Influencer Marketing Guides & Trends in 2021

The year 2020 has been a game-changer in the world of social media marketing. The whole world flocked to social media platforms with diverse expectations and requirements. For some, social media became a reliable source to stay informed about the latest COVID updates, while others looked it up as an entertainment source, learned DIY hacks, gathered inspiration,  and mastered cooking!

These varied interests paved the way for marketers to extend their sales, build brand awareness and enhance customer relationships. Which resulted in the need for influencers higher than ever before. With help of influencer marketing, brands shifted from straightforward advertisements to meaningful, innovative, and purpose-driven content marketing. Statistics further support that influencer marketing is not going to slow down anytime soon!  

Wondering how to leverage influencer marketing for your business? Our experts at Mindstorm.in can help you and our influencer networks too. We have helped businesses expand their social media presence through our Influencer Marketing Services with guaranteed results. Do connect with us at [email protected] for any queries. 

Let’s have a look at how Instagram can help your business grow and some of the Influencer Marketing trends, we believe will dominate in the year 2021. Keep scrolling! 

Why is Instagram a #1 loved and most impactful platform for influencer marketing?

With 1 billion active users, Instagram has evolved as the most influential platform for brands. As per Instagram, 200 million users visit at least one business profile daily, and henceforth brands are investing their resources to maintain their Instagram profiles. Started as a photo-sharing platform, Instagram now has evolved as a business platform helping brands expand their reach and sales. 17% of E-commerce, gaming, lifestyle, and fashion brands are spending their 50% budget money on creating content with influencers. Moreover, constant innovation has led to a potential advertising reach of 849.3 million users on Instagram. So, before we move further, let’s take a look at the spectacular features by Instagram that brands have leveraged in the past year and can use further to unlock maximum benefits. 

Instagram Features for Influencer Marketing

Shop through Reels and IGTV: 

Brands can ask influencers to add the shopping feature for every product they wear or showcase through Reels and IGTV. 

Instagram Keyword Research:

Instead of completely depending on hashtags, brands can ask influencers to add relevant keywords in the caption to attract traffic. 

Instagram Guide Feature:

This feature enables brands to get their product-guide (article-post) on the Instagram page of any influencer. 

AI-powered caption for IGTV (16+languages)

This feature can help brands attract consumers speaking different languages through automated AI-powered captions for IGTV. 

IGTV Ads:

In 2020, Instagram rolled out IGTV ads that last upto 15 seconds. Now, brands can promote content generated by influencers across IGTV. 

Brands Collab Manager 

This feature connects influencers and brands looking for collaborations to sell their products and services. 

Influencer Marketing Trends to watch out for in 2021!

  1. AI-powered Influencer Marketing 

A survey of 200 UK marketers, conducted by Rakuten Marketing has shown that 86% of influencer marketers weren’t sure on what basis influencers charge, while 38% were unable to track the results generated from an influencer campaign. AI-powered tools can help marketers to avoid such conditions while empowering brands to make the right decisions for their influencer campaigns. AI tools aggregate all the relevant data including qualitative and quantitative metrics to cater to the multiple needs of marketers. With accurate analysis, data-driven results, and machine powered problem-solving approaches, marketers can use AI to unfold maximum profit from their influencer campaigns. Brands can incorporate tools like Linqia to manage overall tasks related to influencer marketing campaigns. Other AI-tools include Socialfaim, Cortex, IndataLabs etc. 

Let’s delve into how AI-powered Influencer Marketing can reshape the way marketers have operated;

  1. With AI tools marketers can discover the best suited influencers for their campaigns. AI uses machine learning algorithms to identify the right influencer for your niche.
  2. AI simplifies tasks associated with determining the campaign performance by predicting incentives, generating demographic data, and evaluating earned media value (EVM) for the campaign. 
  3. Another major benefit of AI is its ability to identify relevant content and predict how it would perform. Around 95 million pictures are posted on Instagram every day. So, it becomes quintessential for brands to create impactful and meaningful content. With help of AI integrated tools like ANN ( Artificial Neural Networks) and NLP (Natural language processing), marketers can analyze images and video attributes to track performance and engagement driven by them. 
  4. AI makes it possible to identify fraudulent influencers, by analyzing patterns/footprints among the followers. The marketing industry has been suffering from a $1.3 billion loss in a year due to spam bots and computer-generated fake influencers. 

With the use of AI-powered tools, marketers can save time, money and track campaign performance with ease. Companies like Hyundai and Nestle, are already leveraging the power of AI tools like Linqia, to generate maximum ROI. To stay competitive and relevant, marketers will need to adapt to AI-powered Influencer Marketing technology in the year 2021!

  1. Micro-Influencers will lead the way! 

Accounts with 25k-100k followers are generally termed Micro-influencers. These influencers are redefining the success of influencer marketing campaigns and helping brands make the most out of it. Micro-influencers are seen as specialists in their niche and people tend to believe them more. Besides, you as a brand can collaborate with multiple micro-influencers on the same budget that otherwise you would have spent on working with one famous influencer. A report by Contevo suggests that micro-influencers have 22.2 times more buying conversions than big influencers. While 82% of consumers are likely to follow a recommendation by a micro-influencer. Now, imagine the impact of investing in multiple micro-influencers, amazing right?

Moreover, if you are a small or local brand, collaborating with micro-influencers would be the best choice. Because it won’t include exorbitant marketing costs, would help generate higher engagement and help build your brand awareness. Another vital benefit would be the user-generated content that would contribute to the digital assets for your brand. 

According to Linqia, the average micro-influencer Instagram engagement rate is 8.3%, while 5.8% is considered as the higher engagement rate. So, if you haven’t included micro-influencers in your marketing strategy yet, you are missing out on unparalleled benefits. 

  1. Use of Customized Instagram AR Filters 

Augmented reality has paved the way for digital marketers to drive interaction in innovative ways. Custom AR filters are a great way to enhance brand awareness or even promote a new product. Brands are artfully and extensively using AR filters to influence the purchase decisions of the customers. For instance, AR filters let users try out a product before they actually purchase it. Ray-Ban introduced a Reindeerized filter where users can try on sunglasses and check their look before purchasing them. 

Marketers can collaborate with influencers to try on their filter and share it on stories. According to Instagram, more than 500 million people interact with Instagram stories every day. While one-third of the most-viewed stories come from business accounts. Moreover, AR filters are a great way to playfully communicate with potential customers. 

  1. Stringent Advertising Guidelines for Virtual Influencers

Virtual influencer engagement is on the rise for some time now and brands have been benefiting from it. But, advertising watch dogs are skeptical about the messages and claims made by brands through influencer marketing. To avoid misleads and protect consumer interest, FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has come up with guidelines for influencer marketing. And according to it, influencers need to disclose the brand relationship. Hence most of the posts by influencers carry #ad or #sponsored tags. 

Apart from that, another challenge that the industry is facing is regarding CGI (Computer-generated influencer). According to Fullscreen’s study, 42% of young Instagram users have followed an influencer without realizing it was a CGI. To combat the issue of fraudulent influencers and preserve consumer rights, more strict guidelines are expected to release in 2021. So, influencers and brands will have to work in a regulated environment. 

  1. Long-term Relationships will gain momentum! 

To reap consistent profit and build authenticity, it’s important to maintain long-term relationships with influencers. Brands who wish to cultivate a long-lasting brand image, maintain a genuine relationship with their customers, and engage with them authentically, should ditch one-off sponsored posts. Instead, look for niche-specific influencers and create long-term contract/ ambassador relationships with them. This will help your brand gain a loyal customer base and build long-lasting brand awareness. 

Maintaining long-term relationships with influencers will also take care of frauds and protect wastage of resources. According to a survey conducted by Vavo Digital, over half of the marketers surveyed shared distress about ensuring followers’ credibility. Therefore an ambassador network developed by brands with thorough research will prevent frauds and credibility issues. No wonder, 2021 will see brands establishing authentic influencer networks and fostering brand loyalty. 

  1. Deep Connections and Relevant Content 

Today, more than ever people want brands to establish meaningful relationships rather than only convey the specifications of their products. Promotional videos and perfectly curated feed is the thing of the past now. The year 2020 has changed the way audiences consume content. Because audiences are now more involved, enlightened, and want to see beyond the promotional aspects of brands. Raw, unpolished, behind the scenes, and value-driven content is enjoyed and appreciated by the consumers. Brands involved in Q&A, live streaming, user-generated content, and talking about real issues are leading the way on social media. Brands that adapt the shift from traditional content marketing to innovative approaches, will survive the year 2021 with maximizing profits. Brands can collaborate with influencers for live streaming, invite guests to talk about various issues, and build healthier customer relationships with impactful conversations. 

  1. Rise of Meme Marketing 

According to Statista, Millennials and Gen Zers are spending more than 200 minutes online every day. While a Forbes article stated that the average millennial looks at 20-30 memes every day. The article also spotted that meme content generated 10 times more engagement than regular marketing graphics. Isn’t it a wonderful opportunity for your brand to attract targeted audiences with memes? From India vs USA memes to #JCBkikhudai, to #IceBucketChallenge, #Binod and  #buzzitchallenge, memes are loved by all. Brands have successfully used memes to drive engagement, make announcements for new products and use it in the most innovative ways possible. 

Not only this, 74% of people send memes with the sole objective of making people smile or laugh—and 53% send them as a reaction to something. Collaborating with influencers to share memes and post stories about it is one of the most effective ways to enhance brand awareness. Memes have the potential to attract traffic, likes, and shares. Every time a meme is shared, your brand reaches more people and multiplies the number of your potential customers. 

  1. The Surge in Indian Video-sharing Apps! 

While Facebook and Instagram Reels are dominating the short-form video sharing platforms, many Indian applications have created new opportunities for marketers. Applications like Roposo, Chingari, Bolo Indya, and more are reshaping the marketing arena through videos. While brands like Swiggy, Zomato, Coca Cola, Oyo, Airtel, Future Party, Snapdeal, etc… are effectively using such platforms by running campaigns to attract targeted audiences. The ability to share videos in multiple languages, including native languages has fueled the popularity of Indian video-sharing apps. And estimates suggest, the trend will only flourish in the coming years. 

Homegrown application, Roposo, has attracted 85 million users and is available in 15 different languages. Another similar application, Chingari said it had recorded 148 million videos being watched on its platform in a single day after the ban of TikTok in India. The TikTok ban in India in the year 2020, has undoubtedly opened doors for various homegrown applications and the numbers are expected to increase in 2021. Other Indian video-sharing apps are Koo, Moj, Mitron, Trell, Sharechat, HiPi, etc to name a few. As a marketer, if you are targeting Indian customers then these platforms are a must-include in your marketing strategy. Marketers can target people with a decent following on these platforms and run influencer campaigns to attract customers. 

Top Indian Micro-Influencers from various niches to look out for in 2021! 

Category: Fitness

  1. Chitwan Garg

With 28.2k followers, she inspires people to be a better version of themselves through fitness, dance, and adapting the right lifestyle. 

  1. Viren Barman

Need the motivation to live a disciplined lifestyle? Viren Barman is helping his followers achieve it! If your brand is looking for motivated and creative people, he is the one you should collaborate with.

  1. Chitra 

Her account is all about fitness, belly dance, pilates, and intuitive eating. 

  1. Shitija 

She calls herself a Holistic Health Ninja. And shares awesome healthy recipes under 400 calories. 

  1. Saarah Mukaddam 

Sarrah shares various workout plans inspiring her followers to lead a healthy life with a workout routine. 

Category: Photography 

  1. Kamlesh Mane

Kamlesh Mane’s feed is all about picturesque product photography and portraits.

  1. Vishal and Krupa 

Map.camera.travel, the account belongs to a couple Vishal and Krupa, who share stunning pictures from their travel diaries and pen down their experiences. 

  1. Jayesh Mistry

His account is filled with mesmerizing creative photographs including fitness, event, wedding, fashion, and corporate photography. 

  1. Devvrat Arya

From portraits to wedding photography, Devvrat’s feed is filled with beauty and stunning photographs. 

  1. Siddharth Bapna

Siddharth’s feed is packed with nature, portraits, and innovative photography. 

Category: Lifestyle 

  1. Pratishtha Singh

From taking care of your hair in every weather to amazing self-care tips, this influencer talks about everything you need to know about looking chic. 

  1. Ashwini Dixit

Name the DIY hack you wish to learn, and you will find it on her feed.

  1. Sanskriti

If your brand is looking for an engaging content creator, she is the one you can collaborate with. 

  1. Kirtana Reddyy

From fashion to lifestyle, her feed covers every aspect so beautifully. 

  1. Nupur Munot

Nupur Munot shares brand messages in creative and meaningful ways. 

Category: Business/ SM Learning 

  1. Harsh

Harsh’s feed is a guide to how one can organically grow on Instagram. 

  1. Nishita Mantry

She is a business coach based in Pune and is empowering women to start their own business. Her feed contains byte-sized tips on running a successful business. 

  1. Anuj

Whether one is looking for tips on Instagram growth or Digital marketing, his feed covers it all. 

  1. Swastik Nandakumar 

Sellitlikeswastik trains small businesses to sell their products and services. 

  1. Divyanshu Damani

Divyanshu Damani is the co-founder at Tagmango, a company helping creators monetize their accounts. Through his Instagram feed, he shares success stories, inspirational stuff, and much more. 

Category: Music and Dance 

  1. Razi Shaikh

Razi is a choreographer and dancer. He shares amazing, fun dance videos on his Instagram feed. 

  1. Rae Valentine

Rae shares entertaining and unique singing videos through her Instagram account. If your brand wishes to collaborate with unique artists, she can be helpful. 

  1. Nihar Dongre

Nihar is Dance+ 4, a reality TV show’s contestant, and shares mesmerizing dance videos with his followers. 

  1. Himanshu Kohli

Himanshu is a singer and performer, his account is a glimpse of his melodious voice. 

  1. Aariz Saiyed

Aariz shares music videos with a touch of humor and his videos will make you laugh. 

Scale-up your Influencer Marketing Strategy with us! 

We are a Hybrid Digital Marketing Agency based in Mumbai, specializing in  Influencer Marketing Services. Need expert assistance to build customer demand? We are just a mail away. Connect with us at  [email protected], and we will help you accelerate your business growth. 

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