Influencer Marketing: Trends and Predictions for 2021


More and more brands are understanding the potential of working with influencers, making the so-called influence marketing represent a large part of the companies strategies.

Observing this movement, a report by FleishmanHillard projects that budgets in influence marketing will increase in 2021 because the public is more cautious in whom to trust (brands, press, public figures).

With this scenario, content producers are more reliable and gain relevance. To understand a little better what this market will look like in 2021, the FleishmanHillard study raised some global trends.

News Content

One of the report’s insights concerns news, which is increasingly integrated concerning platforms and issuers. It is because, today, what constitutes “news” is, in fact, a mixture of journalism, information, opinion, and content. As a result, the “news” does not come only from journalists but also from other influencers.

Chris Taylor, Marketing Director at ProfitGuru says “Brands need to keep listening, not only those who are influential in their category or industry but also use discovery to identify those who may be unusual experts, who are sharing content that their followers are interpreting as news or relevant content on a given subject or theme” 

Sponsored Content 

Sponsored influencer content is content from creators that are made possible by or created in partnership with brands.  Influencers can help brands promote their services, brand, and marketing, as well as increase brand awareness.

Brian Chung, CEO & Co-Founder of Alabaster says “Influencers and brands can collaborate on YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live streams, and other projects. Brands can place relevant voices behind their messaging and more efficiently meet target audiences by partnering with influencers” 

Younger consumers don’t mind sponsored or branded advertising that is a natural part of their online interactions, despite the fact that online advertisements are frequently derided as disruptive and irritating. Furthermore, 80% of Millennials agree that native advertising in social media feeds has a positive experience.

Sponsored content isn’t meant to be misleading or disruptive, and explicitly identifying sponsored influencer content (for example, with #sponsored) helps protect the honest experience that’s at the heart of an influencer’s relationship with their audience.

Supported influencer content is a partial or primary source of revenue for many influencers. Influencers can generate content and pay for the development and personal expenses by partnering with brands. Though cynics may dismiss sponsored content as “selling out,” well-executed sponsored content benefits all parties concerned, including viewers.

Alternative Revenue Streams

Karla Foley Managing Editor at Cordcuttinglab says “Influencer marketing is simply a way for influencers to receive a commission on the clicks or sales they generate on behalf of brands. Influencers can use uniquely trackable affiliate links to trace how many clicks or transactions were made in order to receive this commission”

While you might have seen influencers share bespoke promo codes on Instagram, which is also a form of affiliate marketing, using affiliate links is the most effective way to track and benefit from your referrals. Most brands will have an affiliate program with a dashboard so you can track how many clicks and sales your affiliate links are making — and how much money you stand to make until all the sales are closed and your payment is due.

Before any fee payment is made, most affiliate marketing services require a transaction to be fully closed, which means the return or exchange window has closed. This normally takes 60-90 days, but it can take longer or shorter depending on the brand partner.

If you’re using an affiliate network to create and monitor your affiliate connections (more on that later), there will almost certainly be a $100 minimum payment requirement before you can collect your earnings. Sponsored influencer content is content from creators that are made possible by or created in partnership with brands.  Influencers can help brands promote their services, brand, and marketing, as well as increase brand awareness.

Influencers and brands can collaborate on YouTube videos, podcasts, Instagram posts, Snapchat Stories, Facebook Live streams, and other projects. Brands can place relevant voices behind their messaging and more efficiently meet target audiences by partnering with influencers. Younger consumers don’t mind sponsored or branded advertising that is a natural part of their online interactions, despite the fact that online advertisements are frequently derided as disruptive and irritating. Furthermore, 80 percent of Millennials agree that native advertising in social media feeds has a positive experience.

Sponsored content isn’t meant to be misleading or disruptive, and explicitly identifying sponsored influencer content (for example, with #sponsored) helps protect the honest experience that’s at the heart of an influencer’s relationship with their audience. Supported influencer content is a partial or primary source of revenue for many influencers. Influencers can generate content and pay for the development and personal expenses by partnering with brands. Though cynics may dismiss sponsored content as “selling out,” well-executed sponsored content benefits all parties concerned, including viewers.

Daniel Foley, Founder of a Digital Marketing SEO says “Because of the pandemic, many contracts with influencers have suffered. As a result, many of these professionals shifted their focus to alternative revenue streams and diversified revenue sources. Many brands have become interested in affiliate programs and links that give content creators a commission. It means that influencers are less dependent on the brand’s business and can maintain complex negotiations”

Creativity

Joe M, Founder and CEO of Wood Working Land says “Since the pandemic, influencers have become more creative in the way they produce content. In this way, advertisers had found that influencers can be beneficial when large-scale commercial filming was suspended. The study predicts that in 2021, brands will continue to work with influencers as a resource for generating the content, but they will need to exercise creativity to keep these formats new and engaging. It is not today that “lazy publics” have been losing strength, and exploring formats, languages ​​, and tools will be essential for those who want to make good campaigns of influence in 2021”

Micro-Influencers are Powerful.

2021 will be the year of the micro influencer. Yes, celebrity endorsements can work for big brands, but I firmly believe that people are becoming a bit tired of this often over-salesy style of content. It usually showcases a pretty ‘far out’ lifestyle which is unattainable for the average person. We saw a huge amount of backlash earlier in the year as many mega influencers headed to Dubai ‘for work’ whilst the rest of the nation was stuck in lockdown – I think this genuinely harmed the reputation of these individuals.

At the end of the day, people are more likely to engage with a brand if they can personally relate to the person endorsing it. It’s all about trust and authenticity – if you see someone like yourself advocating a brand, it can serve as a genuine signal that you too could enjoy their product or service.

Micro influencers tend to have a highly engaged following, which is superior to that of larger influencers.There’s often a real sense of community built around their lifestyle and they’re usually seen as experts in their field, which carries a lot of weight. To work out an influencer’s engagement rate, take an average of the number of likes from an individual’s last five posts, divide this by their follower count and multiply this by 100 to get the %. Try this with mega and micro influencers within your market – you’ll often find a much higher engagement rate with the micro influencers.

Tony Kelly Founder of CameraGroove.com says “The power of the micro-influencer will finally receive the recognition they deserve by brands, their following is niche, their content is specific and their audience is engaged because of the nature of the content and not the mass appeal and fame. Their conversion to sale is higher at a lower CPP that macro-influencers, making them a cost-effective buy for brands”

Performance Marketing 

The market is becoming more crowded, and influencers aren’t always able to deliver on their promises. Clients are becoming more intelligent, and they will no longer be fooled by fake marketing slogans or promises that do not add up and translate into numbers.

Veronica Miller from VPNOverview says “More performance-related offers, such as those based on the amount of transactions or clicks, can be seen in 2021. While the idea of performance-based influencer marketing is fresh, influencers will have no choice but to listen to what marketers have to say, even if they don’t seem to like it”

Diversity

Social media is in the initial stage of transforming from a place of individualism to collectivism. According to the report, this creates consumer attitudes that will change what and how people consume and share content. According to a global FH report, more than a third of consumers said they followed a more diverse group of influencers than before the #BlackLivesMatter protests.

Sasha Quail,  Business Development Manager of Claims UK says “To develop an increasingly diverse cast of influencers, brands will need to demonstrate an internal and external commitment to diversity and inclusion. Guiding diversity in campaigns will continue to gain strength. Representativeness remains on the agenda, and generating identification with all audiences has already shown its importance”

Short Videos

Short video content production is just getting warmed up – the impact of video platforms such as TikTok and Reels on Instagram will only continue to grow larger and stronger. For influencers, the more they are engaging with their audience through these types of platforms, the more likely their following will continue to grow. 

Most importantly for these influencers, the caliber of their 60-second videos will have to rise above all others. You can get this done by yourself or just hire an explainer video company.

With the advancement of technology, influencers all have the necessary tools at their fingertips to create studio-quality videos from their phones. This means that their audience will no longer be forgiving to pixelated images or poor sound quality.

Leo G Dickson, Owner of Practically Green says “The short-form video will be the next trend in influencer marketing. And for that purpose Instagram stories, Instagram reels, Facebook stories, YouTube stories are the best place. It is even more beneficial with the help of influencers of your business niche. It will give you the advantage of direct selling as well as directly getting engaged with the targeted audience without finding them individually. This video can be a tutorial or product review or inspiration or anything related to the business that ultimately forces the customer to engage”