CES 2020: 4,400 exhibitors. 250+ conference sessions. 170,000 attendees from 160 countries. In short, the biggest annual gathering of tech, consumers, and creators in the country. And four of us from Obviously, tackling it all head on! For those who didn’t make it, and for those who did but were too blown away to focus, we compiled the five most important things for anyone in the influencer marketing space to take away from CES 2020.
1. Invest in video content. For the past few years, social media and advertising as a whole have been moving toward video, and CES this year emphasized how important video is going to be as the next key content tool in digital advertising. There are a few reasons for this. First, unique video content performs the best with all types of audiences, generating higher engagement and more impressions. Second, though it costs more and is more labor intensive to create, video content’s higher CPM could be the key to creating more demonstrable value in marketing. In 2020, strategic marketers will focus on smarter audience segmentation based on propensity to convert to get the most video.
2. Authenticity is still king. Authenticity came up in nearly every panel, and specifically kept coming up during influencer-focused discussions. For influencers, it’s no longer about matching aesthetics, but aligning values. People are consuming unprecedented amounts of media, and are much savvier consumers as a result. They can spot when an influencer is being inauthentic, both in their content and in their promotions. Many content creators are refusing to sacrifice the trust they’ve worked hard to build with their communities. As actress and activist Sophia Bush said during her panel: “It’s really important for me that the brands I work with and show up for, that I’m spending my money, privilege and platform in really responsible ways.”
3. In the age of consumer data, brand loyalists expect smarter marketing tactics. It’s no secret that brands have more detailed insights and data on their customers than ever before. With access to this information, consumers are expecting more from brands who target them for ads and marketing strategies. For example, it doesn’t make sense to promote a pair of shoes sold out in a return customer’s size. Influencers are a great way for brands to authentically target specific and hyperlocal audiences that make sense with their marketing strategies.
4. Podcasts are bigger than ever. The message was loud and clear at CES this year: podcasts, podcasts, podcasts. More people are tuning into podcasts than ever, driving listenership on Spotify alone up 39 percent quarter over quarter. For brands across the board, whether it’s an established CPG company or an influencer growing a personal brand, this medium is valuable for building an authentic voice without the pressure of a visual aesthetic.
5. Diversity is critical. We called this out in our 2020 predictions post last month, and the dialogue at CES added proof to the pudding. Equitable participation in marketing was an overarching theme to the entire conference. From CEOs to CMOs to SVPs, brand reps at all levels talked about how critical it is to ensure your company is applying a diversity lens to every aspect of the business. The topic came up in every single breakout session we attended at CES, and we know going into the months ahead we’re setting diversity as a core value and expectation for influencer marketing as well.
Interested in kicking off your 2020 influencer marketing strategy on the right foot?