#RoadTo2021: Influencer Marketing Trends for 2021

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Pranay Swarup

Chtrbox's Pranay Swarup predicts influencer marketing trends for 2021, listing each out as a tweet under 240 characters.

If 2020 further expedited the demand of digital influencers and creators in a lockdown world from both audiences and brands, 2021 will be all about the industry responding to this surge and gearing up for a much stronger year with regards to influencer marketing trends. In true social media form, sharing with you 21 predictions of what the next year will unfold for marketeers, creators and brands in under 240 characters each.

1. It will no longer be good enough to be digital-first, brands will look to be creator-first (launch with creators in mind, not just amplify with influencers)

2. The quality & spectrum of influencer content will continue to improve with added collabs with production houses, AR filters #ChtrStudios 

3. The brands that will win on social and become influencers themselves will be  category-focused, for eg: A baby oil brand will talk about parenting rather than their product only

4. The most engaged brand social pages will transition from static product shots to diverse  creator-made content that audiences want to watch, with subtle brand integrations

5. Influencers will go beyond the social screen to other digital assets like websites, apps,  product pages because of their category knowledge and appeal

6. E-Comm will evolve to S-Comm (Social Commerce). Influencer-led endorsements,  including live streaming, will reinforce strong RTB (Reason To Buy)

7. #DiversityWins: Audiences trust ‘people like themselves’ the most. With regional, we foresee body-positive, LGTBQ creators & other often overlooked backgrounds grow in popularity

8. Social Media Optimization will be the new SEO. With the latest search functions on social, brands will use influencer content to become organically discoverable 

9. Progressive consumer brands will use influencers and their networks for product and  marketing research, A/B testing #ChtrInsights 

10. Outside of the Big4 (Youtube, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook), other platforms &  new ones will continue to rise in India: LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Josh, Moj, Takatak,  Twitch etc

11. Building strong digital communities with micro + nano influencers & alpha-consumers will be a core aim for every digital-first D2C company

Also Read: #RoadTo2021: The Role of SEO in a Digital Marketing Plan in 2021

12. Digital celebs and creators will move into roles typically played by traditional celebs:  TVCs, OTT, billboards & packaging 

13. Influencer marketing in India will go global, the world is interested in India. This also means meeting global standards. 

14. Influencer marketing technology will improve on selection, campaign management,  tracking metrics and reporting, including through to sale. 

15. A new hierarchy in influencer selection will start to emerge: Quality of Branded  Storytelling > Engagement Rate > Number of Followers 

16. Audience demand for digital IPs powered by favourite creators, even on mediums  outside of social (ie: webinars, live streaming events, etc) will grow 

17. Even push-ads will feature influencers because data shows what consumers want to watch and share (not skip!) 

18. Video content will stay king & queen! Short formats like Reels, IGTV & Stories will continue to dominate in most categories; with long formats on Youtube working for reviews, tutorials, e-learning & entertainment. 

19. Audiences will call out consumers who are not being authentic in their  recommendations. Quality creators will recognize this and have stronger brand loyalty and be selective about the products they promote 

20. As seen in international markets, disclosure of sponsored content will start to become  the norm, which will further help build trust with consumers. 

21. Long term partnerships & always-on content will become the norm, rather than one-off campaigns.

This piece has been authored by Pranay Swarup, CEO & Founder, Chtrbox.

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