Saturation of automation
From our visits to the US and UK this year, we can see the trend for automated influencer marketing platforms is still in growth phase. Next year will no doubt see even more platforms launch in the Aussie market. This will likely hit a saturation point and burnout itself out. We heard from many brands this year who were very dissatisfied with tech platforms promising to make things very simple and scalable. But trying to scale an old PR model with software was eventually going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy without a clear, long-term strategy in place. At that point, some players will drop off and clear stratas will emerge – from a high-touch, strategic approach at the top to automated, tactical campaigns at the bottom.
Increasing need for activity to deliver tangible business results
As budgets increase for influencer marketing activity, there will be an increased expectation for activity to deliver tangible business results. We have already seen this in 2017, and next year we will be including external research across all long-term activity to accurately and independently quantify success.
Increasing prominence of Aussie YouTubers
Australian brands are increasingly seeking to work with YouTubers and Vloggers due to a “hockey stick” increase in the number of subscribers to Australian-based channels in the last 12 months, some of whom have quadrupled their subscribers. We expect this to continue into 2018. With the testing of Facebook’s second newsfeed in recent weeks, YouTube may be the last channel that prefers the content creator overpaid budgets and brands need to start acting like influencers in their own right on this important channel.
The rise of Australian B2B influencers
LinkedIn in Australia is coming into its own. For the longest time, it has felt like the same business influencers have been recycled from Sunrise and Shark Tank. There is a small handful of savvy business influencers leveraging the new LinkedIn and its very friendly organic reach growing audiences. It is nice to see fresh voices are growing in popularity and grabbing the attention of brands. 2018 will see brands effectively leveraging those voices.