Despite the events of the last 12 months, which now seem to be ongoing, the influencer marketing industry is continuing to rise in popularity, and on a global scale, too. It has been reported that 65% of influencer marketing budgets increased throughout 2020, and we expect this to rise during 2021.
And with restrictions still in place for the most part, consumers are now limited as to what they can do and are seeking new forms of escapism and quite simply, want to be entertained.
During lockdown 1.0, social media influencers worked incredibly hard to adapt their content to meet the newfound needs of their audience, which is something they have continued to focus on.
And although brands and businesses have been impacted due to the current coronavirus pandemic, it has enabled the influencer marketing industry to go in a slightly different direction, whilst providing brands with new opportunities.
The UK lockdown led to social media being much more widely used and has allowed influencers to adapt and engage with their audience in a way that they haven’t before. So now, as we enter a brand-new wave of influencer marketing, here are some of our predicted trends for the industry throughout 2021, and beyond.
Personalisation and quality content
Consumers thrive from a human element, and this can be achieved by using influencers that regularly engage with their audience. Whether it’s in the form of Q&A’s, asking for feedback, or simply providing their followers with content that is tailored to them and their needs.
Influencers that incorporate personalisation into their social media content and branded collaborations often have a higher engagement rate which is much more beneficial when looking at the results of a campaign.
An influencer’s audience has an already established interest in the content they are producing, making them a powerful tool when it comes to marketing and personalisation. And social media combines the benefits of technology with human interaction, allowing social media influencers to generate greater levels of engagement and loyalty with their audience.
More aware of the content they are pushing out, influencers are providing quality content that will truly benefit their audience, as opposed to sharing polished posts that only match their Instagram theme.
To achieve great results, it isn’t always about follower count and celeb-like status. Whilst it is a sure-fire way to reach people on mass, the content may be falling on deaf ears. And we expect that throughout 2021, many brands and businesses will opt to focus on personalisation when collaborating with influencers to help reach their target audience much more effectively.
One-off campaigns vs long-term partnerships
One isn’t necessarily better than the other, however we predict that 2021 will see a rise in the number of long-term partnerships between brands and influencers, and less one-off campaigns.
Trust and authenticity are pivotal within the influencer marketing industry, and long-term partnerships provide exactly that.
Long-term partnerships between brands and influencers usually take part over the course of three months or longer. Influencers are often seen as a representative of the brand, sharing the same or similar values as both the brand and their target audience.
Social media users become much more invested in long-term collaborations and are more likely to interact and become consumers.
That isn’t to say that one-off campaigns are no longer apparent, as they still produce incredible results. However, we expect to see much more long-term collabs across social media over the course of this year.
Types of content and staying relevant
As we mentioned in our bog post, Social Media Trends for 2021, video content will continue to reign.
Video content, in whatever capacity, is simple and engaging, as well as easy to understand, digest and share. It creates a deeper connection and understanding, making it much more likely to encourage purchasing decisions.
And with more in-app features being released, such as Reels and Guides for Instagram, it is important for both brands and influencers to keep up and get creative in order to stay relevant and the top of people’s feeds.
These new features provide influencers with a new way to create content, and we predict that these will take centre stage when it comes to collaborations and campaigns throughout 2021.
Whilst TikTok was on top form throughout the entirety of 2020, Instagram still remains the top trending platform, continuing to lead the way for the influencer marketing industry.
Consumers no longer want to see the same things on their feeds all the time, and these features provide a brand-new, fresh and exciting way to consume content.
Here at Influencer Matchmaker, we expect that these trends will be an integral part of the industry moving forward and will provide consumers with a new way of digesting information as well as influencing their purchasing decisions.
A ‘no-edit’ edit
After the previous year, we also predict influencers will share things in a ‘no-edit edit’ fashion.
Put simply, consumers want to see the real influencer and get to know them. So whilst their main feeds may appear pristine and polished, their Instagram Stories will document the realities of their days, showcasing honesty and authenticity.
Many influencers are also using Reels to give fans a behind the scenes glimpse, providing an insight into how exactly they create their award-winning content.
2020 also saw the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) clamp down on regulations, and we don’t expect this to slow down.
It’s important to ensure that influencers are labelling their content correctly, and with more social media platforms and all-new features being brought to the forefront of the industry, we expect to see more rules and regulations to be set out by the ASA.
And platforms are also beginning to play their part in this, as Instagram rolled out their ‘paid partnership’ tool to all users globally, and we don’t think it will be long before other platforms follow suit.
Influencer Marketing: 2021
Set to become a $15 billion industry by 2022, the influencer marketing industry is sticking around and will continue to become even more powerful as time goes on.
And with brands and businesses upping their influencer marketing spend, this is proof of exactly that.
So, there we have it! Our predictions for influencer marketing trends for 2021.
What are your predictions?
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