For the last several years, Influencer Marketing has grown significantly and become a new marketing industry. In a situation when the efficiency of traditional online advertising campaigns, run by companies on various ad platforms, put it mildly, hasn’t been phenomenal, Influencers have become that next Big Thing that came to rescue brands. Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest and recently TikTok – all saw the rise of platform users – Influencers – who became extremely popular and got massive followship. These people have the level of trust with their audience that brands desperately need.
To get a sense of what’s coming in 2020 for Influencer Marketing we reached out multiple influencer marketing agencies to get their thinking.
In these quotes there are several common trends that were mentioned frequently:
- TikTok will continue to rise and attract brands since more and more influencers will pop up there.
- New tools to measure Influencer marketing campaigns impact
- Switch from CPM, CPC to CPA business model
- Micro-influencers will gain more momentum
- Long-term partnerships between brands and influencers
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Influencer Marketing Thought Leaders
- Mathew Micheli
- Timothy Armoo
- Alessandro Bogliari
- Gil Eyal
- Jake Hay
- Caroline Bellanger
- Jim Tobin
- Rohan Midha
- Stephanie Stabulis
- Jennifer Li Chiang
- Mona Hellenkemper
- Emilie Tabor
- Aron Levin
- Leah Logan
- Jay Desai
- Eytan Avigdor
- Sanna Persson
- Tony Tran
- Andy Cockburn
- Daniel Schotland
- Sammy Alderson
Viral Nation – Mathew Micheli, Co-Founder
“You’ll begin to see an even greater intersection between traditional media (ie: TV) and Influencers. Influencers will begin starring in more commercials, tv shows, and movies.
Tik Tok will continue to ascend and command more brand dollars.
FanBytes – Timothy Armoo, CEO
” I think the most important thing will be the increase in longer-term deals between influencers and brands. Influencers will move to more cost per reward campaigns as opposed to solely impression led campaigns which will be a dramatic change to the way we currently see influencers.“
The Influencer Marketing Factory – Alessandro Bogliari, Co-Founder & CEO
” How fast will the market continue to grow? More brands and companies are finally allocating more and more budget for Influencer Marketing, since in the last yeas there has been a huge shift between old media and new ones, and for this reason brands that want to stay in the loop and communicate with the new generations necessarily need to use influencers for their marketing
How will the industry deal with issues such as fake followers and auditing? Will be available more and more tools that analyze follow/unfollow patterns, engagement pods and emoji comments. This is really a great thing for both agencies and brands in order to avoid fake influencers, minimizing the risks and budget waste and maximizing the conversion rate. – What sectors (fashion, travel etc) will see the most growth? Definitely Apps (both iOS and Android) and beauty/make-up
What platforms will see the most growth or changes (Youtube, Instagram, Twitter?) TikTok: We are one of the top TikTok influencer marketing agencies in the USA and we can definitely say that music labels, apps and physical products companies are approaching it as a great way to increase brand awareness, gain tons of user-generated contents and even send Gen Z traffic landing pages or eCommerces to buy directly on mobile
How will agencies and platforms evolve? Platforms will be less used by brands as DYI but more as an additional tool that can help their agencies in order to 1) find the right influencers 2) organize the campaign 3) track the performances. Agencies will, I hope, be more transparent about the metrics that relly matter”
HYPR – Gil Eyal, Founder
“I think the main trends in influencer marketing will focus on:
A shift to micro-influencers
A shift to meaningful metrics (no more likes – lets talk CPC)
A battle for data ownership”
PopShorts – Jake Hay, Partner, Head of Biz Dev
” The biggest trend to keep an eye on will be how brands use TikTok. For many, it is still an untapped market. Those who have figured out how to best leverage the platform know it drives incredible value with regard to engaging Gen Z. Content that is successful on TikTok is fairly unique in comparison to other platforms. Brands figuring out creative and innovative ways to leverage the platform will certainly be a major trend to watch in 2020.“
Upfluence Inc – Caroline Bellanger, Director
” In 2020, Influencer Marketing will follow several trends:
– Brands will work more & more with micro & mid-size influencers
– Existing customers will be turned into influencers
– The video will be growing as content format produced by creators, and especially short-length videos
– TikTok, Linkedin and podcasts will grow as influencers platforms
– Long-term partnerships will be preferred
– And again as in 2019, AUTHENTICITY and transparency will be extremely important.“
Carusele – Jim Tobin, Partner, Founder
” Brands will start to realize that influencer content isn’t universally better than brand content. Because of this, they will need to score each piece of content, find the gems that are really working and then double down on them. This is the way to drive real results with influencer marketing in 2020.“
PMYB – Rohan Midha, Managing Director
” With over 1.5 billion users and with just 4% of US social media marketers using TikTok, we expect the platform to have the biggest growth in 2020. The market will stop thinking about vanity metrics with the recent removal of Instagram post likes. The market will move towards ‘how users actually engage with influencer content’. It is more than just a numbers game but to the quality of engagement and how brand images are being shifted. Sustainability is now regarded as one of the key factors influencing consumers’ purchase choices. 86% of consumers have stated they want companies to stand for social issues.
The industry is evolving. Influencers will take even more care with which brand they partner with longer term, this will include more influencers being placed into non-competing brand contracts and potentially further inflated pricing models. Brands and agencies alike will increasingly seek to diversify their influencer selections in terms of race in order to build an authentic relationship with their target market. We are seeing a shift towards influencer authentication with various influencer marketing software platforms.
A key result of this will be automated reporting which will help to tackle influencer fraud with doctored screenshots and analytics. More brands will merge influencer marketing with paid social, as it proves it’s effectiveness in driving conversions. Influencer marketing will continue to have a bigger say with brand marketers and in many cases be the central theme in marketing communications.“
HireInfluence – Stephanie Stabulis, Influencer Marketing Strategy Expert
” Biggest Trend: Content will likely become more collaborative and audience-centric – brands and influencers will be teaming up to CREATE something, while promoting the brand. Brands will no longer be able to “push” product through an influencer – they will have to get creative about offering something of HIGH-VALUE to the END-AUDIENCE through their influencer partnerships and marketing efforts. More brands will be looking to offer digital experiences of their brand through influencers and other integrated-marketing efforts. “
Influencer” will continue to be re-defined as someone who can CREATE and add value – with the ability to be authentic, trusted and stand for or have expertise and value to add. With these new parameters, brands will likely consider working with larger ranges of influencers by size, considering micro and nano audiences as major players in campaigns.
With the threat of likes being invisible to the public, we will be looking at new ways to measure the success of campaigns beyond likes. Brand sentiment will play a more central role. Campaign metric growth over multiple campaigns will be more valuable. Brand lift or brand recall studies will help measure mass awareness created through influencers. Brands will also look to put more paid support behind influencer content to reach larger or more targeted audiences and help increase value in their investments of creating with influencers. If they focus on giving VALUE through what is created, there will be better incentive for click-throughts and conversion through other marketing tactics like advertising, email, website landing pages, etc. which helps to increase the ROI gained from the influencer campaign relationships. “
MuseFind – Jennifer Li Chiang, nfluencer Marketing Domain Expert
“The evolution of social media apps to support authenticity, trust and creative movement for influencers and their followers.”
InfluencerDB – Mona Hellenkemper, VP of Marketing
” In 2019, we have started to see a disruption of the industry: What used to work up until this point in time, does not lead to success anymore. Users cannot be won over with bland product placements any longer. Audiences are becoming more skeptical and demanding and users of all platforms are longing to be enchanted by smart campaigns, thoughtful storytelling, authentic influencers and sustainable, long-term partnerships between brands and their ambassadors.
Additionally, the platforms themselves are developing and changing directions. Instagram has rolled out a global test to remove the visibility of public likes – a step that changes the landscape of Influencer Marketing globally for everyone involved.
All these developments force marketers to rethink the way they collaborate with influencers in 2020. Strong brand-influencer-relationships need to become the crucial part and center of every influencer marketing strategy. Brands with authentic and engaging communities will stay ahead of the field and will automatically become independent from any changes the platforms are making going forward.“
IMA Influencer Marketing Agency – Emilie Tabor, Founder and CMO
” The key trend in Influencer Marketing in 2020? Authenticity!
2020 will be less about vanity metrics such as the number of followers and likes you get on social media. We’ve seen how these vanity metrics can be manipulated with fake followers and bots, and the damaging effect they can have on a user’s mental health.
In 2020, focus instead on creating quality content. Create content that followers actually want to consume, content you can be proud of, not just something that fills your feed.
Followers are looking for more genuine and authentic content. Consumers are starting to rebel against picture-perfect content. Content that is too photoshopped or facetuned will not perform in 2020.
2020 is the year we stop paying influencers based on their follower count, and start focussing on real results and impactful influence.“
Relatable – Aron Levin, Founder
” For a lot of brands, 2020 will be the year when influencer marketing transitions from a “marketing experiment” to a major digital media channel.
The largest advertisers in the world are doubling down on their time, money and effort… and with the increased spend, they’ll start asking more questions, and demand accountability, tracking, and transparency! This is a great sign of the channel finally maturing.
Historically, we’ve seen several other modern marketing channels that have gone through the same “rite of passage” in the last few years (SEO, SEM, Facebook, content marketing)… and it’s been great for the overall eco-system!“
Collective Bias – Leah Logan, VP Media Product Strategy and Marketing
“With Instagram rolling out hiding likes in the United States, brand marketers are anxious about employing social influencer marketing to maximum benefit – and being able to accurately quantify the success of their online engagement efforts through this platform. But, hiding likes will actually be beneficial to (properly equipped) marketers.
First, removing “likes” from immediate view means that there is no longer an incentive for influencers to pad their engagement numbers with purchased bot likes in the hopes that marketers will see the size of their following online and pursue them.
Second, we will see more importance placed on content quality along with the quality of engagements – Are commenters simply leaving a quick emoji or are they truly engaging with the influencer or creator? Can we identify sentiment or indicators of purchase intent with the language used in comments?
Third, we expect to see brands and agencies relying on influencer partners to provide data that goes beyond the surface level information currently available to them: verified content views, audience demographics, post-level impressions, etc,“
Trend – Jay Desai, Head of Growth
“I think one of the main trends will be a rise in long-term partnerships created between micro-influencers and brands. More influencers are going to start owning and creating relationships with brands as they try to pursue a steady stream of partnerships and income. It will be similar to how many digital and software companies focus on recurring revenue. Influencers will look to accomplish this with brands.”
Klear – Eytan Avigdor, Founder and CEO
” 2020 is gearing to be a big year for influencer marketing. The industry grew 48% in 2019, and we should continue to see more growth. One trend we’ve observed is value-based influencer campaigns, where influencers help brands connect with consumers using ethical or moral topics. We’ve seen campaigns that focus on body positivity, climate change, gun control and more. As influencers are the most authentic marketing channel, we believe that in 2020 more brands will adopt a value-based strategy“
Cure Media – Sanna Persson, Marketing Manager
” A strong prediction for 2020 is that more brands will realize the value of having an always-on approach to influencer marketing, rather than a purely campaign based model – i.e, we will see more brand focusing on constantly being on top of mind in their target group’s feeds and well-saturated across multiple social platforms. Building trust and credibility can’t be done overnight so you need to invest for the long term and have some patience.“
Lumanu – Tony Tran, CEO
” 2020 is going to be the year influencer marketing becomes a major paid media channel as brands realize it’s a great way to combat ad fatigue and drive performance results. 80% of influencers surveyed in the Lumanu x Collectively 2019 creator survey stated that they had been asked to provide advertising access as part of campaigns, yet only 25% of brands incorporate paid media into their influencer marketing strategy. In 2020 we predict the percent of brands using media to support influencer marketing initiatives grows to well over 50%.“
Mention Me – Andy Cockburn, Co-Founder and CEO
” We predict that in 2020 there will be a consumer backlash against celebrity influencers but also towards global powerhouses creating their own virtual influencers. Since 2016 the CIG character Lil Miquela and many like her have shared hundreds of posts, expressed public social and political views and allegiances and garnered millions of followers. This growing trend shines a spotlight on consumers’ shift away from ‘real’ yet inauthentic influencers in a contrived market saturated to the point of ineffectiveness. Indeed our annual Customer Advocacy report revealed just 3% of respondents trusted the recommendation of a celebrity or blogger. However in an age witnessing increased consumer distrust in all forms of marketing and advertising, virtual influencers pose an even more challenging dilemma. Ultimately who or what owns these ‘fake’ influencer’s thoughts and actions? And how do we explain this to children who are often being marketed to. Not only that, but how do these virtual influencers impact young people’s understanding and development of real life engagement and socialisation?
Research increasingly shows trust is at the heart of effective marketing – and referral marketing harnesses this to transform your customer base into loyal brand ambassadors, with the potential to grow new customer acquisition by up to 30%. Would you rather listen to the recommendation of a good friend, or of a filtered online character (real or otherwise) pushing products they may well have never used?
We predict therefore that in 2020 the marketing and tech industry will see a backlash against celebrity and virtual influencers, and pressure to bring in more transparency and measures to protect younger consumers. “
Linqia – Daniel Schotland, Chief Operating Officer
“In 2020, we expect to see the amount of consumers who buy through ads and shoppable links to double. With 92% of consumers trusting influencer marketing over traditional advertising, retailers should continue to implement influencer campaigns to reach a wider audience on social, build customer loyalty and drive purchases through a mobile device.”
Strawberry Socials – Sammy Alderson, Co-founder
“The typical influencer marketing approach will splinter in the next year. More brands are testing the different ways they can use social channels rather than just finding an influencer, paying them to promote a product and calling it a day. They’ll use influencers more as ‘content creators’ for their product photoshoots, they’ll implement massive micro-influencer campaigns that will use more word-of-mouth marketing and they’ll move away from the typical macro-influencer as they become less value for their money.”