How will influencer marketing change in 2019?

A report from Talkwalker shows that measurement and finding the right influencer remain challenging for brands.
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Influencer marketing is going to continue to see increased investment in 2019, but measuring the impact of those campaigns still remains a concern for brands and marketers.

That is according to a report by social analytics company Talkwalker, which surveyed over 800 marketing, PR and communications staff globally.

According to the survey, 69% of respondents have identified influencer marketing as either an important or top strategic priority, with 61% saying they plan to increase their investment in the year ahead. However, some familiar challenges persist, with 39% saying measuring the ROI of influencer campaigns remained the top challenge in working with influencers, followed by identifying influencers who could have the best impact (22%) and finding more creative ways to collaborate with influencers (16%).

Todd Grossman, CEO Americas at Talkwalker, said a planned increase in spending coupled with the challenge of measuring ROI points to a gap between intent and impact.”This shows that while brands are eager to leverage the power of influencers, many of them haven’t yet developed a reliable measurement and management strategy, which makes planning and tracking these types of campaigns more difficult.”

When it comes to ROI, 63% of respondents said they do not currently use a tool to manage and measure the impact of influencer platforms. Overwhelmingly, the impact marketers are looking to have with influencer programs is creating more brand visibility (66%), far ahead of things like generating more direct leads or product purchases (17%) and having more creative campaigns (10%).

The report also noted that the factors impacting which influencers a brand chooses to work with has changed. Despite the importance of brand awareness, follower counts and reach is a lower priority than in the past, with respondents ranking the relevance of influencer posts with a brand’s message, the quality and creativity of content and the level of engagement the posts generate as the highest priorities, in that order.

Nearly 72% of respondents said they were working with 50 influencers or less. Stephen Davies, a social media specialist based in London, suggests in the report that this could mean brands are more interested in working with a smaller number of influencers who they can build long-term relationships with, as opposed to engaging with massive numbers of nano- and micro-influencers.

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