Launchmetrics, a marketing platform and data analysis solution for fashion, luxury and beauty headquartered in New York, recently published its sixth annual State of Influencer Marketing 2020 report.
The study focuses on the trends and predictions that will play a crucial role in driving the revival of the fashion, luxury and beauty industry through digital engagement and content creation. In addition to the data and insights, this year’s report features a special section entitled Covid: a new industry climate and predictions for the future of influencer marketing.
The results of Launchmetrics are based on surveys of a total of 600 marketing, communication and PR professionals from the fashion, luxury and beauty industry as well as 300 opinion leaders in Europe as well as in the United States. They found that:
- 94% of professionals believe influencer activations drive sales; which is up 18% from last year
- Brands are starting to favor Asia as a top market for investment in influencer marketing campaigns
- Investments in influencer marketing programs in 2020 grew by 10% – 30% compared to 2019
- 56% of brands say that they use their consumers as influencers and “User Generated Content” (UGC) is positioned at the forefront of many strategies now
- Millennials remained the number one target group (67%) for brands, while Generation Z has grown by 9% as a target for brands in their aspiration to reach the consumer of tomorrow
- TikTok has conclusively established itself as a key platform; this social network, (with 46% of users between 16 and 24 years old), is already a new channel to exploit in their actions with influencers for 42% of brands within the industry
- In continuation with the previous year, micro-influencers with a niche following remain as the most effective for brands whose main objective is greater proximity with their audiences
Currently Europe is the continent where brands are investing most in influencer marketing followed by Asia and USA. However, Asia–especially China–plays a major role in the consideration of brands; this is likely because Chinese consumers are set to make up 46% of luxury goods purchases by 2025. 39% of professionals claim that their brands invest more than $20,000 a year in influencer programs. 44% of respondents stated that they will increase budgets in the next year due to the growth in overall influencer marketing activations.
Relatability is one of the most important factors when it comes to influencer marketing. It is therefore not surprising that the popularity of micro influencers is growing. The top three reasons why brands like to interact with micro influencers are the cost-effectiveness, authenticity and they often have a better and closer relationship with target consumers. 42.9% of the participants find micro influencers most effective. That there is a reciprocal relationship between brand and influencer can be seen from the fact that 48% of influencers would work with a brand for free if they really loved them.
When it comes to channels Instagram is still the most popular channel for creators when they produce content. Brands also favor Instagram as the number one platform for collaboration (42%). Even though TikTok does not yet play a predominant role when it comes to influencer marketing, 42% of brands plan to include TikTok in their influencer marketing strategy–55% say its because they want to engage with a new consumer (Millennials and Gen Z).
With regard to the main target group, not much has changed compared to last year. Millennials remained the main target group for brands from the fashion, luxury and beauty industry. However, Gen Z has continued to grow as a consumer group and has increased by 9% compared to last year. Accordingly, Gen X has slightly decreased in terms of the consumer profiles that brands are targeting today.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on influencer marketing is significant since mid-February when the crisis emerged. Sponsored content from influencers has gone from representing an average of 35% of all influencers’ publications to 4%. The result? Launchmetrics stated that what can already be seen is that building a relationship–far beyond the product–became a priority for brands. In this new climate that Covid-19 creates it’s not all about fashion anymore but much more about authentic and relevant stories. In this scenario influencers are playing a key role. Brands such as Gucci, Oysho or beauty brand Elfyeah partnered with “their” influencers through Instagram during Corona and created Corona related topics e.g. #stayhome, tutorials, snippets from their “at home life” or similar video related content.
According to Launchmetrics influencers offer a greater value during quarantine time. In a way Covid-19 has renewed the spirit of influencer marketing as it resemble more of its origin–the authentic conversation between creator and community. Influencers return to a focus on content that truly adds value to the lives of their followers as well as the wider world in general.