With the rapid rise and growth of Influencer Marketing, direct selling companies have taken advantage by shifting their focus from traditional methods to digital and to social networks and have found gold with engaging new audiences and reaching new prospects.
As with any growth trend, you have to stay out in front. Here are some top influencer marketing trends to watch for in 2020 for the direct selling industry.
The emergence of the micro-influencer
It’s not just the direct selling industry that has taken advantage of influencer marketing to grow the top line over the last few years. Retail, E-commerce and affiliate eCommerce brands have also found success with this go to market strategy thereby driving up the cost and competition. It is becoming more and more difficult for direct selling companies to get through to the right, big-time influencers in your niche.
Smaller influencers often have a much higher engagement rate than their counterparts with BIG followings. These smaller influencers are becoming more niche-oriented which means a higher probability you are going to reach an audience that is passionate about your products.
For all industries trying to take advantage of this trend, a big challenge is how to identify and manage a larger number of micro-influencers required to reach a large enough audience. For Direct Sellers, we have a built-in advantage because we have the ability to execute with multiple influencers using our compensation plan and go to market model, and we have the community to keep them.
Pay for Performance
A big trend in influencer marketing is Pay for Performance. In the early days of influencer marketing (I know, just 4-5 years old now), direct selling companies made blind investments to test out their theories. They paid influencers to give a review, or make a post about the company and the products. The reviews, pun intended, were mixed. Most companies saw some results but mostly saw their test provide little fruit.
There has been a big shift where both the influencer and the company share in the investment and the success. Once again, direct sellers have an advantage here because the entire business is constructed on a foundation of pay for performance. Often times small tweaks to programs and messaging is all that is needed.
Social Media Ads and Influencer Marketing Merge
The social networks and influencers have a symbiotic relationship. By driving engagement, they drive and spend. This has been separated in the past but has started to converge. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok have started to leverage this trend.
Emerging Influencer Marketplaces
New platforms are emerging where companies can connect with and pay influencers on some of the social networking platforms, and do it in a way that scales. Well known platforms such as Facebook and Tik Tok have already begun testing marketplaces and are poised to capture even more ad spend.
Execution is a top priority
Any direct selling executive that has executed an influencer campaign will tell you that it’s not easy. It can be a very difficult and time-consuming endeavor. Even with all the best practices and tools, without a sound execution strategy, your campaign will fall flat.
Influencer marketing has already gotten off to a fast start in 2020. These defining trends will continue to create massive opportunities for direct selling companies and new startups. Those that take the best advantage will be poised for a new generation of Direct Selling.