The influencer industry has been in a state of flux for the last couple of quarters. For some, it has been disheartening as the status quo was disrupted and for some, it was a time for innovation and introspection. Strong voices from the influencer world in India share their insight on trends we can expect from the community. Listen up:
Here are some of the trends I foresee in influencer marketing in 2021 –
- There’s been a marked shift towards micro-influencers with high-quality content and a smaller yet more focused audience and this trend is set to continue where brands work with them for campaigns that require more visibility and enables budgets to be spread out more effectively.
- Ephemeral content in the form of Instagram stories and reels was big the whole of last year. For both brands and influencers, innovative short-form content is key to attracting and engaging their audiences this year as well and needs to be a vital part of the overall content strategy.
- For both brands and influencers, being faux-woke isn’t an option anymore. Content needs to be compelling, and socially aware as well. From issues like climate change and mental health to feminism and body positivity, it’s not just going to be about jumping on a bandwagon but about well-researched and genuinely thought out content vs token ‘woke’ posts.
- Working with influencers will be a lot more than just curating a list and sending out campaigns/products in 2021. I see brands involving influencers in the creative process rather than providing the entire brief and thought behind the campaign. Brands that follow this approach are more likely to succeed.
- Sponsored content will no longer just involve calling out a product – there will be more in-depth content on the experience, the integration of the product into the influencer’s lifestyle, and more native content. This is due to audience fatigue from seeing very obviously commercial content.
Some great trends that started in 2020 and will continue this year are as follows:
- The trend these days has moved a lot towards reels and fun videos instead of static photographs on Instagram and Facebook. Try it!
- I’m also loving the catchy music that adds an element of interest to the video content. It’s super fun.
- Subtle branding sometimes works better than in your face branding. A hint of a brand rather than have the brand occupy the whole framework for the social media audience. If they wanted to see an ad then they wouldn’t really be on my page.
- A real person talking about their experience with a brand is more relatable than a brand promo with an unrealistic and unrelatable model. This is the reason why the influencer community will be the next big thing (if it isn’t already) for brand engagement in the marketing world.
- Short content is better but sometimes if one weaves a story around it also catches one’s attention. Creative storytelling personalizing the brand experience resonates with the audience much better than a tag line.
The below trends will be very prevalent among lifestyle influencers In India in 2021.
. India will see a rise in micro and nano influencers.
- Increase in demand of vernacular content in most Indian languages.
- Short video content by Influencers will gain prominence over other formats.
- More Brands will encourage transparency in terms of “sponsored post” which will prove to be advantageous to consumers at large.
- Long-term brand and influencer partnership will be preferred over one-time association ensuring a more sustainable business model for influencers as well.
- 2021 will be the year of virtual marketing where influencers will promote products from the comfort of their own home and will give brands a huge boost in visibility.
- Brands will engage with influencer marketing platforms to get better and genuine insights. So get on to one.
2020 has taught all of us that it is time to start eating clean and healthy. As we step into 2021 all of us continue with a desire to show off our new cooking skills at home rather than dine out. In a way, this is an opportunity for one to shop for fresh produce and also try new cuisine. When Dalgona coffee was trending in 2020 people of all age groups tried the frothy coffee it was like an instant competition erupted with everyone explored their creativity to put up the best shot. In 2021, the food exploration journey into new and indigenous cuisines will continue in the food influencer community with these specific twists.
- Natural probiotic foods to build an immune system like yogurt, kafir, kimchi, kombucha, pickles, Miso, and cheese will continue to be popular with food bloggers. Vegan food, plant-based meat, and gluten-free products will also continue to trend.
- Gaining new cooking skills. Last year saw a lot of bloggers try their hands in the kitchen rather than tasting on the dining table. This trend I particularly like. A lot of them have been rediscovering old recipes, trying it out, and posting it. I have also been delving into my own heritage and recreating long lost favorites. More wonderful discoveries for all of us.
- Budget friendly tabletop grills that can be used indoors are going to be a rage. So, watch out for those steaming hot pics.
- Growing commonly used herbs at home on windowsills will continue to add shades of green to the blogger world. Last year this trend caught on (and I am glad about it) and will continue to fascinate them.
- Conscious choices by bloggers on what they would like to promote on their pages. I believe last year has made most very conscious of their own choices. In the coming year, which I hope continues, most will continue to pick collaborations they truly believe in.
2021 will be interesting to say the least. While there are some interesting trends from last year that will continue this year…others are best forgotten. Here are the top 6 latest trends that caught my eye –
Video content will become more popular than photographs. It creates more engagement and adds an element of fun to it. This also means it will take a lot more effort from influencers to create and curate their feeds. They will level up (if they haven’t already) to raise the stakes in the content game.
- The influencer community will focus on creating more relevant content that the audience at large will relate to. No fake poses allowed.
- Memes, educational and shareable content will flourish. After all, sharing is caring!
- Social media platforms will be the hotbed of misinformation, filled with false stories, misinformed and heated debates. The influencer community will have to be mindful about what they choose to lend their voices to. Research and conviction will be essential before they add fuel to the fire.
- Brand ‘challenges’ will become trendy and influencer marketing will become a key focus area. I for one, am ever-so-enthusiastic to take up fun challenges!
- The focus will be shifted from celebrities to Micro And Nano Influencers. It will no longer matter how many followers you have but what you believe in and your circle of influence.