2010-2019 was without a doubt the decade of influencer marketing. The youngest discipline of marketing went from being a wild west where everything was possible and allowed, to a more regulated field with benchmarks and best practices.

How will influencer marketing evolve in 2020? We asked the Influo staff to take out their crystal ball and look into the future.

Here are their top trends for 2020.

 

1. Quality over quantity

Luka Host, Influencer Marketing Manager at Influo

Marketers will focus more on quality over quantity in 2020. We see more and more brands invest in longer-term relationships with influencers and treat them as ambassadors of their brand.

Influencers who work with your brand on multiple projects develop a closer connection with your brand. This closer connection will shine through in the content the influencer creates and In turn, in the performance of the collaboration.

On top of that, we see more and more brands select influencers in multiple waves. By working with a bigger pool of influencers in a first wave, and evaluating the performance of the influencers, consecutive waves of the campaign can be better optimized for the buyer personas you want to target.

Campaigns that are executed in multiple waves and that work with influencers on a long-term basis perform better.

 

2. Influencer-brand match

Jony Maesele, General Manager at Influo

Marketers will focus more on the match between an influencer and their brand instead of on follower numbers.

As more and more marketers understand how influencer marketing works, businesses start to realize that follower numbers are not the best metric to look at when selecting influencers you want to work with. How well an influencer fits with your brand values is more important for successful influencer collaborations.

 

3. Increasing complexity of campaigns

Klara Verzele, Influencer Marketing Manager at Influo

Influencer marketing campaigns are being executed increasingly across multiple platforms, with multiple influencer segments and in multiple waves. Strategies for influencer campaigns are also becoming more fine-tuned, keeping multiple buyer personas and complex customer journeys in mind.

Brands collaborate with multiple influencer segments in the same campaign, to optimize the efficiency and performance of their campaigns. Influencers with large followings are combined with influencers with smaller followings, to boost reach as well as engagement of a campaign. Collaborations are set up with influencers on several platforms and campaigns include niche influencers as well as lifestyle influencers to target multiple buyer personas.

 

4. More legal guidelines

Sophie Soete, Marketing Manager at Influo

Influencer marketing will keep becoming more transparent and will get a stronger legal framework. More and more countries are finetuning the rules to which influencers and brands should adhere.

In Belgium, the ‘Raad voor Reclame’ together with industry leaders such as Influo defined legal guidelines in 2018 when working with influencers. The guidelines translate the law on advertising to the specific context of influencer marketing practices. While not all Belgian influencers and brands adhered to these guidelines in 2019, 2020 will be a defining year for how authorities view and deal with influencer marketing.

In the Netherlands, the ‘Stichting Reclame Code’ updated its social media and influencer marketing guidelines in May 2019 with specific clauses tailored to different types of social media platforms.

In the US and UK, authorities are increasingly paying attention to content put out by influencers and fining influencers in case they violate the rules.

 

5. Contracts

Maarten Kesteloot, CEO and co-founder at Influo

Contracts between influencers and brands will become more common.

A bigger part of the marketing budget is being allocated to influencer marketing year over year. With this increase in budgets comes the increase in importance and visibility of influencer marketing within corporations, and an increased awareness of liability and legal repercussions.

As mentioned before, government bodies are increasingly acting against the unlawful advertising that influencer marketing can be, and brands and professional influencers will need contracts to make sure their legal responsibilities are well defined and liabilities are minimized or covered. Today, many brands and influencers still collaborate without a clearly defined contract.

While global brands and agencies have embraced contracts to rule out legal grey zones, this is not the case yet for most smaller brands that are less aware of the legal repercussions or nuances. 2020 is the year during which smaller brands will also jump on the contract-bandwagon.

On top of that, we see more and more influencers take charge of their influencer career and protect their rights by creating their own contracts and asking brands to sign them when collaborating.