With the ringing in of the new year, there’s always a lot of changes being made. Unlike your New Year’s resolution to start hitting the gym though, some changes are actually legit. When it comes to influencer marketing on social media, the changes we expect to see in the coming months are major. Not only will it redefine the way influencer marketing is currently done, it’ll transform the way we use social media altogether. The following are 4 ways influencer marketing is changing in a big way. To check out what social media marketers learned in 2017, click here.

  1. Going live

Going live with your followers is one of the realest ways to connect with them. There’s no retakes, no editing, and certainly no Photoshop. Talk about the stone age, am I right? Whether you’re just chatting, hosting a Q & A, or giving your audience a peek at your life, going live gives your followers a chance to get more personal with you. By removing the filter that comes with almost everything posted to your feed, going live allows your people to see you in your truest form. Fumbling your words, those dark circles, your messy bedroom, and even just your mannerisms allows your audience to feel like they really know you on a more personal level. And that is great for business.

This different perspective can also come from video like InstaStories and Snapchats. They’ll create a more solid relationship that will lead your followers to trusting you more. By broadcasting your life daily, people will get used to tuning in and seeing what you’re up to. As completely twisted as it is, they’ll kind of start seeing you as a friend – a cyber friend they’ll likely never meet or speak with. SO weird. But I digress. Once that relationship is built, the rest is a piece of cake. As people are much more likely to buy things recommended by their friends, you’ll gain a ton of influence which can lead to fruitful partnerships with awesome brands.

  1. Less filters

This one goes hand in hand with our first big change. In industries across the board, people are being clear that they’re over the heavily edited and convoluted content. The stuff that marketers are putting out there is not only unrealistic but is leading our entire society to constantly be chasing something that isn’t attainable.

Celebrities and models alike are speaking out more and more against the fake-ness that exists in their industries. Some are even going as far as boycotting wearing any makeup at all (Alicia Keys, you go girl).

In 2018, we can expect brands to follow suit. Going in a more “real” and unedited direction is going to start being the norm from the biggest brands down to the tiniest micro-influencers.

Marketers are learning quickly that these days, authenticity is key. While audiences appreciate well put together content, they also really appreciate realness. Unedited, un-staged content is getting more love than ever and parents of young boys and girls everywhere should be thrilled about it.

  1. Being principled

In terms of messaging, there is a huge shift happening towards inclusive narratives and cause/societal marketing. Issues like equality, diversity, sexual harassment, and politics are just some of the many topics that are starting to be worked in to marketing campaigns. While it can certainly backfire if the messaging isn’t just right (ahem, Kendall is probably done drinking Pepsi), this type of marketing can be extremely effective.

This tactic is an amazing opportunity for brands to use their platforms to enact positive change. To strengthen it even further, the use of social media influencers who align with your stances on important issues can also further this initiative.

  1. Influencer marketplaces

Just a year ago, if a brand was interested in working with an influencer, they had to manually go through profiles one by one on each different social media network. That takes a stupid amount of time. Luckily, with the explosion of influencer marketing came the insurgence of influencer marketplaces.

An app like Rep (www.repped.io) is a perfect example. Sure, I may be a little biased as the blog writer for Rep, but it’s a pretty legit tool to have.

With Rep, both brands and influencers are able to search for each other based on industry, niche, demographics, gender, geographic location, etc… Seeing as the entire app is dedicated to connecting these two parties, it’s basically a Tinder for influencer marketing. Score.

With Rep, you can browse through brands and influencers without restrictions; connect, strategize, and join forces without pesky barriers. Additionally, you can gauge alignment, engagement rates, audience reach and analyze the impact a partnership might bring. The best part- you’ll be able to find vetted partners with a smart and intuitive browsing system that learns and surfaces ideal collaborators.