Take a trip back to 2010 and nobody had heard of influencer marketing. By 2020, it’s become one of the most effective and important marketing tools for businesses in all kinds of sectors. Above all else, that demonstrates just how dynamic and fast-moving it is with 50% of consumers depending on influencer recommendations when making a purchase decision.
Needless to say, it’s important to stay up to date with such a dynamic marketing technique. The way influencer marketing works in 2020 is vastly different to 2014, 2016 or even 2018, for instance. So, what next?
In this post, we’ll share our predictions for five influencer marketing trends in 2020.
1. The fall of fake followers and engagement
Fake followers have been a complication with influencer marketing for a number of years. When you’re looking to promote your brand to a large audience, fake followers can fool you into thinking someone is a big-time influencer.
Recently, we’ve seen a growing trend of ‘influencer fraud’, with charlatans tricking businesses into paying them to promote their products. The end result? Not much. They get your money and there’s little-to-no increase in leads, sales or awareness for your brand.
However, as the influencer marketing industry evolves, we’re identifying more and more ways to spot accounts using fake followers. Metrics like engagement, engagement quality and growth rate can quickly draw a line between real influencers and those who have bought their followers.
Moving into 2020, this influencer marketing trend looks set to continue at pace. By combining quantitative analysis of followers and engagement with qualitative assessments of each influencer, companies will be able to easily distinguish between real and fake accounts – keeping up with the increasingly sophisticated behaviour of automated bots.
2. A growing range of platforms
Over the past few years, it’s fair to say Instagram has been at the heart of influencer marketing. The number of sponsored posts on Instagram doubled in 2019 alone, for example. However, one of the key influencer marketing trends of 2020 will be the growth of other platforms.
Brands will start to make the most of the large followings Twitter and Facebook have to offer – but also the image and video focus of YouTube and Pinterest that goes hand-in-hand with influencer marketing, as demonstrated by Instagram.
Most notably, there will be a lot more focus on video-sharing app TikTok. The app’s 1.5 billion downloads make it one of the fastest-growing social media platforms. That’s paired with a meme-centric format, with users sharing short and sweet videos that appeal to the growing force of Generation Z. Born between the late 90s and early 2010s, this generation is slowly but surely entering the workforce, making them a key target demographic for so many companies.
3. The growing need for authentic story telling
The rise of influencer marketing has also seen the rise of “generic influencers” who will post and promote anything for the highest bidder. This form of influencer marketing works OK with some audiences but not for all as people have become aware of their lack of authority in particular niche’s and therefore lack trust.
The growing number of social media marketing platforms has sparked a huge growth in influencers across a range of sectors, enabling brands to reach their specific audience. These micro-influencers are experts in their field and have developed a following of people due to their trusted voice and knowledge.
2020 will see the growth in popularity of these expert micro-influencers further as brands look to only work with influencers who has a true passion for their product so that they can tap into their authentic storytelling to engage their target market better.
4. More ways to track the ROI of an influencer campaign
In the past measuring the ROI of an influencer campaign was difficult with brands focussing on stats such as reach, impressions and engagement. Brands where also heavily reliant on influencers to provide them with the statistics on how a campaign has performed. However, as platforms get more advanced, brands are now able to track major key pieces of data without the need to rely on the influencer such as traffic, checkouts and purchases. This will only grow further throughout the next few years enabling brands to clearly demonstrate the exact return on their influencer Investment.