SERMO has launched its fourthannual Influencer Index – its analysis of the top digital influencersand “ones-to-watch” in 18 markets worldwide, including Hong Kong andChina. This years’ index focuses on the audience behind eachinfluencer by adding a new layer of analysis: audience demographicdata – who each influencer actually talks to, where theirfollowers are located and what their interests are.
The report also includes eight globalinfluencer marketing trends to watch out for this year – including theincreasing importance of Instagram Stories for reaching under 25s, WeChatmini-programs driving sales, and the rise of male influencers.
Tanya Hughes, president of SERMOCommunications, commented, “This is the new gold standard in influencermarketing, just as readership data is crucial for media title selection.Visibility on audience data allows us to have a more accurate view oninfluencers’ brand fit (and goes beyond vanity metrics such as large followerand engagement numbers). Analysis of this data, as you’ll see from the report,busts assumption and presents content creation and collaboration opportunitiesthat can make campaigns work harder.”
The 2018 Index updates the network’s globaland local rankings of influencers using its proprietary 70:30 digitalinfluence algorithm – 70% data (an influencer’s total audience reach) +30% human judgement (a score based on SERMO agencies’ experiences of the influencers’professionalism, creativity and peer influence). According to the pressrelease, SERMO partners use this algorithm when designing bespoke influencermarketing campaigns for clients at both local and global levels. SERMO haspartnered with influencer relationship management technologyprovider Traackr again for the data element of the index.
Top 8 influencer trends to watch
1. Audience First
It’s easy to make assumptions aboutinﬂuencers’ audiences just from looking at their content and lifestyle, but notall is what it seems. For instance, 82% of UK style inﬂuencer Jim Chapman’s 9.1million strong audience are teenage beauty-obsessed girls because he’s marriedto beauty vlogger Tanya Burr), and the majority of Netherlands-based NeginMirsalehi’s audience are located in the US. At the same time, many inﬂuencershave multi-territory audiences which can be a plus for brands. But in China,India, the Middle East and Poland, a high percentage of top inﬂuencers’followings are more concentrated locally than in other markets. So globalbrands working in those markets need to operate both a local and globalapproach to inﬂuencer identification.
2. Mad for micro
Engagement rates of top-ter inﬂuencers isstarting to diminish – posts are becoming saturated by brand endorsement andeven conﬂictng messaging as they cash in on their celebrity status. But this isbeing balanced by brands’ increasing willingness to work withmicro-inﬂuencers.
3. A blended approach
While micro-inﬂuencers gain ground,top-tier inﬂuencers have near celebrity status in most markets. With the helpof agents, they’re cashing in on event appearances, book deals, product lines,and more. Global brands seeking global reach understand the importance oftaking a layered
approach to their inﬂuencer marketing that includes stars andmicro-influencers alike.
4. Min-e-commerce lessons from China
In China, a growing number of WeChatinﬂuencers are developing their
own e-commerce ‘mini-programs’ to drive sales via their content. Mini-programsare powerful sub-apps within WeChat that enable e-commerce, coupons, and other‘experiences’ – something Instagram and other Western platorms are yet tointegrate
5. Spotlight on Stories
Instagram’s Stories has become a keymarketng channel for reaching those under the age of 25 – according toInstagram, this audience spend an average of 32 minutes a day consuming thisephemeral content. Over half of Instagram’s 500 million daily actve users arenow watching Stories.
6. Blogging off
In Germany and Ireland, blogs are stillimportant for spreading brand messages, but in all other SERMO markets findinginﬂuencers who blog regularly is becoming harder as their focus has shifed tosocial. Long-form online and blog content are out of fashion.
7. Make-up artists get personal onInstagram
More and more professional make-up artistsare turning their hand to Instagram. They share beauty hacks, perform livemasterclasses and show you how to get favourite celebrity and runway looks –all with the professional expertise and experience many inﬂuencers can onlydream of.
8. Here come the boys
The social media industry ﬂips the genderpay gap on its head, with female inﬂuencers commanding higher fees than men.But in fashion, grooming, food, comedy and lifestyle – male inﬂuencers are onthe rise. There are double the number of men in our global top 18 vs 2017 –they now make up 20%.
Edited by Carlos Bruinsma