It's the end of another year and another decade, and brands are thinking up their digital marketing campaigns for 2020. While it's impossible to predict the future, one thing's for sure: Influencer marketing will continue to flourish. A decade ago, influencers didn't even exist. Now they are the most powerful people on the internet, and they could make or break the success of your brand. Here are some influencer trends to expect this year.
#1. Instagram Will Continue to Grow
With more than 100 million active users, Instagram is one of the most powerful weapons in your marketing arsenal. There are more than 500,000 influencers on Instagram —that's around 39 percent of all accounts on the platform with more than 15,000 followers — who can promote your products and services to their loyal followers.
In 2020, expect even more brands to hire Instagram influencers to promote their content, especially toward highly sought-after millennials. This age group is extremely receptive to influencer marketing because they don't engage with conventional advertising. Eighty-four percent of millennials don't like traditional ads, nor do they trust them.
#2. TikTok Will Blossom
Expect more brands to use new social media platforms in 2020, including TikTok, which boasts 1.5 billion users. Hiring an influencer on TikTok could prove lucrative, especially when targeting young audiences. TikTok’s average engagement rate is 29 percent, making it a great way to get your message across and move prospects through your marketing funnels.
"Influencer marketing is likely to be the most effective form of marketing on TikTok," says Influencer Marketing Hub. "You don't suffer from the negative implications of ads, and you don't have to worry about building the right audience as you do with native videos on your company account."
#3. Brands Will Build Long-Term Relationships With Influencers and Audiences
Influencer campaigns are getting longer, with more brands forming long-term relationships with influencers and their audiences. Instead of one or two sponsored posts, brands will focus on long-term marketing campaigns with influencers in 2020.
Brands will also take an omnichannel approach when working with influencers. Instead of just working on content for YouTube, for example, a brand might appear on an influencer's other channels, such as Instagram and Facebook.
"Extended collaborations permit brands to develop real connections with influencers," says Forward Influence. "As a brand and its influencers create a genuine relationship, the influencer content will be more authentic."
#4. Brands Will Work With Micro-Influencers
Bigger isn't always better. When it comes to marketing, sometimes working with micro-influencers — influencers with 2,000-50,000 followers — provides brands with a significant return on their investment. Micro-influencers might not have millions of followers, but they have developed genuine relationships with their audience.
Micro-influencers also have the potential to grow their follower base and, with the right content, you can reach a whole new audience over time.
#5. Brands Will Work With Podcasters
Most people associate influencer marketing with Instagram and YouTube, but brands will explore new mediums in 2020. Podcasts, in particular, are a great way to promote your products and services, and some of these broadcasts generate millions of downloads every single week. Research shows that 144 million Americans listen to podcasts, and 51 percent of the U.S. population older than 12 have listened to a podcast all the way through at least.
Podcast listeners stay engaged for a significant amount of time — 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or even longer — and they demonstrate extreme loyalty to hosts by downloading their content every week and following them on social media. Working with podcasters on your next long-term influencer campaign could be the best thing you do for your business in 2020.
"We are witnessing a renaissance in audio, and podcasting will change the advertising industry in a major way," says MarTech Series. "It has revived radio in the U.S., in part, because it is able to engage people in some of the most private places (home, car, etc.). Since these opportunities are important for brands, the podcast has become a powerful advertising vehicle."
#6. Video Content is Still Effective
People love visuals — YouTube alone gets 30 million visitors every single day — so incorporating video content into your influencer marketing strategy could provide you real results in 2020. Whether it's product reviews, demos, or recommendations, YouTubers and other content creators can increase awareness of your product or service to a potential global audience of millions.
Again, targeting millennials on YouTube can be a great way to promote your brand. Seventy-one percent of this age group relate more to YouTubers than TV stars, while the top 25 YouTubers generate three times more views than traditional celebrities. Make 2020 the year that you partner with influencers who make video content, and focus on long-term campaigns that continue to generate interest.
#7. People Value Honesty
As influencer marketing becomes more popular, some people are questioning the validity of this marketing method. Customers don't like to be tricked, and they often call out Instrammers or YouTubers who work with influencers but don't tell their audience.
This is why it's important that influencers are completely upfront with their audiences when they promote your brand. Otherwise, they could jeopardize your reputation. Going forward, always talk to influencers about being honest with their audiences about promoting your brand. The best long-term branding partnerships are based on the truth.
"Digital users are very conscious of paid promotions, and brands should use every opportunity available to them to build a transparent relationship with their audience, as increasing media scrutiny has unearthed the extravagant price tags involved in various paid partnerships," notes City A.M.
Influencer marketing will continue to evolve in 2020, so brands, particularly in the health and wellness and cosmetic medical sectors, need to keep one ear to the ground and the other on social. Building long-term relationships with influencers on various channels will prove lucrative, so make sure you invest in this type of marketing this year.
Are you looking to build long-term branding partnerships with the best influencers? We can help you realize your influencer goals in 2020. Click here to find out more Talent Resources.