Influencer Marketing Trends for 2021

It looks like we’ve made it through the toughest year many of us remember. It’s finally that time when we can make some new resolutions filled with hopes of a better future.

And, while we are at it, why not throw in some predictions and future trends. 

Influencers and content creators have kept us sane and provided some comfort during these uncertain times. We learned how to make the lockdown hours more bearable, and adjusting to the new normal became much more comfortable with some consistency from our favorite digital celebrities. 

And if we made a purchase or two using their discount code, even better.  

Wondering what 2021 has in store for influencer marketing

Don’t worry; it’s not going anywhere. By the looks of it, it’s only getting bigger and better. 

Whether you’re an influencer yourself looking for new outlets and inspo, or a business looking to work with one, here are some major trends in influencer marketing you can expect to see in 2021.

From micro and nano, to AI influencers and #nofilter trends, we’ve got all the scoop. 

  • Bigger and better
  • Micro and Nano-influencers in demand
  • Video content continues to dominate 
  • The call for authenticity 
  • Continuing collabs
  • Socially responsible content 
  • Virtual Influencer

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Bigger and better

Judging by the latest trends, the influencer marketing market will experience new growth, as the funds redirected from offline to online are on the rise. This comes as no surprise if we consider that the already slim chances of offline marketing are getting even weaker with the Covid-19 pandemic forcing the entire world to stay at home. 

Brands are about to allocate even more funds to online marketing, specifically to influencer marketing as one of the most cost-effective options, and Instagram as the number one platform. 

By the end of 2020, Instagram influencer marketing is expected to drop at about $5.095B, which is a relatively small decrease due to the unexpected circumstances that took a while to get hold of. However, this data just goes to show how crucial it is to the overall market and how strong of a foothold it has. 

Micro and Nano-influencers in demand

Micro and Nano-influencers have been in high demand throughout 2020, and the trend will continue throughout 2021. The smaller creators most often provide a ton of value for a fraction of a price a famous influencer star would require. 

More importantly, when compared to larger influencers, the data shows the incredible engagement numbers in favor of micro-influencers. According to Fohr’s report, influencers counting 25K followers or less have the highest engagement rates on their Instagram posts, no matter the niche, topics, or audience. 

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A post shared by Jacob True (@jacobtrue)

Contrary to popular belief, brands are after good engagement metrics rather than a massive number of followers. Micro and nano-influencers are the most popular choice due to incredibly high engagement achieved through niche-specific and relatable content that drives trust and entices engagement. 

At the same time, for influencers starting out in 2021, it’s best to begin with smaller, local brands to develop reputation and trust. 

Video content continues to dominate

Fun, engaging, and dynamic video content is getting all the love on Instagram and beyond. And rightfully so. 

Influencers love it because it gives them limitless opportunities for a creative outlet, while audiences find it the most entertaining. 

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A post shared by Chelsea Martin, Travel Advisor (@passporttofriday)

As the new forms have entered the market with TikTok and Instagram Reels, we can expect videos to reach new levels of immediateness and authenticity with more collaborations in 2021. 

Creators understand the new demand for authenticity and are getting more candid and authentic in their video content, which gives their audience a sense of relatability and familiarity. Judging by the latest trends, we can expect to see more candid video content on influencers’ IGTV and Reels.  

The call for authenticity

Continuing on the same note, the general style in influencer marketing has started to lean more towards authentic and rawer content. This is noticed in the sponsored content as well, as brands are recognizing the audiences’ demand for real and unedited content

As a primarily visually oriented platform, Instagram has seen a surge of new, under-curated Stories, posts, IGTVS, Lives, and Reels by influencers. 

The no-edit edit is one of the content trends that emerged in 2020 and will continue into 2021. The global pandemic and lockdowns worldwide might have something to do with this as they bridged the gap between the over-edited influencer content and real behind-the-scenes life. 

The #nofilter aesthetic is dethroning the perfectly curated feeds in 2021, as seen in influencers’ content trends. Influencers like Sarah Nicole Landry are getting a ton of attention (and engagement) partly due to letting their true selves shine through their content. 

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A post shared by Sarah Nicole Landry (@thebirdspapaya)

Of course, some of them would still keep their signature aesthetic and nurture a more polished appearance to keep up their community expectations. 

Continuing collabs

One-off deals with a post and a Story here and there will become a thing of the past, as the new trends in influencer-brand collabs show.

More and more brands are moving towards more continuing collabs that are turning into brand-influencer partnerships. These types of campaigns simply provide more sustainable results for both parties. Influencers get to keep a consistent flow and produce niche-oriented content that creates trust, while brands can see more gains in terms of sales as a result of this. 

Going into 2021, we can expect to see influencer marketing shift to more brand ambassador deals and partnership products with better ROI for brands.

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A post shared by Victoria (@inthefrow)


Socially responsible content 

The 2020 developments in the BLM movement affected the influencer scene in a major way. The underrepresentation of black culture and a general lack of diversity opened up a dialogue that would last well into 2021. 

The need for representation, inclusion, and focus on socially responsible topics is becoming a new priority for brands that want to nurture good values and show their social responsibility. 

This will not only be seen in the type of influencer strategy they decide on but in their entire business procedures and policies. 

2021 will pick up where 2020 left off in terms of creating more sustainable solutions, encouraging diversity and inclusion in influencer marketing and all business aspects in general. 

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A post shared by a n i t r a 💋 (@nitraab)

Virtual Influencer

Last but most certainly not least, we have some exciting and probably the most controversial trend predictions for 2021 influencer space. 

In addition to TikTok’s 2020 boom and Instagram Reels introduction, there are some exciting developments cooking in the influencer pot. 

Virtual AI influencers are creating serious controversy among marketers, brands, and influencers, with the latter being the most concerned, of course. 

With insane engagement metrics, effortless implementation, and better cost-effectiveness, brands find AI-driven influencers a preferable alternative to real-life ones. 

On the other hand, there are still a ton of regulatory concerns that need sorting out before we can expect a full AI influencer marketing domination. There’s the FTC regulations question, as well as the reliability and trust these virtual influencers can hardly evoke in customers. 

It still remains to be seen how exactly virtual influencers like Lil Miquela will develop into 2021, but one thing is for sure they will change the world of influencer marketing forever. 

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A post shared by Miquela (@lilmiquela)

Trends will come and go, but luckily some things will never change. Flock Social is keeping its unmatched Instagram growth service through 2021. We’re happy to announce we are bigger and stronger than ever. Our dedicated list of clients is getting longer, while our service remains your safest and most guaranteed solution for targeted and real Instagram followers. Get started today and see what we can do for you. 

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As 2020 has brought many changes and opened up new perspectives, we’ve seen influencer marketing taking new shape as a result. With all the changes and unpredictable shifts, influencers have shown a serious level of adaptability and creativity to shapeshift to fit the new normal and any new trend that comes their way. 

It’ll be exciting to watch what 2021 influencer marketing trend will make the most significant changes to the market and to the overall concept of an influencer. 


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