Are you interested in growing an influencer presence or company brand on social media in 2020 and beyond? If so, good idea.
The landscape is constantly shifting in the social media world.
Facebook, once the dominant platform, now has an aging community. Instagram is the happy-medium where Generation X, Generation Y (Millennials), and Generation Y all converge. The popularity of Youtube and Snapchat continue to grow as the sands shift more and more to video. Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, and Reddit remain evergreen stalwarts. Twitch continues to carve out a niche for itself in the gamer space while the new-kid-on-the-block is TikTok.
Need help deciding what platforms to base your social media influencer presence on? Here are some key social media stats for 2020 to help you refine your strategy…
‘’65% of influencer marketing budgets will increase in 2020.’’ This is up from 39% in 2018, notes Bigcommerce.com. With big brands investing more into the influencer marketing space, it shows a growing trust in the strategy. Furthermore, PPC advertising prices continue to rise – meaning the brands need to look for alternative sources for exposure…influencers.
More investment means more opportunity for new and skilled influencers to enter the space. If you have an authentic message to deliver and a growing audience of raving fans – the future is bright.
Tell A Story
Socialmediatoday.com reports on a study that says ‘’92% of consumers want brands to make ads feel like a story’’. Smash-and-dash, heartless, advertising is on the decline in 2020. Followers have become jaded by influencers blatantly prostituting out their content space for fast cash ‘’shoutouts’’. Generation Z is showing a particular disgust to the hard-sell. The trend now needs to be one of a softly-softly approach.
As an influencer in 2020, you’ll be selective about the brands you work with – as they will be with you. The influencer – brand – follower base needs to have synchronicity.
It needs to make sense. As you build relationships with a handful of carefully selected brands, your followers will become accustomed to seeing you as a symbol of that brand. Your content will thus weave a narrative in an organic way – and the advertising will be more organic and less intrusive to the user experience.
Brands Leveraging UGC
A great move by brands building exposure for their products and services will be to lean heavily on UGC – User Generated Content. A successful example of this would be the innovative and ground-breaking collaboration between Guess and new-arrival, TikTok. Fans of Guess clothing were encouraged by the platform to promote the hashtag #Inmydenim, to amazing effect.
To your average influencer, this might seem like a threat to their marketing utility. And…maybe so. But we need to roll-with-the-times and build those brand relationships we talked about before.
Are You Nano Or Micro?
2020 will see the continued rise of the Nano-influencer and Micro-Influencer. These are influencers generally categorized with 1k-10k and 10k-50k followers respectively. As mediamix.com states; ‘’Influencer marketing relies heavily on trust and authenticity between the influencer and their audience, something nano-influencers are able to achieve by nature of their intimate relationship with their audience. Not to mention, they offer amazing ROI at very little cost.’’
Intimacy. Community. Authenticity. This is where the Goliath sized influencers with 1million+ followers just can’t compete with you, as you start growing your brand in 2020. Get down in the mud and interact with your fans. Build relationships.
Influencer Platforms For Regulation
The WIld West of unregulated social media influencing is almost dead. Some may cry into their frosted-flakes about such an instance but really…it’s a good thing. Socialmediatoday.com notes, that ‘’283 influencer marketing dedicated agencies have appeared in just the last 24 months’’. Platforms such as these are vetting influencers for real organic growth. No more fake bots, followers, likes and general engagement.
This levels the playing field if you’re an influencer just starting out, and it’ll reward you if you’re good at what you do. The cream will rise to the top. Such agencies make it easier for brands to find niche-relevant influencers too. By taking the leg-work out of the influencer management and employing a vetting process, influencer agencies will help brands feel more trusting in the strategy and thus more likely to invest larger sums (good for you).
Influencers = A Great ROI For Brands
Smartinsights.com reports, that social media influencers produced a healthy ROI of $5.20 for every $1 spent in 2018. With rising ad platform costs, algorithm shifts, and constantly changing ad copy rules, it’s easy to see why brands are turning their attention to influencers more and more. Expect even healthier ROI’s – especially as influencer policing becomes more steadfast and fake bots are removed from the equation. No following yet? Check this.
The Power Of Video…Continues
Video is important. We know this. It’s not news. But in 2020 it’s developing from an important part of strategy…to a MUST. And the type of video will continue to refine. Short bursts of video do the job just as well as larger ones. It’s about hitting your followers will multiple touch-points throughout their day to keep you front-and-center in their minds. That’s why utilizing the tools of Instagram Stories and Snapchat are paramount (if your target demographic hangs out there). The growth of Youtube and the emergence of TikTok and Twitch further exclaim the continued influence of video on social media and why you must somehow fit it into your strategy.
The Blue Ocean Of TikTok
We couldn’t complete this discussion without a large-portioned mention of the emerging beast that is… TikTok. As with all social media channels, it’s a prime place for social media influencers to grow their accounts and for brands to get exposure to their target demographics. TikTok, being a platform significantly dominated by Generation Z, however, does come with some unique challenges…
‘’you have to avoid coming across as too salesy on TikTok. This is particularly the case because of TikTok’s youthful demographic – brands find Generation Z notoriously difficult to reach because of their total disdain for anything that resembles a traditional advertisement’’, notes Influencermarketinghub.com
To be successful as an influencer and as a brand on TikTok you need to bring your A-Game in terms of all the characteristics we’ve covered in this article. Authenticity. Community. Long-term relationships. Seamless advertising that makes the viewer feel like they’re making up their own mind to buy a product – rather than being convinced.
So, if you’re looking to establish yourself as a social media influencer in 2020, or build a brand for your company using social channels – it’s not too late. Far from it. The time is now and it’s still the gold-rush. You just need to be aware of how the landscape is constantly shifting. Strategy from methods that worked in previous years is now largely redundant. You may also want to check this out.
Building out your social media influence – or your company brand – in 2020, is going to be about authenticity, connection, community and…basically…keeping it real. Your weapons for doing this will be to build long-lasting relationships with influencers and brands that resonate with you and your audience. Communicate in stories. Utilize long-form copy. And, of course…video. Lots and lots of videos.