Gen Z Emerges as the Most Valuable Demographic in Influencer Marketing in 2020: Study Reveals


New research from Klear found that influencer marketing grew by leaps and bounds in 2020

New data from KlearOpens a new window , the influencer marketing platform, shows that the global reach of influencer marketing grew by 57% in 2020. The pandemic and resulting changes to the marketing landscape significantly altered how brands nurture their relationships with customers.

The survey that polled over 5000 influencers across social channels revealed some of the key trends expected to set the tone for influencer marketing in 2021.

Here’s a quick look at the top trends of 2020:

Trend #1: Influencer Collaborations Had 57% More Reach and Impact in 2020

The study found that this year, sponsored posts received an average of 7,806 impressions (unique views). In 2019, sponsored posts averaged 4,827 impressions. A 57% increase.

Trend #2: 80% of Brands are Likely to Engage in Social Activism

The company analyzed social profiles of the Fortune 100 companies during BLM protests to reveal that 80% of brands made a statement in support of #BlackLivesMatter and 20% of brands did not make a statement.

Social media has long been a platform for public figures to express their personal opinions. However, the #BlackLivesMatter movement of 2020 was different than any other. In the past, brands could remain apolitical and not make a statement. During this movement, no statement in itself was a huge statement.

On June 1st, 2020, Lebron James posted an image on Instagram that read “If YOU ain’t wit US, WE ain’t wit Y’ALL!” A powerful message that spoke on the intersection between ambassadorship and social justice. The rise of public figures from Colin Kaepernick to Beyonce publicly supporting social issues is something brands couldn’t ignore.

Trend #3: TikTok Sponsorships Increased 130%

Klear found that for every sponsorship TikTok creators participated in 2019, they created 2.3 sponsorships in 2020. A 130% increase.

Trend #4: Influencers Created 32% More Sponsored Stories in 2020

There was a sharp increase in sponsored stories, which aligned with an overall trend of story usage in 2020. Sponsored stories increased 32% this year. In 2020, influencers created 38.1 sponsored stories a week, in 2019 they created 28.8.

Trend #5: Gen Z’s Market Share Increased 9%

When comparing influencers creating #ad content in 2020 to #ad content in 2019, the study identified a 9% increase in Gen Z’s market share. In 2020 influencers aged 18-24 made up 34% of the influencer industry, in 2019 influencers aged 18-24 made up 31% of the industry.

Trend #6: #ad Usage Declined 19% in 2020

Comparing sponsored posts on Instagram, the company found that there were 2.4M sponsored posts, and in 2019 there were 3M.

While #ad might have gone down, it does not mean sponsored content is down. Instagram’s Paid Partnership Feature Instagram released the feature in 2017, but it got its most significant push in 2020. With the feature, influencers can tag a brand as a paid sponsor in both a Post and Story. Still, according to FTC regulations, it is up to the influencer to disclose paid collaborations not the platform.

Influencer Marketing in 2021: What Will Change?

2020 trends indicate that it is becoming exceedingly critical for brands and influencers to work with partners who share their values and concerns. Going forward we could expect influencers to become ore selective in who they choose to collaborate with. Over exposure to social media has led to customers becoming more demanding when it comes to content – they want to see authenticity in storytelling.

“2021 is going to weed out the businesses and creative who are or aren’t willing to adapt to change. This is going to be a year where creative video content will be pushed more than any previous year,” said Millie Adrian, a fashion influencer.