Influencer Marketing 2020

7 Influencer Marketing Trends to look out for in 2020

In 2020, every digital marketer knows the benefits of influencer marketing. This is an industry that delivers 11x the return on investment compared to traditional forms of marketing.

It makes sense, considering that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from peers on social media over any form of traditional advertising. That’s why influencer marketing is the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method out there and is set to become a $10 billion industry this year.

Clearly, influencer marketing continues to grow from strength to strength, showing no signs of slowing down. But what can we expect from this billion-dollar industry in 2020? In the rapidly evolving sphere of social, digital marketers have got to stay up to date to stay in the game. After all, nothing stands still for long.

In this article, we’ll share 7 of the top emerging influencer marketing trends every marketer needs to look out. Get ahead of the competition and prepare to ace your influencer marketing campaigns this new year.

1. Finding influencers who share your values will be more important than ever

 

Every business knows the importance of picking the right influencer to collaborate with. Getting it wrong can be hugely damaging for your brand.

From collaborating with an irrelevant influencer to working with an influencer who showcases bad or controversial behaviour. There’s nothing worse than a brand-influencer relationship turning sour.

You’ve only got to look at the likes of YouTube star PewDiePie who lost his deal with Disney after posting anti-Semitic imagery. Or that time when lifestyle, beauty and fashion influencer Chriselle Lim partnered with Volvo. Lim’s followers reacted badly to the collaboration, deeming it off brand and inauthentic.

That’s why it’s so important that the influencer doesn’t just share the same audience as you. They need to share your core values.

There’s no use partnering with an influencer merely because they boast thousands of followers. They need to share your audience, ethos and values for your brand to truly resonate with the influencer’s audience.

This will be more important than ever as we head into 2020. Authenticity is increasingly becoming more and more important to consumers.

2. Long-term relationships will become the norm

 

In the early days of influencer marketing, brands tended to work with influencers on a campaign by campaign basis. That usually meant that brand-influencer relationships were short lived.

Things have changed however, and in 2020, as the influencer marketing industry continues to grow, brands will need to wake up to the benefits to building long-term relationships with influencers. One-off, transactional relationships with influencers just won’t cut it this year. 2020 is the year of nurturing long-term influencer relationships.

So, what’s caused the shift towards long-lasting relationships?

Well, when an influencer works on a long-term basis with a brand, it helps to ensure that their content comes across as authentic to their followers. This also builds credibility for your brand amongst their audience.

Forming and maintaining these strong, long-term relationships with influencers will play an integral part in nurturing customer relationships this year. After all, 71% of influencers state that it is an honest and authentic voice that keeps their audience engaged, and authenticity is their number 1 consideration when choosing which brands to work with.

As an added bonus, this will also save you time, expense and effort in searching for new influencers to work with for each campaign you run.

In 2020, as the number of influencers continues to rise, it’s far more authentic for brands and influencers to build lasting partnerships. This will help the influencer deliver authentic content their audience wants to engage with. And it will pay off, after all, 82% are likely to follow the recommendation of an influencer they follow.

3. Influencer video content will be key

 

We all know the power of video. Each year, video consumption on mobile rises by a might 100%.

In fact, 55% of us watch video content every single day. With 72% of consumers preferring to learn about products through video, 90% have stated that video has helped them make decisions before they buy.

That’s right, video is a hugely influential tool for businesses. It’s inevitable that as we move into 2020, influencers will begin creating more of this type of content that audiences demand.

What’s more it’s never been easier. With the likes of YouTube, the world’s second most popular website, and Instagram on which there’s an 80% increase year on year in the amount of time users spend watching video on the platform.

Asking your influencer to promote your product or campaign via video content will be hugely beneficial, after all, 95% of us retain a message having watched it via video compared to text.

For more help understanding how to work video content into your influencer marketing strategy, check out this handy guide.

4. Celebrities will become less relevant

 

When asked to think of influencers, some old-school marketers will still suggest celebrity endorses. But, unless you’ve got deep pockets and can dish out up to $500,000 for one sponsored post, this is an unrealistic option.

In 2020, it’s more important than ever to realise that an effective influencer campaign will include working with a specialist in their niche – not just any old celebrity that looks good in front of the camera.

Being famous and having millions of followers won’t make for an effective influencer campaign. Although celebrities may get your product in front of a million people, they won’t get it in front of a highly targeted, relevant audience that are interested in your products.

In 2020, the key is to work with a specialist influencer in your niche or industry. With a shared audience that are interested in your brand or products, dedicated following and strong engagement levels.

Not only will this save you money, it will help you genuinely connect with and grow your target audience.

 

5 … and micro-influencers will become more relevant

 

So, if partnering with celebrities isn’t the best option, what is?

Well, in 2020, working with the smaller guys will pay off.

Micro-influencers are those with between 1,000 – 1,000,000 followers who are considered to be experts in their fields. You’ll find micro-influencers in any and every field, from fashion to food, tech to travel.

What’s great about micro-influencers is that they tend to have super engaged audiences. Being experts in their niches, micro-influencers tend to connect with the audiences on a deeper level. This means stronger levels of engagement.

In fact, 82% of consumers report that they are highly likely to follow a recommendation made a micro-influencer.  What’s more, micro-influencers have 22.2x more conversations with their followers than the average Instagram user.

Micro-influencers have that all-important authority amongst their audience. A celebrity influencer may have a million followers but if they put your message out there, is anybody really going to listen?

On the other hand, micro-influencers hold real clout amongst their followers who listen, trust and follow their advice. And, as an added bonus, they’re far more affordable to work with.

But how can you find the perfect micro-influencer for your brand? After all, 61% of marketers state that finding the right influencer is the trickiest element of influencer marketing.

Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Followers: how many followers does the influencer have? Don’t be put off by smaller numbers. In fact, influencers with 1,000 followers generate 85% higher engagement than those with 100,000 followers, and as the number of followers increases engagement tends to decrease.
  • Audience: do they share the same audience with you? Do their interests and values align with yours?
  • Engagement: do they receive plenty of comments and interactions on their posts?
  • Voice: does their voice, aesthetic and values align with yours?
  • Previous work: has time, effort and care gone into the previous influencer campaigns?

6. The focus on ‘Likes’ will shift

In 2019 Instagram began testing a brand-new feature that hid the number of ‘likes’ a post received.

Were testing this because we want your followers to focus on the photos and videos you share, not how many likes they get” – an Instagram spokesperson told Techcrunch.

They first rolled this out in Canada, where there are over 24 million people using Instagram every month, before expanding to several other countries, including UK.

What’s important to remember is that this doesn’t prevent users from seeing who has liked a post, the ‘likes’ counter is simply hidden.

If these changes are adopted worldwide, what impact will this have on influencer marketing and how should your brand react to it? After all, ‘likes’ have long been considered the main currency in influencer marketing.

But rather than thinking of this as a negative change, this could have super positive impact on the influencer marketing industry. If ‘likes’ are no longer the main currency, this will encourage users to give our more comments as this is the only public metric posts will receive. That’s a great thing for engagement.

When it comes to choosing influencers to work with, this will mean that brands need to pay close attention to the number and quality of comments that influencers receive – aka, to ensure comments aren’t from a bot. This will be the main way to tell how strong an influencer’s engagement levels are.

7. Watch out for TikTok

 

Although Instagram is undoubtedly the King of the influencer marketing world, that doesn’t mean you should ignore other platforms altogether.

Sure, Instagram is a highly lucrative platform. After all, 99% of influencers could be found on Instagram alone in 2018. Instagram ranks number 1 for being the most important and impactful channel in the world of influencer marketing. With over 1 billion active users and an ever-growing number of influencers, Instagram is the influencer marketing powerhouse.

However, in 2020, other important influencer marketing channels are set to rise to prominence. Enter TikTok.

TikTok is a short-form video channel that has skyrocketed to popularity in the past few months. There are 500 million active worldwide users and 1 billion videos viewed every single day. This has become the go-to platform for Gen Z and millennial audiences, with 66% of its users under the age of 30 – perfect if this demographic is amongst your target audience.

In 2019, we’ve seen brands run successful influencer marketing campaigns on the platform, you’ve just got to look at Gymshark’s campaign with some of TikTok’s fitness influencers. The campaign reached 19.8 million fans, received almost 2 million likes and boasted an 11.11% engagement rate.

In 2020, if you want to keep your finger on the pulse of the influencer marketing industry, TikTok is one to watch.

Next Steps – ready to get ahead of the curve with your influencer marketing campaigns in 2020?

Influencer marketing is a billion-dollar industry that has grown from strength to strength year on year, and 2020 is forecast to be no exception. Influencer marketing is a super effective marketing method that delivers strong returns. In fact, for every $1 spent on influencer marketing, businesses make $5.20. What’s more, influencers are trusted by their audiences, who are increasingly tuning out to traditional advertising methods. Yep, influencer marketing is a tested and proven method that can work wonders for businesses.

If you’d like to make 2020 the year your brand smashes its influencer marketing campaigns, Report Central can offer a helping hand. We’re experts at marketing your business in the digital world, helping find the perfect influencers who will drive real results for your business.

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