The fastest internet penetration the world has seen was two years back. That’s when India reached an average of 40 million new users per year. How many Indian consumers are online today? 400 million.
How do you bring these 800 million eyeballs to an arresting halt? By staying ahead of the curve. So, while the kids are pouring their hopes on Christmas lists, I (and every other thought leader) predicts the influencer marketing trends that will come to fruition next year.
The influencer marketing industry was worth $8 Bn in 2019. It shows no signs of abating in the twelve months ahead. Rather 2020 will be the year when it moves from ‘nice to have’ to a media channel worth its salt.
2019 Trends That Continue In The New Decade
Given the newness of influencer marketing, at least in India, a few trends that dominated this year will segue into the next.
Video Content Will Continue Kicking
Globally, a user spends 84 minutes per day to view online videos. In India, 70% of total data usage is through internet videos. It’s sufficient proof that iGen, a generation shaped by the concomitant rise of social media, is embracing video content with arms wide open. This acceptance all but ensures its place in the influencer marketing space in 2020.
Yet, change is inevitable. So, if you want more engaged viewers, I advise investing in small, bite-sized videos with more collaborative content for future campaigns.
Authentic Content Will Evolve Further
I’ve found that ‘in the moment’ posts by creators, posts which show a genuine love or strong affinity for the product or service do exceptionally well. They make followers a part of the journey, not the corollary.
It is why authenticity will remain on the cards for 2020. To be more precise, it will become the secret sauce to successfully running an influencer marketing campaign.
Nano-Influencers Will Rise Higher
Influencers, with more than 100k followers, show an average engagement rate of 1.1% on Instagram. The engagement increases as the number of followers drop. For nano-influencers (less than 5k followers), the rate averages around 7.2%. The figures stay the same, regardless of the topic, genre or target market. Because content creators with smaller following yield better results, they will rise further and higher in the approaching time.
A New Year Brings New Marketing Trends
The constantly changing algorithms and the revolving door of consumer behaviour have made social media marketing downright tumultuous. By that I mean, new trends crop up like dandelions emerging out of immaculate lawns.
Meme Marketing Pitches Its Tent
Gens Y and Z are ad-averse. Their scroll pace intensifies even before they reach the promoted ads on their feed. In a world, where pushing your product means pushing the consumer away, what is a brand got to do? Well, use meme marketing. They are the internet speak of the digital native. Millennials connect with a trending image and a line of text far more than traditional ads. Somehow, memes communicate feelings, circumstances and attitudes far more accurately than words worth an ocean of ink.
Affiliate And Influencer Marketing Merge
One of the main distinctions between affiliate and influencer marketing is the payment model. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two are merging. Brands are moving towards a Cost Per Action revenue model as opposed to paying a lump sum amount for a one-off image or video post. In the coming year, brands will prefer to team up with creators and assign their social media handles custom affiliate links. Every time a user takes action through the link, the brand will shell out a commission to the creator.
Podcasts Will Sink Its Hooks
Apple alone is home to over 500,000 active podcasts shows. They span 100+ languages. It’s safe to say audio-format content has modest online following. In the year to come, they will explode further not just on Apple but also on Google, Spotify and elsewhere. Podcasts or rather spoken-word content uniquely fits into the consumer’s busy life. They have a personal element, which creates communities out of like-minded individuals – very much similar to the following social media influencers generate. Moreover, from information to entertainment, podcasts are available for every niche.
Influencer Marketing Momentum Has Become Undeniable
As the way people consume content changes, brands need to alter the way they communicate. Social platforms and the creators they birth help brands bridge this very gap. Case in point: when users ignore promoted adverts, influencer-generated videos capture their attention. The shocking rise of TikTok evidences it. The video-sharing app made persuasive creators in places I would have never imagined three years ago. By targeting vernaculars, it reached a larger and more captivated audience.
Till now, we’ve been treading the introductory chapter in influencer marketing history. Expect to see bigger and better collaborations between creators and brands in 2020.