With no signs of slowing down, influencer marketing will continue to grow this year. Thus, we bring you the biggest 2020 influencer marketing trends brands need to know for a successful influencer marketing campaign. 

As social media marketing grows, new influencer marketing trends continue to emerge. Therefore, brands will need to create and adopt strategies to generate an increased ROI. To help brands build outstanding influencer marketing strategies for 2020, we put together the top 10 anticipated influencer marketing trends that will be huge this year. In addition, this post will provide ideas on how to incorporate the winning trends into your brand’s campaigns.

Top 10 2020 Influencer Marketing Trends

1. Build Long-term Relationships with Influencers

In terms of 2020 influencer marketing trends, authenticity and real connections will play a vital role. For this reason, brands should focus on establishing strong and extended partnerships with influencers. For example, brands may choose to get to know their brand partners even before working with them, regularly interact with brand collaborators, and recognize their influencers’ value. 

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Moreover, brand and influencer relationships are more likely to endure when brands provide social media stars with exceptional influencer experience. Here are some ways to deliver a remarkable experience to collaborators:

  • Organize sponsored trips or host influencers’ travel meetups.
  • Create exclusive and personalized offerings and events for brand influencers.
  • Collaborate with influencers on product development and improvement.
  • Include influencers’ families and friends on events and other brand-sponsored activities.
  • Instead of settling with one-time projects, brainstorm ways to work with influencers for an extended period.

2. Make Video Content

Video marketing is still expected to be a hit and even bigger this year. As a matter of fact, 99 percent of brands with current video content agreed to continue using video platforms in 2020.

In addition, even though YouTube is still the leading video platform for 2020, a number of businesses are utilizing other visual platforms and social media features like IGTV, Facebook Live and Instagram Live, and Instagram Stories to create video content. 

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Google is among the prominent brands to take advantage of IGTV to promote social media campaigns. For instance, the brand, in partnership with Forward Influence, collaborated with The Bucket List Family to increase awareness of Google’s #DigitalWellbeingResolutions campaign. As a result, the family influencer promoted the brand’s message in a creative and engaging way through IGTV content.

Furthermore, brands may use other video platforms to share authentic and appealing content. Below are some ideas to leverage video content as part of our top 2020 influencer marketing trends:

  • Display behind the scenes of events, product creation, and business headquarters.
  • Create unboxing video campaigns.
  • Invite brand employees or ambassadors to host a live question and answer portion to talk about your brand’s products and offerings, as well as share stories and values.
  • Produce tutorials, workouts, and DIY activities using your products.
  • Create an entertaining or informative regular video series that audiences can plan to watch based on a reliable schedule.
  • Feature influencers and loyal customers while using the brand’s products or services and sharing testimonials.
  • Present a sneak peek of your IGTV videos to your account to reach out to more audiences.

3. Focus on Authenticity and Real Content

#NoFilter and similar posts in social media platforms became a trend in 2019 as followers expected authenticity. Thus, for this year, audiences will demand more realistic and genuine content from influencers and brands, making it one of our top 2020 influencer marketing trends.

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What we can expect from influencers this year is less perfection and more real-life content. Therefore, we can see a shift from well-crafted short texts to longer and honest blog-type captions. 

Likewise, a call for genuineness will also affect the aesthetic features of social media posts. Hence, the no edit/filter trend may continue to surge in popularity this year and will not only be visible on influencer content but also with brand social media accounts.

Moreover, consumers will also desire authenticity from brands. Consequently, businesses can follow the influencers’ direction towards relatable and honest marketing campaigns. Here are some suggestions on how brands can deliver truthful and relevant content:

  • Embrace diversity and be more inclusive of brand ambassadors to receive more relatable and quality engagements. 
  • Show more transparency with brand partnerships, practices, and cultures.
  • Produce behind-the-scenes content showing the brand’s daily activities, how the products are made, or interactions with employees. 
  • Allow influencers to take over brand social media accounts for a certain time to feature the brand from a different perspective. 

4. Work with Micro- and Nano-Influencers

In our previous post, we already covered why brands should work with micro-influencers in 2019. Since the rate of engagement of small following influencers succeeded that of celebrities, this year, micro-influencers will continue to shine. In addition, audiences see micro-influencers as more authentic and believable than collaborators with a high following. Furthermore, the cost of working with micro-influencers is more affordable than partnerships with celebrities. 

For the 2020 influencer marketing trends, brands can focus on working with influencers who have interests and values aligned with their brand. In addition, viewers trust micro-influencers because of their authenticity. Therefore, when influencers form real connections with brands, their content becomes more genuine and believable. 

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Additionally, brands can also start working with nano-influencers (with followings between 1,000 to 10,000) this year. Though they have a lower number of followers, nano-influencers are highly engaged, have loyal audiences, can produce exceptional content, and are cost-effective. 

5. Utilize Instagram and Instagram Features 

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Instagram is among the top social media networks with the most number of users in 2019. Hence, as part of the 2020 influencer marketing trends, brands should leverage Instagram to increase engagement and sales. Therefore, we have listed below some ideas on how to use Instagram for your brand’s influencer marketing campaigns this year.

  • Produce Instagram Stories to:
    • Feature new products and a sneak peek of offerings coming soon.
    • Run Instagram influencer takeovers to share engaging content.
    • Promote contests and challenges and invite audiences to join.
    • Show behind-the-scenes of brand events and parties.
    • Make Live Videos of current sponsored events or tutorials featuring brand products and services.
    • Advertise Discount Codes and Promos.
  • Use IGTV in creating content or encouraging influencer partners to create Instagram video content for your brand. (Please refer to trend two for more ideas.)
  • Incorporate paid digital marketing with influencer marketing campaigns to amplify brand content.
  • Initiate User-Generated Content (UGC) by:
    • Using polls, questions, responses, and reaction stickers on Instagram Stories.
    • Posting funny and engaging memes and quotations.
    • Asking questions on your posts and actively responding to followers’ comments.
    • Launching contests and hashtag challenges.
  • Monetize Instagram through shopping and affiliate links. In 2019, Instagram added a new feature to the app that allows influencers to tag brands of products they are using or wearing. Consequently, consumers can now be directed to the brand’s Instagram shopping account or website to make the purchase. In addition, influencers can share affiliate links on their social media posts to generate purchases from their followers. 
  • Create discount codes and promo promotions that can be shared by influencers on their Instagram posts and accounts.
  • Share life stories through Instagram captions and posts.

6. Make Use of TikTok for Influencer Marketing Campaigns

Acquiring 500 million users three years after it was launched, TikTok became one of the fastest-growing global social media sites. Thus, if your brand desires to attract new and younger audiences, TikTok can be used to your advantage. 

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For example, as one of the 2020 influencer marketing trends, TikTok may be used to gain high engagement, create interactive and unique content, and reach out to Generation Z consumers. Hence, here are some of the ways brands can leverage TikTok marketing:

  • Encourage user-generated content through TikTok hashtag challenges and video contest submissions.
  • Collaborate with influencers to promote your product or create content for your brand. 
  • Prepare to use purchase links to add to TikTok content and posts. This new feature might be ready for use this year (it’s still in the testing phase).
  • Create appealing visual paid advertisements and sponsored posts. 

7. Switch from Desktop to Mobile Platform

Convenient access to smartphones may result in the utilization of mobile devices this year. 

In fact, the estimated number of smartphone users for 2020 is 2.87 billion. In addition, people are transitioning from using desktop and other devices to mobile phones in accessing the internet. As a matter of fact, 91 percent of people use social media on smartphones and 80 percent of social media activities are done on mobile devices. 

What do the statistics provided above mean for brands? The numbers show how mobile phones are one of the most used media to access the internet. Hence, here are some ideas on how to use mobile devices to reach out to new and target audiences:

  • Create mobile-friendly social media advertisements, apps, and brand websites.
  • Make online shopping easy and possible. In the United States, 79 percent of adults purchase products online and 51 percent of their transactions were processed using mobile phones. 
  • Make online product reviews easily accessible using mobile devices. Did you know that 82 percent of in-store customers use smartphones to view product reviews and make price comparisons when making a purchase?
  • Provide a streamlined mobile experience for customers. Did you know that 40 percent of online consumers admitted to buying from a different brand after an unpleasant mobile purchasing experience?

8. Partner with Gaming Influencers

With more than 60 percent of Americans playing video games daily, the gaming industry is expected to rise in the coming years. As a result, gaming influencers will continue to rise in popularity this year, making gaming influencer marketing one of the top 2020 influencer marketing trends. 

Additionally, because of the opportunities provided by gaming platforms to target new audiences and increase engagement, many brands are now launching influencer marketing campaigns in partnership with gaming influencers. Thus, below are some ideas on how to pull off a successful gaming influencer partnership this year:

  • Give gaming influencers freedom to create content. Gaming influencers are among the most engaging content creators who successfully gained their own followers and communities. Therefore, brands can trust gaming influencers to create content that will be engaging and entertaining to their followers.
  • Build a stronger and real connection with gaming influencers. To succeed in the gaming industry, streamers must create deeper interactions with their audiences. After all, the more gaming influencers are connected with audiences, the higher the revenue they can earn. Hence, the stronger the brand’s partnership with gamers is, the better they can create authentic and relatable content for their loyal followers.
  • Consider partnering with female gaming influencers. The number of women gamers is increasing. In fact, 45 percent of gaming influencers are female. Therefore, by collaborating with women gamers, brands can reach out to new and diverse audience groups. 
  • Produce creative and interactive gaming influencer campaigns. Non-gaming brands (like KFC with its free dinner advertisements on Twitch) can advertise through gaming platforms by creating highly engaging campaigns that encourage participation from audiences.

9. Invest in Branded and Sponsored Podcasts

The podcast industry continued to boom in 2019 and is expected to grow remarkably this year, making it another trend on our 2020 influencer marketing trends list. Though 48 percent of viewers use ad blockers because of too many brand advertisements, podcast listeners welcome sponsored ads with open arms. 

In fact, 78 percent of digital audio audiences accept podcast advertising due to listeners’ trust in podcast hosts. Consequently, brands seeking to build high engagement and long-term relationships with followers may use podcast advertising.

When it comes to 2020 influencer marketing trends, brands may choose to produce their own branded podcast or utilize partnerships with influencers for sponsored podcast advertisements.

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Among the well-known brands that recently invested in branded podcasts is McDonald’s. To illustrate, in 2019 the fast-food brand produced a short investigative podcast called The Sauce. As a result, the brand successfully told the story about Mcdonald’s Szechuan sauce in a creative and personalized manner.

Sponsored podcasts will continue to be effective this year. Furthermore, brands can advertise on influencer-hosted podcasts to gain new audiences, receive well-curated content, and increase engagement. Thus, for 2020, brands can take advantage of product placements, direct response ads, show guesting, pre-roll/ mid-roll/ out-roll ads, or live shows in creating sponsored audio content.

10. Follow Influencer Regulations

In recent years, The Federal Trade Commission actively emphasized the rules for influencers and brands to follow with regards to proper advertisement and endorsement disclosures. For instance, in 2017, FTC called out influencers and businesses who failed to disclose promotional partnerships and advertisements. Moreover, just last year, the commission filed a lawsuit against YouTube and Google for violation of COPPA with regards to the illegal collection of children’s personal information. 

Due to the FTC guidelines, YouTube ensured that all influencers with video content targeted to children disclosed content as directed to children, stopped serving personalized ads, and disabled other YouTube features like comments. As a result, the regulations set by FTC affected many content creators and YouTubers. Thus, influencers should expect the stricter implementation of disclosure rules this year to ensure that they are FTC-compliant.

For 2020 influencer marketing trends, brands and influencers will be more subjected to FTC agreements. So, here are some rules to follow to adhere to FTC guidelines:

  • Avoid dishonest and misleading claims.
  • Disclose any influencer and brand partnerships immediately.
  • Use clear and unambiguous disclosure terms or clauses.
  • Superimpose disclosure on image-only platforms.
  • Do not rely on built-in disclosure tools alone. 

Wrap It All Up

To succeed in the constantly changing influencer marketing industry, brands must know and embrace the winning influencer marketing strategies. Therefore, here are the top 2020 influencer marketing trends that will help brands increase engagement and generate sales this year:

  • Build Long-term Relationships with Influencers
  • Make Video Content
  • Focus on Authenticity and Real Content
  • Work with Micro- and Nano-Influencers
  • Utilize Instagram and IG Features
  • Make Use of TikTok for Influencer Marketing Campaigns
  • Partner with Gaming Influencers
  • Switch from Desktop to Mobile Platform
  • Invest in Branded and Sponsored Podcasts
  • Follow Influencer Regulations

What 2020 influencer marketing trends will your brand invest in this year?


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