5 Ways Influencer Marketing has changed from 2020 to Now
Influencer marketing has undergone several changes since 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted influencer marketing. As people spent more time at home, online engagement increased, and influencers became even more relevant. Brands shifted their marketing strategies to adapt to the new normal, relying more on influencers to connect with audiences who were seeking entertainment, inspiration, and information through digital platforms.
Within a span of just 3 years, there has been a shift towards purpose-driven marketing, and influencer marketing has followed suit. Influencers are more likely to collaborate with brands aligning with their values and promoting social and environmental causes. This approach helps build stronger connections with their audiences and enhances brand authenticity.
Here are five key ways influencer marketing has changed from 2020 to now:
# 1 Authenticity and Transparency -
In 2020, there was already a growing demand for authenticity and transparency from influencers. However, this trend has only become more pronounced in the following years. This is mainly because in the digital age, news spreads rapidly, and any lack of authenticity or transparency can damage an influencer's reputation and that of the brand they collaborate with. Influencer marketing campaigns now prioritize genuine connections between influencers and their audiences.
Brands also want to work with influencers who align with their values and can authentically promote their products or services. The focus has shifted from vanity metrics such as follower count to engagement rates and genuine audience interaction in the form of comments and likes.
Authenticity allows influencers to attract and retain an audience that aligns with their values and interests. When influencers consistently share genuine content, their audience base becomes more loyal and engaged. This alignment also helps brands reach a more targeted and relevant audience through influencer collaborations.
Both authenticity and transparency are essential pillars of influencer marketing. They foster trust, drive audience engagement, and contribute to the overall success of influencer campaigns.
# 2 Growth of Micro and Nano Influencers Space-
Nano and micro-influencers are two categories of influencers based on the size of their following. Nano influencers are individuals who have a relatively small following on social media, typically ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 followers. They are often considered to be highly niche-focused and have a more intimate connection with their audience.
On the other hand, Micro-influencers have a slightly larger following than nano-influencers, typically ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 followers. They have a more substantial reach but still maintain a strong sense of authenticity and engagement with their audience. Micro-influencers often have a specific niche or expertise and are known for their genuine content and connection with their followers. Their more modest follower count allows them to maintain a personal connection and respond to comments and direct messages, fostering a sense of community and trust.
Unlike at the onset of influencer marketing, brands have now recognized the value of these two categories of influencers and at times prefer to work with them rather than celebrity influencers or mega influencers that boast of millions of followers.
#3 Diversification of Platforms-
In 2020, Instagram ruled the roost and was the dominant platform for influencer marketing. However, since then, the influencer landscape has diversified. TikTok has gained immense popularity (outside of India), especially among younger demographics, and has become a prominent platform for influencer marketing. YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Twitch, and even emerging platforms like Clubhouse have also become viable options for influencer collaborations.
As per the Business Insider report, the invite-only platform, Clubhouse is allowing influencers to make decent money by working in sponsored only rooms at an hourly rate. From the brand perspective, personal social media platforms like Clubhouse allow them to connect with a niche audience.
At the moment, the adoption of Clubhouse in influencer marketing strategy is slow, but it is definitely heading toward greater collaboration on the platform.
# 4 Long-term Partnerships-
In the past, influencer marketing often involved one-off collaborations or short-term partnerships. However, brands and influencers have now recognized the benefits of building long-term relationships with influencers. Long-term partnerships allow influencers to genuinely connect with their audiences and establish a more authentic representation of the brand. These collaborations also enable influencers to provide in-depth product reviews, create serialized content, and develop a stronger brand association.
Long standing collaboration also promotes customer confidence in the brand and influencer alike. Repeated exposure to the brand's products or services allows influencers to showcase different aspects, benefits, and use cases over time. This consistency helps reinforce the brand's messaging and creates a stronger association between the influencer and the brand in the minds of their audience. To sum up, long standing collaboration promotes customer confidence which in turn benefits the brand and influencer community.
#5 Increased Regulation and Need for Transparency -
Over the past few years, there has been a growing focus on influencer marketing regulations and transparency requirements. Many countries have introduced guidelines and rules to ensure influencers disclose their partnerships and sponsored content clearly. For instance, last year, the Department of Consumers Affairs, Government of India introduced “Endorsement Know-How Guidelines” for influencers and brands. For more information, please read our article about the same.
Social media platforms themselves have also implemented stricter policies to improve transparency.
At the same time, brands have started following a stricter vetting process for their influencers. They now want to work with influencers who can bring actual value to their marketing efforts. Likewise, influencers are becoming selective about the brands they want to work with to maintain the authenticity of their content.
These changes have helped build trust among consumers and have pushed brands and influencers to be more upfront about their collaborations.
These are just a few ways in which influencer marketing has changed from 2020 to now. However, the change is not limited to the above five pointers. The industry continues to evolve rapidly, and staying updated with the latest trends and best practices is crucial for successful influencer marketing campaigns.
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