In a 2021 survey by Linquia, 68% of US marketers said they were planning to use Tiktok, and 93% said they were planning to use Instagram for influencer marketing. The pandemic has played a significant role in changing the social media marketing landscape– moving from traditional to digital to now influencer marketing.
Collaborating with influencers is no more just a trend; it is becoming increasingly necessary for brands that do not want to blur out as influencer marketing takes center stage. Influencer marketing is undoubtedly becoming a common practice and is relevant for most brands, which makes it super essential for digital agencies to be on top of their games to help the brands they work with.
Here are the influencer marketing trends that will dictate how brands should act on social media and how agencies plan social media marketing strategies for the brands they work with.
Short Video Content
As per a Neilsen study, home-bound consumers during COVID-19 led to a 60% of the increase in the consumption of video content. Short video platform TikTok created a new wave of entertainment that allowed audiences to quickly engage with and consume content in less than 60 seconds. This encouraged other platforms to align their developments with the needs of the new-age consumers with shorter attention spans; Reels by Instagram is a great example.
Influencers are now opting for visual and short video content because it allows an excellent opportunity to engage with different audiences. But that’s not it; short videos offer a better reach and visibility as well, thanks to the algorithms of today’s leading social platforms. So, if you haven’t already tried creating short-form content for the brands you work with, do give it a try.
Online Events With Influencers
Online events have been one of the top marketing trends for a while now. And combining it with influencer marketing encourages a larger audience who resonate with your brand to join your events and seminars.
Conducting online events with influencers gives brands access to a wider audience and an opportunity to connect with potential consumers directly. And this is a great marketing tool since it allows two-way communication and gives insights into what sells. Successful online events can help create the most accurate user personas, which helps agencies understand customer behavior, which is precisely what’s needed to create high-performing social ads and marketing campaigns.
Influencer Marketing Platforms
One of the top marketing trends, investment in influencer marketing platforms, has proven to be a great decision for many social media and digital marketing agencies. An intelligent tool would allow you to search for influencers, analyze audiences, manage campaigns, and measure campaign performance – all on the same platform.
An influencer marketing platform connects you to influencers and helps measure the performance of influencer marketing campaigns through the smart methodology of data collection and presentation. This is ideal for most brands and for agencies who prefer data-driven marketing since the tool helps make calculated decisions tailored to brand-specific needs.
Rise of Nano and Micro-Influencers
Not very long ago, agencies and brands only approached influencers with large communities. But the trend of collaborating with nano and micro-influencers has now set in. Small-scale influencers have better visibility in smaller communities since they engage with their audience directly, establishing loyalty. Therefore, paid partnerships with nano and micro-influencers are something agencies must recommend brands to invest in.
Even though this is a very budget-friendly marketing trend, it has the potential togive high returns. As an agency, it is vital to weigh out the options for specific brand goals and partner with chosen nano and micro-influencers.
Long-Term Projects With Influencers
More than ever, brands are now seeing a huge increase in reach and impressions through meaningful and long-term relationships with influencers. This means that influencer marketing is here to stay. Therefore, it has become only practical for brands to sign long-term projects with influencers and build credibility among their audience.
Moreover, performance-based partnerships are also taking shape as brands are becoming more precise about what they expect in terms of reach and sales. The idea is to get frequent visibility among audiences and stay top of the mind.
Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
Brands that have hired influencers as brand ambassadors have time and again showcased the beauty of influencer marketing. Let’s take the example of one of the leading camera manufacturers, GoPro.
GoPro doesn’t just have a single brand ambassador but a ‘family of ambassadors’ that consistently delivers content that encourages consumers to buy the brand’s devices. These ambassadors are chosen from some of the most influential social media personalities, including athletes, photographers, and travelers, who then showcase the versatile features of GoPro products among their audiences.
This is a trend that has now increasingly been adopted by leading brands. It offers visibility among different sets of audiences, creating a huge impact in the social media space, making it a trend that agencies should strategize for the brands they work with.
AI for Influencer Marketing
Artificial Intelligence has started shaping the future of influencer marketing and is soon going to be a critical influencer marketing element. It is increasingly preferred since it eliminates the human effort required to analyze influencer audiences, identify genuine influencers, and track and predict influencer performance.
With the use of Natural Language Processing, AI can also predict potential ROI and suggest dynamic angles, such as seasonal trends, content benchmarks, influencer-brand partnerships, etc. There are several competing AI influencer marketing platforms out there to help and empower agencies to service their brands better. What you need is to define your expectations and budget and accordingly choose the right tool.
According to Business Insider, the influencer marketing industry is expected to grow to $15 billion by 2022. More and more brands are entering this marketing space and even increasing their budgets. So, if you as an agency haven’t already partnered with the right influencer marketing platform to chart out optimal influencer marketing plans for your brands, this is your cue to get started.
Rachel Smith is a communication executive who works with the content marketing team at Affable, an influencer marketing company that provides AI-driven solutions that allows you to plan and execute your influencer campaigns strategically. She develops content around social media and marketing topics that can help her readers understand how to pick the right influencers, measure their impact, and run effective influencer campaigns. In her free time, she loves meeting new people and attending workshops on communication and psychology.