The influencer marketing space is relatively new and constantly changing. In order to be successful in this space, it’s essential to understand what the newest trends are, and how to implement them in your strategy.

Below, we’ve listed out 7 influencer marketing trends & predictions to look out for as you start planning for 2019.

Cracking Down on Sponsored Content

Over the last couple of years, we’ve started to see an increasing amount of influencers using the hashtag “#ad” at the end of their captions. This was a result of the FTC cracking down on brands and influencers in April 2017. The FTC called for more transparency when it came to partnerships between brands and influencers on social media. Since then, we’ve seen much more transparency in the influencer marketing world, however, it still has a ways to go. There is a cry for authenticity in the industry, and brands are realizing this.

In 2019, influencers will continue to disclose all sponsored content on their accounts. Influencers’ audiences will easily be able to spot sponsored content as it’ll be stated on photo captions, or mentioned in videos – it’ll be black and white. Influencers who tend to stay in the grey area when it comes to sponsorship will likely need to adjust and comply.

Greater Authenticity

As we previously stated, it’s clear that there is a desire for more authenticity in the influencer marketing industry. As an influencer, if you’re sponsoring a product, make sure it’s something you actually love and feel like you can sell to your followers. Users are becoming more aware of this type of marketing and can sense phony/salesy content from a mile away.

A great example of an influencer who boasts authenticity is Arielle Charnas (@ariellecharnas), who is also behind the hugely popular clothing brand Something Navy. Arielle has stated several times that she only promotes products she uses herself. She also took to her Instagram to explain that she works with very few brands (Dr.Brandt, Bandier, and Briageo to name a few) because she is selective with her partnerships. This type of transparency is something that her followers love, and it also makes her much more credible.

Moreover, micro-influencers are becoming a more popular choice for brands. The reason is simply that they come across as more authentic to consumers. They aren’t a part of the celebrity influencer ‘bandwagon’, which many users are growing tired of. Not to mention, micro-influencers tend to have greater engagement rates.

Live video & IGTV

Influencers are increasingly making more use of video in order to engage with their followers. In particular, live video has become popular in 2018, and this trend is expected to continue growing in 2019. We see many social media influencers using Instagram’s live video feature to do Q&As, or even just to document events they’re attending. Live videos are fun and interactive, so it’s no surprise that we’ll be seeing more of them in 2019.

Influencers are also starting to implement longer videos as part of their content strategy. For example, IGTV allows you to create longer videos that all your followers can see. While It’s true that IGTV has had a slow start since being introduced to the platform, we think 2019 is the year it’ll start to pick up.

Additionally, using video builds on this idea of “authenticity” in the influencer world, which is sometimes regarded as very artificial by the public.

CPA Influencer Network APPS & Platforms

Influencers are much similar to Affiliate marketers, affiliates are given products by affiliate networks, the affiliates buy traffic to send to the product landing pages and if they make a sale they are paid a commission! We predict that more CPA influencer networks will flood into the market in 2019

CPA influencer networks will have “marketplaces” where influencers can select individual products from multiple brands and then promote them on their social accounts, this isn’t really ideal for influencers as they usually want paying up front, but what if the influencer doesn’t make any sales? The person that paid for the sponsored post will be quite annoyed. CPA Influencer networks take out the risk for the brand and product owners yet the commissions and payouts for influencers with CPA influencer networks will likely be much greater than a normal paid sponsorship. Influencers will also be able to request product samples so they can take pics for their posts. Influencer networks are also more likely to attract the bigger brands that have a lot of money to spend with influencers so it’s well worth checking them out.

You can read our article on the world’s best influencer marketing platforms here >

Podcasts

Have you noticed that some of your favorite influencers have started creating more podcasts? This is a new trend that is definitely on the rise for 2019. In fact, many influencers who have blogs have shifted their focus to podcasts instead.

Podcasts are an interesting way for influencers to connect with their followers. The casual nature of podcasts makes their followers feel like they’re hanging out with them.

This type of content is also a great opportunity for influencers to chat about sponsored products in a more organic and unrehearsed manner. Brands are already seeing the potential of product promotion via podcasts, which makes us think we’ll be seeing a lot more of them in 2019.

Esports influencers

When it comes to influencer marketing, certain platforms come to mind immediately, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. You’ll likely find more influencers sharing their content on these platforms, however, there is another platform gaining momentum in the influencer marketing industry: Twitch.

Most people turn to Twitch to watch their favorite esports players play online games for hours. According to Twitch, most users spend an average of 95 minutes per day watching live gaming. In comparison, Recode reported that users spend roughly 53 minutes per day on Instagram and 58 minutes a day on Facebook. This shows us that users are spending significantly more time on Twitch, which opens the door for partnership opportunities between Twitch influencers and brands. The rapid growth of esports suggests that it will continue to gain popularity in 2019.

Greater engagement

Better engagement will be important in the influencer marketing industry in 2019. Having hundreds of thousands of followers isn’t always good enough anymore. Brands want influencers that know how to effectively engage with their followers.

Here are a few ways influencers can engage more with their followers:

  • Ask questions on Instagram – Instagram introduced a feature for people to create polls and ask questions to their followers on their Instagram stories. It’s a great way to interact with them.
  • Reply to followers’ comments – For influencers that have built a loyal following, it’s a great idea to reply to your followers’ comments. Followers are fans, so getting replies is exciting to them. Not to mention, it reminds them that their favorite influencers are actually human.
  • Giveaways – Everyone like giveaways. To win, followers are often asked to repost photos, tag their friends in posts, and follow brands pages. This allows brands to promote their products by using influencers and certainly increases engagement.
  • Make fun videos – Creating fun videos is a great way to engage with followers. For example, Danielle Bernstein of WeWoreWhat (@weworewhat) is a big name in the fashion influencer world. She often films videos that are super fun to watch, like WeDancedWhat (Every Wednesday she films videos of her dance choreographies with her two fitness influencer friends).