I admit it, sometimes I question myself: am I up-to-date on the latest influencer marketing trends? Or am I still using outdated strategies and the cool kids are laughing behind my back?

Although influencer marketing has remained king of ROI in the digital marketing realm, the tactics that got it there are pretty dated now and certainly not as effective. Are micro-influencers the new thing? Should I still use promo codes? Should we just be marketing in stories, because posts never get seen?

Just to remain relevant... I asked eight experts on what tired strategies in influencer marketing brands need to leave in 2019. Here's what they said:

Tatty from GetCraft - Influencer platform

The hard sell posts with the product visible in the photo need to stop. These tactics are normally used by beauty products such as Sugar Bear Hair. Yes, the photo can sometimes be very pleasing with the KOLs showing their luscious hair but let's be real, how much of those supplements do you need to consume to actually have rapunzel hair? On top of that, these types of tactics although it stands out but consumers these days are harder to please and they are much smarter. So smart that I have seen people calling out a KOL for over advertising something that doesn't even do what it says on the label. Content must be relatable to consumers. It needs to capture hearts or interest. It should make you feel like you need that product or you need to be part of a campaign. Find better ways to let humans be human and not force consumers to buy your products. The interest of purchasing a product has to come naturally. It is tactics like this that would make a consumer return to repurchase the products.

Lena from 1000heads - Marketing agency

Brands need to stop thinking short-term about the influencers they work with. If you only work with an influencer as a one-off, you’ve missed your opportunity to build a relationship with them to inspire brand loyalty and advocacy. People-first influencer marketing is what brands need to focus on in 2020 and beyond, which means building long-term relationships that turn influencers into ambassadors who drive genuine word of mouth.

William from DSMP Marketing - Social media marketing

Code sales are dead. Influencers are better utilized to connect with customers on a deeper level. They create one of many touch points necessary to conversion. UGC is also the most effective and efficient form of creative, especially for paid promotion. Yes you should repurpose it! BUT you should also be boosting Influencers sponsored posts on their page. This combination of creative, credibility, and exposure boosted to a targeted audience is a trifecta for sales generation.

Today we know that you don’t always need to go for the maximum reach and hire the influencer with the most followers to get conversion. This is because nano and micro influencers have more time to actively engage with products they genuinely find interesting and and their audience find it more authentic. The nano and micro-influencers are often also niched accounts with strong core followers so they build trust over time with their audience. People trust nano and micro influencers more than macro and mega influencers and that results in conversion.

Nathan from Your Charisma - Digital marketing agency

Brands need to move away from big influencers in 2020. While big influencers do reach a massive audience, the strength of the relationship is nothing when compared to micro-influencers. Micro-Influencers offer more time and communication to their followers allowing for a stronger more powerful relationship between Influencer and Fan. Thus, Micro-Influencers offer more value from a smaller audience pool, thereby allowing brands to convert more while paying less.

Linda from Starcom - Digital marketing agency

I hope brands understand the value of integrating the content marketing, influencer marketing, and social media marketing strategy. Long-term influencer relationships will become the norm - rather than contracting on a campaign by campaign basis. With high-tech platforms, the content should be well adapted to each channel and there is every opportunity to add scope. Video content and podcast format become more important for influencer marketing. Podcasts are likely to be the new blogs for niche influencers. Expanding the breadth of channel choices, even Twitch and TikTok are very interesting channels for influencer marketing going forward.

Marie from UP Agency - Influencer marketing agency

Brands should stop expecting that one post with a big influencer will convert into sales right away, even if the brand fit is on point. Building up awareness and curiosity (and then conversions) takes time and a high frequency. Brands and the ones who represent the brands should also be better at "digging" when they find or are presented influencers they are interested in. It can harm the brand if you do not dive into a bit of history. In 2019 we saw one influencer doing a collab with an alcoholic energy drink company, even though she had previously declared she does not drink alcohol. An other influencer made a deal with a car company, even though she did not have her drivers license yet (she was 23).

Kaila - Marketing strategist

I think we should start moving away from "one hit wonders" where you're only partnering with an influencer for a singular burst of content—the audience sees right through it. They know an influencer needs to accept paid partnerships to run their business, but it comes off more authentic and natural if the influencer talks about a product and how they use it consistently over a longer period of time. Personally, I am even more likely to purchase something an influencer recommends (even if it's sponsored), if I can tell it's something they truly use and love based on a longer and more consistent partnership. I encourage exploration of brand ambassador-like relationships where you can have multiple content pulses throughout a full fiscal year so you can see the impact of how that partnership generates higher engagements the longer the partnership is in existence.