Kristin Dyak, Digital Marketing Director for The Cyphers Agency, contributed to MarTechExec’s article “Influencer Marketing: Where the Tactic is Headed and Trends to Support It.” Kristin, with the help of Cyphers’ digital marketing team, discussed trends and predictions in influencer marketing.

Kristin’s full contribution was also posted to the site, as follows:

How will influencer marketing evolve?

In recent months, influencers have become a staple component in effective social media marketing campaigns. Right now, we don’t have a formula for the best way to connect and work with influencers, but as this type of marketing grows in popularity, we believe a structure will evolve.

Influencer marketing is in a unique spot in its evolution; more and more campaigns are incorporating it into their strategies, but who is doing it right? Some in the industry will say that accounts with the largest number of followers are the best influencers to partner with. However, a growing trend in social media platforms may derail that assumption. Users are becoming more familiar with the idea of bots and fake accounts that boost following numbers for certain users and give a false sense of “authority” online.

In our experience, the influencers you want to seek out are the ones with engaged audiences. If marketers are hoping to make the most of this digital “word of mouth,” they need to focus on an influencer that has the power to turn a cold audience into a hot lead audience. It will be this decision that will dictate the future of influencer marketing. If we as an industry are focusing on influencers with real authority, the marketing strategy will remain effective. We risk oversaturation if it continues as a numbers game. When social media platforms get flooded with people promoting things like gummy bears that help your hair grow, authority is lost in the influencer and interest is lost in the product.

What are some trends you see on the future of influencer marketing?

Think about some of the common products you see being pushed out on social media currently. It could be on any platform, but at least one product most likely just popped into your head. Now, can you name the influencer? If you can, you’re most likely to name a celebrity. Celebrity influencers are the type of influencers that we see in a numbers-focused influencer marketing campaign. Non-celebrity influencers that are credited as “experts in their field” gain credibility from their industry awareness and the audience that they’re contributing to the campaign.

Visuals, messaging and the influencer’s potential reach is much less effective without a truly organic audience. In addition, influencer marketing is no longer a one-trick pony. A successful influencer must be well-versed across social media platforms that host specific industry conversations. On top of having a social media savvy skillset, the influencer must have the resources to produce unique, high-quality media assets that catch the attention and speaks to the right audience.