Table of Contents
Great news, we have finally made it past 2020 (almost)! With new outlooks in the new year and a shift back to our normal lifestyles anticipated, marketing trends are going to shift. Over 2020, we have seen that influencer marketing is one of the most effective and used tactics for brand exposure and promotion. Influencer Marketing has been a huge part of marketing and shows signs that it will continue to be a very popular medium.
In fact, a report from Business Insider estimates that brands will spend $15 billion annually on influencer marketing by 2022. With such massive growth on the horizon, it is important to stay on top of what is changing within the industry. In this article, we are going to examine some of the marketing trends and content creator commentary for influencers in 2021.
Influencer Marketing is Going to be Bigger Than Ever
63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget going into the new year. Brandon Perlman, Founder of Social Studies, Inc. stated that “2021 is the year we believe influencer marketing will be seen as its own media channel outside of tactical ‘problem solving’…” So, with commentary and statistics to suggest that influencer marketing is on the rise, it is imperative that marketers stay informed on the upcoming trends.
Micro-Influencers Will Continue to Grow
As the internet community grows larger by the day, consumers are looking for a sense of community. Often, it is difficult for consumers to connect with a community of millions of followers that macro-influencers have. This is where micro-influencers make their move and how they build community around a brand. Micro-influencers are influencers with less than 10,000 followers and are great for small and local brands that want to build a sense of loyalty and community behind their products.
One of the reasons that micro-influencers provide great value for small brands is that they have the ability to develop niche audiences that can align with your product or brand. With Macro-influencers, there is a tendency for a “numbers” approach which is more concerned with exposure to many consumers rather than targeted exposure to consumers who already enjoy similar products or brands.
Additionally, with the rise of influencer marketing has come the development of influencers into large interactive machines. That is, the distance between the brand and influencer grows as the influencer gains their own success, fame, and stardom. Micro-influencers do not have this problem and are much easier to work with since they can connect with the brand better than a multi-million follower macro-influencer can.
Until recently, influencer marketing had been a relatively unknown and new sector of online marketing. There were little accountability and a tendency for influencers to promise engagement but not deliver on that promise.
As influencer marketing has grown, clients and brands have become more aware of the fact that some of these promises can be misleading. Because of this, there is an expectation that influencer marketing deals will revolve around a specific click, engagement metrics, and sales. This will allow brands to hold influencers accountable and ensure that they are not being misled in their marketing approach.
Looking to run an epic influencer marketing campaign in 2021? NeoReach has the best experience in creating viral campaigns that convert on social media. Sign up here!
Retained Influencer Marketing Campaigns
As influencer marketing has grown, it has established itself as a separate marketing strategy outside of the bounds of traditional marketing. This was pointed out by Brandon Perlman recently and suggests that brands will look to develop more long-term relationships with influencers to boost loyalty. Namely, the past methods, of using influencers as a “one-off” simple fix strategy for short term goals, are now out of date.
View this post on Instagram
Authenticity is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of influencer marketing and something that brands are searching for when selecting influencers. Brands want to see an influencer’s ability to build trusting and loyal relationships with their followers in regard to a certain brand. This is also why we see the rise of micro-influencers in the influencer marketing sphere.
Retained influencer marketing campaigns will help to lead influencer marketing trends in the direction of performance-based deals. As brands are willing to spend more on influencers, influencers must make their value apparent in standard and digestible metrics. Sometimes, the only way to achieve engagement growth is to have sustained exposure which is why we will see a more consistent use of influencers by brands in 2021.
Demand for Transparency and Regulation
Influencer marketing has sidestepped traditional regulations on advertising by being an influencer before a marketer. As more content continues to include advertisements for brands, transparency in advertising will come with it. Namely, government agencies like Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) are ensuring that sponsored content is being correctly displayed by influencers. CMA just recently launched an investigation into Instagram for not protecting consumers from being advertised to. As a result, Instagram now requires influencers in 2021 to confirm if they were incentivized to promote a product or simply organically promoted it.
But what does this mean for marketing trends? Generally speaking, the increased scrutiny with influencer marketing means that influencers are going to have to increase their professionalism and brands are going to need to specify what kind of content they want within a campaign. We can expect that this trend will continue as influencer marketing grows larger and attracts more attention from regulatory entities.
Social Responsibility and Awareness
2020 has proven to be one of the most socially active years in recent memory. From the killing of George Floyd, State-die quarantines, and one of the most contentious presidential elections of the last 40 years, 2020 has given people a lot to think about and, more importantly, a lot to take sides on. As we enter 2021, social responsibility is becoming one of the most important factors that brands consider when looking for influencers.
View this post on Instagram
This year, a large number of influencers went public with opinions on certain situations or social issues that they felt very passionate about. The problem with this is that it greatly impacts a brand’s reputation if that influencer has worked or currently works with the brand. In 2021 we expect to see that brands and influencers will give increased scrutiny to the values of their partners respectively. Brands are going to want to work with influencers that agree with or share their ethos and the value system of their consumers. Influencers are going to want to do the same.
This trend contributes to the increase in authentic and socially responsible campaigns and falls in line with the aforementioned trends in our list. Part of building a loyal consumer base is being able to connect with the consumer beyond the shared interest in a product. In 2021, it will be imperative for brands and influencers to have similar social value systems so as to increase consumer metrics and value within a campaign.