Top influencer marketing trends for 2021

As the global pandemic has unravelled since last year, consumer behaviours, needs, and disposable incomes have seen a drastic shift. While some businesses have seen unprecedented gains from this, others have struggled to cope.

In 2021, it is quite evident that marketers will use social media to a greater extent following the rise of social commerce. Over the years influencer marketing has become an integral part of a robust marketing strategy. We will take a closer look at how influencer marketing can be used by marketers and what trends in influencer marketing will dominate in the year ahead.

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What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing can help brands grow their social following, brand awareness, and website traffic, by introducing a large number of targeted followers. Consumers tend to trust the opinion of their peers and people they admire more than just brand messaging. Influencer marketing has proven to be a useful way to reach more potential customers.

The impact of COVID

In the aftermath of the outbreak and lockdowns in 2020, marketers have faced challenges in utilising channels effectively as well as pressures to deliver results whilst constantly revising goals and budgets. Many brands postponed influencer-marketing campaigns in an effort to cut costs, in the face of travel restrictions and to avoid appearing insensitive during the public-health crisis.

Additionally, within the influencer industry, it is notable that the five most popular categories with a share of 57% were lifestyle, travel, food, parenting, and fashion and beauty. They were all heavily impacted by the pandemic and restrictions.

So where do we stand now?

It wasn’t all bad news as brands began adapting early on, and shifted their marketing budget to focus more on digital. The majority of influencers also rapidly pivoted to create relatable content and resources for their audiences stuck at home. While some individual influencers may have courted controversy last year, nothing is a bigger testament to our continuing faith in influencers than the news that the UK government has enrolled the help of a number of social media influencers to promote the vaccine programme such as the TV presenter, Pru Leith. Similarly, other influencers have used their ‘power’ to do good. Marchested United’s Marcus Rashford started a campaign to help supply food for underprivileged kids.

On the consumers’ side, with the start of the pandemic, an increasing number of people were going online and more importantly spending a greater amount of time there. A Kantar study reported an increase of 61% in social media engagement, whist the time spend on social media has also increased by and 36%. So we saw and continue to see more competition to get consumers’ attention. It is here that influencer…


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