📷 by Daniela Ramirez @NanyIt’s no secret that influencer marketing was in the hot seat in 2018. The ever-evolving industry keeps us on our toes. We take time each year to reflect on the changes we’ve seen and publish an in-depth report synthesizing data and perspectives from our client and influencer communities.If you’re interested in the full data story on topics like brand investment, measuring program value and influencer compensation —visit our Reports page to download the full publication: "Influencer Marketing in 2019: a 360 Analysis.”Otherwise, read on for our take on the four forces shaping the industry this year.1) Organic Posts + Paid MediaPaid media amplification that scales the organic reach of influencer posts will be standard. Combining influencers’ engaging content and audience relationships with the power of social ad targeting and conversion tracking can be thought of as “influence media.”Takeaway: Influencer casting will continue to move from a focus on follower count toward finding the most engaging creative content to amplify. This transition will shift program economics, with potential for increased content and licensing fees, and incremental budget needed for paid social ads. 2) Data Integration for True ROIAs the practice of influencer marketing becomes further embedded into every digital marketer’s toolkit, brands will need to integrate multiple data sources to develop accurate models for reporting and ROI—a top concern among marketers. Takeaway: Program sponsors may need to break down departmental silos to identify and track appropriate creative benchmarks, and foster close collaboration between cross-functional teams managing campaign strategy, execution, deployment and optimization.3) Polarization in Influencer CastingAs marketers become more sophisticated with the practice, expect to see strategies covering the high and low ends of the spectrum of influence. Scaled, always-on advocacy programs creatively leveraging micro-influencers will complement tent-pole campaigns featuring high-reaching celebrity and elite talent at strategic moments—potentially leaving behind influencers who fall in between. Takeaway: The middle tier of influencers, long-courted for their audiences and professional-quality content, may be activated less frequently due to declines in platform engagement while still seeking considerable fees.4) “Collaboration” RedefinedNot surprisingly, brand-influencer partnerships are evolving beyond basic social media content collaborations to include more meaningful offline, IRL moments that will build rapport, uncover fresh perspectives, and transform perceptions of influencers as merely a distribution tactic.Takeaway: Brands should regularly seek out high-touch relationship-driven activities like collaborating at the product and packaging level, providing perspectives to research and development teams, hosting influencer focus groups and exploring new roles such as guest creative director or designer.Want to dig in further?Visit our Reports page to see select highlights and download the full document.We’d love to hear your questions and comments, so please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.