Influencer marketing finally went mainstream in 2016. As the year progressed, many developments have had an impact on the strategy. Huge platform changes presented new opportunities for brands. A viral live stream broadened the consumer targets for influencers. Some marketers even prompted a false-alarm identity crisis for influencer marketing. Through it all, more brands realized the effectiveness of influencer marketing. Per Social Times, 84 percent of brands are now using influencer marketing to drive their business goals. To respond, the Influencer Orchestration Network  (ION) has updated their influencer marketing white paper and the new version is available now.

Influencer Marketing White PaperAfter another year of successful campaigns partnering with companies like Marriott, Microsoft and TinyCo, ION has folded more real-world experience and knowledge into the updated white paper. While the white paper’s research shows that influencer marketing was always more than a social media paid placement option, it also discusses how the strategy has evolved. Brands are no longer focused on working with creators with the largest subscriber base. Instead, marketers are looking for trackable engagement, working with the right influencers and the best platforms to help them reach their target audiences.

Vincent Juarez, principal at ION and an Ayzenberg EMV Index contributor, suggests the way forward for a more effective influencer strategy. “Brands that closely work with and facilitate real connections with the right influencers yield high ROI on collaborative campaigns,” says Juarez. The influencer marketing white paper is designed to help marketers make the case for building real relationships with cross-platform, middle-tier influencers that are uniquely aligned to a company’s brand.

5 Key Influencer Marketing Insights is now available for download from Details about ION’s Brand Soulmates technology, which uses data and social sciences to identify the ideal influencers for your brand, can be found here.