Here are my 2020 predictions for the state of Influencer Marketing. I’m going to make it short, out of respect for your time, but you are welcome to ask me questions, via my Twitter account or email. Here you go, 2020:
The industry meltdown will continue, in full force. Most influencer matching tools/marketplace companies are useless, that we already know. What most of you don’t know is that most influencer tools/vendors that we learned about 3 years ago are already closing their companies or have gone under. Who is next – look at Izea’s stock, it seems like they’re out of cash (tip: ignore their million PRs for the sake of PR):
Btw, I wish IZEA paid more than USD12 to creators, but that’s too late to fix.
Brand-influencer contracts will be popular
There is less trust, and more suspicion these days (created mistakenly by journalists who don’t have any idea what a social media influencer is!), between brands and influencers. Are you fake? Are you going to deliver? Are you going to sell my 900 t-shirts tonight? Are you going to pay? The way I see it, when signing a contract becomes popular, it will create a more mature relationship, which will lead to much more clarity and fewer suspicions.
“You got to be authentic, you’ve got to find an authentic influencer” – NO, in 2020 we’ll be OVER “authenticity” as a criteria for choosing an influencer (read here why).
Much more CGI influencers
More computer-generated imagery (or CGI) influencers will co-exist with real people/dog influencers! In the past year CGI generated characters such as Miquela, Noonoouri and Shudu have made a surprising splash – their communities love them and are curious about them, which will only improve in 2020 (kudos to their teams, what a fantastic job!)
THE market gap will be acknowledged
The gap between unrealistic objectives (mostly instant sales, something that current social media platforms are not even built for) vs realistic but still good objectives (such as moving the needle for the brand on Instagram) will be acknowledged.
There will be many ahha moments, the market will become more mature, more understanding of how influencers can help, and how to create win-win brand-influencer partnerships.
With that in mind:
More creators, fewer influencers
In the past we treated all social media influencers as… influencers, i.e. someone who will change behavior. If someone didn’t change behavior, we didn’t see them as an influencer.
That will be changed – a high percentage of them will be hired as content creators, especially if they can deliver original, amazing point-of-view content, something that will be reused everyyyywhere – storefronts, TV ads, brochures, etc!
Parents will tell their kids that TikTok is a privacy concern
The China government is 100% confirmed to be regulating and controlling any tech service, any company, any technology that originates in China. TikTok’s headquarter is in Mainland China. That means very little privacy and heavy surveillance… parents will warn their kids to stop using TikTok, and maybe governments will get involved too.
Facebook will be more outdated than ever
Facebook currently looks and acts wounded and confused about their (not very positive?) business model, and even about what their end product should be, what it will do, and the whole issue of content “control.”
In the past few years this company/product was involved with numerous nasty privacy slimy scandals/partnerships. As a result, Facebook looks outdated and is being removed from many peoples lives… and the new generation is not interested… This trend will continue in 2020, as I don’t see them fixing their house soon.
As I’m sure you can see, digital ads looks… so out of touch from OUR current online life:
They smell funny this days: they are disruptive, pushy, intrusive. They’ve lost their appeal. Users by now have the ability to skip, and block their way around those bloody ads.
As a result, ads will be destroyed or will become more useless …
Brands will replace traditional stupid ads with hiring influencers.
Ad agencies will either keep being helpless OR hire Micro-Influencers to save their business.
Monetary tips for your influencers
Giving monetary “tips” (done via buying stickers/emojis), the same way we tip artists at the train station or baristas, will become an awesome way to pay influencers. YouTube has already started offering that, and Instagram and the rest will follow.
President of United States!
A social media influencer will be elected President Of United States in 2020. Politicians who are not social media influencers are a thing of the past.
People will continue to hate the word ‘Influencer’ without knowing what it really means
Last, most people still assume that all influencers are super models that swim in bikinis and money… It’s not like that at all – there are about 47m social media influencers, most of them small, not even known to the public. Look at the below pic – they can be illustrators, tween daughters, musicians, jazz dancers in unknown studios somewhere, and… Miss Piggy too…. Respect that, they are one of us!
I’ve been having fun with Influencer Marketing from the beginning — it’s a raw, new platform that allows for a lot of creativity and brings together a lot of inspiring marketing heroes — like YOU.
Happy Holidays, happy dialogue making, happy marketing!!
Your eccentric marketing servant,
NG aka DearMishuDad