There is no denying that the influencer marketing industry has always been lucrative. With more brands realising the potential the channel holds, it has grown even more.
The channel grew from a 1.7 billion dollar industry in 2016 to a 9.7 billion dollar industry in 2020. In 2022 the industry soared up to a massive 16.4 billion dollar industry and we know it’s only going to keep growing in 2023.
Nonetheless, with everything going on around the world, there is no telling. Brands and influencers alike need to take note of some trends to ensure they are maximising the channel to its full potential.
Implications of the Global Financial Crisis
As a result of the ongoing financial crisis, many brands may cut down on ad spending. This means fewer influencers for campaigns or less pay for influencers. The financial strain also means a reduction in purchasing power for many consumers. It is for this reason that brands and influencers need to rethink campaigns in order not to come across as tone-deaf.
Influencers need to think along the lines of durability rather than aesthetics when promoting their brands and for those torn between the content types; educate me or entertain me, many will make a shift towards educational content that provides more value to their followers and better sustains their relevance as influencers.
Additionally, while brands may want to pull the brakes on ad spending, it may be worth investing more into their branding efforts to cultivate and strengthen trust between the brand and its consumers, especially at a time when consumers will prefer to patronise brands that they like and trust.
The Rise of AR
We heard so much about virtual influencers in the last year and how they are taking over the influencer marketing space in countries like Japan. This year we will notice more augmented reality features infused into our influencer marketing campaigns. A fashion brand may, for instance onboard several influencers for the launch of its latest range of sunglasses.
The campaign will work with Snapchat influencers, where influencers using a filter can try on different sunglasses within the range, giving the influencer’s audience an idea of how the sunglasses fit before they make a purchase.
Influencer marketing platforms
We will continue to see more influencer marketing platforms pop up to support influencer relations. This will make it easier for brands to onboard influencers and make it easier to track campaigns. This will however not fully take the place of influencer marketing agencies, who will still be needed to guide and refine always-on-campaigns. Being part of a platform like this as an influencer has the potential to expose you to newer markets.
If you thought niche influencers were the thing in 2022 they are about to become even more popular this year. We are going to see more influencers niche down to attract brands they want to work with. Financially this is positive for brands because they can choose to work with influencers who nurture a segment that is profitable for them at any given moment and maximise the relevance of their offerings.
Cancel Culture is Fully Upon Us
The call for authenticity is getting louder starting with TikTok and the idea of “deinfluencing”. This is where consumers point out the profit value brands are making in the comments section of the influencers’ post (basically pointing out, it’s an ad).
This is gaining popularity among Gen Z and C and as much as this generation appreciates campaigns that have a social cause, they are also very quick to spot and call out brands and influencers who are only jumping on the bandwagon to bait out consumers. Of course, this can hurt both the brand and the influencer, it, therefore, lies on the influencer to ensure that what they stand for aligns with their past, present and future remembering the internet never forgets.
Have in place a PR plan dear influencer. It is also important for brands to carry out due diligence in their selection of influencers for campaigns to ensure that influencers they work with do not have an existing reputation that reflects negatively on their efforts.
360 Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing has shown us how effective peer-to-peer marketing is and fortunately, we do not want to go back to what we knew. At least not all of it. In the coming months, we will continue to see more influencer campaigns that go beyond social.
This may look like spotting your favourite influencer on the billboard hosting your favourite TV show or seeing the design of your favourite influencer on a brand that you like. Considering that the most dominant platform, Instagram, for influencer marketing has started phasing out vanity metrics such as Likes, brands can no longer rely on such vanity metrics to track KPIs.
This trend will allow brands to maximise their returns on influencer marketing and test its depths instead of restricting the potential of the channel to a single medium.
Social media platform changes & The Creator Economy
Social media platforms particularly youtube continue to fuel the creator economy by adding more features to the platform to make content creation rewarding for online creators. Worth 104.2 billion dollars, and still attracting more players, the creator economy will continue to see existing players seeking to outdo their counterparts to remain the most attractive for content creators. Then again, too much meat never ruined the broth
Influencer/ Creator Burnout
Since the exponential growth of influencer marketing in 2020 and growing conversations around mental health, sparked by COVID, many creators have also opened up about how social media affected their mental health.
We are beginning to see influencers taking a break from social every now and again to reduce the likelihood of burnout. Brands working on always-on campaigns can take it a step further to safeguard the mental health of their influencers and protect the brand by exploring best practices of influencer client relations.
So there you have it, some key trends or insights you should consider as you navigate the world of influencer marketing in 2023, whether you are an influencer or work directly with influencers.
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