Influencer collaborations achieved their objectives in 2020, driving considerably more reach and impact during the year compared to 2019, according to a new industry-wide report from Klear.
The ‘State of Influencer Marketing 2021’ report looks back on a busy year for brands and influencers amid the disruption of the pandemic and a surge in social activism during the summer.
Twelve months ago, there was speculation that the impact of influencers may be waning, but that did not manifest in 2020 as macro and micro influencers created a glut of campaigns that hit the mark.
Overall, collaborations between brands and influencers drove 57% more reach and impact as consumers turned to video to be informed and entertained.
The report found that shorter, snackable content was very much in vogue in 2020, as longer videos took a back seat.
This was due in part to the popularity of formats such as Instagram Stories and the bite-size videos that populate feeds on TikTok.
This trend saw sponsored Instagram Stories usage soar 32% this year and sponsorship activity skyrocket 130% on TikTok.
Conversely, ad hashtags on Instagram, which have been very popular in previous years, actually declined 19% during the past year.
Influencer campaigns reached a wide range of audiences in 2020, but the younger demographic was particularly active on social media.
The survey shows that 18 to 24-year-olds, commonly known as Gen Z, now command 34% of the industry, up from 31% a year ago.
There was also a flurry of sponsored content over the summer, with Klear noting that 80% of brands opted to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
This led to more than a third of ‘influencer-following consumers’ engaging with a more diverse mix of creators.
Influencer marketing remains a priority for brands, as a separate study by Takumi found that three quarters of marketers in the UK and US invested more in the practice in 2020.