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Isaac Lekach is a featured contributor to Influencer Marketing: Where the Tactic is Headed and Trends to Support It report.

Here's the complete contribution:

Judging by the trends and research, influencer marketing will only continue to grow, but it will also continue to evolve as it has been. At current, 90% of consumers trust word of a friend over that of a brand’s, and consumers are 71% more likely to buy based on social media referrals. I don’t see that taking a backseat to traditional advertising or anything else, anytime soon.

Yes, Instagram recently changed their feed from chronological order to featuring those with better engagement. And this change has been met with grunts and groans. But Instagram is way too habit forming of a product to be abandoned. This change, like most changes, requires acclimation—we’ll all get there, and continue to use the platform. And when we do, Instagram will have diminished the efforts of those trying to game the system (those accounts/influencers who buy likes and comments and followers), and the accounts with great, authentic engagement will survive.

So what does that have to do with influencer marketing? Well, if you’re defining influencer marketing as a tactic restricted to macro influencers/celebrities, you’re not paying attention. The reason the strategy works is because it’s validated by great ROI for the brands. That ROI is yielded by those with great sway/engagement. Macro influencers/celebrities might bring visibility, like a billboard on the Sunset strip, but all that does is feed one's ego. It doesn’t convert to sales and if it does, the amount can’t be quantified.

Micro influencers, and even the burgeoning nano influencers, have seen the smallest dip in their engagement with this algorithmic change—and that’s because theirs is a dedicated, captive following, not one weakened by dead accounts or bots. So influencer marketing will continue to thrive with the participation of THESE influencers. The big fish, the Fortune 500 companies, et. al, will surely continue to work with the macro influencers/celebrities because they’re driven by more than just ROI and have the funds (ability) to maximize and bolster their strategies with an army of tactics, including the hiring of a highly visible brand ambassador. The smaller companies (startups, mid-sized ventures, etc.) will continue to be careful and economical with their approach—and that’s why influencer marketing (as I’m defining it) will continue to thrive. It will weather the algorithmic storm and any other changes that may come because it is (and will continue to be) fueled by the participation of nano and micro influencers whose following and engagement is an earnest one.

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