Influencer marketing grew exponentially as we made our way through 2020.
The pandemic caused brands and businesses to take a U turn with their marketing strategy, and we saw many begin to lean on various content creators and multi-channel influencer campaigns.
As we continue the shift towards a digitally-dependent world, it’s safe to say that influencers remain a hot topic.
So here are our predictions for what this year has in store!
- Inclusivity and Diversity Focus
- The No-Edit Edit
- The E-Commerce Revolution
- Meaning, Matters
- Longevity of Partnerships
- Embracing New Platforms
Inclusivity and Diversity Focus
In 2020, many creators were vocal about the lack of diversity in influencer marketing and lack of representation for black individuals.
In a creative industry especially, proper representation of all individuals can help shift preconceived stereotypes and ideas.
In 2021 it’s expected that we’ll see businesses making a conscious effort to build diversity into their entire brand, not just simply through influencer representation alone. Eventually it will become embedded in the fabric of the brand.
The No-Edit Edit
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again…
Authenticity on social media is KEY and 2021 is going to show us lots more of that!
Whilst there will always be a time and a place for a lovely filter and a very aesthetically pleasing photo, expect to see more of the #nofilter trend from bloggers and influencers.
Technically these might include a slight edit here and there, but with the emphasis on a more natural and subtle look.
It’s important to note that this may depend on the message and personality the individual is trying to convey, and there will still be lots of accounts that stick with a more polished finish to their page.
The E-Commerce Revolution
E-Commerce is exploding on social media.
We know that.
But as the large social platforms begin to get smarter with the tools they use to drive sales, influencers will be part of the same journey.
The line between scrolling and shopping will become more and more unclear as we continue through 2021 and we will see brands putting an emphasis on collaborations in an effort to market their products.
In addition, we may well see influencers leading this change by launching their own cross-category brands.
Following on from the “no-edit edits”, we will see a clear focus on ‘real’, value-driven content.
An audience in 2021 is no longer interested in the outside view of someone’s life – they want details, and to feel as if they are part of it.
Influencers will be jumping on the Q&A’s, silly videos, and showcasing the ‘not so glam’ part of their lives. They’ll be aiming to give viewers a glimpse into their actual lives and creating content that they care about (not just content for the sake of content).
Longevity of Partnerships
Rather than ad-hoc posts and stories that don’t always bring results to a business, we will see brands investing in long term relationships with influencers.
Both from a brand perspective and an influencer perspective, showing loyalty through longevity and commitment will help in building trust from viewers.
If a viewer associates that individual with a product or brand, it will build confidence that the product is as good as they’re saying – why else would the influencer want to associate themselves with a brand for that long? (We’ll silently forget about the fact that many influencers are being paid a bucket-ton to do so!).
Including micro-influencers (those with typically less than 100k followers) within an influencer strategy is a great way to drive results for a business.
Typically those with fewer followers actually create the most engagement relative to their ‘big-time’ influencer counterparts.
They are also significantly cheaper meaning that brands are able to use a lot of them to ‘spread the word’ of their products.
If you are looking to use this strategy as a business, be sure to make sure those influencers aren’t all from the same circle of individuals, as this could render your strategy a lot less effective.
Embracing New Platforms
One of the most note-worthy platform additions to the social scene in 2020, was TikTok.
The TikTok algorithm means that even the smallest of influencers have the potential to go viral, so many other social media users have made their way onto the platform.
The vast amount of changes that social media has undergone over the last year especially, means that both businesses and influencers both have to be ready to take on new tools and platforms as and when they arise.
Staying ahead of the game will be essential to stay on top of your game!
In summary, influencers will undoubtedly be a key component of 2021 and take a rightful place in brand marketing.
Expect to see plenty of authentic posts that provide true value, through long-lived partnerships with influencers, and many micro influencer strategies seeping in.
If you’re looking for a little extra help with your own social media strategy, why not get in a touch with our social media experts!