It’s that time of year again, when we scribble out the 8 of 2018 in our crisp new diaries and replace it with a more appropriate 9. 2019 is officially upon us and as marketeers one of the best ways to get our brains ticking after copious amounts of turkey is to trend forecast for the year ahead. Here’s what we believe will be hot topics in the ever-changing world of Influencer Marketing.

Glory glory micro influencers

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, those who are brave enough to work with micro-influencers over the modern-day celebrities that are macro influencers will reap the rewards. To put it simply, if Influencer Marketing was a movie, they’d be the girl or boy next door. They’re relatable, accessible, and we feel like we know them or could even be them, hence why we double tap their words of wisdom even more-often than we do for creators with quadruple the follower count. With the ‘fake-follower’ saga of 2018, brands are now overlooking reach when it comes to selecting influencers for campaigns and are now taking note of those at grass root level because let’s face it, they are more cost effective, often have more engaged audiences and may very well be one campaign away from macro levels of stardom so get them on your radar early this year.

Photo Wall Sign

Photo: Alice Donovan Rouse

The CC – Consumer Creators

In keeping with the micro influencer trend, we believe there’s about to be a new kid on the block in the form of ‘consumer creators’. We all have a friend who posts perfectly styled product shots or is a walking advertisement for their favourite brand but may not have the following to have ‘#influencer’ in their Instagram bio but who says they aren’t an influencer in their own right? User generated content is still one of the most sought-after social assets for brands across the globe which is why we feel that brands will take the leap in 2019 and begin to use their own consumers as brand ambassadors and really tap into peer to peer influencer marketing.

Transparency is cool

We’re not talking about those transparent tote bags that have been floating around our Instagram explore feeds since SS 2017, we’re talking being upfront when disclosing brand deals. We touched on this back in 2018, but we feel that 2019 will be the year when content creators finally realise it’s cool to be asked to partner up with brands and will want to follow CAP and ASA guidelines in order to be as transparent as a perspex court shoe to their followers. We also believe that social platforms will make it even easier for content creators to clearly label their content so expect to see even more features like the ‘paid partnership with’ tag.

A collaboration we did with Austin Evans and Marshall in 2018.

Social platforms are changing

Content creators are a social site’s bread and butter. Without them, why would we spend hours scrolling and digesting content we didn’t even realise we needed or indeed wanted? Fuelled with the realisation that these all-important influencers may be becoming slightly frustrated by the algorithms, Instagram is currently trialling ‘Creator Accounts’ These accounts will allow top tier creators to access more in-dept insights and analytics on their followers as well as customising contact features on the app. Twitter were one of the first platforms to identify that verified users want to quality control their timelines and it seems that 2019 will be the year others follow suit.

Long term partnerships

Another hymn from the song sheet of Disrupt. 2019 should be the year that brands revert to using brand ambassadors or long-term partnerships instead of one off, flash in the pan posts. Remember when celebrities were associated with brands? Sketchers and Britney Spears, we’re looking at you! We’ve been saying, and indeed doing, this for years. We’ve worked with Only Geo and Jimmy Q for Clarks Originals and Austin Evans for Marshall on more than one occasion in 2018 with great success. Brands will be cautious to put all their eggs in one basket and we get that, but if you have uncovered a key influencer within your audience demographic and you’ve got the opportunity for them to be viewed as a brand extension then it’s certainly worth the risk! 

Over the course of 2018 we did multiple collaborations with Jimmy Q and Clarks Originals.

Video is king

Everyone knows just how successful Instagram stories were in 2018 despite the ‘you’re copying Snapchat’ backlash, this success is down to our love, as humans, for stories and story-telling and what better way to do so than video? Viewing time on the video sharing platform YouTube had a 50% growth year on year in 2018 so it’s about time brands and content creators alike started telling stories through a video first, image second approach. Is 2019 the year? We think so! 

Influencer Marketing is a multifaced beast but a beautiful beast at that so keep your eyes-pealed for these trends in 2019 and don’t say we didn’t forewarn ya! As always, if you’re looking for assistance with your own influencer marketing campaigns this year, holla at us!