With micro-influencers generally drive 60% higher engagement rate in marketing campaigns, I’m not exaggerating when I said many brands have practically moving from famous mega-influencers to those with smaller audiences.
As the influencer marketing industry matured, we also see a shift in the purpose of influencer marketing. Along with the rising of digital natives dominated by millennial and Generation Z, brands are using influencer marketing to appeal to these younger generations, who put more emphasis on authenticity and relevance.
So, it’s clear that influencer marketing is here to stay. But, let’s skip ahead and leave 2019 behind. What about 2020? Will the bubble finally burst?
A survey revealed 39% of marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budget in 2020 and with that, influencer marketing is set to become a $10 million market by 2020. Looking at these statistics, I don’t see the market to be slowing down anytime soon.
Still, marketing industry is extremely volatile and bound to change thanks to various innovations and advancement of technologies. So, what can we anticipate from influencer marketing in 2020?
Micro-influencers and Nano-influencers
Over time, brands finally understand that less is more. The success of influencer marketing campaign doesn’t solely depend on the number of followers an influencer has.
Micro-influencers have less number of followers but they often make it up with their higher engagement rate. The less number of fans actually allowed them to create meaningful relationships with their audience, which is what brands are counting on. From a financial standpoint, they are also relatively more affordable compared to celebrities.
Today, as the industry becomes more competitive, we welcome nano-influencers. These perfectly ordinary digital citizens, who have even less audience base but boast 100% authentic engagement, are being courted for their influences. The whole point is, they are not famous.
With more brands putting focal point on engagement, we can expect micro-influencers and nano-influencers to solidify their positions even more in influencer market this 2020.
The significant rise of Instagram Stories led to the increased popularity of ephemeral content. The time-restricted content places a lot of excitement around it which easily results in higher brand engagement and is often perceived to be more authentic.
Even now, more brands are concentrating their campaigns on stories and developing strategies for ephemeral content. I believe this could be one of the most prominent influencer marketing strategies in 2020.
With the arrival of more sophisticated technology, seamless and automated data analytics will tremendously help brands to create more effective campaigns. From user behaviors and market segmentation, brands can easily tailor personalized content to increase the quality of their offer.
Furthermore, measuring the success of your influencer marketing campaign will be less problematic as the whole market is set to be more transparent.
As brands realize the importance of influencer marketing, many would seek to form long-term partnerships with them. But, finding influencers that match your brand image perfectly is hard. That’s why I believe the future of influencer marketing lies in in-house influencers.
In-house influencers won’t have to concentrate on content distribution and instead focus on building relationships with the audiences. Brands can also groom the influencers themselves to be stronger brand advocates.
Focus on the overall journey
Until now, most of influencer marketing campaigns were focused on interacting with the customers on specific stage of their customer journey. But that’s no longer enough. Now, brands will have to focus on delivering a total experience throughout the marketing funnel.
This also tests the limit of influencer marketing and hence, forcing content creators to be more creative in their storytelling to retain the audience’s attention when exposed to similar information multiple times.
Experience via technology
Technologies such as drones, immersive media, 360° videos, chatbots, AI and VR will literally place the audience at the center of the action. These technologies are expected to enhance content experience and create a new form of communication that encourages the growth of social media and mobile marketing.
Brands have already experimented with these technologies. One of the examples is CGI influencers, who are created through the help of computer-generated imagery. CGI influencers can be popular alternatives as they allow brands to completely control how their products are advertised, hence eliminating the unpredictability that comes with real-life influencers.
With more emphasis put on authenticity, influencer collaborations that engage audiences on a personal level will be the primary focus of brands in their future influencer marketing endeavors.
Regardless what happened to influencer marketing in 2020, what we all can be sure of is that influencer marketing will definitely provide more channels for brands to engage with their audiences. We as digital marketers just need to constantly adapt and adjust our strategies and make sure we stay relevant.
What are your predictions for influencer marketing in 2020?
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