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3 Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2016

Influencer marketing continues to be one of the best ways to increase brand awareness, boost SEO, and drive sales. While the basics have stayed the same, some new influencer marketing trends have emerged that your small business should be aware of.

As you know, influencer marketing focuses on reaching the people whose opinions matter so much that they influence what people buy. I recently ran across some statistics in this infographic that clearly showed the importance of influencer marketing:

  • 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others (like influencers) over branded content
  • 70% say that online reviews are their second-most-trusted source of information.
  • 47% consult blogs to keep tabs on trends and ideas

As I mentioned above, some new influencer marketing trends have emerged this year. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Video platforms are creating new influencers

Just as YouTube has spawned a huge network of stars-turned-influencers, the same is happening on Facebook Live, Snapchat, and Periscope. Users on these video platforms are amassing followers, growing communities, and increasing their influence. If your target market(s) use these social media platforms, start building relationships with influencers on them.

2. So is Instagram

If you’re trying to reach Millennials, consider developing relationships with Instagram influencers. Keep in mind that your posts have to be story-driven and tied to the lifestyle and values of the Instagram influencer if your efforts are going to succeed.

3. The best Influencers don’t always have the biggest following

I believe that quality beats quantity in almost every area of life. Sunshine and the beach are two exceptions. There’s no such thing as too much of either in my book. But I digress.

The most effective influencer for you might not be the one with the 750,000 followers and so-so engagement. It might be the one with 10,000 followers and very active engagement. (By engagement, I mean followers consistently comment, share, like, and otherwise interact with the influencer.)

So, how do you build relationships with influencers? Follow these two tips:

Build relationships slowly and deliberately

Relationships develop over time, not at the snap of a finger. Follow influencers on their main social channel and start joining their conversations – leave comments, ask questions, like and share their posts.

Send them a thoughtful, focused email

After spending a few weeks or months developing a relationship with the influencer, reach out via email. In your email, focus on how you can help them.

  • Explain why their followers would be interested in learning about your brand, product, or service.
  • List the benefits the influencer will get.
  • Make a very specific ask.
  • Keep your email short.
  • Don’t send any attachments – they won’t get opened.

Have you successfully used influencer marketing? Will you be trying it for the first time this year?

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Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at