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Expert Predictions on What 2020 Holds for Influencer Marketing

by | Jan 16, 2020 | Best Practice,

2019 was a big year for influencer marketing, with endless influencer scandals and groundbreaking social media & technology platform developments, everywhere you turned, there was an influencer marketing related headline. We feel influencer marketing is going to reach the next level in 2020.

We reached out to the top experts in the influencer marketing space to learn what they think 2020 has in store for influencer marketing.

Influencer marketing taken more seriously

Brands are spending more money on this. It’s time to add “Influencer Relationship Management” to your LinkedIn skills. It’s time to ask your boss for a budget. It’s time to get serious about the tools, investment and the commitment to this tactic. Influencer marketing is just waking up and having breakfast. We’ve got a long way to go yet with this channel.  – Andy Crestodina, Founder & CMO, Orbit Media  

B2B influencer marketing will finally get the respect it deserves and be covered in the media, because we know that B2B influencer marketing is a lot more difficult, requires a lot more thinking, analytics and strategy than our brothers and sisters in consumer marketing. Although it’s just as important, it just requires different thought, process and more data.Michael Brito, Executive Vice President, Zeno Group 

Influencer marketing accountability

Too many influencer marketing programs ask influencers to create and share content tactically. I believe that in 2020, influencer marketing programs are going to be held accountable to delivering the kinds of business results that the rest of marketing is held accountable to: organic reach, content engagement, conversion to leads and sales.Michael Brenner, CEO, Marketing Insider Group

In 2020 I think that influencer marketing is going to professionalise as a category. That means it’s going to become much more business as usual, and senior managers are going to start demanding results from their program managers, on how influencer marketing is contributing to business outcomes. I also think that there will be a rise in thought leadership importance and the brands that develop topical communities, both with internal employees and external influencers and help develop their expertise and profile will create the most inspiring content, which in return, will give access to their target audiences and grow their credibility, awareness and trust.Tim Williams, CEO, Onalytica 

Influencer Marketing Connecting with employee advocacy

I expect B2B influencer marketing to move further to its integrated advocacy with influencers, customers and employees working much more collaboratively on content. As a result, we’ll see integrated advocacy becoming the primary driver of organic social reach for B2B brands.Luke Brynley-Jones, Founder, OST Marketing

I think we’ll see more companies investing in their employees, to become experts and influencers online.Sarah Goodall, Founder, Tribal Impact

As you build your influencer marketing strategy in 2020, it’s critical that you think broadly about the types of influencers to engage. You want an integrated mix. Think macro influencers, micro influencers, nano influencers, subject matter experts, curators, engagers and unique content creators. And don’t forget your employee advocates. It’s that integrated mix and ecosystem that you are able to bring together around your brand, that will get you in front of the audience you seek to engage with and maximise your ROI.Danielle Guzman, Global Head of Social Media & Distributes Content, Mercer 

The definition of “influencer” changing

The word “influencer” is going to be used less and less due to the negative connotations of the word. In the B2C industry, the word that is being used instead is “Creator” and everyone seems happy with this. But in the B2B space, there is no agreement on what word should be used as it’s a different paradigm to B2C creators. I predict that in 2020, the B2B industry will instead start to agree on some new terms, and that roles and personas will be used instead to help separate the different types of activity and strategy.Alistair Wheate, Head of Product, Onalytica 

Moving towards long-term partnerships

Brands & companies and influencers, will focus on a long-term collaboration with a human approach. Mariska Kesteloo, Founder, Word of Mice 

Long-term partnerships between companies and influencers to enable the creation of value-driven content will be more crucial in 2020.  – Julia Krespelka – Senior Content Marketing Manager & Community Manager, Siemens 

Brands are going to look much more carefully at influencers and look to find influencers whose values align with their own. As they do this, they’re going to want to build relationships with those influencers and therefore programs and campaigns will be longer-term in nature.Tom Augenththaler, Founder & Principal Influencer Marketing Consultant, 551 Media, LLC 

ASA introducing regulation for long-term partnership disclosures

I think you can expect some ASA rulings focusing on long-term partnerships and where disclosures are needed for long-term collaborations. The CMA are looking at platforms, so expect some guidance on the platform requirements for helping and assisting with disclosure. FTC over in America – I think we need some extra guidance on coppper, Youtube and how this affects brands that are promoting to children.Rupa Shah, Founder, Director & Influencer Marketing Regulatory Consultant, Hashtag As Consulting 

A shake up in how brands and influencers are collaborating

We’ve got the break free from boring B2B…influencer marketing that is. People are done with white papers, eBooks and blog posts. They want to be infotained; they want to have an experience with video, audio, interactive experiences and even Virtual Reality. We’re going to see a lot more of that with B2B influencer marketing in 2020.Lee Odden, CEO & Co-Founder, TopRank Marketing 

At Google Cloud, we are working with influencers in a different way. Influencers, just like brands, struggle to get a lot of organic reach. So we are working influencers to create content, to use their skills in story-telling, to help add to what we’re trying to say to our audience and then we’re using paid media to make sure that the messaging reaches that audience. Ryan Visser, Head of Social Media, Google Cloud, EMEA Google 

Influencer marketing in 2020 will be all about collaboration. Collaboration between brands and collaboration between influencers, focusing on what’s relevant for the audience and the relevance of the influencers and the brands.Brian Fanzo, Founder, iSocialFanz

Moving budget away from other marketing tactics

The shift of B2B companies in their marketing and recognition, that their clients and customers are on social media now. So what they’re going to do, is they’re going to make a switch with their budget, away from conferences and events – classic top of funnel, desire creation events, into influencer marketing.Tim Hughes, CEO & Co-Founder, DLA Ignite

Maturity of influencer marketing platforms

I think the industry has a lot of the same growing pains as other freelance or gig economy type work. So it’s a bit unreliable for the brands and the influencers, but it’s maintaining the creative and editorial freedom which is the value of that authenticity. My prediction is that this is going to spur the continued growth of platforms to help connect both parties. Especially around the tricky business of figuring out what the other party wants and each other’s needs and goals. I think it’s in everyone’s interest to connect, share briefs, goals and even outputs and payment really quickly and in one place. So without platforms removing that friction point, the industry’s going to struggle to scale.Jack Morel-Paulo, Head of Influencer Marketing Strategy, Onalytica 

Influencer marketing better integrated into wider marketing strategy

Influencer marketing in 2019 was a last minute ad-hoc planned activity at technology events and conferences. And due to success, most companies have planned it as a strategic marketing activity and budget in 2020. This results in annual influencer events planning versus this last minute ad-hoc planning.Ronald Van Loon, Director, Adversitement 

Brands are going to figure out pretty quickly that the sweet spot for influencer marketing is not taking a broad approach with it, but taking an Account Based Marketing approach.Tom Augenthalter, Founder & Principal Influencer Marketing Consultant 

Have a watch of our compilation video of these experts making these predictions below.