The most important trends in Influencer Marketing 2021.

Previously viewed sceptically and used cautiously, influencers are now an integral part of online marketing. This will remain the case in the new year.

Between now and 2025, the global influencer industry is expected to reach a size of 6 to 24 billion USD. To help you take advantage of this potential, we’ve summarized the most important trends in influencer marketing in 2021.

Trend #1 Long-term collaboration with authentic “Brand Ambassadors”

In times of total sensory overload, it is more important than ever for companies to communicate authentically, transparently and in a trustworthy manner with their communities. That’s why brands in 2021 are increasingly relying on influencers who share the values of both the community and the company. These influencers act as “brand ambassadors” and are involved in campaign planning not just for individual posts, but over the longer term.

The importance of the personal conversation between influencer and follower is increasing. Regular interactions between influencers and the community will be more important in 2021 than “just” posting nice content. The goal is to create a medium of trust. Followers will keep checking back because they feel understood.

Trend #2 Micro-influencers instead of superstars

Micro-influencers are opinion leaders in a niche with a few thousand followers. They have a smaller reach than classic influencers, but have much higher engagement and are cheaper than the competition. In addition, product recommendations carry more weight thanks to their expert status. These factors make it attractive for companies in 2021 to spread their advertising budget across many micro-influencers. Platforms such as Swissper and agencies such as Mikim provide support.

Particularly innovative marketers are also considering working with nano-influencers. These are normal social media users and reach a few hundred people at most. On the other hand, they are hard to beat in terms of authenticity and commitment.

Interesting fact: The advantages of micro-influencers are also evident in the list of the 50 most authentic Instagram accounts in Switzerland. Many of the channels mentioned have under 10,000 followers and show huge engagement.

Trend #3 Videos for engagement and podcast ads for brand awareness.

Videos and podcasts offer by far the most creative freedom for companies to connect with their community and provide value. While videos continue to generate the most engagement, podcasts have seen tremendous growth and now cover every niche imaginable. Companies like Quip, Simplysafe and ZipRecruiter have recognized this and created tremendous brand awareness through podcast advertising in America.

To leverage this potential in Switzerland, companies need to start thinking like professional media producers. High-quality branded content (with a focus on videos) must form the centre of online marketing. The required content is produced and distributed using an editorial plan with talented influencers. This is complemented by creative advertising in various podcasts whose target audience matches that of the company. The search for suitable channels is facilitated by platforms such as the Podcast Club Switzerland or the current podcast charts of Internet Radio.

Trend #4 Direct controlling of influencers through online platforms

The ROI of an influencer post is sometimes difficult to measure. That’s why numerous agencies have developed in recent years to help companies plan campaigns and accurately record their performance. These agencies are getting competition from online platforms. They provide a major advantage, as influencers are no longer involved in campaign planning for individual posts, but for the longer term that allow direct contact with influencers.

Trend #5 TikTok 

The app TikTok has seen meteoric growth in 2019 and 2020. This year, TikTok continues to be among the most crucial channels if you want to effectively reach your young target audience. Powered exclusively by artificial intelligence, the feed offers enormous potential to entertain thousands, if not millions, of people with viral posts – and get your message out there.

While Instagram will remain the largest and most relevant platform for influencer marketing in 2021, we’re watching the Chinese competition closely and will provide updates on its development throughout the year. If you want to learn more about TikTok, we recommend this step-by-step guide from Hubspot.