Road to 2020: Influencer Marketing Trends brands need to watch out for

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Sanjay Vasudeva, Founder & CEO, BuzzOne Influencer Marketing pens down his thoughts on top influencer marketing trends to look forward in 2020.

2020 is expected to be a year of significant changes for the Influencer Marketing industry in India. These are some of the key trends that I believe will drive the shift for Influencer Marketing in the coming year. Take a look at the Influencer Marketing Trends, I foresee for 2020.

Small yet Powerful

2020 will see the rise of the micro-Influencer. A micro-influencer is an individual who has followers between 2,000 to 50,000 on a particular social media channel. We will see an increased dominance of these influencers in 2020 and rather than spending on celebrities or big influencers, brands will use more micro-influencers within the same budget.

This is an interesting shift because Influencer marketing relies on the power of real people to spread a brand’s message. Brands “identify” influencers based on their interests and platforms and then engage them to communicate with their followers. Although celebrities are mass appealers and have brand recall value associated with their faces,  micro-influencers are niche/category based social media celebrities and people value their reviews or opinion when buying a product/ availing a service. Hence, as brands start getting more specific with their campaigns, they will start looking at micro-influencers more and more.

More Focus into Podcasts:

Podcasts will become blogs for Influencers

Technology will bring about the next wave of evolution in the Influencer Marketing world, and one of the big shifts will be the use of technology in creative ways by the new-age influencer. With the advent of smart technology and smartphones, iPods, etc, we are looking at the growth of new areas and one of them is the rise of‘Podcast Influencers’.  Till now, Influencer Marketing has been around pictures and videos (audiovisual streams) – with Podcasts and similar technologies, the audiovisual will now shift to ‘voice’.

Podcasts allow Influencers to share their opinions and views and there is a growing market for this kind of information flow. We have Podcasts Influencers from finance to money-saving, to Chefs, etc and brands are now learning to tap into this new category.

In 2020, we will see more co-partnered Podcasts by Influencers and brands. The only point of note is that Podcasts are relatively niched yet and available to those who have smartphones and other hi-end technology gadgets hence the limitation.

Also Read: Road to 2020: Native Advertising Trends to look out for

Relationship is the Key: Brand will look at deeper and more meaningful relationships with Influencers

More and more research will come into the role to understand the type of content of the influencer that works more and his/her relationship with their audience. Brands are more likely to use influencers who blend in with the core brand values versus just associating or tying up with a popular influencer. Brands are also getting more specific about what they want to achieve through their marketing campaigns and this will trickle down as to how and which Influencer they plan to target etc. Overall, we are looking at deeper research by brands and Influencers, in turn, becoming more clearer about what they are delivering which is good for the Influencer industry since it brings in more specific delivery and measurability.

Integration of AI and Augmented Reality:

Integrated campaigns of on-ground events coupled with digital media with influencer marketing will be on the rise. More of AI and AR driven campaigns are likely to be executed on the ground with support through influencers. This is likely to grow even further in 2020 as brands will adopt AI and AR at a greater rate. The growth of “tech influencers” has also helped in this regard. The use of AI and AR has helped Influencers create more interesting and tech-savvy content and this is liked by their followers.

For example, brands are using Influencers to create special AR-enabled videos and simulations to create excitement around their launches and music concerts, etc. This is an interesting development and we are likely to see more and more Influencers pick this up in 2020.

Video content will be more prominent

TikTok will rise further along with Instagram as major influencer platforms. The young generation is clearly driving this shift and more and more X and Z-generation-ers are choosing platforms like TikTok and Vibe to share their talent, express their feelings or simply record interesting events around them. Revenue generation through video creation is also a big lure that is attracting people to these platforms along with the fact that they gain popularity and become micro-influencers in their own towns/ areas.

The increasing popularity of these micro/ regional influencers opens a whole new world of possibilities for regional brands in particular who may want to use influencers but can’t afford the big ones.  With the rise of these platforms, they now get a chance to do their own localized Influencer Marketing campaigns.

The article is authored by Sanjay Vasudeva, CEO & Co-Founder - BuzzOne Director at TheDCompany.

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