Influencer marketing has been on the rise for the past few years. As trends stabilize and ROI effectiveness rises, it’s clear that influencer marketing is here to stay. Use GROWL’s influencer marketing breakdown to help innovate your brand strategizes for 2020.

To start off, what is influencer marketing?

Influencers, individuals with the authority and ability to influence purchasing decisions. Influencer marketing is most prominent on social media – social media influencers use their following and channel to showcase their product or niche knowledge and encourage buying behavior. Influencers aren’t necessarily brand loyalists, as they typically have paid agreements with the brand.

Why do they matter for brands?

Influencers are essential to brands because they aren’t just another marketing channel. Influencers are real, authentic people who create and thrive off of human connection. Thus, their accounts aren’t a sales pitch, but a connection and relationship. In today’s world of marketing, authenticity, and relationship marketing are vital – consumers trust brands less, and their peers (including strangers) more. Considering these direct connections, it’s no surprise that 61% of people interact with an influencer at least once a day. And, 89% of companies say ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other avenues.

Check the stats

Social media influencer marketing is important and impactful on Instagram. Mostly, sponsored feed posts are used with stories ranking second. Through this platform, here’s what we can expect in 2020.

1. 39% of brands plan to increase their budgets for 2020, spending up to $100,000 on influencers.

2. ROI is becoming more measurable by looking at engagement rates.

3. Influencer marketing delivers the 2nd highest ROI of any digital channel.

4. Authenticity is the trend of marketing. In the past year, consumers have:

           Found 49% of brand-created ads to be annoying

           Had no adverse reaction to influencer sponsored content (67%)

           Been 82% more likely to follow the recommendations of an influencer than a brand

Here’s a breakdown on influencer types & trends for 2020

1. Focus on authenticity and creativity.

Today, it’s critical for influencer’s personal brand, style, and values to match the company their representing.

2. MASS growth of nano-influencers.

Nano-influencers are those with 1,000-9,000 followers who create 100% authentic content and have a highly engaging audience. We’ll also see a steady contribution from micro-influencers (those with 10,000-100,000 followers).

3. Decrease in use of mega-influencers.

Mega-influencers, those with over 100,000 followers (i.e., celebrities), will drop in popularity because consumers are feeling less connected to their content, and price per post is astronomical.

4. More storytelling and personal connection with products, along with video content.

5. Long-term partnerships between brands and influencers.

Long-term partnerships will create a stronger brand association, higher ROI, and improve credibility.

Things to watch

With a rise of influencer marketing, restrictions and ad regulations get tighter. Over the past year, Instagram has already restricted influencer content regarding dietary consumption and health habits that can negatively affect users. In the past, influencers (especially mega-influencers) have had a poor reputation for being unethical, causing the FTC to issue guidelines that protect consumers (you see these commonly as “#ad”). Regulatory guides are another reason consumers and brands demand authenticity.

Influencer content is becoming more popular and more impactful than ever. It’s evergreen (it doesn’t expire when the campaign does), and such marketing is resulting in high ROI. Today, we see influencer content that is extremely creative and more high-quality than ever – but it remains vital for companies and influencers to seek collaborations that benefit each other’s values.

Need to brainstorm how you can incorporate influencers in 2020? Give GROWL a call today.