The year 2020 was nothing like we have ever seen before, especially for the world of marketing. Brands struggled initially, owing to the COVID-19 induced lockdown, but then soon caught on to the intense wave of digitally-focused marketing. With people stuck at homes, brands realised how powerful models, like influencer marketing, can be leveraged in these times.
So, brands opened up their budgets for digital media to leverage the rising need and demand for influencer marketing. With this industry expected to grow to $15 billion by 2022, it is certainly is showing no signs of slowing down.
Ten influencer marketing trends you can expect in 2021:
Videos are here to stay:Audiences are watching more online videos than ever, especially in India. As per a Nielsen study, the amount of video content watched globally by home-bound consumers has increased by 60%. The number of live videos sessions conducted by influencers and other content creators on social media channels has also increased manifold. To add to that, the growing popularity of short-form video channels like Instagram Reels, TikTok, Triller, etc., has strongly established that video is and will continue to remain the king of content in 2021.
Meaningful and purpose-driven content:Yes, there was a time when cheesy ads would garner the brands’ sales number. But for 2021, the trends are different. People have fractured attention spans and even more a shortage of time. Hence, they prefer to watch content that is not superficial, in-their-face, or completely sales-driven. They will expect influencers to provide more meaningful, relatable, original, two-way and purpose-driven engaging content.
Diversified and inclusive influencer marketing:In 2021, brands will be open to more inclusive influencer marketing strategies to appeal to a wider section of their audience. Influencer marketing is expected to shift the preconceived ideas and bring about a potential change. An inclusive and diversified representation can help brands inspire change and alter the way people perceive the brand. The objective is to imbibe diversification in the brand’s fabric to enable change and establish the brand’s values.
Originality on the rise:2021 will be the year of ‘no-edits’ and more authenticity. The audience will incline more towards bloggers and influencers following the #nofiltertrend. Audiences would prefer subtle edits for photos, more ‘in-the-moment’ captures and life sharing incidents, unedited peep into the influencer’s lives, and similar, but from-the-heart content. So, in all, only pretty pictures will not do the deal. Influencers would need to have strong opinions, call-to-actions, engaging captions, and more community engagement posts.
Long-term partnerships:In 2021, influencers will engage in more long-term and value-adding relationships than just one-time promotions. Influencers will become the voice, face and partners of their chosen brands. One-off influencers are less likely to bring expected results for most brands. Trust and commitment will be the key!
Rise of the micro-and nano-influencers:In 2021, less will be more. Mega influencers (more than 100k followers) will stay, but micro-(less than 100k followers) and nano-influencers (less than 5k followers) will have a strong way forward, as brands will prefer more actively engaged and directly impacted audience. Moreover, as per a study, micro-influencers enjoy the highest engagement rate (averagely 7%) on their posts. And a nano-influencer has an engagement rate of 5% to 10%.
New creator tools and social platforms:In 2020, we saw an uprise of creator tools and several social platforms, like TikTok. And, even though the latter was banned in India, the popularity it enjoyed while it was active in the country, was beyond anticipation. In 2021, brands can expect newer social media platforms to emerge with new features, empowering content creators. Alternatively, existing platforms will come up with exciting creator tools like Instagram Reels, enabling influencers to rise higher.
Data-driven media:Influencers, brands, consumers, and fans, all stakeholders will prefer offering and receiving more data-backed content. Infographics will be welcomed, and newer ways to establish connections will be entertained in 2021. Spotify already picked up the wave and found a more customised, utility-driven, personal and informative method to share information about their artists.
Creators are turning founders and owners:The most significant influencer trend for 2021 will be the conversion of creators into founders and brand owners. So far, trending influencers have only focused on platform revenues and deals from brands, as their major source of revenue. But in 2021, we are set to witness creators selling products and services of all kinds. Brands will likely offer more equity-based partnerships to influencers to create a much deeper and long-term relationship.
More than a sales vehicle:Gone are the days when marketers would bring in trending influencers to ensure sales conversion. In 2021, brands will recognise influencers as more than just a vehicle for sales. Influencers will be seen as credible communicators and solid platforms to obtain an effective understanding of changing consumer desires.
In all, 2021 is going to be the year for content and content creators. It is wiser for brands to adapt to this soaring trend and bring the much-needed credibility to their name. In the world of stock trading, platforms like Angel Amplifiers, aim to benefit both brands and influencers. The platform allows influencers to create engaging content on stock trading – by using their extensive media library, customised templates, etc. – to enhance their reach significantly for 2021 and beyond.