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

Here's the complete contribution:

The digital marketing landscape evolves constantly, it is almost impossible to predict where influencer marketing will be in the next 3-5 years. I was recently at a WOMMA conference where Nestle Waters EVP and CMO Antonio Sciuto actually said ‘he doesn’t think it’s practical to have his team plan that far out when it comes to influencer anyway.’ I have to agree. Here are a few predictions that I have:

Influencers will continue to get smarter about the business side of their interactions with brands

This means a couple of things. The role of agent and manager will play a bigger role and just as celebrity endorsements grew and became core to any large marketer’s advertising strategy, so will influencer marketing.

There will be more rate transparency

Thousands of digital agencies speak about influencer marketing as a practice and there are hundreds of vendors that claim to be able to match brands with the right influencers using data and analytics. So marketers will need to think beyond the impression and make decisions on who to partner with both on the agency and influencer side based on real business impact. That is why, at gen.video, we believe in tying everything back to point-of-sale.

Longer term engagements

When working with larger scale influencers, ones with 500K+ subscribers or millions, there are typically two schools of thought. Some marketers understand that influencers are experts in their vertical and part of why so many consumers flock to them is due to their credibility and authenticity for all products they try whether there is a brand affiliation or not. Other marketers, want exclusivity and to form true relationships with the influencers to ensure that there is a believable partnership forming. Regardless of the starting point, finding influencers – the right ones that meet standards and personify a brand – is time consuming and a lot of work. It is in everyone’s best interest to establish longer term relationships to yield best results.

New platforms will emerge

New ecommerce capabilities will find their way into social platforms. And undoubtedly, Amazon will continue to explore ways to bring social content and tool-sets for influencers into their platform which will provide brands with a ton of potential for innovation and benefit customers that often seek content on social during their shopping journey. The Asian market is much more advanced in the merging of these to online consumer behaviors and I’m excited to see where that goes in the U.S.

Amazon launching Spark and their Influencer Program

Right now it isn’t as ‘easy’ for influencers to build up their own follower base, but I expect that to change. They are actively posting influencer content, which is visible by seeing the required social disclosures #ad or #sponsored as well as their own ‘on site associate’ disclaimer to help ensure the 30M+ monthly active users are aware of content that might have been paid for by a brand or the retailer directly to post.

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