers are using your products and with what other types of products. If you’re selling baby diapers, maybe don’t pair up with an alcohol company. Or maybe that’s the perfect pairing. What new parent doesn’t need to shoot back a few? Anyway, you get the idea.

  1. Brands will become more involved in influencer events

If you follow any type of influencer you may have noticed them attending a lot of cool, trendy events recently. This is because a key trend we’re seeing is brands hosting events held especially for influencers in their industry. Heck, brands are even holding parties for influencers not in their industry. Yogurt company Oikos recently held a campaign across Canada doing just that. Since the dairy industry isn’t flush with inlfuencers (obvi), they invited personalities from different niches to partner up with. Fashion gurus, cancer survivors and fitness enthusiasts were some among many influencers invited to enjoy a day in the country. As lame as a yogurt party sounds, it was actually kind of awesome. The idea of the campaign was about escaping your daily challenges and stress using- you guessed it- yogurt.

Among the 12 influencers used for this campaign, the total reach between them equaled over 2.3 million. With the help of different social media platforms, the campaign garnered over 109K Instagram engagements and 95.5k Snapchat story views. Not too shabby for a company whose product is fermented milk.

These events not only allow for brands to meet and connect with influencers, it allows them to create tons of content opportunities. The best kinds of events are the ones where attendees are given the opportunity to use the product or service. This can lead to great photo ops and valuable feedback that can help the brand ameliorate product development.

 

These 3 trends are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to the present and future of influencer marketing. If there’s one thing we can count on when it comes to social media, it’s change.