Influencer Marketing is growing faster than ever. With the increase in the use of influencers as a marketing activation, Influencer Marketing strategies are increasingly changing as well. Just taking a look at this last year, new platforms quickly rose to the top of our social space, changes in social algorithms influenced yearly benchmarks, and movements in cultural trends called for change socially and politically.
This post will discuss the forecast for Influencer Marketing in 2021 and four Influencer Marketing hacks for getting the most out of your Return On Investment (ROI) in this new year. Prepare yourself for the exciting developments of 2021 by tying these new hacks into your Influencer Marketing strategies.
2021 Influencer Marketing Forecast
Looking into the new year, Influencer Marketing will have exciting, new platforms to embrace and new platform features to include in their Influencer Marketing plans. There will be a higher demand among brands, influencers, and consumers to authentically advocate for their beliefs as calls for action increase. Additionally, the year also foresees greater opportunities for repurposing influencers’ content.
New Platforms and Features
The year 2020 has brought new algorithms, new features, and new buttons on all of our most popular platforms. As we approach 2021, we want to first ensure we’ve embraced the changes of 2020 and then brace ourselves for even more exciting platform features coming this next year.
Our favorite new additions to the social media family this year have been TikTok and Instagram Reels. TikTok was launched in 2018, but saw an exponential increase in 2020 creating new opportunities for brands to interact with influencers on the platform. TikTok comes with the novelty of breaking into a new creative space which is completely untouched in the grand scheme of things. The mimicking influence of TikTok has completely changed user-generated content (UGC) as people are now copying what they see and spreading it near and far.
Reels will also be a super asset for 2021 marketing plans. Both platforms have a clever and communal culture and demand a completely different strategy on the influencers’ side in order to relate brands to their followers in a creative way that doesn’t disrupt that culture. Currently, Instagram Reels is leading in its ability to provide brands with detailed metrics to evaluate ROI. However, don’t expect it to be long before TikTok opens their API in order to keep their community and invite more marketing opportunities.
eCommerce is coming in hot and will remain that way in 2021. Users are already looking to influencers for product recommendations and following brands with the purpose of seeing their new products released, so it makes sense to create a user-friendly experience where users can see, like, click, and buy.
Social platforms in 2020 took new strides toward implementing ecommerce and in-app shopping opportunities on their platforms, and many have plans to roll-out their new features in 2021. Instagram, for example, plans to encourage shopping by adding a shopping button directly on the homepage. YouTube is also working on a new process that allows viewers to directly click on the product in the video to get more information about it. We can expect these changes to significantly increase buying and selling directly from the platforms.
Initially, these changes will primarily affect businesses—meaning brands that have business accounts on Instagram. However, influencers are also expected to be granted access to extra perks in order for their viewers to buy brand products from their posts. Those perks will most likely be rolled out slowly and to select, higher-tiered influencers first and then down to the mainstream influencers.
Shift in Cultural Trends
Looking ahead, we expect to continue to see a shift in cultural trends as social media continues to evolve as a strategy for activism.
The year 2020 was an influential year for the voices on social media. Both brands and influencers were able to influence their followers to do good and to make a difference. Expectations for those with a voice has also shifted and will affect the way influencers are vetted moving forward. Let’s take a look at the expectations of brands, influencers, and consumers in 2021.
Because there are so many voices, it is important for brands to partner with influencers who represent the cultural standards the brand also represents. In 2021, brands will need to engage in topics such as mental health, social justice, political action, etc. Brands are looking for influencers who post beliefs and missions similar to their own.
Expectations from influencers also increase as activism has become a leading movement on social media. Like brands, influencers are actively seeking to partner with those who represent their similar beliefs and stand for what they believe. Influencers understand their value in representing the brand, even if it’s just one post on Instagram. They are expecting more in terms of monetary compensation, as well as activism from the brands.
Now, more than ever, people want their brands and influencers to be authentic. Authenticity has always been desired among users, but it is now being demanded. People want to see activism from those who have power and influence, but they want it to be real. Consumers are expecting live content, unsponsored posts, and looks behind the scene that feature real life scenarios and people.
Expanded Influencer Marketing Content and Repurposing Possibilities
The 2021 Influencer Marketing forecast also foresees expanded content and repurposing possibilities. There are many opportunities to work with creators and to repurpose their content in ways that haven’t been done in the past.
Influencers can be viewed as news and media outlets, but they are also creators. Influencers specialize in crafting content which can be images, videos, articles, or guides. Going into 2021, not only will brands partner with influencers to review their products and services on their platforms, but they will also embrace these new assets by using influencer content in printed marketing materials, blog posts, and website content. Social media will be used to scout for creative talent who match the vibe of the brand and to commission them to create featured items.
Brands that take advantage of the assets they obtain through Influencer Marketing will see the most successful ROI. They’ll show more authenticity to their community and also strengthen the relationship they have with influencers by showing they care about their content.
Influencer Marketing Hacks for 2021
The 2021 Influencer Marketing forecast is a world of untapped possibilities and calls for a shift in Influencer Marketing plans. As you strategize for 2021, use these four hacks to take advantage of the new developments this new year will bring.
Optimize Your Objectives for New Platform Features
Changes in platforms and platform features mean there are new agendas to push. Going into 2021, take a deep look at your objectives to nail down exactly what it is you want to accomplish through Influencer Marketing. This will help you determine what platforms and which features on those platforms you should be using in order to reach your target market. Take a deep look into where your audiences are and where they expect your brand to be.
Vet for Influencers Who Match Your Brand Beliefs
This year, make sure you know the social and political stance of your brand. Then, thoroughly vet for influencers who match your brand personality. As you search for influencers, ensure their beliefs and past posts align with your brand’s mission and viewpoints. Vet for topics you are either trying to push or to avoid even if you are not discussing those particular topics in your campaign.
Seek for Authenticity
Now that authenticity is demanded from consumers, seek to show the genuine side of your brand on social media. A great way for you to achieve this transparency in 2021 is by engaging influencers on platforms such as Instagram Stories, Facebook Stories, and TikTok. Viewers use these platforms to see unedited, instant videos and photos that embody real life situations and people.
Strategize Out of the Box
The Influencer Marketing box usually involves a brand partnering with an influencer to post a review in their Instagram feed. Out of the box strategies have plans for optimizing authenticity. They include plans for obtaining and using the creator’s assets. Strategies that are outside of the box will reach more than just quantifiable Key Performance Indicators. In 2021, think outside of the box to create campaigns that maximize on ROI.
Wrap It All Up
The year 2021 is not the year to hit the snooze button on Influencer Marketing. The industry is on the move with exciting developments to achieve your brand goals. New platforms and the greater implementation of more eCommerce possibilities will help brands better attribute marketing to sales. Be sure to optimize your 2021 objectives for these new developments to see high ROI. There will most definitely be a greater call for the creative ability of influencers and with it, the requirement for brands, influencers, and consumers to stand up for social and political beliefs. Maximize your brand authenticity this year by thinking outside of the box and by vetting for influencers who match your brands’ beliefs.