Influencer marketing is experiencing positive growth and change in 2020. Some important trends for marketers to grab onto include the soaring popularity of TikTok influencers and consumers’ desire for authenticity over advertising. Marketers are discovering partnering with nano- and micro-influencers is a winning strategy. Engaging long-term influencers has a higher ROI than one-off partnerships. And using top influencer platforms and tools to manage campaigns successfully is becoming increasingly necessary in a field crowded with influencers.
As you continue through the second half of 2020, consider these trends and others to guide your marketing strategies to connect with your audience and increase sales. And take a look at some strategies we’ve laid out here to help you successfully navigate the future of influencer marketing in 2020.
Continue to Focus on the Basics
We’ve reached Q4 of 2020, and the world is still very much impacted by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. While businesses and households slowly opened back up, we are now experiencing another surge in cases which brings the total to 11M+ cases in the US alone and we are nowhere near normal yet. Wearing a mask, staying six-feet away from each other and washing our hands far more than we ever imagined possible are a way of life.
Many Americans remain unemployed or underemployed as well, and businesses that lost revenue in the first and second quarters are hoping to recoup their losses, if possible. Consumers continue to focus their purchasing decisions on necessities, while gradually making non-essential purchases as their individual situations improve.
With all that said, the picture is not grim. One way brands can navigate Q4 and Q1 of 2021 is by continuing to focus on the basics.
Offer Discounts and Promos
Consumers are still directing their buying decisions on essential purchases out of necessity or trepidation, but they’re also looking for discounts on non-essentials. While your fashion, beauty, travel or another brand may have taken a hit in the first half of the year, you will likely find more buyers interested in your goods now. But they’re also looking for quality products at lower prices to take the edge off reduced income and savings. Arm your influencers with discount codes, contests, giveaways and promotions to increase traffic and sales to your products or services.
Be a Resource for Recreation
Families and individuals alike are looking for some mental and emotional relief from the toll the pandemic and other social issues have taken on them. With that, they’re looking for affordable recreational outlets that can still take place at home, close to home, outside or without mingling too closely with crowds. This fits in well for brands that offer sports equipment, board and lawn games, hiking and camping gear, gardening tools and crafting supplies. But even if your niche does not fall into these or similar categories, now is a great time for your influencers to be a resource for recreation.
Let your influencers use their motivational skills to inspire consumers to get out and get moving, safely. Using content sponsored by your brand, have them suggest and demonstrate activities that allow them to relax, have fun and disconnect for a while. Always honor CDC, state and local government guidelines for social distancing, and actively encourage your audience to do the same. This will help ensure your brand stays in a positive social light during these evolving times.
Embrace Specialized Influencers
As the influencer space is growing, creators are becoming more specialized. Within each niche, such as food, influencers are organically forming refined sub-niches, such as gluten-free eating. Marketers can use this trend to their advantage by seeking out specialized influencers who match their brand values and campaign goals. Using an influencer platform or discovery tool helps save time and effort in identifying quality, niched-down influencers. The following influencer examples give you an idea of how creators are specializing in various genres:
Any brand that offers its products through Walmart can partner with Krista Hooper, who is a successful influencer to Walmart shoppers by reviewing products available through the store.
Use Data to Launch Successful Campaigns
Partnering with influential creators to reach your target audience makes good business sense but launching data-driven influencer campaigns is even more important in 2020. Measuring the ROI of your influencer campaign starts before your campaign even launches: at the influencer discovery stage. With so many influencers to choose from, successful campaigns begin with assessing an influencer’s relevant statistics:
- Audience demographics. Closely match your target audience demographics with the influencer’s audience demographics to make sure you’re optimizing your efforts by reaching the right people. Compare gender ratios, locations, educational levels, age ranges, professions and number of users on social media platforms relevant to your brand.
- Fake followers. Determine the percentage of bots and fake followers the influencer is likely to have. This is essential to making sure the engagement and actual influence the creator has on their audience is authentic. It’s possible to determine fake follower percentage manually, but a lot of guesswork and time are involved. Marketers that use reliable influencer discovery platforms or analytics tools save time and money weeding out fake influencer activity.
- Campaign goal data. Make sure you focus on the influencer data that matches your campaign goals. For instance, if your goal is to enhance customer relationships, partner with influencers who have high engagement rates. This means they have a close relationship with their audience, and even the audience size is small, their influence over brand awareness is strong. If your campaign goal is to enter new markets internationally or locally, focus on the country and top cities the influencer’s audience is located. Marketers who want to launch new products or services should consider turning to relevant influencers with larger follower counts to reach a wider audience.