Where will influencer marketing be in 5 years?

“Influencers know they are a creative director, model, photographer, location scout, and project manager all in one — and brands are saving big money leveraging influencers for both content creation and as an advertising channel,” says Danielle Lewis, CEO & Co-founder at scrunch.com.

In fact, influencers are six times more powerful than celebrities in marketing, according to Richard Edelman, the president and CEO of the PR firm Edelman.

A growing backlash against influencers

Today, anyone with a phone can be an influencer. Luxury hotels and brands are inundated with requests for free products or free hotel stays.

The rise of the micro-influencer

Despite the bragging rights of having over 50,000 followers, it does not necessarily guarantee that the person has a lot of influence — especially when you dive into some of the numbers.

“Tech exists now so you can assess an influencer’s audience before you even bother reaching out to them. If you are not targeting and not optimizing your influencer campaigns, then you are not doing them effectively,” she says. “It’s 2019, you can absolutely measure ROI!”

Instead of looking at followers, brands should focus on the engagement rate. That is why some brands are turning to micro-influencers instead; people with between 2,000 and 50,000 Instagram followers.

What about the influencers?

Many of today’s influencers are taking their online success into the ‘real world’ by building a physical product or brand.

image from GaryPepperGirl.com

Will influencer marketing be around in five years?

Danielle Lewis certainly thinks so.

“It’s definitely going to be around in 5 years time; they are predicting it will be a $10 billion market in the next 24 months. Because it is inherently social (most of it is on social media), the way we consume it may change — what will the next Instagram be? — however, it will still be around!” she says.

And don’t forget: Instagram itself is changing. The platform recently expanded a pilot test to hide the ‘like count’ on individual posts, which now covers seven different countries: Canada, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Australia, and New Zealand. What impact will this have on the future of influencer marketing?

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