Leveraging Social Media Influencers: Trends and Tips

Published on: June 24, 2024

The power of social media influencers was unlocked in the early days of legacy platforms, when it became clear that fans and followers put more faith and trust in the people they followed online than they did in the brands and companies they had been familiar with for many years.

Today, influencer outreach is stronger than ever, and marketing professionals need to know how to utilize the best influencer marketing tools in order to leverage the potential of this opportunity.

Understanding the Landscape of Influencer Marketing

While influencers have seemingly been around since the early days of social media, the landscape of influencer marketing has changed significantly over the past several years. Today, influencers must work to constantly entertain and engage their followers, all while promoting the products that they have agreed to share as part of brand collaborations. It may seem like a quick and easy way to earn a hefty income, but social media influencing involves a significant commitment of a person’s time, energy and resources.

According to LinkedIn, today’s social media influencers wield a lot of power:

  • 80 percent of consumers across all markets have made a purchase based on influencer content.
  • 69 percent of marketing professionals plan to allocate more money toward influencer content collaboration.
  • 89 percent of companies that participate in influencer contracts find that their return on investment is worthwhile when compared to other, more traditional marketing channels.

Identifying the Right Influencers for Your Brand

The influencer lifestyle is alluring, and as a result, there are thousands upon thousands of influencers who are trying to utilize social media platforms in order to launch their careers. Choosing the right influencers for your brand advocacy efforts is critical, as you will want to partner with the content creators who best align with your brand’s values and who have access to your target market segment.

According to Stevens & Tate Attraction Marketing, you can find the right social media influencers for your brand by:

  • Researching the influencers who have a follower base that resembles your target audience.
  • Verifying that the influencer you choose aligns with your brand values.
  • Review the influencer’s content and confirm that they create trustworthy, reliable and engaging content that aligns with your brand vision.

Trends Shaping Influencer Marketing in 2024

In the world of social media influencing, changing algorithms and evolving influencer marketing platforms ensure that the landscape is constantly changing and growing. These are the influencer marketing trends that are taking shape in 2024.

AI and the Beginning of the Virtual Influencer Era

Virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence are seemingly on everyone’s minds, as we begin to develop an understanding of the true power of these advanced technologies. For social media influencers, AI can be both a blessing and a curse. There are new AI tools that make it easier for social media influencers to create their content, schedule their posts and streamline their brand collaborations. However, there is the risk of influencers being replaced by AI-versions of themselves. Already, some brands are beginning to create AI-based virtual influencers who mimic the style and personalities of the most effective influencers around the world.

Boomers and Social Media Marketing — What It Means to Be a Granfluencer

TikTok and some of the other leading influencer marketing platforms may seem like they are exclusively reserved for the youngest generations, but Boomers are beginning to unlock the influencer lifestyle. According to Forbes, there is a growing number of active, wealthy and older adults who are participating on these social media platforms, and many retirees are finding that they can leverage the gig economy by developing brand collaborations with companies that cater their products and services to older adults.

The Power of Specialization

Influencers who once had a foothold on a large base of followers based on their generic content are finding that they no longer have the engagement levels that they once did. Micro influencers are beginning to dominate, as followers look to engage with influencers who focus on a specific niche. For instance, travel influencers who make content specifically for Disney adults who want to plan trips are having more success than those who focus on the travel industry as a whole.

Crafting Effective Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Once you have identified the influencer who will work best for your brand, you can begin developing an effective influencer marketing campaign together.

Begin By Creating an Influencer Contract

You will want to get the parameters of your agreement in writing with the influencer that you choose to collaborate with. According to Upfluence, you should include the following in your influencer contracts:

  • Compensation plan that details when and how the influencer will be paid.
  • Social media marketing platforms you expect the influencer to use when creating content for your brand.
  • Format of the content that the influencer will be creating.
  • Publication dates and frequency.
  • Guidelines that they need to adhere to when posting about your products or services.
  • Expectations of exclusivity, and any limitations to additional partnerships that the influencer must take into consideration.

Determine Which Type of Campaign You Will Create

There are various types of social media influencer campaigns to consider. One popular option is hashtag campaigns, which require the influencer to use a variety of hashtags as part of their content that promotes your brand.

Develop a Plan to Measure Results

Together with the influencer, you should create a plan to monitor engagement and track results. This will allow you to determine if the social media influencer marketing campaign was worthwhile for your brand, or if you should make changes in the future when working with content creators.

Navigating Challenges and Pitfalls in Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing is one of the most powerful marketing channels in the digital era, it’s not without its challenges. According to LinkedIn, these are some of the common challenges associated with influencer outreach and marketing:

  • Finding the influencer that aligns perfectly with your brand vision and expectations.
  • Creating a productive and positive relationship with an influencer.
  • Providing the influencer with guidelines and expectations without limiting their creative expression and freedom.

The best way to navigate these challenges is to do extensive research in advance, and to take your time choosing the right influencer for your brand collaborations.

Measuring the Success of Influencer Marketing Campaigns

According to Business News Daily, these are the best ways to measure the success of your influencer marketing campaigns:

Always Utilize Affiliate Links

When outlining your influencer contracts, you will want to include a requirement that they use affiliate links as part of the content they create with and for your brand. An affiliate link is a unique link that can be attributed to that specific influencer, allowing you to monitor the number of clicks and conversions based on their posts.

Monitor Engagement Levels in the Midst of Brand Collaborations

Engagement in social media is defined as the number of followers who like a post, comment on content, share that content with their own followers and interact with the content in any way. Naturally, higher levels of engagement equates to a more successful influencer marketing campaign.

Monitor Traffic Throughout the Duration of the Social Media Influencer Campaign

Before the campaign begins, you will want to calculate a benchmark of your normal website traffic. Then, during the campaign, you should take regular notes about how many people visit the website or make purchases. In addition, you should continue to monitor and track this traffic after the campaign ends in order to see if there was a distinct boost in traffic and conversions during the social media influencer campaign.

Future of Influencer Marketing: Predictions and Opportunities

Influencer marketing isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, which means that now is the perfect time to future-proof your influencer marketing strategies. According to AI Contentfy, these are the future trends to keep an eye on:

Video Will Continue to Be King

Video content is considered by most users to be more interesting, engaging and exciting, which is why the algorithms on the best influencer marketing platforms promote this style of content. Influencers will continue to rely more heavily on video content, so you should keep that in mind as you begin to develop your next social media influencer marketing campaign.

Micro-Influencers Will Make a Larger Impact

You no longer have to attempt to court those mega influencers with millions of followers. In fact, identifying the micro influencers with a few hundred or a few thousand followers who align perfectly with your target audience will be much more advantageous in the future. Micro influencers are gaining traction and will continue to have higher engagement levels than mega influencers.

Transparency Will Define the Success of Any Social Media Influencer Campaign

In the age of AI and deepfake, more people are concerned about interacting with influencers who are authentic, transparent and trustworthy. Developing transparent campaigns that clearly identify sponsored content will help you have more success in this realm.

Learn More About the Future of Influencer Marketing at Park University

Social media influencers and content creators will continue to dominate the marketing landscape in the months and years ahead. In order to learn more about the power of influencer outreach and to discover the future of influencer marketing, pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Marketing degree at Park University. Our innovative and rigorous curriculum provides you with a foundational understanding of the marketing field, all while helping you develop the skills needed to future-proof your career.

Request more information about our online degree programs today.

Park University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Park University is a private, non-profit, institution of higher learning since 1875.