If there’s one marketing lesson 2020 has taught the rest of the world, it’s the impact of brands on consumers. As a result, influencers continue to be a hot topic in 2021. By the looks of it, you’ll be seeing more #sponsored posts in all of your social media news feeds.
Whether it’s sponsoring a teeth whitening kit or the most expensive Starbucks drink, influencers are more than helpful in reeling more customers in. Since most people are staying at home (due to COVID-19 stay-at-home regulations), they’re spending more time on social media watching influencers promote different products and services. As a result, the influencer marketing industry continues to thrive and is set to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022.
In light of this new digital practice, it’s time to reassess how you think about influencers and their role in developing strong customer relationships.
Video Content Will Continue to Be King
Video content will reign supreme in 2021 and the years to come. It will also continue to be an ongoing trend in the influencer marketing space. With the rising fame of TikTok and the introduction of Instagram reels, video content is expected to be more creative and collaborative than ever.
There’s no question about the effectiveness of video content in building brand awareness. Authentic and less ‘curated’ videos keep viewers more engaged, as well as give brands a humane persona – aka the company customers can relate to.
This year, continue to add more videos to your Instagram strategy. Also, focus on your niche and collaborate with relevant influencers in creating video content on Instagram Reels, TikTok, and IGTV. These videos offer many opportunities to engage your community on a deeper level.
Ongoing Partnerships Take Priority Instead of One-Off Projects
Throughout 2021, expect influencers and brands to collaborate for long-term and ongoing projects instead of the usual one-off sponsored post. Many reasons fuel this shift but the bottom line is: it takes more time to make a sale. Even the best influencers will struggle in making marketing contributions when they work on a single sponsored post.
Capitalize on the influencer marketing trend by creating packages that appeal to brands seeking your service, as well as include several sponsored posts over time. It also helps to join an influencer marketing network.
Expect the Rise of New Social Media Platforms and Influencer Content Types
2020 has also taught marketing experts that there is always more room for newer social media platforms. TikTok enjoyed an amazing 2020 since many people turned to this app to entertain themselves (either by performing and/or watching other TikToks). TikTok, however, isn’t the only social app to come out this year. Instagram Reels and the exclusive social app Clubhouse also joined the scene in 2020.
TikTok’s popularity will continue throughout 2021 with both brands and influencers alike. Social media platforms have also made it easier for brands to amplify and create branding content. These trends will continue throughout 2021.
Apart from newer social media platforms, 2021 will also see the rise of experimental forms of influencer marketing, which promote AI-driven influencer marketing platforms. In fact, CGI influencers are getting the spotlight as technology continues to advance. Modern-day influencers will continue to create highly-shareable content that is bound to be viral.
Influencers Will Become More Specialized
More influencers are carving out niches for themselves, proving that more of them will continue to develop a specialty in their industry, which makes them more in-demand by brands within those niches. As more influencers consider the industries they are more passionate about, it’s time for brands to court partnerships with influencers that make sense for their direction.
The growing number of specialized influencers will result in a shift in the marketing language people use. Already, some influencers choose to be called “content creators” or “creators” instead. Since many influencers are artists by occupation – writers, photographers, and videographers – it’s not surprising that many influencers want to be known for what they do instead of being called “internet celebrities” or “influencers.”
Authenticity Will Continue to Be In-Demand
The previous years have seen the powerful pull of authentic content. This means influencers are being more careful with the content they create, ensuring that the products will not seem “too advertised” and that their posts will resonate with their audiences. If a post is “too advertorial,” the brand and the influencer will most likely lose credibility.
Instead of going for “posed” posts, brands and influencers should seek partnerships only with other brands and influencers whose audiences overlap with theirs. Also, posts should have a genuine sense of excitement about the product and brand the influencer uses.
2020 tested brands with marketing concerns that required creative solutions. As influencer marketing trends continue to dominate 2021, these solutions will be put to the test.