Marketers have predicted in the past that influencer marketing would fade out and disappear as a marketing strategy. Year after year, it’s shown to stick around, and 2021 is no exception. TikTok, Instagram and Twitch influencers are making more money than ever, and influencer investments are predicted to reach $15 billion by 2022.
Bryan Scott, owner of Rockstar Marketing, whose client list contains some of the biggest artists on the planet was quoted as saying “Influencer marketing is still working, especially on Instagram, but the brands succeeding with it are using specific strategies. For example, they’re no longer targeting the influencers with large untargeted audiences, they are spending money on hyper targeted niche audiences with smaller influencers and using artificial intelligence tools to find them.” Here are the biggest trends in influencer marketing dominating 2021:
AI is Improving Influencer Selection
Artificial intelligence (AI) plays a bigger role than ever in influencer marketing strategy. Picking the right influencers to market your product is key. The last thing you want is for someone to misrepresent your brand, or to get ripped off by a “fakefluencer” who’s amassed a huge account with tons of fake followers. A lot of research has to go into finding a good fit. Today, AI-enabled software is speeding up the process while even improving accuracy, too. Machine learning technology generates more complex insights about influencers and can predict which will be the most profitable to work with.
Socially Conscious Partnerships
Amid the global pandemic there’s been a growing trend among influencers to collaborate on content centered around a single cause. It could be a social cause like prison reform or an environmental concern like climate change or reducing plastic waste. Brands with eco-conscious and fair trade practices can partner with influencers who tie your brand into something bigger than themselves. This is the direction influencers are taking, since they want to make an impact and followers increasingly expect them to think beyond themselves.
Micro Influencers Are Taking Over
Micro influencers have smaller numbers of followers compared to the big influencers with over 1 million followers. Investing in influencers who have fewer than 10,000 followers is a trend that’s emerged as companies change the way they view influencers after so many scams have taken place where “fakefluencers” charged brands exorbitant rates while having high numbers of bot accounts for followers. Smaller, more niche-focused influencers tend to be more genuine fits for representing your product as a consumer. Micro influencers are more affordable and can yield high conversion rates, so you’re able to achieve higher returns on investment (ROIs).
Long-Term Partnerships with Influencers Are More Common
Influencer marketing began with businesses partnering with influencers for one content piece each to promote their product across a variety of audiences. The approach working best that companies are adopting today, however, is long-term strategic partnering with influencers who feature your brand and products regularly. This helps nurture leads and promote brand loyalty. It’s also a win for the influencer, who secures regular business.
Companies who build partnerships with influencers instead of partnering with numerous influencers for one-off gigs can benefit from lower risk and higher returns. They continue optimizing relationships and influencer campaigns that are shown to work.
Performance-Based Compensation Is Growing
Performance-based compensation deals are taking over the influencer marketing scene as businesses get savvier about compensating influencers fairly. In the early days, influencers dictated the market by setting flat fees or negotiating them. Now, companies are increasingly setting their own terms and policies before entering into deals with influencers and taking steps to ensure the deals are square.
AI tools have improved at tracking clicks that link back to the influencer’s marketing activities. Paying the influencer a commission of each sale they made through their content is now possible, which makes fair compensation a no-brainer.
Influencer marketing definitely isn’t going anywhere in 2021, given it’s on the rise. However, it’s nothing like it was when it started. Keeping up with today’s trends can help you better inform your marketing strategy decisions.
(Syndicated press content is neither written, edited or endorsed by ED Times)