Where Is Influencer Marketing Going?

Where Is Influencer Marketing Going?

It’s a good question, where is influencer marketer going? Last year (2023) influencer marketing as an industry was worth 21.1 billion U.S. dollars! Not bad for an industry still in its infancy! The value of the influencer marketing industry has more than tripled since 2019, demonstrating that it is already a force to be reckoned with in the marketing field. 

Yet, we live in uncertain times, and the platforms and technology on which influencers craft their trade are changing at an unprecedented rate. Indeed, the vast changes in the field beg the question for both those involved in marketing brands, and influencers themselves, where is influencer marketing going in 2024 and beyond?

Happily, our experts are here to answer this question and have crafted the following post which covers all the critical influencer trends you can expect to see both now and in the coming future. Read on to find out what they are. 

1. Affiliate Programs Will Use Influencers To Drive Sales

Influencers and those facilitating affiliate programs have long been two separate arms of an effective marketing process. However, one of the top trends in influencer marketing in 2024 and beyond is the combination of influencer marketing and affiliate programs. 

This combination is quite logical when you consider it, as affiliate marketers and influencers do very similar jobs in that their goal is to convince people to buy certain products. However, by combining influencers with affiliate programs you can make both more effective. 

For instance, an influencer is likely to be much more motivated to sell products if they are receiving a percentage of those sales. That means more sales for the business running the affiliate program and the influencer involved. It truly is a win-win! 

2. There Will Be Massive Growth In Social Commerce

Social media platforms are all about making potential clients aware of brands and products right? Then the customer is directed somewhere else to make their purchase. However, this established practice is currently changing, with a more direct approach known as social commerce taking hold. 

Social commerce is the practice of selling to customers directly on a social media platform. This means they no longer have to navigate away from the content they are viewing to buy a product, (something that can often lead to attrition). Instead with social commerce clients can buy items while staying on the platform, and in some cases staying on the channel and post they are consuming. 

One of the most effective ways of practicing social commerce is through live shopping. This entails the influencer doing a live broadcast where they interact with their audience, and provide them with the opportunity to see the product in use, answer their questions, and allow them to buy. In this way, influencers can enhance their influence and use their content to directly earn sales. 

3. TikTok Will Be Critical For Influencer Marketing

Despite the US controversy surrounding TikTok that is going on right now, TikTok will only grow in importance in the influencer marketing landscape in 2024 and beyond. One of the critical reasons for this is that TikTok users are incredibly loyal, watching on average at least 10 more hours of content a month than Instagram users do on that platform. Another is that TikTok makes it especially easy for content creators and brands to connect via their Creator Marketplace, and Creative Exchange programs. 

4. TikTok Influencer Marketing Will Embrace Older Age Groups

While TikTok is often most associated with a young audience, Gen Xers are now also starting to fall in love with this short-form platform. What this means is there is plenty of opportunity to appeal to this market through influencing, and the best thing is that it’s currently mostly untapped, which means lots of lucrative and effective deals between brands and influencers in the future. 

5. Short Form Videos For The Win

While the short-form video craze began with the rise of TikTok, it’s not confined only to that platform. Indeed, short-form videos have become popular across all social media platforms from Instagram with Reels, to YouTube Shorts, and this is something that is going to continue for sure. 

Perhaps it’s because people just can’t get enough of these dopamine-boosting micro hits of content, and savvy influencers, and businesses will continue to use this format to their advantage. 

6. Linkedinfluancers Will Dominate

If you are already active on LinkedIn you will know that things have been heading this way for a while. After all, most people are using the platform to establish themselves as experts in their field, and the next logical step is to leverage this to influence others’ decisions, just like what happens on any other social media platform. 

Indeed, it’s likely that because of the issues with X formerly Twitter, many of the brand deals that the most popular business influencers were promoting over there will find their way to LinkedIn which means plenty of profitable opportunities for those active in this niche. 

7. We’ll See More Stock Content

Engagement is crucial when it comes to influencer marketing, but creating video content every single day is a huge and exhausting task. Yet, the pressure remains on influencers to put videos out there for their audience. 

The answer to this, which we’ll likely be seeing more of in 2024 is stock content. Hold on, it’s not what you think, stock content in the world of influence is not bland and anonymous like it is in photography. Instead, stock content is video still made by the influencer but of more day-to-day activities like making breakfast, or showing their OOTD. In this way, influencers can still publish content daily for engagement but also take a breather from making time and energy-intensive videos every single day, something that will be crucial for their mental health if they want to succeed in this influencer industry over the long term. 

8. Employees Are The New Influencers

When it comes to influencer marketing you can expect a whole new group of people to start taking up space. This group is employees, which businesses are quickly finding to provide authenticity, and relatability as influencers in a way that no other group can. 

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Typically we’ll see employees become influencers in two main ways shortly. The first will be when they act as brand ambassadors for their employer via the employer’s official channels. Secondly, the type of employee influencer we can expect to rise fastest is when employees make content around their employer’s products or services from their own personal accounts. 

9. AI Will Play A Major Role In Influencer Marketing

Unsurprisingly AI will play a big role in influencer marketing in the coming year and beyond. This is likely to play out in two key ways. 

The first way is that artificial intelligence can now be used to create AI influencers, with a visual presence and personalities that can interactively perform the influencer role. This is seen as both good and bad by those in the industry as such AI influencers could mean a decline in the popularity of human influencers on social media, especially as they need no rest or sleep and so can offer constant engagement with viewers. However, it could also have the opposite effect, and drive up the value of authentic real-life influencers if there are fewer available. 

Another, slightly less alarming way for those operating in the influencer space AI is being used is its integration into influencer and social media platforms. Indeed, by integrating tools like Midjourney, and Chat GPT into platforms used by influencers, their processes can be streamlined and made more effective with very little effort. 

10. An Increase In Long Term Brand Partnerships

Brands are remembering that sales don’t happen, for the most part, instantaneously, and that it takes repeated exposure to a product for a customer to buy it. This is great news for influencers because it means they will be in a much better position to negotiate longer-term relationships with brands. 

For instance, instead of offering a single sponsored post, brands will be more open to running a series of posts with the same influencer, elongating their marketing campaign and so making it more effective. In this way, the influencer role will become close to that of a brand ambassador. 

11. The Number Of Collaborations Between Influencers Will Rise

Collaboration is already big news in content and social media, and it’s only a matter of time until we see this trend permeate the influencer field as well. Indeed, influencer houses are already a thing, and as such trends tend to trickle down from the most popular figures in the field, you can expect plenty of joint and group efforts going forward. 

The great thing about collaborations between influencers is that it can be used to increase reach and tap into a new following. This will help to make influencers even more highly sought after by brands, and so solidify the role of influencers as a crucial one in the online marketing realm going forward. 

Final Thoughts

Where is influencer marketing going? Overall, it looks as if influencer marketing will continue to rise in popularity with brands. We can also expect influencer marketing to mature as a field, as well as integrate new forms of tech. Lastly, the industry of influencer marketing will continue to embrace new opportunities, while also establishing themselves as a trusted profession, and a vital factor in any marketing campaign. 

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