Will 2020 be the year of Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing flourished in 2019, with brands making a beeline for popular-yet-relatable faces on social media

e4m by Shreshtha Verma
Updated: Dec 27, 2019 9:30 AM


Influencer Marketing

From potato chips to sports gear, every product and service promoted in 2019 found a new route to popularise themselves with influencer marketing. With what could be called their Midas touch, influencers flooded social media platforms with products from across categories this year. While brands onboarded celebrities to add credibility, they used influencers at the ground level to improve the relatability of the products and the reach of the brand. As 2019 draws to a close, we take a look at some great moments in influencer marketing.

Known for his puns and jokes AIB comedian Tanmay Bhatt also took to telling brand stories. For their #MakePotatoGreatAgain campaign, Taco Bell joined hands with Tanmay Bhatt to introduce Crispy Potaco – Potato & Taco. #MakePotatoGreat received an impressive 24,522,245 impressions on social media. With this kind of scale, influencer marketing is too tempting a proposition for marketers to ignore.

The next big disruption in influencer marketing in 2019 was the rise of virtual influencers. The year 2019 has indeed been a revolutionary one for the influencer marketing industry. With the increasing penetration of internet, influencer marketing has become one of the essential marketing tools for brands. Labels like Lays, Veet, Puma, Nike etc all bet big on the same this year.

According to influencer marketing benchmark report 2019 by Influencer Marketing Hub, Google searches for Influencer Marketing grew 1500 per cent over three years.

"320 new influencer marketing-focused platforms and agencies entered the market over the last 12 months. Back in 2015, there were just 190 influencer platforms and agencies. This grew to 335 in 2016, 420 in 2017, and 740 in 2018 – more than twice the number that existed just two years previously," stated the report.

TikTok undoubtedly became a popular platform for influencers to promote their products this year. But it was Instagram that ruled the roost of influencer marketing. Furthermore, the report reveals that Instagram usage grew 10X in five years. Instagram proudly announced that it had reached 1 billion daily users in June 2018, ranking just below YouTube (1.9 billion) and Facebook (2.27 billion) that were the only virtual communities with more active members.

The most recent example of influencer marketing in 2019 is Lay’s ‘Smile Deke Dekho’ campaign by Edelman, which took over the mediascape and social media by storm. The brand kick-started the campaign with personalised packs of Lay’s with “smiles of influencers”.

Interestingly, the influential marketing led campaign, 'Smile Deke Dekho'  recorded over 185 million impressions over the internet. Every influencer from Kusha Kapila to Jaspreet Bumrah took to the trend. Lays roped in 750 influencers across sectors to be part of this campaign. Naturally, with that kind of number, the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts of most of Lay’s TG was filled with 'Smile Deke Dekho' feeds.

Another great example of influencer marketing was by electronic brand MiVi. Earlier this year, it roped in Youtuber Bhuvan Bam as a brand ambassador. YouTubers like Mumbaiker Nikhil, and Mostly Sane (Prajakta Kohli) were brought in to promote MiVi products regularly instead of organising a one-off event. This largely helped to create recall and sustain the buzz.

Mattress major Duroflex introduced a campaign with #7HourMarathon which grabbed 4.9M footprints on social media. The campaign kicked off with Milind Soman tweeting that he plans to do a seven-hour marathon every day. Soon after that, Soman tweeted another video explaining his marathon plan and revealing the details of the campaign.

Then there was Sugerlite that joined hands with chef Sanjeev Kapoor for #AadheMeinZyaad. The entire campaign saw Sanjeev Kapoor propagating ‘why eat aadha when you can eat zyaada with Sugarlite’.

If 2019 was eventful for influencers, 2020 is going to be busier. Why? Experts believe that in 2020, consumers will become more conscious of the marketing tactics of brands.

"Influencer marketing will witness a golden year in 2020, probably the best one of the decade," believes Sameer Makani, CO-Founder and Managing Director, Makani Creatives. “It serves to be a bridge between celebrities and common people and plays on the aspirations of the audiences. Right now influencer marketing is under-priced which makes it more approachable for brands,” explained Makani.

On the other hand, there a new that is trend poised to grow in 2020 – micro and nano influencers. Brands will focus on them to widen the reach. Due to the rise in influencers with fake followers, marketers are now more cautious. They are slowly cracking the code to ensure impactful outreach and ROI for the brand. Brands have been focusing more on the engagement ratio than the number of followers and likes. Going forward, influencers will need to share deeper metrics along with conversion numbers to make them more viable for brands.

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