Evolution of influencer marketing
The pandemic saw a lot of businesses pressing pause on campaigns and sometimes canceling them completely. With physical events canceled and brick-and-mortar stores shut, businesses had to completely reconsider how to reach consumers. To influence audiences, brands realized they had to use social media platforms intelligently. This led them to seek the help of influencers. Influencers grew their follower bases by adapting and diversifying their content and using channels like TikTok, a platform that has seen a 45% increase in influencers in 2021 alone.
The success of influencer marketing has given rise to the term, ‘creator economy’, which is given importance by marketers, investors, content creators, and businesses. ‘Creator economy’ includes the class of businesses being developed and built by over 50 million independent content creators, bloggers, videographers, and social media influencers. It also includes the software and finance tools designed to help influencers grow and monetize their content. The way to hold a consumers’ attention is changing, and so is the technology that is being used for it.The trends that will continue to revolutionize the influencer marketing space have been given below.
1) Equality and inclusion is integral for campaigns – Influencers are assessing brands to make sure that their marketing messages and campaigns are working to create inclusive cultures. Some influencers have even taken brands to task by stating that pay inequalities exist. With an undertone of activism, an increasing number of influencers do not shy away from discussing issues like body positivity and BLM. For instance, the Instagram-based campaign that centered around racial inequality, #ShareTheMicNow, had influencers of color taking over Instagram accounts of well-known white celebrities to reach larger audiences.
2) Live shopping – The popularity of live stream shopping will increase within influencer marketing. For instance, the Canadian brand, Knix, used live shopping to add excitement to its swimwear launch. The launch was hosted by the influencer Sarah Nicole Landry, real Knix customers, and Knix founder Joanna Griffiths. The event exceeded expectations, as the overall sales it produced was above what live shopping events produce on average. This was the result of the selection of an influencer host who has known the brand for years and can speak directly about its merits in order to help customers.
3) Micro and nano influencers – Bigger is always better. One marketing avenue that is becoming increasingly popular is that of micro and nano influencers. Micro influencers have fewer than 50,000 followers, and nano influencers have fewer than 10,000. They bring with them the benefit of niche audiences, creating improved return through higher brand relevance. Since they have loyal followings due to perceived greater authenticity, there is greater engagement. They are more affordable,and hence businesses are able to reduce costs while still working with these influencers, who are deeply connected to their audience.
4) Real-time posts – With customers searching for more content in real-time compared to pre-recorded content, there has been a rise in live video content in which viewers are urged to participate in synchronized activities. TikTok has recently added a new “LIVE” feature that allows users to interact with their followers’ comments and questions in real time.
Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.