2019 saw huge developments for the influencer marketing industry; from TikTok becoming the most popular platform of the year to Instagram removing likes, and from the rise of virtual influencers to new legislation from the ASA and the CMA.
However, while these updates within the digital space have been exciting, there has since been an outcry for developments to ensure that the industry becomes a much more authentic and transparent space to work in. Here are our top predictions for influencer marketing in 2020 and beyond...
Long-term partnerships between brands and creators
In 2020, consumers will become much more conscious of a brand’s marketing tactics. They will no longer tolerate creators who promote products that are misaligned with their ethos or do not appear to be authentic to the creator.
In the past, a fitness creator would have gotten away with promoting five different protein brands on their Instagram, but consumers are beginning to question their motives; why would they promote five brands with differing qualities, as opposed to one that wholly relates with what that creator represents?
Because of this, creators and brands are now recognizing the transparency of creators who promote more than one brand at one time. Therefore, in 2020 we predict that long-term partnerships between brands and creators will really take off; longer lasting relationships will allow creators to bring their creativity and expertise into the mix, which will ultimately make for more genuine and effective campaigns.
Repurposing of creator content
Content creators are experts in creating content that appeal to and resonate with the brand’s target audience. The content produced has many benefits, but one that is often overlooked by brands is the reusability of the content assets produced for campaigns. When brands book creators, it is predicted that about 60% of their budget goes towards reaching the target audience. The remaining 40% is spent on content creation, which holds a lot of value due to its ability to be reused. By this we mean that creators will offer brands the right to reuse the content across a range of marketing channels, such as print, outdoor, digital and TV.
Thus, we predict that 2020 will be the year where brands begin to harness the full potential of creator content. By repurposing content for alternative marketing methods, brands will be able to reach wider audiences in a super authentic way.
Advances in influencer marketing data and technology
2019 has been an amazing year for digital marketing, with digital spend surpassing traditional marketing for the first time ever. As the flow of investment into digital continues to increase into 2020, the tools that brands are using will continue to step up.
With thanks to these advancements, influencer marketing will benefit from increased insight into consumer behaviour and success rates. This will enable brands and creators alike to better understand their audience, in order to generate super effective content. For this reason, influencer marketing platforms will become essential to running effective campaigns.
Combining micro and macro creators
In 2019, brands began to recognize the value in using both micro and macro creators to generate conversions at scale. However, in 2020, we predict that combining both macro and micro creators will become the new norm.
Micro creators are great for targeting specific markets with highly engaged audiences. This means that when it comes to sparking genuine interest and intent to purchase, micro creators are the perfect option; being smaller means that people trust their opinion and see them as a more relatable figure. Meanwhile, macro creators are able to give brands coverage that micro creators cannot rival, ultimately creating huge conversations. However, this coverage is sometimes met by a less engaged audience. Using both in conjunction will become the most effective way to reach a variety of audiences, ensure that campaigns penetrates specific markets and generate brand trust.
Increased transparency around paid partnerships
In 2018, the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) created a new set of guidelines to help creators navigate the murky waters of disclosing when an ad, is an ad. The ASA document soon became the go-to guide for brands, creators and consumers when needing to identify whether a post is paid for or not. In 2019, the CMA published their own guidelines, which, while they cleared up many points, also blurred the lines around many other issues.
This then made way for transparency around ads to become more clear and succinct. For this reason, we predict that consumers will no longer tolerate these blurred lines that currently surround online adverts. This, in turn, will mean that brands and influencer marketing agencies will need to ensure that all paid partnerships are clearly declared against ASA/CMA guidelines, while making sure that partnership content remains unique and creative in order to maintain consumer interest.
Brand purpose will become essential
To succeed in 2020, brands will need to collaborate with creators who emphasize their core values. Deloitte Research found that 80% of consumers would be willing to pay more for a product, if the brand focused on becoming more environmentally and socially responsible.
Consumers want to know that a brand exists for a reason other than simply to make money, and bringing those values home, as part of a marketing strategy, will be essential for brands who want to successfully influence their target audience.
Purpose driven narratives will become essential to influencer marketing campaigns in 2020, and Accenture’s recent survey of nearly 30,000 consumers found that 62% of customers want brands to address topical issues. They are looking out for a brand that matches their own values, and the closer that match is, the more likely they are to form a trusted relationship. This makes pairing with creators that match the brand’s ethos and values even more important, as consumers will soon see straight through disingenuous campaigns.
Video content will thrive
Video content has been in the spotlight for a while now, and 2020 will see this medium continue to thrive. Videos are incredibly popular with consumers, with a Google study proving that six out of ten people would rather watch online videos than television. Hubspot research has also shown that 72% of consumers would prefer to learn about a product in a video , as opposed to other mediums.
Video popularity was secured by the rise of the social media video app TikTok, which in 2019, only 3 years after its launch, had 500 million monthly active users. The same achievement took Facebook 4 years and Instagram 6 years.
Therefore, in 2020 we predict video content will become an integral part of influencer marketing campaigns, as brands will look to produce video product reviews from trusted content creators. Considering this, videography is set to develop and thrive within the new year.
Ben Jeffries is chief excutive and co-founder at Influencer.