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Social Media Marketing in 2021 & The Changing Face of Influencer Marketing

Social media channels are no more confined to networking. They have emerged as weighty marketing platforms. Being widely used by people, these apps are helping marketers to a great extent. Be it is about enhancing presence, broadening reach, or gaining trust, social media marketing is playing a substantial role. And thus, contributing to the rising momentum of social media marketing.

The statement by Ian Somerhalder aptly describes the power of social media. It goes like this: “Social media is changing the world, and we’re all here witnessing it”.

And why not? Here, there are numerous things to do. You have multiple options to reach out to your target audience, engage with them and keep them hooked. And one of those techniques is Influencer Marketing.

What is Influencer Marketing?

“People influence people. Nothing influences people more than a recommendation from a trusted friend. A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the holy grail of advertising.”

Mark Zuckerberg

Influencer marketing is a social media marketing tactic wherein you collaborate with a person (influencer) to promote your product. The person must have a good grip on the niche, a considerable number of followers, and most importantly, a great impression on the audience.

The concept of influencer marketing is not novel. It existed for years. And when used strategically, it can produce excellent results. And, its craze has increased surprisingly in recent times. Now, people are more willing to accept an influencer rather than a traditional marketer. Moreover, the use of the ad-blocking feature by people has also contributed to the success of influencer marketing.  Plus, the arrival of the global pandemic (COVID-19), which forced people to stay indoors, has added to its fame because people started spending more time on social media platforms and other online channels.

The influencer marketing segment, which stood at $1.7 billion in 2016, was expected to grow to $9.7 billion by 2020. And in 2021, the same is anticipated to become $13.8 billion.

Now companies are spending more or planning to increase their influencer marketing budget. Indeed, they should, as people trust on influencer’s advice, believe 78% of B2B marketers. And not just that, 63% of marketers also agree that the inclusion of the Influencer Marketing Program would improve the outcome of marketing activities. But then, too, less than 20% of B2B marketers run an influencer marketing campaign continuously (source: Top Rank Marketing).

The data show influencer marketing has enormous potential.

Let’s move ahead and know what’s going to rule the world of influencer marketing.

Influencer Marketing Trends 2021

Original (Real) & Raw Content is the Demand

The staged content that looks real but is, generally, created using software is the old-school thing. People don’t like seeing it anymore. The reason could be many, including less trust, etc. Now, the influencers are expected to publish more real and raw content. So, no need to refine or polish the content. The audience wants to see their influence the way they are in real life. Just plan and go ahead. But yes, the content should be genuine. For example – an influencer is promoting sportswear. So, it would be great to post a video while working out, highlighting the comfort level. Or suppose a person is promoting running shoes. Then post an after-run photo with step counts, talking about how wearing a particular pair of the shoes while running feels.

Specialized Influencers Leading the Game

You must have got an idea of what we want to convey! Instead of picking a random influencer, choose a person specializing in a niche. For example – you want to promote beauty products. Then what could be better than choosing a makeup artist? It would help you grow much faster. How? Because the followers of such a person would be makeup enthusiasts, looking for the products or tips from their influencer.

Micro & Nano Influencers Are More Influential!

Micro and Nano influencers, as the name indicates, are the people having fewer followers as compared to mega and macro-influencers. Well, why appoint them when they have fewer followers, in turn, lesser reach?

Because these people, not being a celebrity, have earned value through their hardcore work. They have a more personal association with their followers and better reliability. Plus, they have a higher engagement rate as for them, each follower matters. They can help you improve the conversion rate, being considered more real. And you can save some cost. Sounds good, right?

Ongoing Paid Partnerships – The Best

Going for continuous, long-term collaboration will be fashion. It helps generate a feeling of genuineness among the audience. It is okay people know that’s a paid partnership. However, when an influencer promotes a particular brand/product/service for a longer duration, people would have more reasons to believe that the influencer is using the product. It indicates that the particular influencer has extended association with the brand. It leads to more trust, and you can get more sales. Moreover, it takes time for any tactic to work, even if an influencer has a large number of followers.

Inclusion of Innovative Technology – Need of the Hour

Be attentive to what’s new in the technology. See whether it can contribute to the success of the influencer marketing campaign. Like you have Instagram reels. Plan how you can use it to make things more effective.

Value-Driven Content Steering the Growth

Showing a product and talking about its benefits seem theoretical. It takes time for people to trust such content. So, what about changing the approach? For people to have trust, let them see how a product/service has helped you; the value it brings to your life. For this, the influencer can post content related to the product/service from time to time.

Employees – Better Influencer?

Yes, your employees can prove to be esteemed influencers for you, bringing substantial results. For say, you have a chain of restaurants. Now, imagine the impact of a short video of the workplace by your chef, highlighting hygiene, safety protocols, working standards, etc., on his social media channels!

Well, what’s your say?

It’s a no-brainer that the use of influencer marketing will keep rising.

But the core question is — Does your marketing plan include an Influencer Marketing strategy?

Please tell us — Why or why not.

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