By Rohan Midha, Managing Director of creative influencer marketing agency PMYB.
In 2019, for the first time ever, digital ad spend overtook traditional. And, with 59% of marketers planning on increasing their influencer marketing budget next year, it’s fair to say that in 2020 the power of influencer marketing will increase once again.
Here’s my breakdown of the eight key trends you can expect to see across influencer marketing in 2020.
1 TikTok won’t stop:
With over 1.5 billion users, TikTok has fast become one of the largest social media platforms on the market. But with just 4% of U.S. social media marketers utilising the platform, there is undoubtedly untapped potential in a rapidly evolving industry.
2019 has seen lots of testing and offered a glimpse at the ROI for carefully executed awareness campaigns targeting Gen Z. Expect more of the same in 2020.
2 Stop using vanity metrics:
The next challenge for this year is how PR and communications professionals can offer more than just vanity metrics in an increasingly performance driven industry.
With Instagram rolling out the removal of post likes worldwide in 2020, businesses and brands will look to move away from vanity metrics and towards measuring how users are actually engaging with influencers’ content.
We all know that influencer marketing isn’t simply a numbers game: it comes down to the quality of engagement between influencers and their communities. This is something that will be prioritised in 2020.
3 Sustain your efforts:
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 and influencers understand the power of their voices.
Couple this with the care for their personal brands and we are sure to see a continuing increase in influencers’ partnering with ethically conscious brands. The real challenge for influencers in 2020 will be to consistently maintain their ethical positions as one wrong partnership could damage all credibility.
4 Ambassadors will dominate:
Gone are the days where audiences are easily influenced by misaligned, one-off ads. The industry is evolving and so with it is the form influencer partnerships are taking. Earning consumer trust is going to be vital in 2020 through longer-term ambassador strategies. This will mean more influencers being placed into non-competing brands contracts and potentially further inflated pricing models.
5 Increased diversity:
Too many influencer adverts are not resonating with the vast and varied consumer landscape. All too often you will see a luxury holiday influencer trip with the majority in the photo being white blonde females. Consumers are noticing and so too should brands.
This year, brands and agencies alike will increasingly seek to diversify their influencer selections in order to build an authentic relationship with their target market. It comes back to the old adage of representing the community you serve.
6 Automation will further market growth:
We are seeing a shift towards influencer authentication with various influencer marketing software platforms. A key result of this in 2020 will be automated reporting that will help to tackle influencer fraud with doctored screenshots and analytics.
7 The merging of organic and paid content:
More brands will merge influencer marketing and paid social a as it proves its effectiveness in driving conversions. It’s no secret to PR and communications professionals that paid and earned organic content should work in harmony to promote a brand. Expect to see more blurred lines between the two as they merge in 2020.
8 Expansion of services:
As influencer marketing agencies continue to grow, innovate and specialise in varied services, they will begin to prove more valuable because of their outlook – influencers need to be the central core of any marketing campaign in 2020.