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  • Will Rix

Trends: 2020 | The World's First Cultural Study on Influencer

Updated: Jan 13, 2023

In an election year, more influencers will "Post with Purpose"

Whalar’s 2020 Influencer Trends Report Finds Advocacy Will Define the Space Next Year as Creators Increasingly Use Their Platforms to Grow Movements and Spark Change.

Download the Full Report Here.

Production manager and Lead Writer.

New York - November 5, 2019 - Whalar, the creative- and technology-driven influencer marketing solution, today released its 2020 Influencer Trends Report, a definitive guide for marketers to the cultural and visual trends in influencer and social marketing for the next year.

Pervasive throughout the research is the rise of Influencer Advocacy, as creators around the world are increasingly using their platforms to promote causes, drive change, and advocate for shared values with their highly engaged social audiences.

Having been shaped by the relentless political news cycle, perceived distrust of more traditional news channels, and an increasing desire to do something, consumers are increasingly turning to influencers and their social platforms for answers and ways to support causes and movement.

Influencers are meeting this audience demand. Nearly a quarter of all influencers surveyed by Whalar dedicated some or all of their content to social causes this year, including climate change, civil rights, and gender equality, with expectations this will increase in the 2020 US election year.

Advocacy can apply to formal causes, such as this September’s global climate strike, or informal causes like reducing daily screen time.

Currently, #activism has been shared by over 1.3 million users and a further 1.2 million for #activist (source: Instagram Live Data), while Google searches for “activism” increased by 250 percent this year. (source: Google Trends) - signaling a global allegiance to this cause.

“We couldn’t be more excited to launch our Trends: 2020 report. The insights we uncovered are rooted in data, crafted by culture, and derived straight from the source: the most credible creators shaping visual and culture trends in real time. This project is filled with insights on which marketers can and should act in order to drive more relevance with consumers, and frankly to be more human and participatory in culture,” said Mike Hondorp, CMO, Whalar.

Recommendations for Marketers:

In order for brands to most effectively approach creative and influencer opportunities in 2020, Whalar recommends marketers take the following steps to humanize their brands and participate more effectively in culture:

Understand the role of advocacy for your brand. The goal is not to have a platform for every issue or insert a brand into conversations or causes that are inauthentic, but rather to understand your consumers’ passions and how your brand supports these.

Find your communities - locally and globally. By activating local voices on a global (or national) level, you can authentically achieve personalization at scale.

Take a multi-platform approach, and leverage a variety of formats to best connect with your consumers where they are.

Work with highly vetted creators with authentic audiences to drive real results. Rely on first party data, straight from the source, via trusted and approved marketing partners across your key platforms.

Full List of 2020 Influencer Marketing Trends

  1. The Rise of Influencer Advocacy - as consumers look for solutions to social issues, they’re increasingly turning to social influencers to understand issues, connect with organizers and donate IRL.

  2. A Return to Craftwork - the democratization of creativity has bred a whole generation of self-taught artisans who learned their craft through tutorials on YouTube and Instagram, and now use these platforms to share their art and process with audiences around the world.

  3. Level Playing Field - with the Women’s World Cup and US Women’s National Team victory came a watershed moment for celebrating women’s sports and athletes online.

  4. Digital Romanticism - a return to a classic, romantic visual aesthetic as an antidote to the deluge of perfectly staged, modern design compositions that dominate today. More old style Russian landscapes, less Museum of Ice Cream.

  5. Y2K 2.0 - as digital natives mature, they’re nostalgic for more analog experiences and aesthetics, creating a growing penchant for online vintage and tech with personality.

  6. Fantasy Face - as beauty continues to dominate online, creators are celebrating bold and unapologetic creative approaches to beauty and identity online.

Using its proprietary technology, Whalar’s data science team analyzed the accounts of more than 15,000 creators around the world, uncovering six top trends in creator content as we enter the 2020s.

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