After the events of 2020, marketers and brands everywhere had to pull together new marketing strategies and part of this was a heavy focus on influencer marketing. Furthermore, the start of 2021 brought about a high level of negative exposure for social media influencers (SMI’s), as they jetted off to Dubai to fulfil work commitments. This saw a wave of criticism from audiences who at the time were under new lockdown restrictions and did not appreciate seeing influencers on the beach in Dubai. Whether or not the actions of these influencers were inappropriate is not for me to decide but it does pose the question of what is the future for influencers?
Articles by Influencer MarketingHub and Later.com share what they believe to be the trends to watch this coming year. This post highlights some of the key trends including brands: working with smaller influencers, the likelihood that long-term partnerships will be more common than one-off sponsorships, increased video content use, and authenticity being essential for success.
Micro and Nano Influencers
Smaller influencers have been proven to have the highest engagement rates as they appear to be more relatable and often converse more with their audiences. Also, when the impact of the pandemic brands marketing budgets is taken into consideration it is not always possible to work with mega influencers. Brands and marketers should look to these influencers in the coming year and aim to build relationships with them.
Ongoing partnerships vs One-offs
It is expected that over the next years brands will seek influencers with whom they can form long-term relationships rather than occasional paid posts. Thus, they will become partners with the brands and not just one-off projects. This is expected to generate better results as one post is not enough to really engage with the audiences.
This is a continuing trend that is seeing growth across influencer spaces since the introduction of TikTok and Instagram reels. Video allows for influencers to be more creative with their posts and allows them to build engagement. Although not a new trend it is one that is important to be aware of as platforms continue to grow their video sharing features.
It is becoming more important for influencers to ensure that what they post is considered ‘authentic’, audiences want to see people to whom they can relate. It is essential that these influencers are careful about the brands with which they partner and that those partnerships fit with their audience’s expectations of them. Moreover, it is important for brands to consider which influencers best suit them. Brand partnerships need to be genuine and should suit both the brand and influencer involved, no value is built if there is no connection between the two.
To conclude, this article highlights a few of the key influencer marketing trends to watch over the coming year. It is safe to say 2021 will be a big year for influencer marketing.
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