Influencer Marketing Trends To Watch In 2024

Feb 23, 2024
Influencer Marketing Trends To Watch In 2024
Brand interest in sponsored content, as opposed to traditional social ads, continues to rise and create opportunities for influencer partnerships, with 92% of brands intending to increase their influencer marketing investment this year. My company's platform supports the relationship between brands and influencers, and we stay closely attuned to trends that affect influencer marketing and brand partnerships. These are the trends I see at the forefront in 2024.

AI’s Growing Impact
Both content creators and brands seem to be cautiously optimistic about the introduction of AI into their influencer marketing efforts. In a survey my company conducted in September 2023, we found that 76% of marketing agencies and 52% of influencers were already using some form of AI to analyze data, find influencer partners or support content creation. Other brands are going a step further and working with virtual influencers as an alternative to traditional creators.

Social platforms also recognize the impact AI is having on the creator industry. YouTube recently rolled out AI tools intended to “democratize creativity” by making complex tasks simpler, and TikTok added a new feature that allows creators to label content supported or generated by AI.

Think TikTok Is Just For Gen Z? Think Again
TikTok continues to expand its reach, with older generations increasingly joining the platform, contributing to its growing diversity.

Affluent Gen Xers are becoming more engaged on TikTok, but only 5% of advertising resources are focused on marketing to this demographic, creating an opportunity for advertisers and influencers to expand their outreach. “Granfluencers,” retirees who are gaining social media followings, are also gaining a foothold on TikTok and Instagram and developing partnerships with companies like Carnival Cruise Lines.

From Generalists To Specialists
As the social media content arena becomes more saturated, influencers are niching down. Where we might previously have seen an influencer share general beauty tips and guidance, we’re increasingly seeing them focus on specific areas, such as curly hair or anti-aging. One influencer, Eilidh Moffat, focuses on skin care for the over-40 crowd and saw her following increase by 841% in 2023. The same goes for other influencer niches, like travel (niching down from general travel to family-focused Disney trips).

Creators with niche followings make themselves more attractive to brands by ensuring the brands can get a tight focus on the right audience.

Growth Of Social Commerce
Some social platforms, including TikTok and Instagram, have historically been better suited for awareness efforts. However, the growth and evolution of social commerce give brands an even greater incentive to tap into deeper strategic relationships with influencers.

For example, TikTok Shop launched in late 2023 and is already making an impact, especially for smaller businesses. One creator, author Keila Shaheen, sold nearly 425,000 copies of her self-help journal in less than two months after TikTok Shop launched.

Live shopping is also growing in popularity. Think of it as the modern-day, interactive version of a home shopping channel, where potential buyers can have an immersive experience and discover products through interactive sessions with influencers they trust. Retail giants like Walmart and Amazon are actively using live shopping and building relationships with creators to increase their dominance in the market, and where they lead, other retailers tend to follow.

Repurposing Influencer-Generated Content
Brands that hesitate about using influencer content may worry about their investment and whether they’re getting a good return, especially on more ephemeral content like Instagram Stories or TikToks. That’s why many are restructuring the way they build contracts with influencers to include more opportunities to reuse the content.

Brands are using influencer-created content in other marketing channels, including traditional television ads, emails, digital ads and more. The goal is to emulate the style of platforms like TikTok but use it in a way that drives measurable actions and advances the buying process.

For example, companies like Chipotle are tapping into their loyal gamer audience. They use gamer-created content promotionally across other platforms to capitalize on virality and increase their impact.

LinkedIn Heats Up
LinkedIn continues to see record levels of engagement as people seek to interact, advance their careers and promote B2B products.

Where engagement happens, marketing dollars typically follow—which is why 75% of B2B marketers are now investing in influencer marketing and why industry leaders like Intel and Hootsuite are developing relationships with LinkedIn influencers. Creating lasting content, like Hootsuite’s social media career report, and backing it with the support of multiple influencers has provided great leverage and amplification. It’s already received more than 1.2 million impressions.

Brands And Influencers Must Continue To Evolve
To seize these opportunities, marketers should actively explore AI tools for brainstorming, influencer identification and data analysis. Embracing AI tools for efficiency and ROI measurement will define successful marketing programs.

Tailoring content on TikTok to cater to a diverse audience, including older demographics, presents untapped market potential. Specialization makes strategic sense for brands and influencers navigating the saturated social media space.

Influencers should not be afraid of niching down and finding a specialty area, and marketers should embrace these micro-influencers with very specific audiences to diversify their outreach strategies and reach their target more effectively.

Looking ahead, a focus on niche specialization, the strategic integration of AI and innovative uses of influencer-generated content will likely define a year filled with creative advancements and growth for both brands and influencers alike.

Source: forbes