If you want to know what influencer marketing trends 2023 will bring your way, you've come to the right place. Influencer marketing is already big, and it's only going to get bigger. Every year brings about new social media platforms, new types of content, and new ways brands can engage with their potential customers. The best influencers stay on top of the trends so they can offer brands what they need to shine. With the social media landscape changing so quickly, it's important that influencers leverage the hottest influencer marketing trends quickly to develop their authority and expertise, making themselves more attractive to brands. For their part, brands will want to jump on these influencer marketing trends to expand their audience, generate new leads, and earn more revenue.
After the pandemic during which brands found themselves scrambling to update their marketing and advertising campaigns to resonate with an audience suddenly stuck at home, 2023 offers tons of promise. Not only have businesses learned that they could operate virtually, but more and more consumers have turned to the internet to meet their eCommerce needs. And, since several traditional marketing methods were incompatible with the effects of a global pandemic, brands sought out content creators and influencers who are adept at creating reactive content. In fact, our influencer marketing benchmark report found that influencer marketing increased during the pandemic. That's huge. And it's why influencers have seen the spotlight on them grow brighter.
So, let's dive into the influencer marketing trends you can trust to keep business booming throughout the year.
Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch:
- 1. A Greater Emphasis on Following Preferred Creators Across Multiple Platforms
- 2. Influencers Will Become Key to Many Affiliate Programs
- 3. Video Content Will Increase (Even More) In Popularity
- 4. Live Shopping Will Continue to Play a Greater Role in Influencer Campaigns
- 5. A Greater Emphasis on Diversity and Representation in Influencer Marketing
- 6. Micro and Nano Influencers Will Continue to Get More Love
- 7. Brands Will Look for Ongoing Partnerships Instead of One-Off Projects
- 8. Marketers Will Spend More Money on TikTok
- 9. Performance-based Deals Will Increase in Popularity
- 10. Influencers Will Become More Specialized (and Professional)
- 11. Influencer Collaborations Will Increase
- 12. Getting First-party Data Will Become Critical
- 13. Authenticity Will Be the Watchword
- 14. Brands will appoint a Chief Influence Officer
- 15. Employee-Driven Content Will Increase
- 16. Paid Advertising Will Be Key for Broad Reach
- Frequently Asked Questions
Influencer Marketing Trends
Influencer marketing was a $16.4 billion industry in 2022. However, they anticipate the global influencer marketing platform market size will reach $84.89 billion by 2028. So, it should come as no surprise that the prediction for 2023 is that marketers will collectively spend over $4.5 billion on influencers. As popularity, demand, and marketing spend increase for influencer marketing, it's important to pay attention to these influencer marketing trends for 2023 so you're focusing attention and ad dollars on the right things.
1. A Greater Emphasis on Following Preferred Creators Across Multiple Platforms
Although many creators have a favorite social network, they typically operate across multiple platforms. While this isn't new, the difference now is that these creators have "super fans" who interact with them everywhere they appear.
This means that successful creators tend to have large audiences interacting seamlessly across their accounts. They aren't just Instagrammers or YouTubers, for example. Instead, they see themselves as specialist creators, showcasing their work to fans across the Web. And often, they will select the best platform for a purpose.
In other words, while they will have their multiple social platforms for different purposes – they are all parts of a whole.
2. Influencers Will Become Key to Many Affiliate Programs
Until recently, most people viewed influencer marketing and affiliate marketing as two different activities. In reality, though, they’re very much interrelated.
Both activities involve an "outsider" promoting and encouraging their supporters to buy somebody's products. Indeed, one of the platforms, Refersion, already recognizes the connection and doubles up as an affiliate and influencer platform. As our reviewer of that platform observed, "The line between affiliates and influencers is becoming increasingly blurred as influencer platforms integrate with eCommerce more and more, moving beyond simple 'awareness' campaigns to actually drive sales."
In the past, most affiliates were traditional bloggers or publishers. They would include product demonstrations, walkthroughs, and reviews on their sites. In addition, they often promoted multiple, sometimes competing, affiliate programs to increase their chances of getting referral fees from a broader range of readers.
We're now seeing a change, however. Influencers are now recommending products to their followers – but typically only those they use or trust themselves. They don't want to alienate their followers by promoting products they don't believe in.
As a result, brands are discovering that influencers can be true champions of their products. Influencers will often give personal testimonials, demonstrations, and calls to action when talking about a brand. They can help their followers through the entire sales funnel, from awareness to consideration and even purchase. What’s more, they do all of this in an authentic, personal way.
On his blog, Neal Schaffer adds that as brands are starting to discover that influencers are indeed a type of affiliate, it can work in their favor. It can encourage influencers to work harder as they know they’ll get paid for their results. He also highlights that this new way of thinking about influencers will benefit brands and consumers. Brands will find that they don’t have to pay inflated rates, while, for consumers, affiliate links shared by their favorite influencers will make the whole shopping experience just more convenient.
3. Video Content Will Increase (Even More) In Popularity
Yes, we know. Every year for at least the last eight years, video content has been on everyone's list of not just influencer marketing trends but marketing trends in general. And, there's a good reason for that.
Bandwidth has improved worldwide in recent years. 5G is spreading across the globe, and fiber internet is commonplace in many countries. As a result, people are consuming more video and audio content nowadays. Creators on Twitch, YouTube, and even podcasts are becoming more influential.
People just love video. Even with all the platforms, consumers are barely getting their itch for video scratched. According to video stats, more than half of people want marketers to create more video content.
And, who will marketing teams turn to — creators. Many influencers prefer TikTok and YouTube, which are video-based social platforms, over other mediums like Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook. So, brands should have no issue finding influencers to create video content. If that’s your preferred medium, expect to be approached a lot more about possible partnerships moving forward.
In their Creator ROI Report, NeoReach revealed that brands are driving more successful influencer marketing campaigns on video platforms like YouTube and TikTok. Out of thousands of FTC compliant videos posted in the first quarter of 2022, sponsored creator content gained over 107 million likes collectively regardless of campaign type. Across industry and influencer levels, short and long-form video content continues to dominate influencer marketing campaigns and social media trends as a whole.
That being said, text and images aren't yet dead – Instagram is still one of the most popular social sites. But expect to see more emphasis on video and audio content over the next year. TikTok and YouTube are on the rise, and podcasting is increasing in popularity. Even old staples like Facebook and Twitter now emphasize sharing videos.
4. Live Shopping Will Continue to Play a Greater Role in Influencer Campaigns
Live shopping became increasingly popular in 2021 and 2022, and this will continue into the new year. Influencers and other key thought leaders will continue to promote products to their communities on their favorite social platforms, using live video and interactive content.
In fact, according to statistics about live shopping, the majority is starting to prefer livestream over other types of social media purchases. In response, 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. According to the platform, the appeal of this format is that it gives shoppers an immersive way to discover and buy products.
There are many influencers who’ve successfully used live shopping and partnered with brands. For example, in March 2022 Walmart partnered with 10 TikTok creators for a second time to host a live shopping experience. So, expect to see many more of these types of collaborations over the next year…
5. A Greater Emphasis on Diversity and Representation in Influencer Marketing
We’re seeing a greater emphasis on diversity and representation in society of late. So, it comes as no surprise to see this flow into influencer marketing. The leading LGBTQ+ influencers on YouTube have over 10 million followers.
You even find influencer agencies devoted to increasing representation. For example, REFLECT, a space for underrepresented groups within media campaigns, is on a mission to ensure everyone is reflected in the media. They work exclusively with brands that share their passion for diversifying the media and want to build diversity and inclusion into their brand ethos and marketing campaigns.
Other agencies, like Shade and Black Girl Digital, choose to focus on representing black and brown creators. As their name suggests, Black Girl Digital, for example, chose to focus specifically on black females. Their goal is to inspire brands to want to build deeper partnerships with this group of influencers, empowering them to build a sustainable business doing what they love.
Nowadays, both influencers and consumers analyze branded messages and campaigns to make sure everyone is represented. Moving forward, it will become even more important that brands shift their corporate cultures to focus on inclusivity and remove any traces of exclusivity.
6. Micro and Nano Influencers Will Continue to Get More Love
There are different types of influencers, from nano influencers with just a few thousand followers to celebrity influencers with millions. Our influencer marketing benchmark report for 2022 found that while engagement rates dropped, this wasn’t the case for most nano and micro-influencers. In addition to engagement, these types of influencers also have better conversion rates.
By focusing on nano and micro-influencers, brands will be able to stretch their influencer marketing budgets while still working with influencers that are deeply connected to their audiences. For this reason, brands will continue to favor engagement rates over follower counts.
7. Brands Will Look for Ongoing Partnerships Instead of One-Off Projects
Throughout 2023, expect brands and influencers to join together for long-term, ongoing projects rather than one-off sponsored posts. In fact, Neal Schaffer suggests in one of his blog posts that it will become the norm moving forward. There are multiple reasons for this shift, but it ultimately comes down to this: it takes time to make a sale. Even influencers with the most engaged audiences will have trouble making any real contribution when commissioned for a single sponsored post. Running a long-term marketing campaign with a particular influencer will many times just be more effective than a short marketing campaign. Also, brands are becoming interested in fostering stronger relationships with influencers, much like the relationships that they have with brand ambassadors.
If you want to capitalize on this influencer marketing trend, we recommend creating packages that you can sell to brands seeking your services that include several sponsored posts over a period of time, much like what they would tend to do when running Facebook ads or ads on other platforms. It can also help to join an influencer marketing network to give yourself some legitimacy.
8. Marketers Will Spend More Money on TikTok
If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that we always have room for more social media platforms. TikTok, in particular, had stellar years due, in large part, to the pandemic that swept the globe and kept people indoors with little to do.
When TikTok took off in early 2020, influencers were right there with it, amassing followers on the platform and partnering with brands to create sponsored posts and ads. There's no doubt that TikTok's popularity will continue to surge throughout 2023 among both influencers and brands alike. In fact, Neal Schaffer predicts that TikTok might even dethrone Instagram as the king of influencer marketing in 2023. He explains that one of the reasons for TikTok’s increased popularity is because it has found so much favor among younger users.
Just how popular will TikTok become? According to data shared by TheB2BHouse marketers, marketing teams will nearly double what they spend on TikTok influencer marketing in just two years. In 2022, they estimated that TikTok influencer marketing spending added up to almost $800 million. They predict that by 2024 it will exceed $1.3 billion.
What makes it even more impressive is that it’s nearly 10 times higher than what they spent on it in 2020. Much of this success is thanks to the platform’s focus on features like the TikTok Creative Exchange and Creator Marketplace that make it easier for TikTok influencers and brands to connect.
9. Performance-based Deals Will Increase in Popularity
As influencers are starting to play an important role in affiliate marketing programs and more brands are seeking out long-term partnerships with influencers, it’s anticipated that performance-based deals will become more popular in 2023.
This means that clients will expect influencers to deliver on their promises, such as a specific number of sales or clicks. If you're an influencer confronted with a performance-based contract, you might want to consider turning it into ongoing royalties instead of accepting a single payment. You'll also want to be diligent in your contract review before signing to make sure you know what you're agreeing to before guaranteeing a specific return.
10. Influencers Will Become More Specialized (and Professional)
We've already seen influencers carving out niches for themselves, and that's an influencer marketing trend that shows no signs of changing. Influencers will continue to develop expertise in their niche or industry, making them even more sought after by brands in those verticals. As an influencer, it might be time to consider what industries you're most passionate about and start courting partnerships with brands that make sense for the direction you choose to go. Here's an example of a specialized influencer (just check out the bio!):
As influencers become more specialized, we'll likely see a shift in the language that we use. We're already seeing some influencers opt for being called "creators" or "content creators" instead. Since so many influencers are true artists — photographers, videographers, writers, etc. — it's not surprising that they'd want to be known for what they really do instead of being lumped together as "influencers" or "internet celebrities". We think they can be both, but be on the lookout for these fundamental changes in verbiage.
It’s not only influencers who will start viewing themselves as professionals, but also the industry as a whole. As Kolsquare, an influencer marketing platform, likes to put it, 2023 will bring about “the end of amateurism” aka the dawn of the professionalization of influencer marketing.
11. Influencer Collaborations Will Increase
Influencer marketing trends indicate that 2023 will bring us more connections and collaborations between influencers. We've already seen influencer houses become a thing, and it's highly likely there will be more of that as influencer networks seek ways to increase influencer marketing campaigns and earn more return on their efforts.
What makes this trend so exciting to watch is that it will help all parties to increase the value of their relationships. Brands will be able to implement better campaigns. Influencers will be treated as the professionals that they are. Consumers will find the products that they need at the best price.
12. Getting First-party Data Will Become Critical
In short, first-party data refers to data that’s shared by the users themselves as opposed to data that’s gathered via cookies. The web is becoming more cookieless and that will have an impact on influencer marketing and how influencers go about their job too. In 2023 and beyond, it will become critical for influencers to acquire as much data as they can about their audiences.
Basically, with privacy laws becoming more stringent (and with good reason), it will simply be much easier for influencers and brands to rely on their own data.
While on the topic of data, first-party data about consumers isn’t the only thing that will become important. As performance-based deals will increase, real-time data and accurate reporting will be needed. This is just one more reason why influencer marketing platforms that include analytics and in-depth reporting are so valuable. While influencer networks already have some analytics and reporting in place, solo influencers will also need to understand what social media metrics are important so they can deliver on promises.
13. Authenticity Will Be the Watchword
For the past few years, there's been a powerful pull for "authentic" content. This means influencers have to be careful with the content they create for brands to make sure that the products they take on will resonate with their audiences. Of course, this is also something that brands need to watch out for. Even the most engaging influencers aren't going to be able to whip their followers into a frenzy over a product that they just don't care about. It won't benefit the brand trying to make it work, and the influencer will likely lose credibility in the eyes of their audience.
Instead, influencers and brands should seek partnerships only with other influencers and brands whose audiences overlap with theirs. Blatantly sponsored posts themselves aren't the problem, despite what some social media marketing experts would have you believe. You don't have to forgo production value or makeup to make your sponsored posts feel more authentic. What makes sponsored content authentic is a genuine sense of excitement about the brand and the product you're talking about. And this can come across no matter whether or not you're just sitting in your room or recording on a yacht, unless you're doing a sponsored post for a yacht-builder, in which case recording on a yacht would make a lot more sense.
What we tend to lose sight of when talking about the demand for authentic content is what we really want from the content. For most audiences, that means deeper connections with the influencers they follow along with value-driven content. Instead of a standard sponsored post that's modeled after a TV ad, why not try doing a Q&A about the brand or product you're sponsoring or a video that shows what it's like to use it? You can even talk about the things you don't love about a brand or product as long as you make sure your followers know that the product, even with its shortcomings, is still the best. The bonus for influencers is that your audience will trust you more. For brands, it'll show your integrity. And integrity is endearing.
14. Brands will appoint a Chief Influence Officer
Adding to the earlier prediction about how influencers will become more professional, Kolsquare also predicts that the sector as whole will be seen as a field in its own right and a common element to corporate functions. In most companies, influencer marketing will be included in all marketing strategies.
As such, training institutions will start to adapt their curriculum to offer influencer marketing training and recognized qualifications, while businesses will give formal titles to those in charge of this specialized field.
15. Employee-Driven Content Will Increase
An influencer marketing trend for 2023 that stems from the demand for more authentic content is the desire to see employee-driven or employee-based content increase. We've already seen how user-generated content can significantly impact sales and how brands are perceived. It only makes sense for brands to begin treating their own employees as influencers through employee advocacy programs.
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. This works for Macy's employees and the company itself because consumers are fascinated by seeing "how the sausage gets made".
There's a reason why the video of a Wendy's employee making a Baconator got more than 3 million views after Wendy's reposted it. People want to know what goes on behind the scenes at a company.
Giving employees the go-ahead to share that content just makes sense. After all, employees are also consumers. They have a life of their own when they’re not working.
And, it’s not just for product suggestions or reviews that employees can be used as influencers. Moving forward, more businesses will use their own employees to attract new recruits. By featuring its own employees in a job ad, it just lends the brand more credibility.
@wendysputtin’ in work 🔥 #fyp #foryou #wendys @ricky.federici♬ original sound - Wendy’s
16. Paid Advertising Will Be Key for Broad Reach
The last influencer marketing trend on our list for 2023 is all about advertising. Yes, we realize that paid ads are typically not used in conjunction with influencer marketing campaigns. However, brands and influencers will both benefit from the paid amplification of the content created by influencers. Using the fine-tuned targeting available on Facebook Ads or through the advertising tools for other social media platforms, brands will be able to push out high-quality influencer content to the people who care about seeing it, without relying on social media algorithms to make it happen.
The secret, though, is to keep it authentic. As Social Media Marketing explains, consumers are tired of “the conventional marketing experience”. They want more. By combining influencer marketing with paid ads, brands can create a unique experience that their target audiences will take notice of and remember.
Wrapping Things Up
By the looks of online data, influencer marketing is not going anywhere. Our own benchmark report found that in the past five years the industry has more than tripled from $4.6 billion in 2016 to exceed the $16-billion mark in 2022.
So, it should come as no surprise that most marketers plan to increase their influencer marketing budgets. As popularity, demand, and marketing spend increase for influencer marketing, it's important to pay attention to these influencer marketing trends for 2023 so you're focusing your attention and ad dollars on the right things.
The past couple of years were marked by unexpected marketing problems that required out-of-the-box thinking to solve. As we look ahead to influencer marketing trends for 2023, those solutions will be put to the test.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are future trends in influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is becoming a big trend in 2023 and beyond. Key trends include a growing popularity of micro and nano influencers, brands looking for ongoing partnerships, different types of social media platforms, more performance-based deals, and more. From $1.7 billion in 2016, influencer marketing is estimated to have grown to have a market size of $16.4 billion in 2022. It's expected to reach $84.89 billion in 2028.
Is 2023 a good time to become an influencer?
Influencer marketing is a growing trend and phenomenon that continues to become more popular. It's becoming a popular marketing tactic for many marketing agencies. It's never too late to become an influencer, especially if you have a niche in mind. In 2023, more and more nano influencers will become popular as a way for marketers to reach targeted audiences.
Is influencer marketing still relevant?
Influencer marketing is still alive and thriving. In fact, a staggering 90% of respondents to our last influencer marketing survey indicated that they believe influencer marketing to be effective. This statistic has stayed pretty consistent over the years.
Is influencer marketing effective?
Influencer marketing continues to be an effective method of marketing. Most brands that try influencer marketing seem to be happy with the outcomes. A staggering 90% of respondents to our last influencer marketing survey indicated that they believe influencer marketing to be effective. This statistic has stayed pretty consistent over the years.
How many followers count as an influencer?
Influencers can have a big range of followers. Micro-influencers have around 100,000 followers, though micro-influencers often have less than 100,000 followers. Still, they have a strong specialty in a specific niche. They also typically have significant interactions with their followers. Bigger-time influencers can have hundreds of thousands of followers, if not more.