Zehnder Communications, Inc.

2019 Influencer Marketing Trends to Know

For agencies and PR pros, influencer marketing has become one of the most widely used and cost-effective marketing strategies for brands looking to make a splash in the digital space. Although a valuable tool, the rise of influencer marketing and the saturation of influencers has also created its share of challenges for brands hoping to employ the tactic in their long-term marketing plans.

With 2019 bringing even more saturation in this maturing industry and an ever-evolving social media landscape, it’s more important than ever for marketers to stay on top of the newest trends if they want to succeed in this constantly changing sector.

Rise of the Influencer Next Door

In 2018, we saw PR pros and agencies turn to so-called micro influencers, those with followings between 5,000 and 30,000, along with the smaller, yet equally powerful nano influencers with followings of less than 5,000.

While these Instagrammers don’t have a Kim Kardashian-level of reach that marketers once fawned over, they represent everyday people who have exceptional levels of social media savviness, curated niche content and a substantive audience of highly engaged followers – and marketers are flocking to them.

Why the shift? To put it simply, focusing on quality over quantity is not only more cost-effective, but can also produce more authentic results. What these digital citizens lack in reach, they make up for in intimacy – with a genuine, trustworthy personalization of the brand. Moreover, most micro and nano influencers are eager to accept product in exchange for promotion, making them much easier to work with while avoiding huge dents in client budgets. 

This year, expect to see even more of the quality-over-quantity shift as marketers work smarter and overcome an over-saturated space with more effective influencers that can be found right next-door.

A Focus on Instagram Stories

A recent report compiled by Klear, a leading influencer marketing platform, found that influencer marketing on Instagram grew by 39 percent worldwide in 2018. As brands increasingly turn to this type of visual storytelling, Instagram is projected to become the platform of choice in 2019, with a particular emphasis on the Instagram Story feature.                                        

With more than 400 million people viewing Instagram Stories daily, influencers adopted the feature quickly, leveraging the 24-hour aspect to create more engaging content that feeds users’ insatiable need for quick, digestible content. In 2018, about a third of sponsored posts appeared as an Instagram Story, and we can expect that number to rise as this feature becomes central to campaigns. 

Executing in the Long-Term

Gone are the days of the quick, one-and-done transactions between PR pros and influencers. As the industry matures, marketers are less concerned about product placement and more interested in cultivating authentic ambassadors and voices for their brands and taking the conversation beyond a one-time sponsored post. As they say, if the shoe fits, brands will wear it, investing in sustainable, long-term relationships with influencers who have the ROI to back it up.

Influencer marketing has proven it’s here to stay. If it isn’t already a part of your 2019 digital strategy, it may be time to consider delivering the benefits to your client or brand. 

Stay tuned. With our influencer marketing series, we’ll share plenty more key insights into the ever-changing world of influencer relations and Instagram stardom.

If you have a brand that would benefit from influencer engagement, reach out to Jen Boneno at or (225) 448-0756 and discover how we can power up your customer outreach.


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