What You Should Know About Social Media Influencer Marketing for This Year and Beyond
Long past are the days when influencer marketing was, in and of itself, a trend. For many businesses, influencer marketing is a vital component of their overall marketing strategy — but is anyone surprised?
Influencer Marketing Hub reported that the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to approximately $21.1 billion in 2023, even greater than its estimated value of $16.4 billion last year.
A closer look at results demonstrates why this industry is so valuable: Influencer marketing strategies were found to drive engagement up to 6.5 times higher than traditional digital marketing tactics, according to a study by Collective Bias.
A recent example of an incredibly engaging campaign using influencer marketing is this TikTok campaign featuring popular influencers Bomanizer, Jazmine Robinson and Harry Jowsey. This ad garnered responses ranging from “Finally, an ad that’s fun to watch,” to “It’s 2023, and the ads have finally caught up!” The right influencer marketing campaign can transform an ad into entertainment.
It’s safe to say that the capacity that social media influencer marketing has to capture audiences and deliver incredible results is well-proven. If you’re interested in utilizing these strategies to build your brand and increase your conversion rate, check out these Influencer Marketing Trends for 2023.
Seed Products to Grow Your ROI
Product seeding, also known as influencer gifting, is when a brand gifts products to relevant influencers in hopes that they enjoy these products and recommend them to their followers. Unlike a sponsorship, there is no monetary payment exchanged, and no expectation is placed on the influencer to give a disingenuous recommendation of a product they didn’t like.
While this is arguably one of the earliest influencer marketing tactics, the no-expectation method of product seeding has taken the backburner in favor of paid sponsorships that give companies greater creative control. From there we’ve seen a spiral into micromanagement of the creators they hire, however, and lost sight of the creativity and authenticity that made influencer marketing so sensational in the first place.
In 2023, we predict that product seeding is making a comeback. Social media users have become jaded toward sponsored content and crave advice that feels down-to-earth and trustworthy. Many brands have started switching gears, returning to the roots of influencer marketing and developing relationships with influencers who make sense for their brand and enjoy their products or services.
“Expert” Influencing: The Rise of Edu-tainment from Small Influencers
A few years ago, influencers were thought of as jetsetter celebrities. Their lives took place in lavish hotel rooms, overpriced brunch spots, and first class flights to Dubai. The influencer lifestyle was an aspiration few could ever reach. In the last couple years, however, that has changed.
Nano- and micro-influencers have captured the market and are the preference of nearly 70% of people, beating out macro-influencers and celebrities by a wide margin. These influencers have spread out among niche interests, especially since the rise of TikTok, appealing to their audiences with humor or insight. Think of the modern influencer like they’re your cool older sister. And just like your older sister, they love to give you advice.
Engage in this trend by picking relatable creators with niche audiences who have a knack for creating engaging edutainment content. Show new ways to use your products, engage in Q&As, and promote products in videos that feel like FaceTime calls. It’s time for your social media influencer marketing to get personal.
De-Influencing, AKA “Anti-Influencing” Influencing
One influencer marketing trend on the rise is, ironically enough, de-influencing. Exactly what it sounds like, de-influencing is when content creators tell users what not to buy or engage in. Think “anti-hauls” (where creators show off all the products they’re throwing out), and videos boldly titled “5 THINGS TO AVOID.” We’ve seen growth in hashtags like #mistakes, #DosAndDonts and #deinfluencing on TikTok, and other platforms are sure to follow suit.
De-influencing is especially popular in minimalist communities that value sustainability and in communities centered around highly-saturated industries like beauty. It’s no surprise that this trend has grown in popularity as inflation raises the cost of living and forces consumers to be more selective when choosing how to spend their money. But the virality of de-influencing might stem from more than essentialism.
“Part of the reason scolding advice has become so ubiquitous on TikTok and other platforms is that it can make the scold seem more credible,” said Anna North from Vox Media. Lending back to the popularity of small, “expert” influencers, these “What Not to Do” videos are a tool to establish authority and capture their audience’s attention.
Use #deinfluencing to hedge out the competition with “Buy This, Not That” videos. Hone in on consumers’ problems — and the way that your products or services can fix them.
AI-Generated Influencers? More Likely Than You’d Think.
Like something straight out of Black Mirror, the people who influence our purchasing decisions in the future may not be people at all. In a 2023 study, over 60% of businesses said they plan to use artificial intelligence or machine learning for their influencer campaigns.
There’s a range of ways AI can be applied to influencer marketing. Some have speculated future pairings with virtual influencers, which are computer-generated people made with CGI that have established a social media presence. Utilizing augmented intelligence to generate content ideas and create the personalities behind virtual influencers like @lilmiquela might be on the horizon.
For the time being, AI has more accessible uses for businesses that prefer influencers with a more human touch. Some businesses have started using AI to choose influencers that fit their brand and craft campaigns. Of course, the final say in whether an influencer is a truly great fit for your brand and the task of conducting background checks to ensure they reflect positively on company values should still lie in the hands of an experienced (and human) marketing professional. But hopefully the use of AI can speed up the process of creating your next social media influencer marketing campaign.
Do You Need an Influencer Marketing Campaign?
Looking for a skilled ad agency to help you integrate social media into your digital marketing strategy? Or are you unsure whether an influencer could help you reach your business goals?
You can leave it in our hands. Chat with us about how we can drive traffic to your business with a variety of tactics, which can include innovative influencer marketing campaigns, if it’s what’s right for your business.