With one month down in 2021, brands and influencers have recovered from the holiday hustle, and it’s time to shift our views to trends the industry trends for influencers and brands that this year holds:
Video Content is King
2020 saw the continued rise in popularity of video content of all kinds and it’s not slowing down. Live streams across all platforms increased drastically, as stay-at-home orders were rolled out and people began to crave human connection. Tik Tok usage skyrocketed. And the release of Instagram Reels provided another form of content creation for influencers and brands to focus on. This year, video will continue to appeal to consumers who are wanting more real and in the moment connection from the influencers and brands they follow. They want to know and trust the people behind the curated photos, and video content allows for this.
Now, more than ever social media consumers are looking for authenticity from both influencers and brands alike. It is increasingly becoming quality over quantity in this fast-paced and ever-changing social media world. People want to follow influencers that they know will tell them the truth about a product or brand they are loving (or not). And they want to buy from brands who are clear about their purpose-driven missions and transparent regarding social stances.
Take A Stand
Speaking of social stances, 2020 brought to light many social justice and political conversations. Brands in the past have largely stayed quiet regarding these topics, but staying quiet is no longer an option, as silence is now seen as complicity. Consumers want to see brands speaking out regarding tougher topics. Not only do they want brands to talk the talk, but they want to see them walk the walk. Millennials and Gen-Z make up a large percentage of consumer spending today, and they want to support brands (and people) who put real action behind their values.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen an increase in brands and influencers focus on sustainability and for 2021, that is expected to grow even more. Consumers are now actively seeking out brands who are environmentally conscious. Influencers should keep this in mind when sharing products with their audience, as environmentally friendly options are quickly becoming more in demand with consumers in hopes of cleaning up the planet and fighting climate change. Not to mention 81% of consumers strongly feel that brands should help improve the environment.
Diversity and inclusion became a big focus last year, with many brands being called out for their lack thereof. In the same way taking a stand on social issues and sustainability have become non-negotiable, so has diversity. Brands who appear to not be a part of the inclusivity conversation and are not making efforts to right their past wrongs will see negative impacts this year. Representation matters now more than ever. And consumers want to look at brands who authentically reflect this in their campaigns.
Thanks to the Instagram shoppable post feature and other shopping features across other platforms, e-commerce is only continuing to grow. What used to require going from one platform to another to find and purchase that perfect item, is now as easy as clicking “Buy” or “Add to Cart” in the same app. Consumers no longer need to be directed to a website to purchase something, instead brands can authentically incorporate items into Instagram posts or Amazon live streams.