It’s no secret that influencer marketing is booming. No matter which social channel you turn to, influencers have cultivated a steady presence and loyal audiences -- and brands are noticing. In fact, 63% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing spend over the next year alone.

And it’s not limited to corporate businesses. The UK's Department for International Development (DFID) launched a £500,00 influencer marketing campaign earlier this year to counter harmful information circulating on social media and WhatsApp included quacks peddling fake cures for the coronavirus such as drinking bleach, rubbing mustard and garlic into the skin, spreading cow dung, and sleeping next to chopped onions.

While influencer marketing has been expanding for many years, 2020 will be remembered as the year that solidified its role in the marketing mix. We saw newcomers like TikTok explode to mainstream popularity, adding a new batch of rising stars to the rich influencer ecosystem rooted in platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitch. 

As a result of the pandemic, marketers shifted their focus to influencer strategies, eager to reach home-bound, content-hungry audiences amid production halts

Addittonally, platforms initially adopted by younger audiences, like TikTok, are now  resonating across generations.  

With more free time at the height of stay-at-home orders, 80% of people across the UK primarily turned to online content for entertainment (i.e. YouTube). Further, TikTok is no longer dominated by teens -- older Millennials joined the app in droves, with the audience share of  35-44 year olds surging from 13.9% to 17.1%. 

Families quarantining together are bonding over the latest video trends, breaking down the notion that trendy social media is limited to teens and young adults.

Whether it's the sheer amount of fresh content or new audiences glued to platforms, now is the perfect time for employers looking to embrace influencer marketing to take the plunge, and, for those who are already experimenting, to enhance and optimise influencer campaigns using data and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

At PeopleScout, we’ve worked with a variety of influencers over the past year – from less-known but influential sector specialists through to Olympic athletes and TV stars.

And with many ‘celebrities’ currently kicking their heels at home, it’s never been easier to make contact.