Influencer marketing thrived in 2020. Lockdowns led to a 40% increase in social media usage, and a permanent change in consumer behaviour. Audiences quickly lost their appetite for glossy, picturesque advertising and turned towards authentic content. Brand plans for events were cancelled and entire marketing strategies were upended. The remainder of the marketing “rulebook” was ripped up last year, inspiring brands to partner with influencers to communicate their presence in a relevant, tactful and authentic manner.
Of course, influencer marketing has been on the rise for a while now, experiencing a 282% growth from 2016 to 2019. While it’s safe to say that influencer marketing isn’t going away anytime soon, today’s most brand-effective digital creators may be flying under the radar.
TikTok continues to enjoy meteoric success.
TikTok continues to experience explosive growth. The platform’s unique algorithm rewards great content with excellent visibility regardless of the account’s previous performance, meaning you can become "TikTok famous" almost overnight with one great video: you don’t need to have millions of followers to go viral.
TikTok continues to appeal to Gen Z — meaning it tends to be teenagers who receive surprise viral fame from the platform. However, TikTok hosts an enormous spectrum of creativity that encompasses a range of niche topics and communities.Many “older” adults have gained viral followings in recent months by merely being authentic with their audience.
The ‘Everyday’ influencer increasingly appeals to users.
Authenticity and transparency became critical in 2020 as brands struggled to find meaningful ways of staying relevant without coming off as insensitive or appearing to capitalise on a crisis. This trend is set to continue into 2021 as our “next normal” evolves throughout the year, with consumers being more drawn to campaigns that feel genuine and personal.
As the pandemic forced everyone inside, many of today’s digital creators focus their content on the specialised topics they know their followers are interested in. Rather than finding it mundane or boring, audiences have responded very positively to content that resembles their own lives and formed stronger bonds with creators that seemed relatable during a time of great stress for many.
Influencers are often thought of in stereotypes (i.e., young blonde fashionista), but they come in all shapes and forms, across all sorts of platforms. Many of today’s digital creators focus their content on the specialised, niche topics they know their followers are interested in. Food, finance, DIY, tech, parenting, fashion, beauty, lifestyle and the much-missed but currently redundant travel, are all examples of popular categories. Even incredibly specific subcategories still appeal to large audience numbers: gluten-free baking being a prime example.
There’s no one-size-fits-all formula for finding the right influencers; every campaign is different. However, when it comes to reflecting current realities, identifying pain points and offering real value to consumers, it’s often the “everyday” creator who truly shines.