There is no doubt influencer marketing is becoming the primary marketing channel for most brands in 2021. With 63% of marketers increasing their budget just this year and the proposed 15 billion-dollar industry it will be by 2022, it makes sense to see marketers trending in this direction. 

With that said, here are some key trends going into 2021 for both influencer marketing agencies and brands alike!

  • Videos are still KING in 2021.
  • Diversity and inclusion will be the focus.
  • Value-driven content and deeper connections.
  • Long-term partnerships over short-term.

 

#1: Videos Are Still KING in 2021:

With the continued rising popularity of Tik Tok, Reels, and IGTV, we see influencer campaigns have higher success rates when videos are the main form of creative – images being a supportive dynamic. Let’s take our latest MTV campaign; we saw soaring impressions and engagement rates from the influencers who posted long-form/short-form videos than we did from just images.

Specifically, short-form videos saw the best results due to the short duration of these videos that make it that much easier for audiences to consume content more quickly. We also found that the shelf-life of videos was much longer in comparison to images – as they continued to gain impressions long after campaign completion.

That said, when influencers create authentic, in-the-moment videos – even comedic ones depending on their niche, consumers feel more engaged and are likely to respond. The stronger the video’s authenticity, the more human-feel it will have, making people feel a part of the story, the brand’s story.

 

#2: Diversity And Inclusion Will Be The Focus:

The events of 2020 showed us even more strongly the lack of diversity within the influencer marketing industry, with many influencers calling out brands for their lack of inclusion within campaigns, even bringing to light differences in pay. Now that brands are being held accountable and the call for diversity and inclusion is heard- 2021 will be a year in which brands and agencies keep diversity at the forefront when curating influencer campaigns.

As stated in a previous blog covering the importance of diversity: including diversity within influencer campaigns helps brands have a more targeted and extensive reach. It brings in more diverse consumers that feel they can finally relate to the brand, shifting pre-conceived ideas and notions.

Adding diversity to influencer campaigns benefits the brand, consumer, and influencer as a whole – bringing the necessary balance needed to see campaigns flourish, creating the authenticity and relatability essential for success.

 

#3: Value-driven Content and Deeper Connections:

Over the last year, influencers have made a shift: rather than focusing on perfect timelines, they have strived for the opposite, more imperfect timelines rather than overly edited ones. Influencers in 2020 and now 2021 put effort into value-driven content that followers can relate to and gain even more value.

This shift has taken notice and become a top trend going into 2021. Brands no longer seek out influencers with the ‘perfect’ look but seek influencers who can bring value and authentically relate to consumers. As you can see above, Influencer Quigley Goode created an ad in partnership with Amazon Baby Registry: rather than an overly-edited shot, she chose to focus on relatable content that mom’s and mom’s-to-be can genuinely relate to.

 

#4: Longer-term Partnerships Will Be Preferred Over Short-term:

Our last top trend focuses on longer-term partnerships: through creative consistency and on-going exposure, brands and agencies are seeing great success in strengthening brand reputations with micro-campaigns across a 6 to 12-month duration, as opposed to standard 30-60 day campaigns.

Brands are driving better results through longer-term partnerships and build greater trust and loyalty with consumers. As you can see above, influencers @arielle and @mattcutshall share a post in collaboration with Mcdonald’s promoting the McRib. Mcdonald’s has a long-term partnership with both influencers going on a year with micro-campaigns and has seen much success in this approach. They continue to leverage key influencers for popular “Food” releases throughout the year.

 

Final Thoughts:

Staying focused on these key trends for 2021 will help your brand or influencer marketing agency gain more insight and direction into campaign objectives and strategy. With influencer marketing trending in the right direction, the more dialed in on the trends, the more success influencer campaigns will have.

If you are seeking an influencer marketing agency that is on top of the trends, has a team of experts and data scientists, and the ability to create scalability within campaigns to ensure success, reach out today! Hireinfluence is an award-winning influencer marketing agency and works with some of the world’s most notable brands and influencers.

Until next time.