Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2021

The influencer market is booming and has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Ranging from many forms of social media, influencers have learned marketing trends that have boosted and improved their brand. These trends help them maintain a relationship with their supporters and gives them attention from an audience they may not usually target. This year we can expect to see viral marketing trends that will shape the influencer industry and global influencer agencies.

#1: Increase in Micro Influencers

The advantage of micro influencers is having a tight niche and high engagement levels with their supporters. With the smaller amount of followers, they are less likely to have a surplus of negative feedback because they are less popular than mainstream influencers.

This can be beneficial because the influencer is able to recognize and work with what their supporters want to see without being distracted by sources that are trying to tear them down. Having a connection with their followers is important for any strong base for a career in social media. More advantages of micro influencers are:

  • Brand relevance
  • Advocacy
  • High in volume

#2: Rise in Content Houses

The social media platform TikTok has started a sudden rise in content houses. TikTok influencer marketing case studies are showing how these creators and their creator communities are proving massively successful sponsorship strategies for all types of brands and industries. Examples like the Hype House and Sway L.A. have been some of the most successful in creating brands for themselves on TikTok.

Inspired from content houses like the Team 10 house, TikTok houses have become very popular and are continuing to get action. These houses are filled with a group of influencers that collaborate on content together or just promote the name of their content house. We will definitely continue to see new content houses from throughout 2021!

#3: Diversity and Inclusion

With the events of 2020 that lead to an increase in social activism, we have also seen a positive correlation of inclusivity and diversity on social media. It is important to recognize how the media treats people from different backgrounds and it is more important to correct those norms and fight for representation for all walks of life. Creators have spoken out about the lack of representation that we allow on social media and have been vocal about a change and will continue to do so.

#4: Quality over Quantity

With influencers there has been a trend of value-driven content. David Dobrik, a popular YouTuber with over 18 million subscribers, has abstained from posting his normal weekly vlogs to his YouTube channel.

On a podcast hosted by Steve-O called Wild Ride!, Dobrik shares why he has paused his regular posting schedule. “I’d rather just quit cold turkey and stop until I’m able to create the videos I want to make exactly how I want, then I’ll start again.” As we continue to endure the global pandemic, influencers have had the opportunity to step back and brainstorm with the added time on their hands to create content that truly excites them.

#5: Podcasts

There are countless genres of podcasts that it makes it easy for everyone to enjoy! Influencers have taken notice of the rise in podcasts as a new form of content.

This graphic by Nielsen Podcast Listener Buying Power Database shows the consistent increase in podcasts in the United States. YouTubers Emma Chamberlain and Ethan and Grayson Dolan (better known as the Dolan twins) have both started their own podcasts in 2020. These popular content creators are role models in the community and tend to be early to trends. Keep a close eye (or ear) out for new podcasts that might interest you!

#6: Skits

TikTok has been an outlet for creators to produce videos that are more rehearsed or more authentic to the type of content they want to be creating than their “normal” content followers are used to. Skits have become increasingly popular on the app and the platform has strayed away from the typical dance videos that played a huge role in TikTok’s growth. Skits allow for creativity and require practice to get the perfect take for the video. This gives it an element of film production that creators are craving.

#7: Ongoing Partnerships

Brands have expanded their clientele by sponsoring influencers. In the past we have seen influencers doing a few posts on their social media for the brand and then that was the end of their contract. This year influencers will become brand partners and have the opportunity to be more involved with their sponsors. Ongoing partnerships show consistency and influencer’s audiences will be more likely to engage with the brand if they see that an influencer is passionate about the brand.

#8: Brands will align with like minded influencers

Social activism has been a recurring theme in 2020. The events of the year have shown who in the influencer industry is willing to speak out about current events. Based on their views and opinions, this can give influencers an opportunity to work with brands that are like-minded. Brands want to be able to relate to the influencer and vice versa. As we continue to live through unprecedented times, I see this as a marketing trend that will continue throughout 2021.

#9: Rise of Employee Influencers

Trusted employees have started to become secret weapons for brands. Employees have the benefit of knowing the ins and outs of their employer and can promote them on social media in an engaging way. According to Forbes, “one of the many statistics in support highlights that content shared by employees receives eight times more engagement than content shared through brand channels.” With these statistics, we can expect to see the use of employee influencers more this year.

#10: Influencer Authenticity and Transparency

Social media can be a negative space and influence the wrong behaviors. Body positivity has been a trend we see continuing into 2021 that encourages people to love themselves and their bodies, no matter the shape or size. Influencers have opportunities to use their platform to be authentic and shy away from the beauty standard. This can be promoted by being transparent about photo editing or beauty modifications. This trend is timeless and is always a good reminder.