10 Powerful Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

Alan VanToai

April 27, 2021

Is your brand considering creating partnerships with influencers and content creators this year? If so, then these 10 influencer marketing trends will help you create powerful collaborations and long-term partnerships with influencers!

Influencer marketing has consistently been gaining traction over the past few years, and in 2021, it is more common than not to see influencers of all sizes partnering with brands to create content.

It makes sense, seeing as influencer marketing is projected to be worth $13.8 billion in 2021. That number is up from $1.7 billion in 2016. Influencer marketing grew to a market size of $9.7 billion in 2020 and is only expected to grow from here.

Influencer marketing is a powerful tool that brands can leverage to see more growth, increased sales, and an influx of passionate customers.

If you are ready to start investing in influencer marketing, then be sure to utilize these 10 influencer marketing trends before you enter into new collaborations this year!

Video Content Will Continue to Dominate in 2021

Video content will continue to reign supreme in 2021. In 2020, we saw the rise in the popularity of TikTok, and the release of Instagram Reels, and it seemed like just overnight, video content is everywhere. It is here, and here to stay in the long run.

Consumers respond well to video content, and studies found that 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

Not only that, but the same study found that people watch an average of 18 hours of online video per week. This has increased by 2 hours a week compared to 12 months ago, and a whopping 1.5 increase per week over the past 3 years.

If your brand is interested in influencer or micro-influencer content marketing this year,  then it's recommended to incorporate video content into your collab.

Ask the influencers to make Reels, TikToks, or IGTVs with your product that best resonates with their niche.

Or, check out Jera Bean, a social media coach that has a partnership with Yasso.

Jera-bean-Yasso-paid-sponsor-post

After watching her content, I've never wanted a frozen Greek yogurt treat so bad.

Shoppable Content Is Gaining Popularity with Consumers

Have you heard of social commerce? Well if you haven't you might be interested to know that social commerce is an $89.4 billion market right now. It’s projected to grow to $604.5 billion in the next seven years.

Social commerce is essentially selling products directly on social media.

Social commerce and shoppable content are huge players and are quickly rising in popularity.

Social media users want to have a one-and-done experience, where they can see something they like and easily purchase it.

That is why shoppable content and smart social commerce is an effective marketing strategy you can incorporate into your influencer strategy this year.

If you are an eCommerce brand, using shoppable content will only help you boost your sales.

Studies found that 81% of people use IG to research products and services and 130 Million people tap on shopping posts every month.

You might be wondering how this fits into influencer marketing.

Well, brands can partner with influencers, and then prepare their social media platforms to be optimized for shopping.

Consumers will be able to see the product that interests them from the influencer's post, head to the brand's social media page, and instantly shop for the good the influencer was promoting.

Brands can optimize their social commerce on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and soon enough, TikTok!

Authentic Brand Deals Will Be Highly Favored by Consumers

Remember when Scott Disick posted a piece of UGC that included Bootea Shake and simply copied and pasted what the manager said for his caption?

He was called out QUICK. While there is no such thing as bad press, this did paint a picture that Scott was only promoting the product for the money, and not because he genuinely likes the product

WE DON'T WANT TO SEE THIS!

In 2021, consumers don't want to feel like influencers are simply making money off of brand deals and that they don't even use the products.

They want to feel like the creator or influencer is genuine and truly interested in the product.

If your brand wants to find influencers to collaborate with, then aim to find actual advocates! While mega influencers have a wider range of followers and your brand will be able to gain more awareness, brand collabs will seldom come across as genuine with mega influencers.

Try to find influencers that are ALREADY talking about your product! Simply find the UGC that they are already making in your tagged photos, and offer the chance for them to work alongside you.

These influencers have an audience that is incredibly tuned in, so the collab will be more genuine.

Creators and Brands Will Seek Long-Term Partnerships

Remember the popularity of the one-time sponsored posts from your favorite influencer or celebrity with seemingly random brands. These types of posts often left me asking 'do they even like this brand?'

In 2021, we are seeing brands and creators come together for long-term partnerships. Why? Because social media patrons are inundated with ads and paid posts from influencers all the time, causing the time to purchase to be longer.

Offering long-term partnerships help brands and influencers generate more sales as their audience will have repeated exposure to the brand's products.

If you want to leverage influencer marketing, then find influencers and creators that are fans of your brand, have an audience that will respond well to your brand and strike a deal for a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.

This will give the content creator more time to make content that resonates with their audience and make more sales (aka more $ for them), and gives you an even greater chance of growing your customer base.

Influencers Will Fine-Tune Their Niche

One of the first rules any influencer or content creator will say is that you need to define your niche. In 2021, we are seeing more people follow content creators for the value they create over the pictures they post.

More and more content creators and influencers are honing in on their niche and are delivering content that is highly engaging, sharable, and valuable to their communities.

queer-brown-vegan-Isaias-Hernandez-Instagram-Profile

With the rise in popularity of TikTok and the Instagram infographic carousels that dominated our timelines in the last year, 2020 gave space for communities to develop online and on social media.

Whether you are a zero-waste advocate or a psychologist sharing insights with your community interested in psychology, finding a niche has helped influencers grow their communities and score meaningful brand deals.

With the rise of niche influencers, brands will have an easier time finding influencers to partner with and that can offer communities that will enjoy and resonate with their products.

New Influencers Will Emerge on New Social Platforms

In 2021, you don't want to focus your efforts solely on one social media platform. There is a multitude of incredible influencers and content creators across various apps that you can connect with for collaborations.

In 2019-2020, we saw the rise of TikTok influencers and creators that made a name for themselves on the app.

There are also new social media apps out there, such as clubhouse - the invite-only, audio-based social app.

And don't forget about Twitch, the streaming app that had its best year yet in 2020. In 2021, Twitch has already had 498 billion minutes watched this year so far, which is up 40% from last year.

There is also a multitude of influencers on Pinterest and Triller, just to name a few.

Brands should expand their horizons and find influencers on a variety of platforms to collaborate with.

Collaborations Among Influencers Will Be Extremely Popular

As influencers become more niche, they are likely to expand their circle and partner with other influencers to create incredible content.

Arnold-Myint-content-collab

Whether it's two chefs sharing each other's recipes, a hairstylist and a designer coming together to work on the same model, or an esthetician and a makeup artists collapsing on how to take care of your skin before and after wearing makeup, we will continue to see a rise in influencers collaborating together to grow their communities and expand their reach.

Push for More Diverse and Inclusive Content Creators

Inclusive influencer marketing is non-negotiable in 2021.

In a study conducted by CMO by Adobe, it was reported that 61% of Americans think diversity in advertising is important.

Right now, Gen-Z is 25% of the U.S. population and 48% diverse, and the average size of women in the U.S. is between 16 and 18.

Brands have the rare opportunity to create a new 'normal' which entails people of all sizes, ethnicities, heights, etc. Consumers want to be represented in the ads and product images they see.

This is also extremely important to Gen Z, a group that holds $143 billion in buying power.

parade-underware-instagram-reel

Genuine inclusivity is somethings brands should strive for when partnering with influencers and content creators. Being one note is no longer in fashion, so choose a diverse group of influencers to work. Your customers will be happy to see their products being represented by people that look like them!

More Real, Less Edited Content Will Gain More Visibility

Along with the push for more diversity and inclusion in influencer marketing, consumers also want more real and less edited product images and UGC when looking to purchase from a brand.

Vitae-Apparel-Model-Instagram-Post

If you are a brand, go into collaborations with the mindset of 'imperfect is perfect,' as consumers want to see themselves represented in marketing.

Too often, in the past, influencers curated unobtainable lifestyles that often lead to people feeling worse about themselves after they scrolled through an influencer's feed.

Brands that offer natural, less or no edited pictures will gain more visibility and have a better chance of growing a cult-like following.

Micro and Nano Influencers Will Offer Lucrative Opportunities for Brands

There is a wide range of influencers out there that your brand could look to create collaborations with.

But first, let's break down who qualifies as what type of influencer:

  • Nano: > 10k
  • Micro: 10K-100K
  • Mid: 100K – 500K
  • Macro: 500K – 1M
  • Mega Macro: 1M+

Each of these groups can offer lucrative partnership opportunities for your brand, but in 2021, we will see nano and micro-influencers offer more engaged audiences.

Tapping into the nano and micro-influencer market will help your brand grow tenfold. Nano and micro-influencers usually have a more tuned-in audience and niche content. They also offer a higher engagement rate for post feeds.

Check out the report from Later

Also, these influencers likely won't charge the same as a mage macro or macro influencer for their collabs.

Micro and nano influencers will offer more targeted and robust conversations with their followers about your product, which is a great way to stir up hype while on a budget, and give smaller influencers the chance to grow their following alongside you!

Conclusion

Which influencer marketing trend are you most excited about? Let us know how you have leveraged influencers in your marketing efforts!

Ready to turn your customers into your army of brand ambassadors? If so, watch the epic CrewFire demo video or get in touch with us to learn how you can drive more referrals, word-of-mouth, and user-generated content for your Shopify store.

Get in touch w/ Alan (Founder/CEO - CrewFire):

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WRITTEN BY

Alan VanToai

Co-Founder of CrewFire