A new study from Tribe surfaces current trends in the influencer marketing industry
A new report from Tribe Dynamics, the influencer marketing platform, has found that Instagram is still the platform of choice for influencer marketing, but TikTok is catching up. The study that surveyed over 60 brands and over 250 influencers revealed that new platforms like TikTok are rapidly capturing consumers’ attention, while others sÂ uch as Instagram Stories have graduated from emergent trends to established staples of brands’ and influencers’ storytelling toolkits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has radically transformed how brands and bloggers interact, giving rise to new and innovative content creation opportunities in the absence of in-person events. Additionally, the report also analyzes how global protests for racial justice have prompted an industry-wide reckoning around diversity, equity, and inclusion, leading many brands to re-assess their outreach strategies; and inspired influencers to leverage their platforms for activism.
Key highlights from the 2020 Influencer Marketing Trends Report include:
Instagram Stories is integral, and TikTok is on the rise.
- 78% of brands said Instagram Stories had very significantly impacted influencer content about their brand
- 88% of influencers regularly use Instagram Stories
- 35% of brands with dedicated teams for specific platforms have teams for TikTok
- Top ways brands leverage Instagram Stories include sharing more Stories on their owned channels and encouraging influencers to share unsponsored Stories about their brand
- 35% of influencers have used TikTok more frequently within the past year
Sponsorship doesn’t negate authenticity.
- 65% of brands said the proportion of influencers they compensated had increased
- The vast majority (94%) of influencers only work with brands whose products they like
Quality products are king
The survey found that product quality remains a key priority for influencers. Overwhelmingly, content creators rated product quality as the primary factor in determining whether or not they would post about a brand. Additionally, furnishing fans with opportunities to try new products was a central component of brands’ relationship-building efforts. However, fewer than 25% of brands had released product collaborations with influencers, which content creators widely rated the most meaningful way brands could empower them in their careers.
- 92% of brands had orchestrated a product send out within the past year
- 90% of influencers said receiving more new product launches would improve their experience working with brands
Influencers view brand relationships as business relationships:
Brands overwhelmingly ranked â€œbuilding impactful relationships with influencersâ€ as the most important aspect of their influencer marketing programs. However, there is a disparity in how brands and influencers view their relationships with one another, suggesting that brands may need to place even more emphasis on conducting personalized outreach.
- 57% of brands characterize their relationships with influencers as primarily professional, rather than a close, personal connection.
- 88% of influencers characterize their paid relationships with brands as primarily professional.
- 87% of influencers characterize their unpaid relationships with brands as primarily professional.
Brands are prioritizing inclusivity, but BIPOC influencers still felt marginalized.
- 91% of brands reported taking actions to empower BIPOC influencers over the past year, but 23% of influencers felt that their race and/or ethnicity had been a significant barrier to their success
What Does This Mean for Marketers?
With more time at home, and screen time at a record high, influencer marketing is quickly emerging as a booming global industry embracing a multiplying number of established and emergent social media platforms.
As the report’s key finding shows that influencers lack a close connection to the brands they work with, this is an opportunity for brands by inspiring more genuine and impactful content creationOpens a new window by getting to know influencers on a personal level and demonstrating a deep respect for their work.
Influencers care about product quality, above all else. Marketers must take content creators’ feedback into account and actively involve them in the product development processâ€”both influencers and their audiences will be grateful.
The pre-pandemic world isn’t coming back anytime soon. Brands must embrace the at-home aesthetic and identify virtual outreach opportunities to continue to drive success at a turbulent time.
Finally, now more than ever, influencers and consumers are championing brands that demonstrate a real commitment to inclusion and eschewing those that don’t. Marketers must dedicate resources to promoting diversityâ€”both in their influencer outreach and in internal teams â€“ to retain influencers’ favor.