As we navigate through 2023, one area that continues to evolve and command attention is influencer marketing. Influencer marketing is on the rise, in fact, it is estimated to reach a value of $24 billion by 2025.
Influencer marketing offers brands the ability to connect with their audiences on a personal level, making it an essential marketing strategy for all.
However, as with any dynamic field, influencer marketing is not static. It’s shaped by a variety of factors, from shifts in social media algorithms and user behaviour to broader societal trends. To stay relevant and effective, marketers must keep a pulse on these changes and adapt their strategies accordingly.
In this article, we’ll delve into the emerging trends that are set to shape the influencer marketing landscape in 2023 and beyond so you gear up for the future!
Emerging Trends in Influencer Marketing
Trends come and go depending on a variety of factors like the movies that are coming soon. (Yes, we are looking at you #Barbie.)
Many brands often wonder, ‘how effective is influencer marketing?’ The answer lies in the significant shifts we’re witnessing in the marketing landscape – Influencer marketing. When done right, influence marketing can lead to higher engagement rates, increased brand visibility, and improved sales.
The thing is, trends come and go but what will stay constant is the value of organic marketing for your brand’s promotion.
As we delve into the world of influencer marketing, it’s essential to understand the trends that are shaping this landscape. These trends reflect the changing preferences of consumers, the evolving nature of social media platforms, and the innovative strategies employed by brands and influencers alike.
Let’s take a closer look at these trends:
1. User-Generated Content (UGC) Takes the Spotlight
User-generated content (UGC) has emerged as a potent tool in influencer marketing. It not only infuses authenticity into a brand’s messaging but also fosters deeper engagement from the audience.
Brands that effectively incorporate UGC into their campaigns often see remarkable results. Campaigns that successfully integrate UGC often witness remarkable results. This approach involves influencers sharing their genuine experiences with products or services. The result is a boost in the authenticity of brand messaging and a surge in audience engagement.
A prime example of a brand leveraging user-generated content is Barbie. The iconic doll brand has successfully harnessed the power of social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram to create a viral marketing campaign. The #barbiecore hashtag on TikTok alone has received over 816 million views(so far), with users sharing their own Barbie-inspired content.
@katie.one I had to 💘 #barbiecore #barbie #pinkoutfits #pink #barbieoutfits ♬ Hi Barbie Hi Ken Barbie Movie Only In Theaters – Barbie Movie
Another example is Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign. Where users were encouraged to share their iPhone-taken photos on social media with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone. The best photos were featured in Apple’s global advertising campaigns, creating a wealth of authentic content and engaging users worldwide.
@peace_gates Your iPhone can be NEXT LEVEL🔥🔥 #cinematography #iphonecinema #shotoniphone #mobilecinematography #videotechniques #videomaking ♬ original sound – Peace Gates
Trend to watch for
As consumers continue to value peer recommendations and authentic experiences, UGC will remain a powerful tool in influencer marketing.
Brands that can effectively leverage UGC will be able to build stronger connections with their audience and drive more meaningful engagement.
If you need assistance in this process, consider leveraging the expertise of a marketing agency. For instance, House of Marketers offers specialised influencer marketing services to help brands connect with the right influencers.
2. Influencers Stepping up as Creative Directors
Brands are increasingly recognizing the value of influencers beyond their promotional capabilities. More and more influencers are being brought in-house to lead brand strategies, signifying their growing importance in shaping a brand’s image and messaging.
Brands consider to involve influencers more in the creative process, or even bringing them in-house, particularly those who understand the brand and can contribute significantly to its strategy.
Trend to watch for
In the future, we can expect to see more brands involving influencers in their creative process, recognizing their unique insights and creative potential.
This could range from involving influencers in product development stages to bringing them in-house as part of the core creative team. This trend reflects the evolving role of influencers in the marketing landscape, from being mere promoters to becoming integral parts of the creative process.
3. AI Transparency: AI Labeling and Sponsored Content
With the rise of AI generated content, especially images, deep fakes and AI art brands will have to be transparent about their use of AI.
In a bid to foster authenticity and transparency, platforms like TikTok are now advancing policies around content labeling, particularly when it comes to AI-generated content. TikTok now requires creators to label AI-generated content to ensure audiences are well-informed about the nature of the content they are interacting with. Learn more about this update. This new policy underscores the evolving landscape of digital transparency, setting a precedent that might extend to sponsored content and ads as well.
Sponsored content and ads continue to be a pivotal part of influencer marketing, enabling brands to reach their target audiences through trusted influencers. The clarity brought by ‘sponsored’ or ‘ad’ tags helps in maintaining an honest interaction between brands, influencers, and audiences. While the charm of organic influencer content remains, leveraging sponsored content and ads that are relevant and valuable will keep your audience engaged. It’s essential to clearly indicate when a post is sponsored or an ad to uphold transparency.
Trend to watch for
With digital platforms tightening their advertising policies, a new era of transparency in advertising practices is emerging. This not only includes clear labeling of sponsored content but also extends to AI-generated content, fostering a more authentic interaction between users, brands, and platforms.
As we move forward, expect to see more sophisticated forms of sponsored content. Innovations may include new ad formats, more personalized content, and a deeper integration of sponsored posts into the overall user experience. In this evolving landscape, close collaboration between brands and influencers will be key in creating content that is compliant, resonates with audiences, and feels authentic.”
4. Authentic Content FTW (#nofilter)
The days of flawless, curated feeds are giving way to a new era where creators share more authentic, in-the-moment content. This shift towards authenticity is resonating with audiences, fostering stronger connections and higher engagement rates. It’s a clear demonstration of how effective influencer marketing is when it embraces authenticity.
Creators are moving towards less filtered and more authentic content which resonated more with their audience and allows them to showcase their authentic self instead of a curated version of their life.
Aerie, a clothing and lingerie brand, is known for its #AerieREAL campaign, which encourages influencers and customers to share unfiltered and unedited photos of themselves wearing Aerie products.
Trend to watch for
As audiences increasingly value authenticity, we can expect to see a continued shift towards less filtered and more real-life content from influencers. This trend underscores the growing consumer desire for relatability and authenticity in influencer content.
Brands should embrace this trend by encouraging influencers to maintain their authenticity in sponsored content. Seek out influencers known for their authentic content and who can naturally incorporate your brand into their posts.
5. Growing Importance of Sustainability
The increasing global consciousness about environmental issues is reshaping the influencer marketing landscape. More than ever, influencers and brands are adopting a sustainability lens, creating content that not only entertains but also educates audiences about sustainable practices.
This shift is not just about ‘going green’ for the sake of appearances. It’s about influencers using their platforms to drive meaningful change, and brands aligning their values with the causes their audiences care about. It’s about creating a narrative that goes beyond the product, focusing on the impact that consumers can have through their purchasing decisions.
For instance, Patagonia, a brand renowned for its commitment to sustainability, often collaborates with influencers who are vocal advocates for environmental conservation. This strategy not only aligns with the brand’s ethos but also resonates deeply with their audience, creating a powerful connection based on shared values.
Trend to watch for
As the sustainability movement continues to gain momentum, we can expect to see more brands and influencers integrating sustainability into their content. This trend is likely to evolve beyond one-off campaigns, with brands and influencers making long-term commitments to promote sustainable practices.
Moreover, as consumers become more discerning, they will seek out brands and influencers that ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to sustainability. Authenticity will be key – audiences will expect transparency about the sustainability efforts being promoted and will hold brands and influencers accountable for their claims.
6. Community-Driven Marketing
Social media platforms like TikTok are not just about individual influencers anymore; they’re about communities. Brands are now identifying relevant communities on these platforms and crafting their creative strategies around them to create authentic ads that deliver real impact.
@ebay We’re back with the FINAL matchup for #SneakerShowdown ♬ original sound – ebay
For instance, eBay has cultivated a strong following with sneakerheads as the ultimate destination for buying and selling sneakers. Their #SneakerShowdown campaign leveraged Voting Stickers to decide the winners in a bracket-style tournament. Users were invited to vote between competing shoes to crown the top sneaker. The showdown culminated with a price drop on eBay for users to purchase the winning shoe.
Trend to Watch For
Brands are increasingly adopting a community-first approach on social media platforms. They are exploring both broad macro-communities and niche micro-communities to engage with, allowing them to drive trust and brand performance in both the short and long-term.
For instance, a luxury retail brand might engage with the #fashiontok community on TikTok, but also explore niche subcultures like #booktok. They might even venture into unexpected communities like #foodtok or #miniatureworld to reach new audiences.
As social media platforms continue to evolve, expect to see more brands leveraging the power of communities to create more impactful and authentic influencer marketing campaigns.
7. Increased Use of SaaS Tools in Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is becoming more sophisticated and data-driven, leading to the increased adoption of Software as a Service (SaaS) tools. These platforms offer a myriad of functionalities, from influencer discovery and campaign management to analytics and reporting, streamlining the process of influencer marketing and providing valuable insights.
Trend to watch for
As the influencer marketing landscape continues to evolve, the use of SaaS tools is expected to become even more widespread. These platforms will continue to innovate, offering more advanced features and analytics to help brands optimize their influencer marketing strategies.
As the industry becomes more regulated, these tools will play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with advertising policies and guidelines.
Challenges in Influencer Marketing and How to Overcome Them
Influencer marketing, while powerful, also presents several challenges. These include finding the right influencers, measuring the ROI of campaigns, and ensuring authenticity and compliance with regulations. In this section, we’ll discuss these challenges and provide tips on how to overcome them.
Influencer marketing, while powerful, also presents several challenges. Here, we’ll delve into these challenges and provide actionable strategies on how to overcome them.
Finding the Right Influencers
One of the biggest challenges in influencer marketing is finding influencers who align with your brand values, have a genuine connection with their audience, and can effectively communicate your brand message.
Collaborate with an agency that specialises in influencer marketing. Agencies have the expertise and resources to identify influencers who align with your brand values, have a genuine connection with their audience, and can effectively communicate your brand message. They can help you filter through the vast pool of influencers to find the ones that best fit your brand and campaign goals.
Measuring the return on investment (ROI) of influencer marketing campaigns can be complex. Traditional metrics like reach and engagement don’t always translate directly into sales.
Set clear goals for your campaign and identify key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with these goals. Use tracking codes or affiliate links to track conversions directly from the influencer’s content.
Consumers value authenticity and can easily spot content that feels forced or insincere. This can be a challenge when working with influencers to create sponsored content.
Encourage influencers to share their genuine experiences with your product or service. User-generated content can add authenticity to your brand messaging.
Compliance with Regulations
Influencer marketing is subject to various regulations, including the need to disclose sponsored content. Non-compliance can lead to penalties and damage to your brand reputation.
Stay updated with the latest regulations and ensure that all sponsored content is clearly marked. Educate your influencers about these requirements and ensure they are followed.
Managing Relationships with Influencers
Building and maintaining relationships with influencers can be time-consuming. It involves constant communication, negotiation, and coordination.
Consider using influencer marketing platforms or collaborate with an agency like House of Marketers that can handle these tasks for you. Also, building long-term relationships with influencers can lead to more streamlined communication and collaboration.
Overcoming these challenges can help you maximize the effectiveness of your influencer marketing campaigns. At House of Marketers, we understand these challenges and have the expertise to help you navigate them. Whether it’s finding the right influencers, measuring ROI, ensuring authenticity, complying with regulations, or managing relationships, we’ve got you covered.
Influencer marketing continues to evolve, offering brands innovative ways to engage with their audience. Staying up to date of the latest trends is crucial to maximize the effectiveness of your influencer marketing strategies.
Here are the key insights from this article:
- Empower Nano and Micro-Influencers: These influencers offer authentic interactions and higher engagement rates, making them valuable for targeted brand messaging.
- Harness User-Generated Content: UGC enhances brand authenticity, encourages audience participation, and provides valuable social proof.
- Influencers as Creative Directors: Influencers are key in shaping a brand’s image and messaging, steering creative strategies based on audience preferences.
- Transparency in Sponsored Content and Ads: Sponsored posts remain effective in reaching audiences. Clear labelling maintains audience trust.
- Promote Authenticity: Audiences prefer less filtered, more authentic content. Brands fostering authenticity in sponsored content can build stronger connections.
- Adopt a Sustainability Lens: Influencers and brands are reframing their content through a sustainable lens, resonating with environmentally conscious audiences.
- Utilize SaaS Tools: These tools streamline influencer marketing processes, making efforts more efficient and data-driven.
Leverage Niche Communities: Platforms like TikTok are fostering niche communities, providing opportunities for targeted and meaningful engagement.
We have explored what these trends mean for brands and how they can be leveraged to create impactful marketing campaigns. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a brand just starting with influencer marketing, these trends will help you navigate the future of influencer marketing.
Influencer marketing continues to evolve, shaped by shifts in social media algorithms, user behaviour, and broader societal trends. Staying updated with these trends and effectively leveraging them is crucial for successful influencer marketing. Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a brand just starting with influencer marketing, we hope this article has provided valuable insights to help you navigate the future of influencer marketing.
Remember, the key to successful influencer marketing lies not just in understanding these trends, but in effectively leveraging them to create impactful campaigns. And if you need assistance, House of Marketers is here to help.
Need Influencer Marketing Assistance?
If you want to learn more about influencer marketing or how to utilise it to its fullest contact a marketing agency like House of Marketers.
We have our hand on the pulse of the latest trends and can help you to run a successful campaign to meet your goals.
Navigating the evolving landscape of influencer marketing can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. At House of Marketers, we specialize in influencer marketing, app marketing, paid media marketing and UGC content marketing. Platforms we specialise in include TikTok, Meta and Google.
We can also help you stay ahead of the trends and maximise your marketing efforts. Contact us today to learn more.
House of Marketers (HOM) is a leading TikTok Marketing Agency. Our global agency was built by early TikTok Employees & TikTok Partners, which gives us the insider knowledge to help leading brands, like Redbull, Playtika, Badoo, and HelloFresh win on TikTok. Want us to convert more of Gen Z and Millennials with TikTok? Get in touch with our friendly team, here.