Top Influencer Marketing Trends for 2021

2020 has been a big year for influencer marketing, and it is only on the rise. Here are our top influencer marketing trends to look out for in 2021.

1. Micro-influencers will become more important

Micro-influencers and key opinion creators have been on the rise for some time, and will only continue to do so throughout 2021. Although small, their personal connection with niche target groups and high engagement rates make them powerful. Many micro-influencers create their own content and manage their own accounts, making them extremely cost-efficient.

More and more companies are beginning to realise the advantages of working with micro-influencers and are including them in marketing strategies and budgets.

2021 Influencer Marketing Trends 1. Influencer doing a photoshoot and posing against an aesthetic backdrop in Taipei, Taiwan.
Each micro-influencer has a unique voice and style that helps them connect with different communities on a personal level (photo by Viral Access)

2. Influencer marketing will become performance-based

It is becoming clear that surface-level metrics such as followers, likes, and comments are not accurate value indicators when selecting influencers for a campaign. Fake followers and inauthentic engagements are all too common these days, and many businesses are catching on. In 2021, influencers will need to prove that they can deliver results.

Being able to directly attribute performance metrics to brand success will be vital in 2021. Brands need to know whether or not the influencers will be able to deliver on their promises, meaning deals will become increasingly data-dependent with a heavy focus on measurability. There will be a greater emphasis on relevant metrics which translate directly into sales, such as active engagement and clickthrough rates.

We will also see more integration of AI technology and machine learning into the selection process, helping brands weed out the fake and find suitable influencers based on interests and niches.

2021 Influencer Marketing Trends 2. A woman tracking data on an iPad at an influencer event hosted by Viral Access.
With the help of technology, influencer marketing will become increasingly streamlined and accurate. (photo by Viral Access)

3. Short video content will take over

If there’s one thing the rise of TikTok has proved it’s that short videos are taking over. This format is excellent for influencers, content creators, and businesses alike as it allows for a whole new world of personal expression and creativity.

As TikTok continues its reign at the top of the download charts, huge companies such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google are all beginning to bet on this format, introducing new features that support short video content. For businesses, partnering with influencers who are active on these apps and capable of producing high-quality short video content will be vital to any marketing strategy.

However, brands will need to know the challenges that come with marketing on seemingly lucrative short video apps. For example, TikTok is heavily skewed towards a younger audience. This combined with the provocative content which thrives on the app poses potential threats to brand safety. In addition, working directly with TikTok is expensive and doesn’t necessarily guarantee results.

In conclusion, brands need to have a solid understanding of the strengths and challenges that come along with the short video format and the social media apps which specialise in it.

4. Expect long-term contracts and relationships

As the social media landscape becomes oversaturated, businesses are now choosing to focus on increasing their reach and building brand loyalty. In the past, most companies opted for one-off deals on a campaign-per-campaign basis, but brands in 2021 are looking for influencers to represent them in the long-run.

Companies are beginning to realise the benefits of long-term partnerships: a steady flow of regular content increases ad frequency and exposure, and the genuineness and authenticity that comes with the influencer consistently endorsing a brand. Influencers are taking on the role of brand ambassadors, meaning it will be essential for businesses to find the right people to partner with long term.

2021 Influencer Marketing Trends 3. Two female influencers pose for a photo at an event hosted by Viral Access in Shanghai.
Influencers can make excellent brand ambassadors as their fans both trust and admire them. (photo by Viral Access)

If you want to learn more about influencer marketing, check out our website and social media!

Viral Access is an AI and data-driven digital marketing company who helps you tell your story through social media. We pair your brand with relevant micro and nano influencers that help you increase brand awareness, engagement, and conversion. We have the systems and team in place to support large scale communications throughout Asia.

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