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Gone are the days where businesses or brands used to depend solely on the typical marketing channels. That has started to feel too basic and salesy because people think that the brands just care about selling their products and nothing else. In 2021, you can expect to increase sales for your business by partnering up with social media influencers on different social media platforms. Whether an influencer has lots of TikTok followers or Instagram followers, you can expect to get a higher ROI for your ad spending.

According to research, millennials trust blog reviews for products rather than advertisements, and most of them tend to purchase a product online after seeing a review by an influencer on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram. Therefore, as a brand, it’s best to not waste your money on advertisements and go for influencer marketing strategies in 2021. First, let’s take a deeper dive to know what influencer marketing actually is.

What is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a kind of social media marketing involving brand awareness and endorsement of products by an influencer who has built their reputation and trust in a particular niche. It can help you increase brand awareness and sales revenue.

The types of influencer marketing include discount codes, affiliate marketing, competitions, and giveaways, etc. So, what five influencer marketing strategies are expected to work their magic in 2021?

Focus on Video Content

4 out of 5 millennials are inclined to make a purchase after seeing a video review of a particular product. This allows them to create a realistic image of what the product looks and ‘feels’ like behind the camera. While an influencer who they trust and admire, giving a review puts a seal to the deal.

With the introduction of IGTV on Instagram and the increasing hype of TikTok from the last quarter of 2020, you should focus on such social media influencers that make product review videos rather than solely putting a picture on their feed.

Most brands have already stopped promoting their products on platforms like YouTube because they can’t control where and when their ads are shown. Using such traditional video ads where people mostly skip the ads, brands like to sponsor their products through influencers who talk about their product in a video.

A Focus on Diversity and Inclusion

2020 was quite happening. Not only in terms of COVID-19 but also #BlackLivesMatter, mental health, inequality, climate change, diversity, and inclusion. Different topics came to the forefront in 2021 and people made them valuable and not taboo to talk about.

Millennials even started supporting brands that are diverse in their nature, which support every gender and race without any discrimination. According to research, consumers are willing to pay a premium to shop with brands that value these issues. While the rest of the brands don’t value these issues, it’s a big no-no for consumers.

Therefore, brands should incorporate these issues from every stage of their business cycle. From giving insights to their consumers on business equality and inclusivity to making an effort to working with all sorts of influencers irrespective of their gender and race, this can demonstrate the worth of such societal issues and increase the goodwill of a business.

For instance, due to the societal pressure and adhering to the concerns of their consumers Unilever “Fair and Lovely” face cream was renamed “Glow and Lovely” to stop color discrimination. This helped them increase their credibility among consumers.

The Rise of Micro-Influencers

You can build your brand awareness by partnering up with micro-influencers (those with less than 100k followers) as they are yielding spectacular results for businesses. Gone are those days where businesses relied on mega influencers to drive more sales.

According to research, influencers with average follower count had higher engagement rates on their posts as compared to the ‘big’ accounts no matter their niche or target audience.

More businesses are now willing to work with small influencers as they have a high degree of credibility and a strong connection with their followers. And with the pandemic affecting the majority of the businesses’ budgets, it’s a plus point for such businesses to partner up with small influencers as they tend to charge way less than the top-tier influencers.

The Hype of Live Streaming

As people were restricted to their homes due to the pandemic, they weren’t able to interact and engage with their friends and family members. This led to people logging on to different social media platforms to tune into live streams like live streaming from their favorite celebrity, an online workshop, or a branded live stream.

That’s why live streaming saw massive growth in 2020 and it doesn’t seem to be going down in 2021 anytime soon. Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok all saw a rise in viewers’ count during their respective live streams.

Amazon Live also stepped up its online strategy during the pandemic and allowed the influencers to promote their favorite products during live events. The viewers could even make purchases while they were watching the live streams.

Increased Concern for Sustainability

The Gen-Z and Millennials are more concerned for the production processes and raw materials used in the manufacturing of products. A wide variety of users strongly feel that brands should also help make our planet Earth greener.

Even if you scroll through product reviews or comments under the social media posts, many consumers are interested in knowing whether the product is eco-friendly and doesn’t harm the Earth. This helps many people to make a final purchasing decision. In 2021 and even in the near future, the majority of consumers will be inclined towards brands that help the environment. Green brands like Lush Cosmetics, Beyond Meat, TOMS, Patagonia, etc. use recyclable products in their production to ensure their products don’t end up in the landfill.

Hence, social media influencers promoting more eco-friendly brands means that you need to focus on producing environmentally friendly brands to increase your brand awareness and drive more sales.