We typically don’t condone people wishing their lives away, but when it comes to exploring the future of influencer marketing, we can allow a few exceptions.
Influencer marketing has undoubtedly taken the marketing industry by storm over the last decade and with its google search volume increasing by 1500% in the last three years, it is here to stay. As more brands become aware of the benefits of influencer marketing, they are more willing to spend money from their advertising budgets to get their own campaigns up and running. As of this year, 68% of brand marketers aim to increase these budgets.
If you are a brand who has still not hopped onto the influencer marketing bandwagon, through this blog we will pull you out from underneath the rock you’ve been inhabiting and open up your eyes to the future of influencer marketing – your future.
What to expect from the future of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is gradually becoming more about the collective rather than the individual. Be prepared to start seeing marketers group influencers together based on who they are associated with. For example, two best friends promoting a product together is likely to entice more click throughs, despite their different engagement rates, than a solo act.
After all, like everything, it’s about who you know, not what you know.
In doing this, power centres are created for each niche; allowing marketers to pull influencers from a pool of already established creators depending on the field. These centres will eventually overlap, placing emphasis on the interconnectedness of different niches.The influencers who are able to transfer ideas between these overlapping groups will end up as the most influential.
The future is micro
As of 2022, people are becoming increasingly less concerned about big names and, instead, value the authenticity of influencers with follower counts between 1,000 and 100,000; making nano and micro influencers the face of the future of influencer marketing.
Brands are also slowly cottoning on to the fact that micro influencers are delivering better results than their much larger counterparts – proving that size really doesn’t matter. In fact, in 2021, nano influencers had an average engagement rate of 4.6% which was three times more than influencers with 20,000 followers or more. For brands to succeed with influencer marketing campaigns in the future, it is wise to consider the monumental impact of a micro influencer and once the whole world is on board, they will be dominating every online space.
A continuation in maturity
Now bear with us here, as we understand that this subtopic may seem a little odd.
Long story short, the future of influencer marketing will no longer only serve the younger generation. Data shows that the average age of social media users has crept up within the last year, boasting these particular stats as it has done so:
- The % of users on Instagram aged between 25 and 34 rose by 4%, whereas the number of TikTok users between the ages of 13 to 17 fell by 2%.
- TikTok users between the ages of 18 and 24 made up the largest group of users on the platform, accounting for 39% of the platform’s users.
- Meanwhile 70% of YouTube users were between 18 and 34 years old.
While social media used to be a place for the latest gossip on the Kardashians, research shows that Finance & Economics, Health & Medicine and Business & Careers were the categories that attracted the most new followers in 2021. We hope the future of influencer marketing isn’t entirely this bleak, but this certainly does reflect the sobering realities that affect social media users.
Stricter advertising guidelines
Influencer marketing is no longer holding up your favourite brand of shoes and flaunting them all over your story without tagging the brand. In the past, this has been frowned upon for being unethical and immoral.
Stricter guidelines put in place by the Federal Trade Commission for influencers state that all promotional, gifted content must be disclosed with hashtags like #paid and #ad. The future of influencer marketing will focus on keeping the trust of consumers high by enforcing stricter guidelines.
The rise of CGI influencers
For those of you who are unfamiliar, CGI influencers are social media influencers created with the help of artificial intelligence and computer-generated imagery.
In other words, they are robots.
CGI influencers such as Lil Miquela and Shudu have taken social media by storm…and the jobs of human beings.
Riding on the curiosity they evoke, a number of luxury brands have headhunted these AI influencers to promote their products. Brands such as Nike, Samsung, Prada, Balmain and Calvin Klein are just a few examples. Other, lesser known brands, have started jumping on the CGi influencer bandwagon due to having an unusual amount of control over the content creation process.
But how exactly are CGI influencers going to be incorporated even further into the future of influencer marketing?
We’ve already seen it with clothing retailer Pretty Little Thing. CGI influencers will be created by brands themselves to serve as ambassadors. This way, the brand can create their ‘perfect influencer’. Soon, we may also be seeing these CGI influencers walk as holograms down the runway.
Robots are synonymous with anything related to the future, especially influencer robots, meaning just their pending presence alone signifies that influencer marketing is the future.
What is the future of influencer marketing?
- More influencer networks
- The growth of nano/micro influencers
- Stricter FTC guidelines for influencers
- The rise of CGI influencers
Why is influencer marketing the future?
The everyday consumer is becoming more and more numb to traditional advertising methods, allowing influencer marketing to emerge as a promising advertising channel. Furthermore, influencer marketing tends to be more cost effective to run. The future of influencer marketing is essentially ripe with opportunities for anyone who is able to adapt to quick changing trends and industry standards.
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