For most of us, our Instagram feeds are an endless stream of posts from people we don’t personally know. A cast of characters who we follow, but aren’t acquainted with. How did we come across them? Hard to say. A sweet #ootd that made it into our digital field of vision? Tagged in the photo of one of our favourite brands? From a tenacious session of creeping? All highly likely and could have easily contributed to the origin story of any one of the people on our substantial following list. While we may possess our own group of friends IRL, for many the way you interact with these influential strangers, or at least the attention you pay to them is much higher than what you pay many of your actual friends.
Think about it. You’re scrolling through your Instagram more than you’re scrolling through the photos in your camera roll. You’re double-tapping these celebrities and influencers’ photos more than many of your pals’ – admit it, you’re creeping [insert random fashion influencer you follow] way more than you’re creeping your bestie and the algorithm knows it! Most brands – at least the ones who are paying attention or who have savvy agencies lending their promotional prowess to the brand’s strategy – have caught on to the power of the influencer and are harnessing that force for the good of their own brand. At the beginning of the year we outlined some of the top influencer marketing trends to pay attention to in 2018, but now that we’re 6 months in, we thought we’d take a look at what’s been happening and what’s to come. Which industries are emerging or rapidly expanding and who are the niche influencers that will represent them best?
In the vein of end of the school year yearbook superlatives, we’ve put together 5 different types of influencers that are crushing their niche markets this year. Brands, say hi to your new BFFS!
Most likely to invest in bitcoin
About: Meet Timothé the Transformist. He’s incredibly digitally savvy, connected, and informed. He’s got his finger to the pulse of all things tech. Blockchain? Yeah, he understands it. Not just ‘watched a Netflix doc and pretty much gets it’ understands it. Like ‘consumes news on the matter daily and is well-versed in the concept and issues surrounding it’ understands it.
BFFS: Tech apps, smart tech, IoT, fintech, cryptocurrency
Most likely to be high at grad
About: This is Charlie the Cannabis enthusiast. Listen, despite the rapidly approaching freedoms surrounding cannabis, the limitations within the community still remain. That’s why it pays to have a friend like Charlie! Not only does he have the best weed, but he’s more than just smoke and mirrors, he’s got savvy ways to organically get the word out about your brand, making everyone want to be best buds with your product.
BFFS: Cannabiz, lifestyle, wellness, health
Best smile/Prettiest eyes
About: Meet Vyola the Virtual Influencer. She almost looks totally normal, right? WRONG. She’s not real. She’s a cleverly designed influencer avatar. Why hire a human and deal with the unpredictabilities when you can work with this camera-ready character? Sure, there may be some legal uncertainties surrounding collaboration with Vyola, but this partnership would solidify your standing as an innovator in the market.
BFFS: Virtual reality, beauty, fashion, lifestyle
Most likely to pull an all nighter
About: Have you met Elliot the eSports fanatic? You can find him listening to cool music, Red Bull in hand, and video game controller/device/keyboard/mouse in the other. His Twitch account is lit and has been crushing it at every gaming tournament he attends. It’s hard to believe people actually do this for a living, but then you realize it’s a $1.1 billion dollar industry and have that ‘Why didn’t I think of that’ moment.
BFFS: Gaming, eSports startups, gamified apps
Most likely to be found in a camper van
About: This is Amber the Alternative Travel Influencer. You’re not likely to find her at a traditional all-inclusive or 5-star hotel, she’s way more adventurous than that. She’s part of a nomadic clan, travelling the globe looking for the most unique experiences. Find them at the coolest boutique hotels, voluntravelling, renting beautifully unusual Airbnb’s, or hitting the road in a glorious, silver aluminum Airstream trailer.
BFFS: Non-traditional travel biz, hospitality, recreational vehicles, travel apps, new and unique rental services, lifestyle
While we’d like to give a traditional “Don’t ever change!” yearbook shout-out to our up-and-coming influencer homies, that’s just not going to happen. New industries are always emerging, fresh influencers are arriving on the scene, and those already there are finding ways to adapt to this ever-changing environment of innovation. Look to those industries, and you’ll know where to find the next big influencers are hanging out.