The Future of Influencer Marketing: Authenticity and Strategic Partnerships

Now, brands are beginning to search for authentic influencers

The Future of Influencer Marketing: Authenticity and Strategic Partnerships
Katie Metz // Adriana Lacy

In today’s world, influencer marketing has become more important than ever before. Traditional marketing has quickly gone out the door, and in its place, we’ve seen the new form of online influencer marketing take its place and become a potent tool that brands utilize. However, as with any trend, influencer marketing has quickly become skeptical, with influencers “buying followers” and becoming inauthentic on the platform. Consumers have become wary of purchasing from influencers, which can be a dangerous road for influencers. It used to be that follower count was all influencers had to think about, but now brands are starting to think more about influencers who resonate with their audience and can provide genuine value. This marks a substantial shift in the influencer realm, specifically where influencer marketing will begin to focus more substantially on authenticity and strategic partnerships. Let’s look at this and what it holds for the future of influencer marketing. 

Micro-influencers are Making an Impact  

Up until now, the goal has been to become a mega influencer, which has been strongly linked with obtaining brand deals and becoming more successful on social media platforms. But now we’ve seen that micro-influencers, although having less of a following, have more of a strong and highly cultivated following. Micro-influencers tend to have more engaged followers, which can have a more significant impact when considering brand deals. Micro-influencers have followers who are more trusting of them and more apt to purchase from them, ultimately leading to higher conversation rates. 

Looking for Authenticity  

Now, brands are beginning to search for authentic influencers. Gone are the days when followers wanted to see perfectly curated content that looked polished. Instead, they want to see something honest and vulnerable. This is how influencers make the most substantial sales and followers become the most devoted. Influencer marketing has become focused on authenticity on social media platforms, ultimately leading to the most conversions. 

New Ways of Marketing 

The digital age and social media are new for everyone, and it’s not surprising that new technology is constantly emerging. Regarding influencer marketing, it seems there’s a new way to continually interact with one’s audience. We see new formats such as live Q and A sessions, user-generated content, and shoppable posts coming out and influencers utilizing them. Live sessions allow influencers to connect with their followers in real-time, while platforms like Instagram allow for shoppable posts. These posts allow followers to purchase from influencers directly on the platform without hassle. This is game-changing for influencer marketing, and we only expect to see more formats for influencers to use for marketing. 

Brands are Looking for Long Term Partnerships 

Brands are no longer looking for one-off campaigns with influencers; they’re looking for strategic and long-lasting partnerships. This means that brands are now looking for high-quality influencers who can provide them with long-term value, not merely a one-time collaboration. They’ll look for influencers who align with their brand values and are successful long-term with devoted followers, not simply follower count or platform size. 

TikTok is Growing 

It’s no surprise that TikTok’s rising importance has quickly enabled it to become one of the most successful social media platforms. One reason for this is the authenticity we usually see displayed on the platform. While other social media platforms aim to showcase curated content, TikTok users tend to display relevant, everyday-life content that’s different from other platforms. Brands are now looking for successful TikTok influencers with engaged followings and user-generated content. 

Measuring ROI and Performances 

As influencer marketing continues to emerge, measuring ROI and tracking performance is more critical than ever. Although it’s not at the point we expect it to reach, these vital elements of influencer marketing have already been making strides and changing. Brands expect comprehensive data analytics and essential insights to see if influencer campaigns are working accurately. We can expect a shift in advanced tools in the future that will be able to gauge the effectiveness of influencer collaborations accurately. This will enable brands to make informed decisions about the influencers they choose for collaborations and optimize their strategies to receive the best outcome. 

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