2017 Influencer Marketing Predictions

Looking ahead to 2017.

2016 was a big year for the world, and for influencer marketing. We saw budgets and public awareness grow, while trust in influencer authenticity declined. We also witnessed major corporations (like Google) acquire influencer agencies. We can expect in 2017 a battle for control over influencer marketing budgets, as well as a fight to combat losses in authenticity. Here’s the big picture of what we can look for in 2017…

  1. Live-Streaming and Real-World Activations To Combat Decline In Authenticity

    • Merging old school with new school, brands will rely on real-world influencer events and activations to build more organic non-scripted content with higher engagement.

    • As a further defense to the authenticity of influencer marketing, we will see agencies gravitate more towards live-streaming and real-time social media platforms. Real-time tagging of brands and individuals on live platforms will increase engagement and digital activity for influencers and brands alike.

    • Further along in 2017, VR and AR social platforms will be the new driving force in influencer marketing. Think influencers directing real-time VR sessions where they can virtually interact with followers, tag brands, answer questions, and put their worlds on display in a more authentic and less curated way.

  1. Acceleration of Reliance On Micro-Influencers To Build More Authenticity

    • Micro-influencers with high engagement in niche verticals, will be utilized in mass quantities (thousands per campaign) to generate more organic and engaging content.

  1. Martech Will Allow Influencer Marketing To Combine Authenticity With Target Precision

    • With improvements in influencer martech, agencies will be able to hit precise target demographics, verticals, locations, etc. Smaller agencies will need to adopt the use of martech platforms in order to compete, especially as the industry looks toward using mass numbers of micro-influencers.

  1. PR Agencies Will Fight For Control of Digital Marketing Budgets

    • In order to lead the future of influencer marketing, PR companies will outbid other acquirers in the acquisition of influencer agencies, groups and technology. In doing so, PR agencies will control higher marketing budgets, cutting into media buying budgets to implement much larger influencer campaigns with a scope far beyond product launches.

  1. Continued Increase In FTC Crackdowns For Brands, Celebrities, AND Influencers

    • This year we can expect the FTC to enforce policies not only for big brands and agencies, but individual influencers will be targeted for policy violations as well.

  1. Re-evaluation of Traditional Quantitative Metrics and Analytics

    • Thus far, we’ve seen traditional marketing metrics applied to influencer strategies, leading to inaccurate expectations and campaign planning. Cost per engagement models instead of potential impressions will provide more accurate pricing and greater ROI for influencer strategies.

    • Standards will emerge to allow reach and engagement across Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc to be meaningfully compared to one another as well as to blog monthly unique numbers.

  1. Influencers Will Strategize Campaigns and Embrace Collaboration

    • Influencers will take on creative strategy roles, developing campaigns and content creation for brands. As a result, brands and agencies will become curators rather than creators for campaigns.

    • Additionally, collaborative campaigns will emerge wherein influencers will be mobilized to create in cohorts, rather than as individuals.


By Darby Barton, Francis Kenneth, and Nichole Brandt

Categories: Insights
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