Once seen as having little structure or rules compared to search or social media advertising, influencer marketing began to change in 2019. Corey Padveen identifies three key directions of travel for the strategy, which he sees as imposing some order on a frequently chaotic landscape
If you’ve spent any time online in the last few years, it’s likely you have been inundated with content related to influencers and influencer marketing, whether it is an Instagram post with hundreds of thousands of likes or a digital magazine article outlining the seemingly endless benefits of becoming involved in influencer marketing. There is simply no way to avoid this rapidly growing marketing strategy. Last year, however, we saw some consolidation and recognition of the industry that we had not seen before. Now, it seems, influencer marketing has some structure and rules to it, something hitherto unseen. Make no mistake, the realm of influencer marketing still has a long way to go before it finds itself structured as neatly as search or social media advertising. But at least we have some guidelines as to how these campaigns work, and it is clear they are going to be crucial to the success of many businesses in the coming year. To get a better sense of how influencer marketing has changed and where we expect it to go in the coming year, there are a few key areas we need to explore. First, the most obvious one: pricing. Historically speaking, influencers have set their prices at random, and brands and marketers have been forced to either accept or reject the cost. That’s beginning to flatten now with the proliferation of campaigns and, ironically, the increase in demand. Second, measurement is finally being called into question. Vanity metrics are beginning to move aside for more concrete business metrics. Third, we are seeing a shift from celebrity to organic or micro-influencer at a much higher rate than we had in previous years. Each of these three areas will be crucial in terms of where influencer marketing will move in 2020, and ultimately these will be the areas that help round out a currently chaotic landscape.