Scroll down to read the full list of influencer marketing trends for 2021 or just watch the video. It’s only 9 minutes.
I have never been the type of person to make predictions or trends about the upcoming year. Most of the time the trends that I read are recycled from years before. One of my good friends Jason Falls just released his new book, “Winfluence – Reframing Influencer Marketing to Ignite Your Brand“. As a part of his promotional efforts, he launched a newsletter and podcast discussing everything influencer marketing.
In the following video I highlight Jason’s trends and give my take for each one. Hope you enjoy it and please subscribe to my Youtube channel to be the notified when new videos are added.
Partial Transcripts Below
The following are 5 influencer marketing trends inspired by my good friend Jason falls.
Trend No. 1 – Follower Counts are Now Irrelevant
Follower counts as a standalone metric are not helpful. But it is a part of a larger algorithm that measures influence across a variety of various data points. I prefer to call it audience size and it is measured by the sum of followers across all channels. The other three metrics surrounding measurement include the following:
- Relevance: I prefer to call this topical relevance. It’s a data point that measures authority around specific topics. To simplify it, it’s a volume metric that considers engagement as well.
- Resonance: This metric is related to engagement of all content shared about a specific topic. For example, let’s assume that cybersecurity influencer talks about various topics like cloud security, data protection, or SIEM but his or her audience only engages with his content when it’s about data protection. This just means that his topical relevance is more about data protection than other topics discussed.
- Reference: This data point simply measures whether or not other influencers, the media, various audiences are referencing the influencer. This can also measure media mentions or mentions within analyst reports.
Trend No. 2 – The Shift Toward Creators
I see a lot of technology influencers who share other people’s content. I don’t necessarily think of them as influencers but more as content promoters. True influencers are creating content in the form of thought leadership and giving their perspectives on various topics. I am not saying that content promoters are bad because those are needed in any influencer marketing program but the true value comes when brands are working with influencers to create content, in this case long-form content is the most effective.
Trend No. 3 — Looking Beyond “Influencers”
Years ago there was something called customer advocacy. It was when brands would rally behind their customers and create an environment to collaborate, share information and converse. Over the last 5-7 years though, brands have shifted to work with fewer, more “influential” people. While this is not a bad strategy, I am also seeing a shift in brands working with micro audiences and building strong reputation and relationships with these groups.
Trend No. 4 – Widening of the Celebrity (and Advertising) Gap Trend
I have never been a fan of celebrity influencers. Although I did buy the Total Gym about 15 years ago after watching Chuck Norris on a late-night infomercial. I believe most consumers can see right through programs when celebrities are endorsing products and services. I don’t necessarily consider this influencer marketing but more about advertising. Consumers are influenced by people like themselves, not Hollywood.
Trend No. 5 – Increased Tension Between “Transaction” versus “Relationship”
I would never walk into the CMO’s office and say “we’re going to measure the ROI of this influencer campaign based on how many relationships we can form with influencers”. However, marketing and PR teams are being pressured to demonstrate value and ROI when asking for budget to fund programs like influencer marketing. Impressions and engagement are just vanity metrics.
In order for brands to stay relevant in the marketplace, they must embrace influencer marketing that deliver true value and a strong ROI. Understanding these influencer marketing trends are the first step at planning for 2021 and doing just that.