I think we could rightly say that 2017 was the year of influencer marketing. Brands seemingly flocked to influencers to help sell their products or services to engaged audiences.

To be honest, this trend is not going to stop anytime soon. In fact, it’s picking up right where it stopped. Influencer marketing is one of the top strategies and the driving force for brands looking to drastically grow their audience and increase sales through social media platforms.

The main question to be taken into consideration is what can you, as an individual do, to get the most out of influencer marketing this year? Will the same tactics pay off again?

In this article, we’ve curated a bunch of points that will help you get to the top.

  1. Don’t limit your Influencer marketing to Instagram

A lot of surveys and brands automatically associate influence marketing with Instagram. While Instagram is most likely to stay at the top of the list, that does not mean you should turn a blind eye to other social media platforms. Influencers are also active on Facebook, Snap-chat, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest as well. Your main aim should be to generate a better ROI, by paying less and getting better conversions.

Keep in mind that not all influencers are on YouTube and Instagram. Ensure you look through, Medium, Pinterest, blogs and other platforms where you could find your potential target audience.

2. Start using Instagram marketing tools

Two of the biggest challenges brands face is finding the right influencers and managing relationships. A lot of accounts on instagram have fake followers. Look into this before making a call. This is what the ideal process would look like-

  • Browse through various social media platforms and look for people whom you think would be a good fit
  • Send them a direct message or email if that is displayed
  • Negotiate the terms of the partnership
  • After you’ve come to an agreement, you can make the payment and wait for the influencer to execute
  • Make sure you find a way of keeping a track of the partnership
  1. Create useful content, not ads

Many a times, people have a misconception about influencer marketing- that is has to look a certain way. For example- an influencer taking a photo with your product captioning it about how much they love your brand.

But to be honest, that is too mainstream.

This year, make sure your influencer marketing campaigns look a lot less like generic ads and much more like content marketing. Content should be useful and entertaining, you need to make sure it stands out.

  1. Follow FTC guidelines for Influencer Marketing

This year, brands and influencers are being more transparent about their partnerships.

Earlier, influencer marketing on social media was pretty subtle, not everyone was aware of if a person was getting paid for a specific post or video.

In 2017, the FTF put their foot down and clarified what was mandatory for brands and influencers while working together on sponsored content. To avoid facing any type of legal troubles, make sure the influencers you’re working with clearly disclose that they are being compensated for promoting your brand.

  1. Have an effective pool of influencers

Just because someone has 10k+ followers, does not mean they might be as influential. It is important to verify the account before hiring someone as an influencer. What you need to remember is that the value of influencers isn’t their follower count; it is the ability to capture the attention of the audience, irrespective of what size it is. There are plenty of brands with umpteen number of followers, but can’t get even 1% of them to convert into prospective customers.

Too bring in waves of sales and see real success, make sure you’re updated with all the trends to get the most of influencer marketing.