The Influencer Marketing European Landscape is still evolving in Q3 2020, with few new players, but with existing players that move their positions within the value chain. The crisis fueled by the Covid19 will probably soon dramatically change game rules in the months to come, but the industry is still growing very fast and getting more professional. Below is my analysis.
This Influencer marketing benchmark 2020 is the 3rd version of the initial benchmark published in Q4 2019 here.
Main findings from the Influencer Marketing European Landscape in Q3 2020
In 2020, Influencer Marketing has become a real media. No more marketing campaign is launched without an Influence Marketing – or IM – dimension (and budget), and the market is expected to reach 2 Billion euros for Europe this year (8B$ worldwide), doubling every year.
Thus, we can easily understand that IM currently attracts more than 150 different players in Europe (+300 worldwide!). All those players are not significant, and in this Influencer marketing benchmark 2020 I tried only to focus on the main companies significantly operating in Europe (which already stands for 74).
I figured the 74 main players in the Influencer Marketing Value Chain (see below), from traditional talent management upstream, to social listening downstream, including influencers activation, data providers, and other IRM (Influencer Relationship Management) providers.
I could speak for hours about it, but here are my main 4 findings:
The first finding is that France is very well represented in this benchmark (around 30% of the total number of companies in this market) : Cocorico ! This is probably linked with the French Tech dynamic since 4 to 5 years. But also, according to me, because of the over representation of Influence Marketing pioneer industries in the French economy, like luxury, beauty and lifestyle companies.
The 2nd finding is that the IM industry is very competitive and that it evolves very fast, making it very difficult for brands and agencies to be clear. However, the industry is becoming ever more professional at a high pace, and the value chain starts to be fully covered inch by inch by a significant number of players. For example, many performance tools providers are appearing since 2019 (companies like Q83, or Ekkla that Kolsquare acquired in 2019). As the market grows, the different players start to reach reasonable sizes, and are now performing better : it is in the market interest, which is a very good news.
The 3rd finding is that there is no player covering 100% of brands needs, not yet still. Some brands and agencies today need IM consulting or guidance, others are more mature and only need a technology for their autonomous teams. Some are looking for brand awareness increase, others for sales acceleration, or clients’ testimonials and User Generated Content (UGC). Except for all-in-one platforms (like Kolsquare) that have a broad offer and features, very few players cover the overall value chain or offer a roaster of influencers from celebrities to nano influencers. It is of utmost importance for brands to really well identify their maturity level and their existing needs in order to find the most suitable Influencer Marketing solution.
Finally, the 4th finding is that there is a two-speed evolution going on in the IM Market. On the one side there are IM traditional players like MCN (Multi Channel Networks) or agencies, that are still growing in number and size, taking advantage of low entry barriers. On the other side, there are IM technological solutions that are already numerous, but with very few new entrance – if we except social listeners that are now all trying to get a foothold on this market – because of high entry barriers. Most of those tech players are currently trying to extend their offers to cover more steps in the value chain.
What are the market trends ?
In this context of hyper growth and daily technology innovation, habits and strategies of the different stakeholders (social networks, agencies, brands, influencers, agents, …) are moving very very fast. Phase 1 was euphoria (the so called « golden rush »), which rapidly moved to a professionalization of the market, promoting a more responsible business, especially in term of authenticity. We are still in this Phase 2, fueling technological solutions providing more ROI measure and control, and more inspiration as well.
One of the main other trends is the data shortage, or the end of the easy and free access to data from social networks. Players that will be able to better answer brands increasing needs for data will be those reaching a significant size, allowing them to conduct costly tech development to collect and update huge quantity of data.
Finally, another important trend is the diversification of influencers typologies, leading companies to consider 100% of their stakeholders (employees, clients, providers, shareholders, …) as a media and thus as a potential opinion leader that can be leveraged. And on all kind of social networks. 10 years ago, influencers on social networks were only celebrities. Mainly on Facebook, or Twitter. Today they are macro or micro-influencers, but also nano and every one of us. They are also on Instagram, but also TikTok, Snap, Pinterest, LinkedIn, … The market players are currently evolving to better cover this growing complexity, in term of social networks coverage, and in term of influencers typologies coverage.
To conclude, there is room for all kind of players in such a massive industry. But not everyone of them will become a global hypergrowth company. As the industry is becoming more professional, collabs activation between influencers and brands are becoming a media issue, and we think at Kolsquare that the future value creation is here. It is sensible to say that at least 1 unicorn stands among those 74 players, and it will probably be one of the all-in-one platforms (Kolsquare of course!)
This Influencer marketing benchmark 2020 is the 3rd edition. It is based on my feedback after almost 10 years in this industry, as Kolsquare provides brands and agencies since 2011 with Influence services and technologies, from celebrities to micro-influencers. This analysis is a will, as a market leader, to share my knowledge with marketing professionals that are asking several questions : what is Kolsquare exactly doing? What can I do with your technology? How are you different from this or this company? I think that @Kolsquare we have a pretty unique and rare understanding of this fascinating market, and I wanted to share it.
Our team knows the market perfectly well. We have seen it come to birth, grow, and accelerate in the last 3 to 4 years with numerous new players entering.
From a personal point of view, I invested a lot of my time in developing relations with my peers, whether direct competitors or complementary players, and I can say that we have pretty good relations. So, I had the opportunity to meet most of the founders quoted in this European Benchmark, in 1to1, or during big events like Influencer Marketing Show in London. We regularly share info about the market, recent evolutions, our offers and products, and our visions.
Finally, our clients and prospects also like to share lots of data about our competitors.
We believe that, in general, we have an exhaustive and objective understanding of the European Influencer Marketing market.
And if you think I missed important info or players, please contact me !!
Detailed companies listing :
All-in-One Activation Platforms
Popular Chips (closed mid 2020 after Covid19 crisis)
Hivency (acquisition of Lucette in 2020)
Social Network focused platform (usually Instagram Only)
Nano / UGC Platforms
Voo (belong to woo)
Reech (launched a new SaaS platform recently)
Agence des medias sociaux
Linkalize (newcomer on Linkedin)
MCN / Studios
Once again, if you think I missed important info or players, please contact me !!
Publié dans: Influence