Influencer Marketing Trends 2023

2022 saw businesses adopting influencer marketing and that too at a record pace. The primary driving factor was better engagement rate and ROI compared to other forms of marketing. However, more and more companies are moving towards creating authentic content and community around their offerings. Influencer Marketing is the golden bullet if that’s your goal! So, what does 2023 hold for Influencer Marketing? Sounds very astrology based, but we will base our analysis on data and lessons we have learned.

The 9 Trends we believe would rule 2023.

Image to represent non sucking trends in influencer marketing

1. Nano and Micro Influencers

Nano Influencers are influencers with 1,000 to 50,000 followers under their audience and micro-influencers are the next tier with 50,000 to 100,000 followers. In 2022, we witnessed that nano and micro-influencers clocked a very high engagement rate compared to macro and mega-influencers. What’s more interesting is the fact that these are budding influencers and the scope of a long-running partnership has the scope to bring in the highest value for the businesses over time.

2. Niche Content

Influencers have been differentiating them by offering a niche content to their audience. In 2022, we saw that influencers have been building niche and gaining higher value compared to generic content creators. Digital influencers are aiming to gain more creative control with brand partnerships to demonstrate authenticity and validity to their followers.

For example, influencers interested in skin care may create niche content around skincare and expand around overlapping niches.

3. Live Shopping

Live Shopping essentially refers to an influencer flexing sponsored products and promoting the sales for the same. However, we have been witnessing other forms of live shopping and might have to hold for a while before this segment matures fully.

TikTok is perhaps the pioneer at this but imagine if your target audience could just one-click to buy your product. Imagine that an influencer is promoting it and it all happens in less 5 steps. That’s the power we will be experiencing soon to drive sales and conversions. Companies like Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have all developed livestream shopping tools and partnerships. For example, Instagram launched Live Shopping that allows users to buy products directly via Instagram Live.

4. Long-running partnerships over one-off projects with influencers

Soon the days will be gone when businesses will do one-off collaborations with influencers. It’s already evident that the influencer pipeline gets better over time and it is very effective in long run to establish sales over one-off collaboration. Also, brands are becoming interested in fostering stronger relationships with influencers, much like the relationships that they have with brand ambassadors.

5. Performance-based deals will become more popular

With long-running partnerships becoming mainstream, more businesses are expected to head towards performance-based deals. Put simply, there would be more CPV deals, royalty involvement, and some more innovative packages. So, if you are an influencer and have received a performance-based contract, be diligent with the terms of the deal. But this also means that the clients can deliver promises such as sales targets etc.

6. Specialised Influencers

Similar to niche content, more and more influencers are specialising in the content they create to attract and retain a dedicated audience. Influencers will continue to develop expertise in their niche or industry, making them even more sought after by brands in those verticals.

For example, an influencer with an audience interested in skin care could benefit from specialising in facial skin care to attract new and grow a dedicated audience base. But that is just one example.

7. Authenticity over anything

We have witnessed the power of authentic content over years. Instead of just reading about it, why not look up Keith Lee on TikTok and find out for yourself? Authenticity in content and the creator will be the primary growth factor for influencers. And authenticity in brand collaborations will only fuel the growth of the influencer. However, this is something which even businesses need to be careful about. Collaborating with influencers whose audience overlaps with yours is the key here.

(Between us, we will be posting a full fledged post on this. So, keep an eye out if you’d like a template too)

8. Introducing Chief Influence Officer

Yes! There would be a new role dedicated to tracking and measuring Influencers. Make way for the Chief Influence Officer (CIO). With influencer marketing turning professional, businesses need to adopt an influencer strategy and who could do it better than a professional trained to handle the same? (It’s a rhetorical question, just in case you got too serious here). More and more institutions will be providing training to manage influencers and influence.

Employee Driven Content will catch on

More and more companies are turning to their employees to drive and create content, which sounds cool as long as the employees are comfortable. Brands like Macy’s had great success with this approach. With its Style Crew, Macy’s offers incentives and financial rewards to employees who use Macy’s products in their everyday lives if sharing that content leads to sales.

Why look out for external influencers when you have one at the corner cubicle?

Paid Ads on top of Influencer Marketing will yield the maximum value. There’s still some time before influencer marketing matures to its full potential. But that does not mean you should ditch other marketing efforts altogether. Using paid ads to retarget audience based on your influencer marketing campaign’s engaged users increases your conversion and maximises the sales opportunities.