Influencer Marketing Is Changing in 2020, Here’s How

A report by Influencer Intelligence, released in November has stated that 70% of marketers are demanding more authenticity and transparency from their influencer marketing campaigns in 2020, when consumer trust of influencers has fallen to 2%.

So are the days of holding up a whitening toothpaste in your pants for a selfie, over?

With more than 60% of consumers stating they also need to see more authenticity within campaigns, what does this mean for our future, as creators?

In the creation of my new challenge, ‘How To Grow Your Brand Partnerships in 2020’ (which you can sign up for here, it’s free), I spoke with some of the marketers and agencies I’m currently working with on my own projects.

I gathered tips and advice for the challenge and something the Vodafone PR team struck a chord with me, they said, ‘We as a brand work with influencers specifically to help deliver a call to action which is usually to help drive awareness and consideration of a product or service. We tend to only work with influencers that we know have a natural ability to inject branded posts into their feed/stories in a natural and fitting way.’

This is supported by the Influencer Intelligence report which found that,

  • 90% of marketers say proving authenticity is critical to the future of influencer marketing
  • 85% of marketers say engagement data is the biggest metric of success for influencer marketing
  • Micro-influencers overtake top-tier talent, and 61% of consumers say they produce the most relatable content
influencer marketing 2020
Photo credit: @StoriesByChloe

So what will change or evolve in 2020?

Brands will seek shared values

The Influencer Marketing Hub report on 2020 trends suggests that;

Businesses now realize that there needs to be a better match between their intrinsic values and those of the influencers with whom they work. You can’t blindly choose to work with influencers merely because they are famous – or even because they have an audience similar to your customer base. You first need to check for values compatibility.

If you market yourself as edgy, perhaps maverick, then you can work with the slightly wilder, contentious influencers. But if you target a more mainstream, conservative audience, you can’t take risks working with liberal or unpredictable influencers. If you come across as family-friendly, it would be foolhardy to work with influencers who push taste or legal boundaries.

Influencer Marketing Hub Report

What does this mean for you, as a creator?

As an influencer, are you always 100% aware of what you’re sharing online? From that offhand tweet, to that seemingly innocuous Instagram Story? These could prove to be a factor in future collaborations.

Pitching to brands you, ‘fancy’ might not cut the mustard and more research will have to go into aligning yourself with brands who have the same ‘branding’ as you – key messages, values and voice.

Micro-influencers gain even more power

In the same report, it is suggested that micro-influencers, with a smaller, dedicated and loyal niche will provide even more value for money in 2020 as celebrities and celebrity-influencers alike become further detached from their audiences.

This is definitely reflected within my personal experience as even though my following has only grown 4k this year, I’ve managed to earn up to 5x what I earned from collaborations this time last year (if you’re a creator reading this, give yourself a pay rise in 2020!) and I have been told that it’s because of the genuine community I have built (not to wank myself off too much, but just illustrating the point!)

Here’s what the report states:

There is a delicate balancing act in influencer marketing. You have to balance the benefits gained from working with somebody who has a large following, against how much those people take notice of suggestions made by that person. You then have to compare all of this to the cost of working with the person. Sure, in some cases, you can make up for the lack of genuine influence by the sheer number of people who may see a post promoting your product. But more often than not, an enthusiastic micro-influencer, with a smaller, but keen and dedicated following, provides better value for money.

What does this mean for you, as a creator?

Firstly, I hope it means you’ll stop chasing vanity metrics in 2020 and use that effort and energy to cultivate long-lasting relationships with your audience.

In 2020, brands will be scouring your Stories engagement and comments for deeper engagement.

‘Love this hun’ and emoji responses mean nothing and brands will want to see genuine conversations and examples of you influencing your audience before wanting to work with you.

Brand relationships will be key

More than 70% of my partnerships this year have been with the same brand or PR agency that my previous partnerships have been with and each expert I speak to within the industry states that 2020 will see more long-term relationships being built than those shot-in-the-dark, one-off campaigns.

This was echoed by Phillip Trippenbach, UK Head of Influencer at Edelman, at the Blogosphere Festival last week, who stated that the brands he worked with found way more value from longer term partnerships.

What does this mean for you, as a creator?

Pitching PRs without using their name, or with a pitch that could be sent to a million different brands is just not going to fly.

You’ll need to spend more time nurturing the brands you want to work with, either in communication or through creating organic content if you want those relationships to flourish.

It also means that accepting random sponsored post after random sponsored post is going to cast you in a more unfavourable light than influencers who are being more selective.


From this post, and this one I wrote on my own predictions for 2020, in the words of Ru Paul, it’s time we stepped our pussies up.

If you’re a creator who’s serious about building a personal brand and online presence, the opportunity to earn more money and grow more relationships is waiting for you, in 2020 – you’ll just have to stay ahead of how the industry is evolving and changing.

If you need more help and guidance on this, I’d love for you to join my challenge next month, where I, with the help of some industry experts, walk you through how to grow, glow and sustain brand relationships into 2020 through a series of email lessons, 1-2-1 feedback and support.

You can join here.

And of course, you can always join Grow & Glow where we go into creating and building platforms in way more depth!

How will your approach to working with brands change and evolve in 2020?

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