Dana Kachan December 31st, 2020

Influencer Marketing Trends: Predictions for 2021

They are loved and trusted. Influencers. These top influencer marketing trends will empower your brand and help earn the customers’ trust in 2021.

What if the influence is something different than we used to think before? In 2021, digital marketing practitioners expect a drastic change in the understanding of influencer marketing. While social media still is the hottest area of influence, 2021 brings many new trends based on the growing needs and expectations of the follower community. 

Here we shed light on the most prominent influencer marketing know-how to help brands build affinity and trust-based relationships with their audience on social media. Meet the biggest and the brightest influencer marketing trends awaiting us in 2021.

Anti-Advertising. Advocating Something, They Really Tried and Loved

Today, we use the prefix “ANTI” more frequently than before. Modern society is already exhausted by many restrictions and “aging” laws. We say “ANTI” to everything that doesn’t match our desired reality anymore and takes us away from something genuine and original. Unfortunately, advertising has become one of the things pushing us to say “ANTI” to it. Thus, anti-advertising is the first trend that will embrace social media. 

Photo by Alexandre Pellaes via Unsplash

What does “true” mean? Likely, it’s something that traditional advertisers have forgotten about many years ago. On the contrary, innovative advertisers switch to an entirely different approach based on the collaboration with influencers – organic advocates and trusted thought leaders that offer only something valuable and tested out by themselves to their followers. 

Like bees follow the smell of honeydew, we’re attracted by the “expensive” smell of value. It’s seeping out from the great influencer’s content directly to the minds and hearts of followers. Influencers try to deliver value to people, not just to promote anything. They know that direct brand promotion won’t smell like “honeydew.” The value or, in other words, the trustworthiness of the influencer’s insights will matter more than the size of the audience.

The Growing Demand for Influencer Marketing Software

Time. Another big value in the modern fast-pacing world. The smart are those who realize the importance of time and don’t hesitate to use digital tools that allow them to automate processes and save time for more creativity. Along with the growing power of influencer marketing, we also see the rising demand for intelligent influencer marketing automation software. 

It’s the magic wand marketing leaders have been dreaming of for many years. With the advent of artificial intelligence in digital marketing, we can finally access it. AI-powered influencer marketing software facilitates the search of niche influencers. Thanks to their advanced system of filters, you can set the desired influencer marketing KPIs (like 60-Days Average Views, Last Active Time, Price Range) and the target audience’s metrics (for example, Age, Gender, and Location). It allows avoiding cooperation with so-called “fake” influencers and finding the right influencers that really perform.

Tight Match of The Influencer’s Values with Brand’s Ethos

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX via Unsplash

2021 will be featured by the tighter match of the influencer’s values with the brand’s culture and ethos. Collaborating with someone famous and influential isn’t enough to earn the audience’s loyalty. Your brand’s values must align with those of the influencer. Otherwise, influencer marketing magic won’t work. 

Your company must breathe the same air, speak the same language, and share the same audience with the influencer. Only in this case, the influencer will transfer your brand message organically and introduce your company as a friend to the target audience. What’s most important, the tighter the match of values, the less promotional will the influencer’s advocacy look. 

Deepening Influencer Relationships

Influencers are now savvier toward the brands they partner with. In 2021, they will select companies for collaboration even more carefully. They will look for brands that correspond to their style, culture, and values to build long-term relationships with them. At the same time, brands will search for nearly the same, striving to set the partnership with the influencers that will last for years. 

Photo by Walid Hamadeh via Unsplash

Long-term relationships with influencers are more beneficial for brands, as they also mean a better understanding and tighter match of values between them. Moreover, by regularly appearing in the influencer’s content, the brand’s advocacy can become its “organic” complementation. Social media followers will perceive the brand rather as a friend than a guest of their community. It will help enter the target audience’s trust circle and establish closer relationships with potential customers.

Involving Influencers in Branded Virtual Events

The next crucial influencer marketing trend is involving influencers in virtual events organized by brands. In 2021, influencers are expected to appear at online webinars, Q&A sessions with the brand, workshops, and discussions of the topics related to the company’s field more often. 

Encouraging influencers to participate in such events, companies show that the opinion of thought leaders, aka trusted industry experts, matters to them and serves as one of the guide points for their team. They demonstrate that the brand is bothered by the same questions as to its target audience, and the same leaders inspire and motivate them to create products and services for their valued customers. 

Brand Executives as The Influencers

We tend to trust people who have achieved more. We trust those who know the path to success and all the pitfalls on the way. In other words, we rely on leaders, as they have already overcome all those challenges and can guide us on how to cope with them. CEOs, founders, and top experts are the people who perfectly align to this category. Already leading the entire company, they are a trustworthy source of insights and inspiration. So, we call them influencers too.

We expect to witness another amazing influencer marketing trend related to positioning brand executives as niche influencers in the upcoming year. While partnering with other industry experts, companies can also communicate with their target audience through their “own” influencers.

Influence? In 2021, It Will Be Different

We used to think that an influencer is somebody whose opinion impacts the masses and matters to many people. In 2021, we will see a significant change in what we understand under the term “influencer.” 

The collaboration with influencers is not about promotion anymore but partnership or even friendship with them. It’s about the tight match of the influencer’s and brand’s values and completing the same mission together. The brand and the influencer – they aren’t the client and the advertiser anymore. They are partners creating something valuable for their target audience together. 

I hope these predictions about how companies will interact with influencers in 2021 will inspire you. Everyone has the potential to become an influencer. The motivation, diligence, and inner drive are all that matters. It’s the influencer’s world, and brands are just living in it.


Photo by Sander Dalhuisen via Pexels

Dana Kachan

Strategic Marketing Consultant providing creative and data-driven marketing for companies in various industries ranging from mobile app development, virtual reality and augmented reality development, to the Internet of Things, to graphic design and UI/UX design.

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