The term “influencer” has changed drastically over the years. Initially used to describe anyone with a large following on social media, the word is now associated with content creators who monetize their online presence. They have—quite literally—the influence that brands will pay money to get out in front of. This symbiotic relationship is called influencer marketing.
In an ideal partnership, the influencer has access to the brand’s audience. And vice versa. It’s the multiplicative power of brand partnerships that makes influencer marketing a force to be reckoned with for years to come.
So, should your organization be tapping into social media influencers? To answer that, let’s explore some predictions we think will make influencer marketing reach new heights this year.
Trend 1: ROI trumps vanity metrics
We’ve seen vanity metrics like follower and like counts lose importance over the last few years, and we predict that this trend will continue into 2023 in favor of ROI. As brands continue to spend millions of dollars on influencer marketing and see good results, ROI will become more important than ever. If a micro influencer campaign has a higher ROI than an influencer with millions of followers, why trade follower count and exposure for conversions?
While engagement and follower count will always matter as long as the algorithms prioritize them, the ability to convert audience into customers will take higher precedence.
Trend 2: Niches get nich-ier
Speaking of micro influencers, we see this trend going even further as “find your niche!” gets taken to a new level. With social media at this level of market penetration with billions of daily users, it’s no longer enough for creators to carve out their one corner of the internet—it’s more like a corner within a corner within a corner.
That is to say, niches are more hyper-specific than ever before. Where “personal style” was the only Insta-bio descriptor needed in the 2010s and “midsize style” was enough even a few years ago, descriptors like “30-something midsize corporate girl style” are becoming the norm.
And this is great news for brands. Your brand has very specific persona profiles (and you do have those, right?) that it wants to attract and partnering with hyper-niche content creators that match those personas is an excellent strategy to reach those audiences and see a higher ROI from your influencer marketing spends.
Trend 3: Dynamic video storytelling
Influencer marketing has transformed because of platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. While promotional posts of years past would feature still images of a product they vouched for, now it’s hard to get excited about anything that doesn’t move.
As audiences continue to shift towards consuming more dynamic video content on social media, we predict that influencer marketing will trend toward more creative storytelling—beyond the constraints of just a single post. Brands also know that videos featuring their product or service in the wild tend to paint a better picture anyway.
This shift is happening already on TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram. We expect this will only continue to expand as these platforms continue to invest in mediums like live streaming.
Trend 4: Prioritizing native content
There’s a lot to be said about native content, but what we know for sure is that social media platforms want to keep users in their app for as long as possible and have taken steps to help ensure this. When working with content creators, make a plan with them to keep the audience in-app. If the content is associated with a product in your Instagram or TikTok storefront, make sure they tag the product within the platform’s storefront instead of linking out to an external ecom site; if the campaign includes video, make sure it’s optimized for each channel’s specs.
Though it takes a few extra steps, it keeps the social media overlords happy and keeps your content in front of the eyeballs you’re after.
Trend 5: Creator partnerships to meet content demands
Part of playing nice with the algorithms these days means creating and sharing large volumes of content across social media channels—anywhere from a few times a week to a few times a day—and it’s a lot for many teams to keep up with. As the demand for content grows over the next 12 months, we see brand working with content creators to help fill in the gaps in the social media calendar. Working with a content creator who can film and edit short-form video content will take a huge weight off your team’s shoulders and ensure that your channels stay fresh with new content.
Do you have any influencer marketing trend predictions of your own this year? Connect with us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok and tell with us about it!