Top 8 Influencer Marketing Trends Coming in 2020
Wondering what big influencer marketing trends are coming in 2020?
Influencers continue to be a hot topic on social media, and by the looks of it, you can expect to keep seeing more #sponsored posts flooding your feeds.
Ready to learn what the future has in store? We’ve rounded up predictions and the top influencer marketing trends in 2020, according to social media experts:
Influencer Marketing Will Be Bigger Than Ever in 2020
Influencer marketing is on pace to become an $8 billion dollar industry in 2020 — so it’s showing no sign of slowing down!
With mega-beauty brand, Estee Lauder recently announcing that they will allocate 75% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing in 2020, we’re expecting to see big things between brands and influencers.
Instagram influencer Christina Galbato shared that in her experience, brands are continuing to increase their spend on influencer marketing budgets.
“2020 is the year we believe influencer marketing will finally be seen as its own media channel outside of a tactical ‘problem solving’ or ‘nice to have content'”, predicts Brandon Perlman, Founder and CEO of Social Studies, Inc.
With increased popularity, demand, and company spend for influencer marketing, it’s safe to say we can expect new and exciting things coming to our feeds this year.
Ready to get started? Take our free 30-minute Influencer Marketing 101 course with Gretta van Riel. Watch it here:
To help businesses and influencers better navigate the changes, we talked to 6 experts to share their predictions for influencer marketing trends we can expect to see in 2020:
Influencer Marketing Trend #1: Video Content Will (Continue To) Be King
“The rise of video” continues to be an ongoing trend in the influencer marketing space, however this year it’s expected to be more collaborative and creative than ever.
Instagram influencer Elizabeth Gilmore agrees, commenting: “video first always!” and predicts that video content will continue to be king next year.
She also comments, “I’ve found the more authentic, in the moment, and less ‘curated’ the better. It keeps viewers more engaged and a stronger authenticity makes people feel more human and part of the action.”
Christina Galbato told us she plans on adding more video into her Instagram strategy and encourages other influencers to do the same.
She also advised brands and influencers to “focus in on your unique niche and create related video content on IGTV — it’s a great way to engage your community on a deeper level and provide a ton of value.”
Influencer Marketing Trends #2: Less Focus on Likes
Instagram likes disappeared in Canada last May, and then expanded to several more countries, including Australia, Brazil, Ireland, Italy, Japan, and New Zealand – and now more recently includes the United States.
Hiding Instagram likes in the United States is a BIG deal, which makes it a big topic for influencers and businesses alike.
It’s important to note that likes will not be disappearing altogether – rather, they will just be hidden to followers, but users will still be able to view how many likes they’ve received on a post with just a couple taps.
So the question on everyone’s mind is, how will this affect influencer marketing and change the way they post?
“I find the removal of public likes to be super refreshing!” says Manu Muraro, Founder of Your Social Team.
“People are so attached to that little number, that they forget that what matters is the connection the audience has with the brand or influencer.”
She also believes the removal of like counts will push influencers to post more content that will receive comments, since this will be the only public metric on posts.
“Brands who are looking into possible partners should pay attention to the number and quality of comments. It’s important to make sure they are coming from the public and not just from a commenting pod,” warns Manu, as we start to see a greater focus on driving comments on Instagram.
Luckily, brands and agencies are already moving away from caring solely about likes, and focusing more on creating long-term partnerships with influencers who create on-brand content and have an authentic relationship with their followers.
Speaking in how to measure an influencer partnership, Claudia Cameron, Head of Marketing and Insights at IMA (Influencer Marketing Agency) shared that they “focus on actual impressions and brand match.”
But actual impressions are found through accessing the analytics of an influencer, so you may need to look at a third-party platform or tool to help you with this, or build up a strong relationship with the influencer so they are open to sharing this data.
Claudia also notes: “The impressions tell you how many times a post was seen, so we are able to work out if there was a good ratio between impressions and followers. In some cases an influencer can get over 100% of impressions vs. followers, a result of them trending in discovery.”
Influencer Marketing Trends #3: The “No-Edit Edit” Aesthetic Will Evolve
“Authenticity” was a huge Instagram marketing trend in 2019, and translated over to photo-editing trends too!
Bloggers and influencers continue taking to the #nofilter trend and only applying subtle filters or edits to their photos to create an “in-the-moment” and unedited look into their lives.
Instagram influencer Rohini Mauk (@rohinielyse), who has mastered the in-the-moment shot, predicts that “the days of a perfectly manicured feed are slowly dying out.”
“Although they are beautiful to look at and definitely have their place, I don’t think it’s necessary in order to grow!”
Elizabeth Gilmore agrees: “I love the no-edit in the moment vibe that I’m currently seeing out there. For me personally, it feels more true and authentic and less like I’m being sold something and more a part of the journey.”
“In the beginning, everyone was forced to be super polished. Now, after some time has passed, people are finding their true voices on social,” explained Nichole.
Nichole believes we’ll see the no-edit edit influencer marketing trend evolve, but adds, “there will still be a lot of accounts who appreciate a certain aesthetic and will remain more polished. It comes down to what kind of message and emotion you are trying to convey.”
While Instagram is first and foremost a visual platform, pretty pictures are not nearly enough to succeed on the platform.
“Influencers need to couple that high-quality content with value-packed captions and engaging stories to really stand out and build strong communities,” advises Christina Glabato.
Influencer Marketing Trends #4: Deeper Connections and Value-Driven Content
This year, influencers and brands took a big step back from perfectly curated feeds to get a little more “real” with their followers.
As there is a continued push toward driving deeper connections and relationships –- coming from users and Instagram themselves –- influencers have begun creating more value-driven content and are giving their audience a real glimpse into their lives.
“Now more than ever, people want to see your authentic self in content! I think providing some type of content that shows your real life personality is key to growing online these days,” shared Rohini.
She suggests doing Q&A’s, YouTube videos, sharing silly memes, or even showing off the “not so glamorous” sides of your life.
“People are starting to see through the perfection found online,” said Rohini.
“Audiences are craving people they can connect with and I see 2020 as the year where people start (or continue) to share a real glimpse into their life.”
Christina Galbato recommends businesses also take authenticity into account when searching for influencer partners — “don’t focus entirely on the numbers,” she warns.
Instead, Christina suggests looking at the comments the influencer receives on their posts and the way they connect with their audience on Instagram Stories.
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“Quality engagement and tight-knit communities matter more when predicting ROI than high like or follower counts any day,” says Christina.
And Christina is not alone in this thought — Nichole Ciotti recommends brands “think less about actual monetizing and more about creating content your followers care about. Authenticity is key. If you nail that, the money will come. Be patient and focus on producing quality content.”
Similarly, Brandon Perlman warns influencers “don’t get into it for the money.”
“As with anything worthwhile, how does one align their passions with what their audience cares about and parlay that into a revenue stream. It can’t be forced. Forced is failure.”
Influencer Marketing Trends #5: More Ongoing Partnerships vs. One-Offs
Influencers will become true brand partners in 2020, with brands investing in ongoing relationships over an extended period of time.
Manu Muraro says one-off influencer posts or stories aren’t enough to bring results to most brands — “it takes 6 to 8 touches to make a sale.”
Instead, Manu advises influencers start pitching ongoing partnerships to drive better results, and suggests influencers “move past the simple sponsored post or story and create a more unique way to join forces, like a signature line of products, for example.”
Elizabeth Gilmore believes this will help content feel more specific to the influencer promoting the product as well.
“I think that partners will feel way more specific to the influencers audience and that brands are really going to invest in long term relationships with influencers. Building trust and commitment is key!” said Elizabeth.
Nichole Ciotti adds, “I think brands will start looking for longer, more integrated partnerships. I can imagine a brand engaging an influencer on 10x posts across social channels over a burst of time.”
Influencer Marketing Trends #6: Micro and Nano-Influencers Will Continue to Rise
Influencer marketing is a key strategy for promoting your business and products on Instagram, with micro-influencers (those with less than 100k followers) yielding great results for businesses!
According to our recent report, micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates (averaging at 7%) on their feed posts!
In fact, influencers with <25K followers had higher engagement rates regardless of their genre, target audience, or topics.
As engagement rates on Instagram continue to decline, more and more businesses are seeing the value in partnering with Instagram influencers who have a small (or “micro”) but highly-engaged following.
One of the biggest benefits of working with micro-influencers is that they tend to retain higher levels of engagement than top-tier influencers.
Christina Galbato agrees.
“Brands will increase their focus on working with micro-influencers as oftentimes their connection with their communities is much stronger.”
The rise of nano- and micro-influencers has only begun, and Manu predicts “in the new year we will see a lot of brands and micro- or nano-influencers do their first sponsored post.”
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“For aspiring influencers, my advice is to start small,” advises Manu.
“Start tagging local businesses you use and posting about them. If they see a little traction from your post or like your content, you may have better chances to work together.”
Influencer Marketing Trends #7: New Social Platforms and Creator Tools
This year, new platforms and Instagram tools flooded the social scene giving influencers more creative sharing power than ever.
One of the most notable additions to the social platform line-up is the ever-growing, insanely popular app, TikTok.
Nichole Ciotti predicts TikTok will be the platform to talk about in 2020. She also believes brands will be investing more money with popular creators on the platform:
“The natural virality their interface affords is going to enable brands to multiply their marketing efforts for the same dollars, especially with micro influencers who produce amazing content, which has a high potential to get picked up by TikTok’s algorithm and go viral.”
Instagram influencers have already started taking the plunge into the new platform, for example Brittany Xavier has already raked up an impressive 50.2k followers with her creative, perfectly on-brand TikTok content:
Brandon Perlman advises influencers think bigger in 2020: “First and foremost start building your brand beyond only one channel. Is TikTok the right alignment? Pinterest? Amazon?”
We’re also expected to see more innovative tools to help influencers better tell their stories across platforms. Nichole Ciotti shares they’ve already been hard at work on this at Storyluxe.
With the removal of Instagram likes, Nichole also predicts more platforms will be popping up to help brands better measure performance metrics.
“One I have my eye on is Amp & Go, where influencers and brands will find their perfect fit and participate in tailored campaigns,” said Nichole.
Influencer Marketing Trends #8: New (Highly-Shareable) Forms of Influencer Media
Finally, we predict brands and influencers will be exploring new forms of media and experimenting with creative ways to capture their audiences attention.
Brandon Perlman predicts we will be seeing more data-driven analyses and infographics being shared by brand advocates, consumers, and fans alike.
“A great example of this is what Spotify just did with their ‘Year in Review’. These were brilliant, informative, personal, utility-driven, custom, shareable, and just slick. The integration within the Spotify app to Instagram Stories was just flawless.”
With AI on the rise in 2019, Nichole Ciotti predicts there will also be a rise of AI-driven influencer marketing platforms and partnerships.
This year, we’ve already begun to see CGI-influencers pop up on ours feeds, partnering with brands for the perfect #sponsored posts. The most notable digital influencer to take the stage in 2019 was Lil Miquela, with over 1.8M followers on Instagram:
Social media influencers have mastered evolving with new trends, whether the demand comes from followers, businesses, or new technological developments. There’s no doubt we can expect to see exciting new things in the influencer space in 2020!
Have any influencer marketing trend predictions of your own this year? Let us know!
Want to level-up your influencer marketing strategy for 2020? Download our FREE Strategy Guide to learn how to increase your brand awareness, follower base, and drive major sales with influencers!