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

Here's the complete contribution:

Branded content on social platforms – driven by influencer distribution and engagement - has seen massive growth based on the continued transition to mobile for consumers. In fact, 71 percent of marketers increased or maintained their influencer marketing budget in 2017 and all signs indicate the accelerated growth for the influencer marketing industry increasing at a healthy rate over the next 3-5 years.

As influencer marketing continues to evolve and expand, the ecosystem of influencers, platforms and campaigns inevitably will become more competitive and complex. For example, the proliferation of data and the challenge of corralling that data across platforms into actionable insights has been critical for industry growth (and overwhelming to those who have not adopted technology to help their scaling efforts). This will continue to be the case.

Additionally, marketers will rise to the challenge of being more accountable for the performance of their influencer marketing dollars. According to Lingia, 78 percent of marketers cite determining the ROI of influencer marketing as their top challenge today. Influencer marketing is in its infancy when it comes to analytics and connections to sales. This will change over time as marketers continue to become smarter around campaign ROI that aligns influencer marketing performance with other digital media formats.

Recently, CreatorIQ analyzed data from a sample size of more than 1,000 influencer campaigns that ran on our platform since 2014. Our findings have revealed an increasingly complex influencer marketing landscape with a 300 percent increase in the number of social posts per campaign and a 350 percent increase in the number of creators used per campaign.

Following are some key trends shaping and evolving the increasingly complex space:

  • Integrations are important as marketers need to incorporate data from multiple channels and sources, including influencer marketing which is a crucial component in the overall digital marketing mix. This results in an optimized view of the customer journey.
  • Unified influencer marketing platforms will come as a natural progression away from using multiple point solutions that require marketers to invest time creating and integrating solutions into the marketing stack which becomes cumbersome and complicated.
  • This year, and in the future especially, the focus around FTC guidelines and disclosures has become a hot topic as social platforms, brands, agencies and creators all work to develop an industry standard that has yet to be adopted by all parties.
  • Social platforms - including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube - have all stepped up their attention to “woo” creators and celebrities to their platforms by rolling out specific features, apps, insights and in some cases direct brand deals to ensure the highly valued, viral content of these channels is consistently produced and seen by their followers. Other platforms (Snapchat in particular) have seen a little bit of a backlash from creators based on the perception that they do not provide comparable tools and services for creators.

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