2020 is indeed an unforgettable year that will definitely have its fair share in future history books. But good news! This dreadful happening year is finally about to end and the upcoming and promising new year, 2021, is just around the corner. If we dive into a recap of the year 2020, then undoubtedly it gave us more than Christmas and Thanksgiving. 2020 shoved the deadly pandemic into our lives which is certainly not going to end soon. Apart from the pandemic, 2020 also enveloped us all in a massive global lockdown that not only snatched the Olympics from us but also took away the joy of family gatherings. Indeed a very bizarre year! Although it may seem like 2020 tormented the economy of multiple countries and industries, one industry thrived during the epidemic-struck year, the influencer marketing industry.
The influencer marketing industry flourished during 2020 and attained the attention of some big market fish. With physical contact limited to almost being negligible, brands and organizations all broke out in a cold sweat regarding their marketing and promotional strategies. Thankfully, influencer marketing came to the rescue. Influencers helped to maintain the brand’s repute and status by promoting their products on the virtual world of social media. Their promotion soon caught the attention of the world chained in the never-ending quarantine and hooked to their mobile screens. Hence, due to the efforts of influencers, the global percentage of online shopping increased by 15%, thus contributing to safeguarding the covid affected economy of brands and organizations.
The slope that escalated the influencer marketing industry in 2020 will not decline anytime soon. In fact, the influencer marketing industry has evolved so much that brands and companies are showcasing great interest in investing more in it. Moreover, the feedback obtained from the consumers and followers of the influencers has clearly depicted that all the roads of success for any brand or company point in the direction of influencer marketing.
The world is all set to welcome the new year 2021 and so is the influencer marketing industry. Undoubtedly 2020 has shaped the influencer marketing industry but the world of influencers and brands are stepping into the new year with a more optimized marketing system that will benefit both parties tremendously. With that being said, we have compiled a list of the top trending influencer marketing trends heading towards 2021. So without further ado, let’s see what these trends are!
1. Spotlight on Micro-Influencers:
In the realm of influencer marketing, influencers can be broadly categorized on the basis of their following as either macro-influencers or micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are the social media influencers who have their following somewhere between 1000 and 100,000.
Traditionally, most of the brands and organizations opted for macro-influencers for their marketing campaigns due to their high following and audience exposure. But later on, experts deduced that the following of macro-influencers did not prove to be as loyal customers like the following of micro-influencers. There may be multiple reasons for this, the most vital one being that micro-influencers charge less and offer more as compared to macro-influencers. The detailed and thorough insight about the brand’s product obtained from the micro-influencers is much likely to convince customers as compared to the macro ones.
Therefore, brands and organizations started showing some immense interest in micro-influencers for their marketing campaigns. Micro-influencers promote the brand’s or company’s product by adding the hashtag “#ad” on their social media posts. A study depicted that the usage of this hashtag “#ad” by micro-influencers was increased from 46% to 50%, indicating that micro-influencers would be the trendsetters of 2021.
So if you are a brand or an organization, then you better start a hunt for micro-influencers before the year ends!
2. Takeover Of AI And Advanced Software:
With every rose, there are some thorns and the same goes for influencer marketing as well. With the rise of this industry, some loopholes proved to be the bumps and hence the fake influencers come into the picture. Fake influencers are usually bots or have a fake fan base which imposes little or no engagement on the promotional posts, thus pouring the brand’s money down the drain. In the year 2020, almost 24% of brand engagements were conducted by fake influencers which caused a massive budget setback for the brands.
Fortunately, we live in the era of technology and AI which can even spot out the fake influencers. The AI automated systems and software can easily distinguish fake influencers in the influencer marketing industry by analyzing their activity, engagement, audience demographics, and many other factors. SocialBook is the perfect example of such software. As we’re moving towards the end of the year 2020, we are moving towards a more technologically advanced year, 2021. So, it can be safely concluded that no marketing campaign will take place in 2021 without collecting the data from the AI automated systems and software first.
So buckle up organizations, 2021 will definitely build a common ground between influencers and the tech geeks!
3. Worshipping TikTok:
Another good thing that came out of 2020 was the enormous success of the app TikTok. TikTok is an app which has not only attracted the teenagers but also adults and has proved to be their fun partner in the ever-lasting quarantine. This app enables its users to create fun short 15 seconds videos accompanied by musical audios. With more than 800 million active users on TikTok, this app is certainly taking the world by storm and has undoubtedly gained the attention of brands and organizations as well. So, extending the influencer marketing strategies to TikTok is definitely on top of any organizations’ list.
TikTok influencers will certainly be in the limelight in the coming year 2021 and will be conducting promotional campaigns through their short videos hand-in-hand with various brands and companies. The overcrowding of the audience on TikTok makes it a perfect candidate for launching virtual promotional campaigns. But there are some factors that prove to be the hurdles in the bridge between brands and TikTok influencers. The major reason is that the majority of the audience on TikTok are teenagers and hence non-paying, so brands may have to work a little hard on TikTok marketing campaigns. Another reason is that since TikTok is attaining a lot of spotlights, the app itself demands its fair share as well due to which the TikTok campaigns can be a bit costly. But since TikTok is all about trends, so to make a campaign a giant success on TikTok is to make it a trend.
So if you’re a brand and you wish to have a prosperous marketing campaign in 2021, then you better start shortlisting some TikTok influencers!
4. Trend Towards Short Videos
Thanks to the fame of TikTok, influencers worldwide have optimized their marketing strategies. Instead of posting a single photo with a marketing caption, influencers have been optimizing this technique and replacing it with short videos. These short videos are pretty much detailed and give the viewers an authentic and insightful opinion about the brand’s or company’s product. This helps viewers to become potential customers of the said brand or company. Short videos also make it easier for potential customers to understand the product and comprehend its purpose more easily as compared to a single picture post.
So it can be stated with certainty that for all the future marketing campaigns of 2021, short videos would become a vital part of the contract signed between influencers and brands for promotional campaigns. These videos are not only limited to TikTok but are also extended to Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
So gear up for 2021! It’s all going to be about videos, videos, and some more videos!
5. One Influencer, Multiple Campaigns:
Over the past years, brands and organizations used to opt for different influencers for their various promotional campaigns. Each marketing campaign had a purpose and was related to a specific niche, and hence brands and organizations used to opt for a niche-specific influencer to lead their campaigns. But times have changed. And as we are moving towards the new year, where multiple new influencer marketing trends are being set, the trend of selecting a single influencer for multiple campaigns would certainly become a hot one.
Brands are aware that their customers are not fools and will only invest and trust in authenticity. So, to make a reputable status in the eyes of their consumers, brands are now opting for a single influencer to chalk out all their future marketing campaigns. This portrays authenticity and develops trust among consumers. When consumers observe a steady content flow related to a specific brand coming from the same influencer from time to time, they automatically assume that the words of the influencer are nothing but the truth. This makes them rush to the respective brand and organization, and thus makes their campaign a humongous success. The one influencer, multiple campaigns approach also develops a strong interactional bond between the brand and the influencer and also saves the organization from the troubles of influencer hunt and optimizing their marketing strategy for each influencer.
So to gear up for the new year, one influencer, multiple campaigns is a must-follow influencer marketing trend!
6. Rise In Twitch Influencers:
Many Millennials and folks from Gen Z must be aware of Twitch. Twitch is a live streaming app that Twitch users utilize to live stream their respective activities. Twitch was never an app that was considered to be suitable for marketing campaigns, but again, times are changing. In the coming year, 2021, Twitch is bound to gain some limelight to become a platform for influencer marketing!
Traditionally, Twitch users only used to live stream gaming content. In fact, Twitch was basically created solely for gamers. But recently, specifically in the lockdown period, Twitch is being utilized by users to live-stream cooking and art videos. This means that the niche domain on Twitch is now expanding from gaming to cooking, music, and arts and crafts. Today, Twitch has a total of more than 17.5 million active users thus making it a hot candidate in the eyes of brands and organizations. So we can certainly expect more Twitch marketing campaigns in the future.
With this unusual trend being set forth for the year 2021, the marketing game for multiple brands and organizations will definitely boost to a whole new level!
7. Increasing Significance Of Influencer Data:
As mentioned earlier, fake influencers also profoundly exist in the world of the influencer marketing industry. But thankfully due to the advancements in technology, these fake influencers can easily be rooted out! A simple way to do so is by analyzing the influencer data.
In the world of today, both consumers and brands believe in facts, specifically numerical factual data. So, a common practice that will certainly be adopted in the coming year 2021 will be the analysis of influencer data to avoid being prey to fake influencers. Brands are now more invested in the influencer’s data rather than their number of followers and likes. Multiple organizations are now investing heaps just to analyze the demographic status, engagement ratio, past successful campaigns, reach number, and followers to consumer ratio of an influencer. Such a detailed insight about an influencer helps them to handpick the influencer most suitable for signing a long-term marketing campaign contract with. This may sound like a lot of work, but it’s a technically dominated era, and hence multiple software are here to save us from the trouble. SocialBook is one such example of an influencer marketing campaign that gives brands and organizations a comprehensive analysis of any social media influencer.
So stepping into 2021 certainly requires more than likes, it requires facts!
8. Performance-Based Marketing:
Consumers nowadays can no longer be fooled. Technology and the massive exposure they have acquired on social media has certainly given them some pitch points to judge any marketing campaign. They no longer believe in catchy slogans and hollow taglines. They demand purpose. 2020 has raised a sense of social awakening in any individual. So brands and organizations are trying to utilize this social awakening to their advantage by designing marketing campaigns that are full of purpose and that give their consumers a sense of direction.
Marketing campaigns are now judged on the basis of performance, not on the basis of the product or the influencer. The impact the campaign would socially have on the environment will be responsible for determining the success of the marketing campaign. So brands and organizations are targeting those influencers who can help them to achieve this purpose. They are no longer going for a big fancy parade campaign, but are aiming for a socially enlightened campaign that somehow focuses on strengthening the community.
Among all the influencer marketing trends heading in the year 2021, this one will definitely change the perspective of consumers!
9. Diversity In Influencers:
The topic of social enlightenment didn’t end in the previous trend. 2020 has certainly evolved the mindsets of people and has made them more compassionate. In today’s world of chaos, social issues like racism and inequality are promoted on every level. The same applies to influencer marketing as well.
In today’s world, specifically in the upcoming year 2021, to make a marketing campaign a success, organizations need to have a diverse approach in the matter of selecting influencers. With important social movements in the act, a small mistake of non-diversity in influencers can cost the organization and company some hefty amounts. It may even result at the end of business for an organization! So such social issues need to be kept in mind in the influencer marketing realm as well. Therefore, a common trend that would be established on all grounds of marketing in the coming year would be the selection of influencers in a completely non-racist manner which is solely dependent on their merits.
2021 is going to be the year of change and influencer marketing certainly plays its part in this change by this phenomenal trend!
10. Production Of Valuable Quality Enriched Content:
This trend also follows the same footsteps as the previously mentioned trends. With the knowledge of the world in hand, consumers can easily chalk out the highs and lows of any product of any brand or company. Therefore, the secret of instantly attracting the largest masses of consumers towards a specific product is to promote that product through valuable and quality enriched content.
Brands nowadays are hunting for influencers who do not only showcase the products with full bling but also add value to the product. This value is certainly not meant to be in monetary terms. By adding value to a product, the influencers can give their potential customers a more real-life experience regarding the product. With so many options in hand, consumers like to go for those products which appear to be authentic and of the top-most quality. So the major priority of brands and organizations in selecting any influencer is to check the quality of their content.
2021 is going to be all about merging the virtual and physical world, and this trend in influencer marketing makes this possible!
11. Growth Of The Influencer Market:
It is no secret that the influencer marketing industry is growing every day, especially during the lockdown reign as many youngsters have been motivated to become an influencer during this period. Influencer marketing is growing at such a steady rate that it is expected that this market would increase globally by 15% in 2021. As it seems that the deadly pandemic won’t be ending soon, brands and organizations are investing all they have in influencer marketing to make their businesses thrive during such circumstances.
A rough estimate states that the total budget spent by organizations and companies on influencer marketing would increase at such a rate that it would elevate from the existing number of $5.1 billion to $5.86 billion.
Such an increasing number can only promise the ever-lasting growth of the influencer marketing industry!
12. Virtual Influencers:
CGI influencers keep getting attentions from worldwide. Although not much work has been conducted on this domain yet, experts believe that with modern technology, virtual influencers will come into existence and change the overall perspective of influencer marketing. Virtual influencers are specifically designed to replicate human influencers and give the viewers a real-life experience. These influencers will prove to be highly cost-effective for brands and will make adaptable working companions for various companies.
Much cannot be said about this trend yet, but who knows, maybe 2021 would surprise us!
Thus, with influencer marketing enveloping the world, these trends are highly recommended for brands and organizations to follow so they can make their businesses thrive amidst the pandemic. May 2021 bring us all luck and happiness!