By Abigail Quesinberry, Vice President, Social Media & Influencer Marketing
As we look back at 2020, many of the events and changes that took place will shape how we look ahead to 2021. The past year has impacted the way many companies and industries do business, and influencer marketing is no exception. Between a global pandemic and turbulent political discourse, influencers – much like the rest of us – pivoted and evolved their strategies. While many of these changes are here to stay, we also look forward to a brighter year with more opportunities for influencers and brands alike.
Read on for our top influencer marketing trends to watch in 2021:
The events and hardships of 2020 compelled many influencers to shift away from their normal content to focus on activism. For many, it just didn’t feel right to post according to their regularly scheduled program in the midst of a pandemic, civil unrest and a divisive and anxiety-filled election season. Chrissy Teigen humorously sums up some of the relief being felt in this Instagram caption. In 2021, while collective social consciousness will remain high, we anticipate there will be more room for brand partnerships and more light-hearted content coming from influencers as the year progresses.
We also envision the at-home trend continuing into 2021. Many travel influencers will remain grounded, opting for shorter road trips and refocusing their content on food, wine, wellness and home lifestyle. Cooking at home and home improvement, DIY and décor will continue to trend. We embraced this with our “#CookWithMe” campaign for the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission. Sweetpotatoes happen to be a very quarantine-friendly food. They are nutritious, low-cost, shelf-stable and versatile – everything you need when cooking in lockdown. We worked with Fit Foodie Finds to create a series of approachable, family-friendly recipes featuring the superfood to inspire healthy cooking at home.
Brands will seek to partner with influencers to fill content gaps that have been created by the challenges associated with conducting brand photo and video shoots. Content creation will continue to be diffuse with digital content creators being given more creative control on behalf of brands. This was true for several of our clients including Pendleton Whisky. Because travel and events were curtailed, we needed to look elsewhere for content creation. We turned to creators like Ben Matthews and Robert Dean to provide social imagery with an authentic brand-right lens.
More and more brands will also embrace TikTok and work with influencers and content creators on that channel to get their products into video content trends. Moving into 2021, we foresee doing much more work on this platform. Working with influencers is a great way to introduce clients and brands to the TikTok audience without the commitment of having to launch and maintain a new social media profile.
At FWV, we create bespoke influencer campaigns for a variety of clients in the travel and tourism, food and beverage, consumer goods, pet products, sports and athletics, and fashion and apparel spaces. We work with influencers to create unique, authentic content on behalf of our clients in paid and owned social and digital channels, as well on the influencers’ channels. We only form partnerships with influencers who we believe will be true brand advocates and have a credible and unique connection to what they are promoting. FWV looks forward to seeing what’s to come in 2021 for influencer marketing to continue delivering meaningful work for our clients.