Lucky for you, Instagram influencer marketing is on the rise and isn’t expected to lose speed anytime soon. Influencer marketing is now a half a billion dollar industry and when it comes to influencers, Instagram is where it’s at (but you already know that)!

Making the most out of your account when it comes to Instagram influencer marketing is keeping up with the current trends of the industry. Knowledge is power and it’s always important to be in the know about what’s happening in the industry you’re trying to make a living in, so you can be one step ahead of everyone else. 

Let’s break it down: In 2016, $570 million was spent on Instagram influencer marketing alone and 73% of marketers said they allocated a budget for influencer marketing. Based on a survey by Linquia, 48% of marketers have planned to increase their influencer marketing budgets the following year, with only 4% of marketers reporting a decrease in influencer efforts. (Whoop whoop! This is huge for you!) 

But what does this actually mean? That we’re on the brink of something really big and it’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of the influencer movement!

5 Instagram Influencer Marketing Trends

Instagram influencer marketing is revolutionizing the industry because it WORKS.

With an exponential growth in funding for influencer marketing, the industry is rapidly developing and in some cases overtaking traditional marketing tactics altogether. So the next time your parents ask, “Exactly, what do you do again? Just take pictures?” Smile and politely show them the facts because Instagram influencer marketing is taking over and there is tons of industry research to back you up. 

As much as the Instagram social landscape is rapidly changing, so are the trends. Here’s what you need to know: 

Trend # 1: The Rise of The Micro Influencer

For those of you always obsessing about your follower growth (yes, we all do it and damn that cursed algorithm, right?) – not to worry. There’s a new niche in town and marketers like to refer to them as “micro influencers.” So if you’ve got anywhere between 10,000 and 100,000 (authentic) followers, you’re in the running to monetize your influence. There are a few reasons agencies and brands are really excited about micro influencers:

  1. Brands think that a micro influencer possesses an interested and engaged audience. Think about it, sometimes when you see someone with SOOO many followers, you may not give them a like or comment because you think they don’t need it. Whereas smaller accounts, often get more love.
  2. Micro influencers are way more cost effective for brands to work with. If a company has a designated influencer budget, some brands would rather spread that across multiple influencers that target various niches (culinary, adventure, romance etc.) than risk it all on one big account. 
  3. When influencers have smaller audiences, it feels like they don’t use bots or engage in any shady business. It feels like their follower count is real.

Trend #2: The Increased Use of Instagram as A Source of Travel Planning

We hate to say this outloud, but if you’re a millennial (like us) then chances are you’re not picking up a travel guide at the bookstore to help you plan your next trip. You’ll either screenshot pics from some of your favorite bloggers recent trips or save them to your Insta collection board. Instagram has become the go-to tool when it comes to travel planning for millennials. 

We recently read an article in National Geographic that featured a story about how influencer marketing transformed the tourism industry in the small town of Wanaka, New Zealand. The tourism board of Wanaka started inviting influencers to go on adventure style press trips  and BOOM – it resulted in the town having the fastest growing tourism rates in the entire country!

The truth is people would now rather follow travel focused accounts on Instagram for travel inspo and tips than pick up travel brochures or printed guides. The shift in trip planning behavior shows Instagram’s mega force as a marketing tool. So if you’re just starting out as a travel blogger- we suggest you focus on targeting those smaller tourism boards where your influence can really make a big impact. 

TREND #3: Brands Are Demanding ROI and Trackable Analytics for Partnerships and Collaborations.

Let’s take a second and put ourselves in the brand’s shoes. By paying you or providing you with free products or trips, they’re investing in you and hoping that your “influence” pays off – because at the end of the day, it’s business right?

While clients have their own internal set of goals they’re measuring (engagement, growth of audience, sales etc.) – at the end of the day, the more data the client gets from the partnership, the better. Instagram influencer marketing initiatives are something tha