It’s 2020 and over the next two years, the influencer marketing industry is predicted to be worth more than $15 billion. Over 90 percent of marketers are doing influencer marketing and eyes are still glued to mobile. As the market becomes ever more valuable, brands will have to set themselves apart through in-depth understanding and unique strategy. With over 12 years of experience in the space and partnerships with over 30 top brands and over 5,000 influencers across the nation, we are uniquely positioned to advise on what’s to come.
Pay attention to these five trends to keep your influencer strategy smart and agile in 2020:
1. Platforms will develop around specific demographics
The big three (YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram) are where influencer was born (sorry, Friendster) and brands were able to reach millions of users in a new and authentic way. In 2020, however, that landscape is far more saturated, and vying for user attention amongst the rest has been difficult. So what’s happening? The tech industry is responding and popular platforms are blooming.
These platforms include number one App Store app, TikTok, and popular gaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer. What makes these platforms special is that these platforms are more niche and are attracting specific demographics. TikTok, for example, is attracting young Gen Zrs and Twitch, primarily millennial men.
That’s right -- your audiences are being segmented for you and clever brands are now able to target customers with much more ease. It won’t come without hard work, though. As new platforms arise, brands will need to make a lasting presence on them before competitors do. Our advice? Pay attention to up-and-coming platforms and jump in with strong influencer partnerships when you find a match.
2. We will continue to see long term relationships form between creators and brands
Unlike celebrities, creators must remain exceptionally true to themselves and to their audiences because one whiff of inauthenticity can mean losing their following. The good creators will only partner with brands they believe in and connect with. What makes brands in the space authentic? When they choose creators who are true representatives of their service or product and put in the time to work with those creators over long periods of time.
In 2020 we will see more brands building strong relationships and rapport with influencers, deepening the connection and opening the doors to even more influencer effectiveness.
3. Consolidation of industry entities
In Mid-2019, over 300 influencer marketing platforms existed, designed to connect creators (primarily micro-influencers) with brands. [Check out our blog post “Agency vs. Platform” for more info] Since then we’ve started to see them fold through acquisitions and mergers, and we only expect to see that continue throughout 2020. Why? With so many brands engaging in the space, influencer marketing is becoming permanently embedded in overall marketing strategy and branding -- an employable art that an automation simply cannot perform.
If you’re a brand using an influencer marketing platform, make sure you’re investing effectively.
4. The demise of the lifestyle influencer
Creators -- If you want to be a successful creator, you better have a vertical that is meaningful. Many smaller influencers arise, but the ones who stay have true and authentic talent that is respected and admired by many. It is no longer enough to post about your life -- in 2020, brands are partnering with influencers that stand for something.
Brands -- if you’re not a lifestyle brand, be careful about engaging with lifestyle influencers! Picking the lifestyle influencer because of follower count is not going to cut it in the Roaring 20s. Take the time to really understand your audience, and you’ll find the right influencers that connect with your brand. Get that right and watch the return on your spend follow closely behind.
5. Creators developing their own brands
We’ve seen many successful examples of this in 2019 and will continue to see more in the 2020s. One notable example of this is the launch of men’s apparel line, MuskOx, in 2019. The business model works because influencers have a built-in customer base whose heart loyalty is through the roof - a brand marketer’s dream.
Brands -- pay attention to these “creator-brands” and cross-promote! What better way to tap into an influencer’s loyal audience than supporting that creator’s brand.
Influencer marketing is here to stay in the 2020s and we’re ready to help brands do it right. For consultation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to hear from you.