Top Influencer Marketing Trends to Look Out for in 2023
Influencer marketing is here to stay. It has been used to drive some of the largest marketing campaigns in history, and with the rising power of social media influencers, it is here to stay.
According to Statista, the global influencer market is forecasted to generate $15.2 billion in 2022 and is estimated to reach about $22.2 billion by 2025.
Influencer marketing is increasing in popularity with brands everywhere, and it doesn’t seem like it will stop anytime soon. As such, it’s definitely worth having the latest trends at your disposal to get the most out of your influencer marketing campaigns.
Each year welcomes new social media tools and platforms, fun trends, and unique ways to engage with audiences. It’s essential to remain ahead of the curve.
What Is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing involves brands and influencers collaborating on a project to promote specific products or services. A few main objectives brands aim to achieve through influencer marketing include lead generation, brand awareness, and sales increases.
It’s essential that companies research to find appropriate influencers to market their products.
For example, social media influencers that post about interior design are less likely to be successful in promoting a new beauty product, as opposed to beauty influencers who buy and review makeup.
Influencers usually have a certain niche and then build their audience around that. You must find influencers in your niche if you want a highly successful marketing campaign.
Why Is Influencer Marketing Important?
The period of boring television ads dominating the marketing scene has finally ended. There are many new and exciting ways to market products that produce higher conversion rates than before, such as influencer marketing.
Influencers have nurtured a relationship with their loyal followers through different social channels. People enjoy supporting these influencers as they are usually real-life consumers and are more trustworthy than traditional celebrities.
By working with influencers, you can experience improved quality of your content, internet traffic, search engine rankings, engagement rates, credibility and trust, and much more.
This means that brands work with influencers on paid partnerships, giveaways, and more, as targeting these audiences yields more significant results than most marketing campaigns.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the most exciting trends the influencer marketing space will follow in 2023!
Top 15 Hot Influencer Marketing Trends for 2023 You Need to Know
The digital media space will evolve drastically over the coming years. Companies will increase their marketing budgets by up to 51%, and a chunk of this will fund influencer marketing campaigns.
Based on the rapid growth of the influencer marketing space in 2022, here are the trends to keep an eye on for influencer marketing in the future.
- 1. Influencers Will Dominate Affiliate Programs
- 2. Authenticity of campaigns to become critical
- 3. Podcasts Take Centre Stage
- 4. Diversity and Inclusion Increases Tenfold
- 5. Spending on TikTok will Increase
- 6. Video Consumption will Skyrocket
- 7. More Influencer-to-Influencer Collaborations
- 8. Live Shopping Will Increase In Popularity
- 9. The Popularity of Nano- and Micro-Influencers Will Continue to Grow
- 10. Social Commerce Will Open New Opportunities for Sponsorships
- 11. Data Plays a Key Role
- 12. Co-Creation and Cross-Channel are Keywords
- 13. Long-Term Relationships Essential
- 14. Employee Influencers Will Be a Great Choice
- 15. Social Justice Will Dominate in Marketing
1. Influencers Will Dominate Affiliate Programs
For a long time, influencer and affiliate marketing have been seen as two different concepts, but they are becoming even more interconnected as time passes.
Traditionally, most affiliates were bloggers or publishers. They would post content like product demos, reviews, or walkthroughs on their respective sites, often alongside competing products, to increase their chance of making a sale.
Fast forward to 2023 - it’s catching on, and it’s being driven by brands who want to work with influencers on a performance basis.
Influencers have begun to promote brands using video content on social media apps. They recommend their favorite products to their millions of followers and encourage viewers to purchase the item through their link so that they earn a commission off each sale.
This is revolutionary for so many brands as influencers can guide followers through the entire sales funnel in an extraordinarily genuine and authentic way. They offer personal reviews, demonstrations, and calls to action to boost sales.
This also motivates influencers to develop new ways to market your product or service, as they know their efforts will be rewarded through their affiliate links.
This benefits all parties as brands don’t have to pay inflated rates, and consumers generally receive a discount through links shared by their favorite influencers.
Do you want to work with influencers on an affiliate basis? Check out our affiliate tracking software to track all of your campaigns effectively.
Image source: Desi/Instagram
2. Authenticity and Transparency in Campaigns will Become Critical
Consumers are tired of seeing influencer campaigns that are not transparent or authentic. This can reduce the effectiveness of marketing campaigns as people can see through it, and this reduces the impact.
Authenticity and transparency are essential for influencer marketing to build trust and establish credibility - followers are more likely to believe their recommendations and be influenced by them.
It can help to elevate and differentiate an influencer in a crowded space. More than 80% of fashion and lifestyle consumers in the UK said that authenticity and trust is an important factor when choosing to follow an influencer.
Additionally, several countries have legislation to ensure that sponsored content is disclosed to audiences - in the USA the FTC requires sponsored content to be labeled. If an influencer decides to avoid disclosure, this can have a negative impact on both the brand and the influencer with consumer backlash.
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3. Podcasts Take Center Stage
When we think of audio content, I think it’s safe to say that most picture a family gathered around a radio listening to the local news station. This is not the case for 2023.
Audio content is making a breakthrough in the form of podcasts. The rising trend in audio content has taken many by surprise. This is a prominent influencer trend, with popular creators hosting interesting podcasts released on Amazon, Spotify, and more.
Many social media users prefer to listen to podcasts instead of music while on their daily runs or grocery trips. The popular podcast formats include multi-host, interview, and round table setups. Influencers monetize their podcasts by featuring ads throughout each recording. Brands can reach out to these influencers to feature their products as part of their influencer marketing strategy.
Statista has predicted that podcast listeners will reach over 160 million by 2023, so this trend is here to stay.
4. Diversity and inclusion Increase Tenfold
Diversity and inclusion will become essential for brands that want to attract wider audiences in 2023. Consumers and influencers will actively seek representation in campaigns and shun virtue-signaling brands or brands that push an exclusive narrative in 2023.
To stay relevant, influencer marketing agencies themselves will need to push brands for more diversity, and even more agencies representing diverse creators will appear.
Social media channels will push for diversity and inclusion in brand deals and in the package they offer from content creators. In 2021 when social channels all rushed to include pronouns on profiles to encourage inclusivity, this was seen as a huge step. Diversity and inclusion will continue to grow and evolve into 2023.
5. Spending on TikTok will increase
TikTok has seen a real boom in 2022, which will continue into 2023. According to Social Insider the average engagement rate of social posts from TikTok in 2022 is 5.96%. Compare this to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter which are all under 1%, then you paint a clearer picture.
Image source: Social Insider
For brands, this is a potential goldmine - budgets will reflect this in 2023 with a much stronger focus on TikTok than on other social channels. In fact, research suggests that marketers will spend $1.05 billion on TikTok in 2023, and by 2024 they will spend double what they spent in 2022.
And TikTok themselves have published data on how effective the platform is for e-commerce brands.
Image source: TikTok
6. Video Consumption Will Skyrocket
Video content continues to be among the most popular ways consumers digest information. The global bandwidth improvements have contributed to this through 5G and fiber internet.
Platforms such as TikTok, YouTube, Twitch, and social media tools such as Instagram Reels, Snapchat Stories, and much more, have all made it easier for users to create and view video content at the touch of a button.
According to G2 Crowd, social media video produces around 1200% more shares than image and text content combined. This depicts the increased audience size that video content is exposed to.
Most influencers prefer to use TikTok or YouTube for short and long-form content, and many utilize both to appeal to a broader audience. NeoReach revealed that sponsored creator content generated a combined value of over 107 million likes.
A few innovative brands have started utilizing TikTok trends in their ads to market their products. This results in more views as users often don’t even realize they’re watching an ad.
Text and image content are still useful, but with endless possibilities in video content creation, expect this to be the future of influencer marketing.
7. More Influencer-to-Influencer collaborations
When influencers work together it is beneficial to all influencers that get involved.
Influencer-to-influencer collaborations will become much more popular in 2023. Why? Because they can help influencers to reach new audiences, create engaging content, build relationships with other influencers, and, most importantly, drive engagement.
For brands, this will be an excellent way to run their influencer marketing campaigns in 2023 to drive even more engagement and reach.
8. Live Shopping Will Increase In Popularity
Live shopping has increased in popularity and will continue into 2023 and beyond.
With live shopping events predicted to reach an incredible $35 billion in sales by 2024, according to Coresight Research, it’s the future of influencer marketing.
Platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have introduced Livestream shopping tools and partnerships for various influencers.
For example, TikTok’s live shopping feature combines live streams with Ecommerce, allowing the target audience to buy products without leaving the app.
This allows for a seamless shopping journey and an immersive shopping experience with the ability to discover and purchase products in a simple way.
According to Statista, middle influencers managed to attract 40% of their viewership through live streams, four times more than mega-influencers. Video live streaming was the third most popular content type worldwide in [Q2 of 2022(https://www.statista.com/statistics/1254810/top-video-content-type-by-global-reach/)].
These live streams are often extremely interactive, with influencers presenting a product to their audience, answering any questions in the chat, and providing real-time links to purchase the product.
An example would be Leomie Anderson, a well-known British model, and fashion designer, who formed part of Tommy Hilfiger’s first-ever shopping live stream, where they spoke about current trends and how to style each item effectively.
Social media influencers will continue to promote brand content using live video and interactive content for one-off partnerships and affiliate marketing programs.
9. The Popularity of Nano- and Micro-Influencers Will Continue to Grow
Image source: Mitch/Instagram
To retain the content quality of the influencer while also conveying the right brand message, and brands will continue to shift towards nano- and micro-influencers who are more niche-based and have small but loyal and engaged audience bases.
These influencers usually create very authentic content that uniquely speaks to their audience. That, in turn, creates more engagement. They are seen as being more “real” than mega influencers.
Working with micro-and nano-influencers has two main benefits for brands. First, they get access to a highly loyal audience base that might be low in numbers but have a high level of trust in the influencer. Since the conversion rate with such audience groups is high, the ROI these campaigns can drive is massive.
Secondly, since these influencers don’t have a huge following, they charge less than macro-and mega-influencers. This opens doors for smaller startups with smaller marketing budgets to enter the influencer marketing space and compete with bigger brands
10. Social Commerce Will Open New Opportunities for Sponsorships
Social commerce integrates social media with e-commerce. It uses networking websites, for example, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat, as vehicles to broadcast products and services to consumers. The sales and purchases of products can be performed directly on the platform they are published on.
The total number of active users on social media will be around 6 billion in 2027. According to Statista, an average user spends approximately two hours each day scrolling through these networks. With numbers this big, social commerce makes more sense today than ever before. This is precisely why Facebook advertisingand Instagram sponsored posts include links to products.
What will change in the future is live shopping will increase in popularity in Western countries, and content creators will be creating shoppable posts and videos that inspire a seamless user experience from influencer content to brand channels. Shoppable posts have already been used extensively on social media platforms.
Besides these shoppable posts, interactive live stream selling will increase. Already hugely popular in China, live streaming is set to grow, as it allows brands to utilize influencers and gives shoppers sales touch points on the screen or in the chat.
11. Data Will Play a Key Role in Decision-Making
A data-driven influencer marketing approach will help you put your money in the right place. The more you invest in influencer marketing, the more critical ROI becomes. And if you cannot track this ROI, you risk throwing your money down the drain.
Additionally, first-party data will become essential in influencer marketing in 2023 with the phasing out of 3rd-party cookies. First-party data is information brands and influencers collect directly from your audience that they own. This will help brands and influencers create more impactful campaigns.
Modern data analytics techniques can help you segment influencer accounts based on their followers or loyalty groups. You can use the same method to identify audience niches on social media and then collaborate with influencers popular among those groups. Limiting your audience based on data can greatly help you get the most out of your influencer marketing spend.
That’s why estimating and tracking your return on investment and optimizing for the future is vital in ensuring influencer campaigns’ success. In the end, most brands want to see actual results in terms of sales, and the only way to do this is with data. This will become a much bigger trend in 2023.
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12. Co-Creation and Cross-Channel Campaigns Will Increase
Instead of investing in product placement or simple outreach campaigns, brands will collaborate with influencers to create valuable content for both audiences. These social media brand collaborations will help create more loyalty for the influencer and the brand.
This co-creation will not be limited to content. The products and services companies sell will also be created in partnership with influencers (for example, an influencer can take the design part of your product, and you can manufacture and produce it). Such market offerings will be meant for both the audience of those influencers and will also benefit the brands.
Since the same influencers have a decent following throughout all social platforms, a brand could ask for a series of TikTok reels, Instagram posts, and a Facebook live event with the agreement that they can use some of the images for their own campaigns (UGC) to reach different audience types on each platform.
Both brands and influencers might struggle between staying relevant to their brand messages and catering to what the other parties demand. But eventually, this will result in companies using niche-based influencer marketing and only hiring influencers relevant to their brand identities, and audiences
13. Long-Term Relationships with Influencers Will Become Essential
With the constant increase in the number and types of influencers in the market, brands will prefer to build ongoing partnerships to keep their campaigns consistent.
Long-term partnerships help sponsored content grows for influencers and their audiences; hence, their recall value increases.
It takes people between 5 and 7 interactions before they decide to purchase, so stronger relationships with influencers are essential to get results from your creative campaigns.
The influencers create a series of posts over a longer period, and the audience can connect to each of them.
Additionally, suppose an influencer feels personally invested in the brand’s success. In that case, they are more likely to create authentic content that organically connects with their audience and is more powerful in driving them to the brand.
Building long-term relationships with influencers can be tricky, as it involves much more than paying them for their services. It is key to allow them the right level of creative freedom and help them to create the content they want that resonates with their audience.
14. Employees as Influencers Will Be a Great Choice
Employee influencers seem to be a rising trend in influencer marketing. Your employees are already engaged with the products and services you offer and understand them inside out. Their posts on the internet are much more reliable than any external party outside of your company.
However, the thing that makes employees more influential in recommending company services is their integrity. They need to be very critical of what the company offers and always provide the audience with the true picture. If this integrity gets compromised, these campaigns can negatively impact your brand and result in a loss of trust.
The best method of using employees as influencers is by creating in-house content that features them testifying to your products and services.
They can also talk about their work routines, the work culture at your company, or a behind-the-scenes angle of how their favorite products or services you offer are created.
Another idea could be sending out email newsletters to your potential customers via email client featuring employees and what they have to say about the company.
15. Social Justice Will Continue to be a Critical Role in Marketing
As online audiences become more progressive, they are even more conscious of social justice and how big of a role brands play in uplifting the vulnerable segments of society. In 2023, businesses will base their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) campaigns on online social movements.
In the past, some brands have stayed silent on political matters to avoid controversy. Over time, this silence causes outrage among consumers and can negatively impact sales. Inauthentic support of social justice is also not tolerated - token gestures are easily seen for exactly what they are. It’s not enough to push for what is right; they also have to do what is right within their organizations.
In the future, brands will be expected to take sides more and push for what is right to earn their audiences’ respect, and influencers will work with brands that reflect their values.
Social justice campaigns have already been observed with some beauty brands. For example, Fenty Beauty includes all skin types.
Plus, clothing brands like ModCloth and ASOS are starting to include more body types. Ben and Jerry’s notoriously refused to give two scoops of the same flavor of ice cream until gay marriage was legalized in Australia. This trend will increase even further over the next year.
From a marketing perspective, this allows loyal customers to jump on the bandwagon and post content based on the cause the brand is pushing for. This User-Generated Content (UGC) may be as simple as a photo or as complex as a vlog by an influencer featuring the brand.
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Set up your influencer campaigns for success
Influencer marketing is evolving at a lightning-fast speed. If you want to reach new audiences and impact your bottom line, you should stay up-to-date and look at future possibilities for your brand.
Many companies are increasing their budget for influencer marketing due to the impressive statistics discussed in this article. The ROI from influencer marketing is noticeable, to say the least, and worth considering for your digital marketing strategy.
Here are a few key takeaways you should pay attention to:
- Most importantly, ensure you approach influencers in your niche. This will enable authentic influencer marketing and generate more leads from your target customers.
- Investigate and follow social media and influencer trends. It’s important to have relevant and trendy content on apps such as TikTok to reach larger audiences.
- Nano and micro-influencers will yield better results for your brand regarding average engagement rates.
- Remain up to date on the latest advancements in social media tools. It’s important to leverage them in your influencer marketing efforts.
- Ensure that whoever you work with has the creative freedom to be authentic so your brand can leave a lasting impression on its audience.
- Influencer marketing is useful when you use it to build deeper, more authentic connections with your audience by providing them with valuable content from brands via their favorite influencers.
Social media constantly evolves, and many trends don’t stick around for long. This means you should constantly research and explore the latest trends to avoid being left behind.
Brace yourself for the year ahead and get ready by implementing these influencer marketing trends today.