Updated: May 26
With studies confirming that aggressive traditional marketing tactics and celebrity endorsements are waning amongst a more informed Internet-fluent culture, influencer marketing has become a vital tool in reaching the modern consumer. In the year 2020 influencer marketing is en route to becoming an $8 billion industry, with giant global corporations like Estee Lauder confirming that they will be allocating a staggering 75% of their marketing budget to influencer marketing. There has never been a more crucial time to gain an understanding of how influencer marketing can best serve your marketing needs.
2020 At A Glance.
As we develop a better understanding of how to market with the help of influencers, certain trends arise within the field. Thus it becomes important for us to understand these trends and how to best utilize them in a successful influencer marketing campaign. Looking at the year ahead, we can safely predict that these are the trends that you will need to be aware of in order to ride the wave that is seeing companies achieve excellent ROI.
1 - Companies Will Increase Influencer Marketing Budgets.
It is only fitting that the biggest trend in influencer marketing is a direct result of its effectiveness and profitability. Encouraged by the immensely positive ROI that influencer marketing generates, companies are more confident than ever to dedicate significant portions of their marketing budget to influencer marketing strategies.
In MediaKix’s 2019 annual marketers’ survey, 89% of marketers confirmed that the ROI of influencer strategies was greater than that of any other channel of online marketing, 65% of marketers confirmed that they will significantly increase their budget for influencer marketing strategies and 17% say that they will dedicate more than half their marketing budget to influencer strategies. A recent Altimeter Industry Report recommends that brands dedicate at least 25% of their digital budgets to influencer marketing. We expect even more growth from these figures as we head into 2020, as larger budgets and a greater dedication to influencer marketing strategies will drive other companies to follow suit.
2 - Video Content Will Dominate.
As Internet speed and bandwidth are constantly seeing dramatic improvement, influencers and marketers can more easily create and share video content. In early 2020, a survey conducted by Bitable revealed that 60% of participants would rather watch online videos than television and that mobile video consumption has risen by 100% each year since 2017.
Social media platforms for video-only content, like Tik Tok and Twitch have emerged as major contenders for the top platform used by influencers. Tik Tok, a short-form video sharing network has become a global sensation in the past two years. The platform is especially useful in targeting a younger market, as 66% of its users are under the age of 30.
3 - Long-Term Brand and Influencer Relationships.
A big trend in influencer marketing is that brands and influencers are looking at partnerships more than once-off campaigns. Brands and firms are starting to recognize the benefits of nurturing long-term relationships with influencers, citing several benefits as the incentive for forging an ongoing relationship.
One such benefit is that in a brand and influencer partnership, companies better define expectations over a period of time; gain a deeper understanding of which campaign strategies are most effective; and have a stable, on-going endorsement for the future.
Another benefit is derived from the nature of how audiences interact with influencers. Since a once-off endorsement can easily come across as just a shameless sponsored plug, an ongoing slew of gradual and seemingly organic influencer-based sponsorships doesn’t compromise the trust the influencer has built with their audience.
V5 Digital - one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Windhoek, Namibia - recently established a brand and influencer partnership between the Emoneko Group and Dillish Mathews. The initial stages of the partnership include a three-month content plan that aims to not only drive awareness of the Emoneko brand and its products and services but also demonstrate the positive impact of a longer-term brand and influencer relationship.
4 - Nano-Influencers are on The Rise.
As influencer marketing steadily asserts its dominance in the online marketing domain, it becomes critical for companies and strategists to understand how influencers are categorised, and how each category functions:
These top-tier influencers have a massive online presence, with 100k-1 million followers. A macro influencer’s reach usually spans a broad audience and can be used in fewer niche campaigns. These influencers should be reserved for high-budget campaigns akin to the celebrity endorsements of yesteryear.
With a smaller following of anything between 20k-100k followers, these influencers have a smaller reach, but should not be underestimated as their audiences are usually dedicated. These influencers tend to provide substantial engagement rates and are far less expensive to employ.
Although nano-influencers are the smallest when it comes to their following, with anything between 1k-10k, recent studies have shown that these influencers boast the largest percentage of engagement across all brands and platforms. In 2020 we can expect smaller influencer tiers to become increasingly useful and cost-effective as influencer marketing strategies grow more sophisticated and diverse.
5 - A Union Between Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Influencer Marketing.
Until recently, most companies have treated social media marketing, content marketing and influencer marketing as separate areas of online marketing. Recently, however, companies are starting to treat these components as cogs of the same marketing machine, with campaigns seeking innovative ways to streamline them into one cost-and-time effective strategy. In unifying these online marketing modes it is still best to familiarise yourself with their individual roles in order to best design a strategy that will cherry-pick the most relevant aspects of each.
Ready to start your journey to success with influencers? Don’t hesitate to contact V5 Digital for a free assessment or to help you decide whether investing in influencers is the right next step.