With brands recently increasing their spending on influencer marketing, despite an unusual 10 months when marketing budgets were largely put on hold, 2021 is set to keep content creators busy.
The predictions of what lies ahead look promising, with long term partnerships coming to the forefront of negotiations. Remote productions, largely due to covid-19 restrictions in several countries, will be opening endless possibilities for influencers and brands to work together and deliver campaigns this year.
We reached out to Producer Marcio Delgado, an Influencer Marketing Manager for campaigns in Asia, Europe, and North America for almost a decade, to share five insights and predictions about what content creators and brands should keep an eye on to ensure their collaborations achieve results beyond a campaign’s briefing.
What are the key influencer marketing patterns that will continue into 2021?
Brands and marketers are realizing that it is not enough to piggy-back on current trends, to capitalise on public attention, or simply use hashtags. And if 2020 has proven anything, authenticity must remain at the core of any content created. This is true for both in-house content and content created by influencers collaborating with a brand. This is why ingredients such as diversity and transparency will play a big part in any business strategy moving forward. Brands will pay more attention to data to vet fake influencers and reward high-performing brand ambassadors in future campaigns – it is already rare to see agencies recruiting content creators for a one-off partnership on behalf of a client. They simply don’t work for either side.
Which content formats should influencers be open to this year?
There will be a demand for bespoke home imagery. This demand will be emphasised because several studios will remain shut or with severe restrictions for a while – making it difficult for agencies and brands to shoot bigger campaigns in professional locations. However, with the rise of podcasts content last year, content creators should also be ready to offer some sort of audio content. This could mean having their own podcast or creating useful content that can also be distributed by third parties. Businesses continue to find different ways to connect with their target audience and not everything is about Instagram or TikTok.
What should content creators expect in 2021?
Over the last 12 months, many industry sectors had revenue losses. So, budgets for this year are likely to be tight. And when budgets get tighter, brands and agencies start to look for more value for their money. Campaigns and content will be thought of as more of a 360-degree approach than before, ensuring maximum reach and return on investment. Therefore, content created by influencers will be further leveraged, for wider digital marketing purposes, than in previous years.
What sort of influencers are more likely to find paid collaborations this year?
As brand strategies will need more influencers with a purpose in 2021, content creators with a very clear niche and valuable content will jump to the front of the queue. There was a time when having beautiful photos and cool captions would be enough to catch the attention of brands, especially within fashion and travel niches. However, right now, even companies selling clothes are looking for influencers that can offer a bit more than an aesthetically perfect post. It is no longer about collaborating to create content about the brand itself, but social values and hot topics. Influencers organically blending their favourite topics with posts about sustainability, diversity, and mental health – to name just three – are already seeing higher engagement. People are tired of tone-deaf brands constantly posting about themselves and trying to sell all the time. That is not what social media is about, nor influencer marketing.
Besides, it is the 21st century after all. So, having an environmentally-friendly product, or showcasing diversity in all campaigns, should not be a burden – it is a welcomed conscious approach. Therefore, influencers able to help those brands inform a wider audience, keeping it genuine, will be the ones being favoured when it comes to meaningful collaborations.
How can influencers find brands to work with in 2021?
Genuine content creators, even small ones, who managed to build a genuine audience without inflating reach or their number of followers will have an easier year. Those ones who carried on working throughout 2020 will have work samples to show to agencies and brands. But influencers who weren’t so active during the pandemic shouldn’t be afraid. As the focus of this year will be on message personalisation and interaction to reach the right tribe, very often it will be brands that will find creators with the same values to collaborate with. So, if you are an influencer, have a friendly media kit ready with key insights of your channel, as well as a rate card for standard posts. Also, have answers for questions such as your rates to take part in live streaming, attending online events, and publishing content across multiples social media platforms. Make it easier for brands to find you and to work with you.
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