HUGE — Influencer Marketing in 2017

Influencer Marketing is not new. What is new is the sophistication of influencers and their fans, as well as the willingness of brands to use these efforts to reach consumers with news on products and campaigns.

Influencer marketing is already huge. A recent survey revealed 84% of marketers plan on executing at least one influencer marketing campaign during the next 12 months.

I recently spoke with social media star Josh Peck about his views on influencer marketing, personal branding, and the state of social media today. With over 10M+ followers, Josh is participating in the new Unilever AXE Hair Creator campaign as part of a group of very influential guys including Josh Elkin, Brodie Smith, and Jason Silva and more.

”The greatest commodity today is honesty,” says Josh. “Showing your true voice and allowing the audience into your daily life is the ultimate way to do that.”

Finding a brand that ‘makes sense’ in the influencers’ life is key to keeping that authenticity. Josh also believes that fans intuitively know that including brands into the documentation of his life is a way of subsidizing all the cool content he produces that they love and can’t get enough of.

It’s a fair tradeoff. A recent Facebook study looked at 14,700 adults in the US in order to analyze the state of brand loyalty across five specific sectors: Auto Insurance, Airlines, Hotels, Grocery and Restaurants.

Their research showed that 77% of people are considered brand loyal, returning to the same brands over and over again. Of these, 37% make repeat purchases and are loyal to a company — Facebook tagged this group as “Brand Loyalists” — while 40% make repeat purchases but are not necessarily ‘loyal’. Facebook tagged this second category “Repeat Purchasers”.

Brands are getting better and better at understanding the influencer marketing ecosystem and leveraging that to their advantage. Getting (and keeping) consumers’ loyalty is hard work. And with millennials, securing that brand loyalty now is a full time job for brands looking for lifetime loyalty.

Beverly Macy is the author of the best selling book The Power of Real-Time Social Media Marketing. She also teaches the Business of Sports & Entertainment at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a thought leader in IoT, big data and digital branding and media trends.