Influencer Marketing Latest Trends & Best Practices: 2018 Report

By Jennifer Yemu Li Chiang

Last updated:

Are Influencers still relevant?

92% Millennials trust a social media influencer more than the most famous celebrity.

[Left] New York City Stylist vs [Right] Beyonce
[Left] New York City Stylist vs [Right] Beyonce

67% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year.

influencer marketing budget

The influencer marketing market is set to be at a $5–10 billion market by 2020

Types of Influencers: the 2018 update

The landscape of influencers is constantly changing and it is important to stay current. In order to classify yourself as an influencer, you should not be following more than 1/3 (30%) of your total followership. You should also have an engagement between 1–4%.

Engagement counts as “Likes”, “Thumbs Up”, “Comments”.

Be cautious of filtering out real vs fake influencers.

The latest breakdown:

Types of Influencers

Micro-influencers are now between 1,000 to 9,000 followers on social media.

Emerging influencers are 10,000 to 70,000 followers.

Rising star influencers are 70,001–700,000 followers.

Social Surge Stars have over 700,000 to 1,000,000 followers

Celebrities rank at 1,000,000 followers and up

Why it is important to work with micro-influencers is explained here.

FTC Regulations around Influencer marketing


“The FTC’s letters to influencers and marketers highlight the importance of ensuring that “material connections” between influencers and marketers are “clearly and conspicuously” disclosed. Marketers should review their social media marketing policies because failure to comply could result in action against the marketer, as well as any of its influencers who fail to disclose their material connections.”

What does disclosure look like?

The FTC states that certain disclosures in Instagram posts — such as “#sp,” “Thanks [Brand],” and “#partner” — were not sufficiently clear because “many consumers” would not understand that they meant that an Instagram post was sponsored. According to the FTC, while there is no one-size-fits-all way to make a disclosure, influencers should avoid unfamiliar abbreviations or words that are subject to multiple interpretations.

“#sp,” “Thanks [Brand],” and “#partner” — were not sufficiently clear, according to the FTC.

Measuring your Influencer marketing ROI

Most brands are interested in gaining exposure, and choose to measure impressions — the number of times a consumer sees a post. That’s one of our metrics. But we also track engagement (likes and comments on posts, divided by follower count) and other, more involved numbers.

Moving forward, there are more advanced ways of measuring your return on investment with influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing ROI

Basic ROI influencer marketing:

  • “Reach” — how many people have seen your post;
  • “Engagement” — how many people have ‘liked’ your post; and
  • “Sentiment” — how many people have commented on your post and left positive sentiment or negative sentiment on your post.

Advanced ROI influencer marketing:

  • “Affiliate” — how many people have purchased a product with a unique tracking code;
  • “Content Repurpose” — when you repurpose influencer content (created for your brand) as part of a Facebook/Instagram paid ads campaign;
  • “Direct Sales” — how many direct purchases are made via the influencer, tracked by unique coupon/discount codes during a limited or on going time frame.

Future of Influencer marketing

The rise is due to the increase of mobile apps usage, a further curation of our lives on social media, the attention of Xennials, Millennials and Gen Z moving and trusting the word of an influencer more than a celebrity.

Future of Influencer marketing

Marketing integration

Influencer marketing is still treated either as a standalone vertical or candidly added onto things like Facebook ad campaigns, Instagram paid ads, promotional live events etc. The future by 2019 we will see full integration of influencer marketing throughout all marketing stacks. For example, it will be expected to see an influencer as the star of a Times Square billboard, it will be expected to hear the voice of an influencer as a podcast show host.

Augmented Reality and Real Life

As we inch closer to artificial intelligence touching almost every part of our lives through things like Alexa, Google Home and more, we aren’t too far away from experiencing influencer marketing beyond our phone and computer screens. Imagine a world where Gucci collaborates with influencers and the audience of the influencers can actually smell the scent of that new Gucci fall perfume, or in a world where the influencer can actually make automated, personalized recommendations while you shop live.


Influencer marketing will soon be taught in universities, colleges as a standalone practice.

Influencer marketing is respected as a profession and with it, comes the need for accreditation. There will be courses taught in universities all across the world on how to both study and understand the psychology of influencer marketing, but also courses that will give the influencers the badge of authority through diplomas, credits and one day, degrees.

Example: MuseFind participated as a thought leader in “Luxury Brands in China and India Authors” published by Palgrave Macmillan UK by Glyn Atwal and Douglas Bryson. This is being taught in the Burgundy School of Business in France.

Influencer marketing, MuseFind is being taught in business schools across France.
Influencer marketing, MuseFind is being taught in business schools across France.


This is a prediction that is happening within many of the beauty brands such as Estee Lauder, Revlon and also amongst the rise of many indie-brands like Daniel Wellington, Scentbird and more.

By late 2018, every brand will have an influencer representative. This title will then be divided by hierarchy starting from an influencer intern, influencer lead, vice president, director, etc.

This will be fuelled by the increased demand in influencer marketing that is in turn, a result of consumer behavior.

Bonus — How to: Mobile apps and influencer marketing

Influencer marketing for apps is 100% a different strategy from a consumer product, or a fashion brand.

Mobile apps and influencer marketing

1. Target your ideal users on the same platforms that mimic both behavior and share common interests when thinking about ideal influencers.

Example: If your users already use Instagram, use Instagram influencers.

2. The biggest hurdle that any app faces is finding your influencers. For now, I’d cast a wide net around your ideal users and just steering away from the obvious non-fitting profiles.

3. You will definitely need to prepare yourselves with a budget to pay influencers. Do not misunderstand how influencer marketing for apps work when you hear about influencers who work ‘for free’. This only happens when the influencer is a good friend, and/or given product. When you’re an app, there’s very little you can physically offer. So having a budget is mission critical for apps using influencer marketing.

4. You will have to run FB and IG ads, you can do both as a business page. This is going to support any influencer marketing programs and vice versa. Basically you want to flood your ideal users into downloading the app. Make it be seen everywhere. Influencers are the pull, FB and IG paid ads will push.

5. Use influencers to create content first.

6. You should focus on micro influencers to achieve scale and engagement, the research for that is here. Easy on the eyes and wallet.

Want more? Check out the Influencer Marketing Academy here.

Feeling nostalgic? [Read our 2016 report]

Ready for it? 🤓

Starting your own influencer marketing program can be hard and scary.

Instead, you can find and contact verified influencers for FREE to grow your business on MuseFind.

Find and talk to real influencers, say ‘Hi’ with confidence, organize your followup, and reach more consumers.

Share on:

Leave a Comment