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Aspire’s 2020 Year in Review

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What. A. Year.

As we wrap up 2020, a year that none of us could have predicted, we want to reflect on some of the achievements, learnings, and feel-good moments that came out of this time.

For starters, we’d like to extend a huge thank you to our amazing community of brands and creators. Despite the tumultuous year, you’ve truly outdone yourselves. 

In 2020, brands used Aspire to:

  • Complete 61K collaborations
  • Reach 2.18B Instagram followers
  • Generate $55.8M in content value
  • Generate 181K social media posts
  • Equip brands with 114K pieces of branded content

But these numbers don’t have to speak for themselves. We had the chance to hear directly from some of the amazing marketers behind top-performing brands.

Social media manager, Abigail Sawyer broke down the evolution of influence during her experience at She explains why expanding your definition of influence is critical to brands’ success as well as tactical ways to evolve your influencer strategy to keep up the changing industry.

Then, Dmitri Cherner, Associate Director of Influencer and Partnerships at Ruggable, dove deep into Ruggable’s community-focused strategy and the future of marketing. The brand gained 228K new Instagram followers since prioritizing genuine connections with their community full of creators, customers, employees, and industry professionals.

Aspire For Good

As a business, and as a community of many communities, we strive to be active and productive members to help forward our mission while being socially responsible. Between COVID-19, renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement, wildfires, an election, and more, there was a lot of work to be done for the good of the world. Which is why we put resources into Aspire For Good, a new program which gives complimentary services to non-profit organizations in order to amplify vital, factual information. 

For example, we worked with creators to spread awareness on how to prevent COVID-19 from affecting our communities in our Aspire for Good COVID-19 PSA campaign. The content focused on correct hand washing techniques as well as best practices for social distancing and wearing a mask when in public. 

We worked with 52 creators over the course of 5 months from all over the world, including India, South Africa, Canada, and the United States and generated 46K+engagements and reached more than 1.9 million people. 

We strive to create an inclusive, diverse, and safe space for our employees, clients, creators, and humanity. We commit to being a partner that uses its platform to advance social good by continuing to partner with individuals and organizations such as:

  • Every Woman Every Child, an organization that mobilizes action to address major health challenges facing women, children & adolescents 
  • Tash Haynes (@itstashhaynes), a content creator who co-hosted an Instagram live with us to chat about her journey to becoming a content creator, the challenges she has faced as a Black influencer, and ways that brands can support Black creators and spark real change in the industry.⁠  
  • Gentle Barn, an organization that provides sanctuary for abused animals who would not otherwise be able to find homes.
  • and more to come!

Forrester leader for the second year

We were recognized as a Leader and overall best solution by Forrester Research in its report, The Forrester New Wave™: Influencer Marketing Solutions, Q2 2020 for the second consecutive time. The report evaluated 12 vendors against 10 criteria, including data science capabilities, product vision, product roadmap, and market approach. Aspire received a differentiated rating, the highest score possible in the data management; workflow/com/auto; payments, terms, and content rights; measurement and reporting; data science capabilities; product vision; and market approach.

Eric Lam, our president and co-founder stated, “We’re thrilled to be named a leader in Forrester’s Influencer Marketing Wave. We’ve spent the last 6 years working side-by-side with the most sophisticated enterprise brands and direct-to-consumer businesses to engage the people who matter most to them, including influencers, content creators, customers, experts and beyond.”  

Emphasis on community

This year also marked the launch of Aspire Elevate! While providing brands with marketing software to make their lives easier will always be our number one priority, we recognized the industry as a whole is changing. 

Our existing award-winning influencer marketing software empowers brands to connect with anyone who has influence on social media, create streamlined campaigns, and measure success. The new Aspire Elevate offers flexible workflows that make it easy for brands to connect with anyone who is valuable to their brand, regardless of follower count. Elevate gathers social mentions, purchase data, and other data to surface brands’s biggest advocates and allows them to create customized activations that are personalized to each community. 

“Aspire empowers us to engage our community by pairing expert strategy with an advanced technology platform… to help us maximize our brand impact and growth.” – Jasmine Duarte, Influencer Marketing Manager at John Paul Mitchell Systems

But our community efforts did not end there. We launched our Slack community, The Coffee Shop, which brings together marketers to discuss and ask questions about industry trends and best practices. To date, there are countless conversations about influencer marketing, community building, brand strategy, and more between like-minded marketers and various members of the Aspire team. We’re so excited to see this community grow!

Content for all of your needs

This year, we churned out more content than ever. Here are some crowd favorites:

Speaking events

Aspire Higher Series

In lieu of in person events, we started the Aspire Higher Speaker Series which brings together top brands, investors, and thought leaders for in-depth conversations about a hot topic in marketing today — brand community. Check out the recaps for topics including the evolution of influencer marketing, building a community-driven brand, as well as the power of community-driven content.

Coffee & Community

Community & Coffee is our series of conversations on the hottest topics in marketing—ranging from how to build community in an online world to strategies for leveraging social media to drive e-commerce traffic. Every other Friday, we invite you, our community of marketers, to join us for a casual discussion while enjoying a morning drink.

So far, we’ve covered topics like social selling, TikTok, and more. Check out our Community & Coffee Youtube channel here.


How any brand, large or small, can effectively partner with influencers

Our co-founder, Eric Lam, discusses how the influencer market has become democratized, and how any brand can now work with, and benefit from, influencer marketing, as long as they do it right.

Ridiculously useful tips for building a successful online community

Looking for keys to building a successful online community, if not then you should be if so, then this is a can't miss podcast featuring Anand Kishore, our founder & CEO.  Anand explains how brands gain momentum and ultimately disrupt the business sectors in which they reside by leveraging the power of the people who “orbit” your brand.

Expert podcast interview with Magda Houalla

Listen to the latest tips, tools, and strategies for Business, Success, and Marketing on the Cam Roberts Podcast Show featuring Magda Houalla, our Director of Marketing Strategy.

Guides & academies

Aspire's Ambassador Academy

Introducing your first step to building an ambassador program. In this free, webinar-style course, you'll get actionable steps, best practices, and downloadable templates to start, maintain, and grow an ambassador community.

Deconstructing the consumer engagement gap

This report uses data from surveys to help brands understand what consumers want versus how brands engage them — to improve brands’ community strategies.

What to expect in 2021 and beyond

This year, we delivered on our promise to help brands tap into their communities to bring the human touch back to marketing. In 2021, we’re committed to bringing more amazing products, educational resources, and support to brands that wish to make genuine connections with the people who matter most. 

Make sure you stay connected by subscribing to our newsletter below and joining our Coffee Shop Slack community so you can be the first to know about the exciting things coming in the new year!

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