With the spread of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the worlds across the globe going into a forced lockdown, people, businesses, day-to-day activities, and social gatherings have all taken to the digital space via the internet. Social distancing may be the new normal but there is no distancing required when it comes to the social media space where people from anywhere can connect with their family and friends anytime. If a large number of people hadn’t explored the world of social networking sites, in 2020 they sure did.
2020 witnessed people having birthday parties, school and college classes, music and dance classes among other hobbies, and even weddings online. Online shopping had already become popular over the recent years and in 2020, it became the only option. This is where Influencer Marketing and Recent Trends come into the picture since potential or interested customers don’t have the option to go in person to test products and services, they rely on social media influencers and their favourite celebrities to select which company or brand to go with in terms of different products and services.
Why Influencer Marketing is a Game-Changer
2021 will be all about content with context. Brands realized that the influencer marketing model is well-suited during a time during which the audience is trying to find some inspiration, searching DIY videos, learning new recipes, or those that specialize in self-care. This posed an honest opportunity for brands and influencers to interact with their audiences with impactful messaging. Brands readjusted their tactics, unlocked their budgets for digital media to influence the rising demand for influencer promotion.
There was also a shift in perspectives and communication tone switching from superficial, in-your-face, sales-driven content to a more meaningful, two-way, and purpose-driven conversation. More content creators and brands started talking about the causes they believe, their personal beliefs, and value systems.
Influencers in 2020 had used a spread of features to market brands. There was an increased specialization in short video content, stories, and especially Reels because it is being heavily promoted by Instagram and is cost-effective compared to long videos, providing more authenticity and engagement. Driving brand advocacy through genuine users and exploring varied sorts of influencers from different walks of life also saw great engagement and growth.
Latest Influencer Marketing Trends of 2021
The one trend which will grow massively in 2021 is going to be the increase of Micro & Nano influencers. This is all thanks to high engagement, authenticity, and low-costs and has relevancy within the current scenario as most brands have slashed budgets. Aside from the trends generally for influencers, one area where it’s really working is skincare and cosmetic brands. Influencers are ready to display the advantages and usage of products, so during a lockdown situation, where people cannot go and check out the merchandise, they’re totally buying what the influencers are saying.
The biggest trend in influencer marketing in 2021 goes to be creators becoming founders and brand owners. Till now, creators had just been resorting to platform revenues and brand deals as the main sources of revenues. Although, in 2021, there might be an enormous wave of content creators building value-adding brands that aren’t just selling merchandise but products and services of all varied kinds. The big brands are also partnering with creators on equity deals which can incentivize creators to create much deeper, valuable relationships with the brands. The brands and their influencers and creators will evolve and explore creative ideas collectively to make more engaging content.
Brands will work with agencies who provide them interesting campaign ideas instead of just an inventory of influencers and expected reach which happens most of the time. This may make them stand out from other branded content that is already out there and won’t be engaging to the audience.
People are consuming more videos than ever. They wish to be updated with influencers’ lives, which creates space for smart product integrations that brands are now leveraging. In fact, live sessions are devoured all the more, thanks to the content relatability and authenticity. Additionally, audio format content (podcasts) has started booming, and may even become as powerful as videos, in 2021!
Creators restored their specialization in delivering content that adds genuine value. They also played an integral role in building a way of a community; something people looked for when living in isolation. From an advertising point of view, there was a momentous shift from sales-driven campaigns to social good and charities. Till now, brands gave credibility to creators but now in due time creators will bring credibility to brands.
The advertisers check out the historical data and see what outcome like installs or sales they got via these influencers, and set the worth or maybe inclusion into campaigns. Engagement rate is going to be a key parameter going forward and purely a high follower count won’t suffice. It isn’t enough for influencers to form interesting content, but even be ready to engage with their audience and make it a 2-way conversation.
2021 will see the increase and prominence of commerce-led influencer marketing, which can make it imperative for influencer-curated content to drive a relatable conversion. Brands would now wish to see how an influencer churns out content that’s authentic, and the way that content is so relatable that it’ll cause a sure-shot, subsequent conversion.