The rise of the microinfluencer: Creator trends taking over in 2023

May 01, 2023
The rise of the microinfluencer: Creator trends taking over in 2023

All your favorite influencers were at Coachella this month—or were they?

Some reportedly faked their Coachella attendance, making it the latest influencer trend to sweep Instagram and TikTok.

So far, 2023 has been somewhat volatile for influencers in general. With a potential TikTok ban in the works and deinfluencing taking the stage, many have worked to adapt to changing expectations from brands and a growing demand for microinfluencers who may be perceived as more authentic, experts told us.

“Brands are understanding that microinfluencers and even nanoinfluencers, and people who have a very specific talent or narrative, are just really exciting to their followers,” Mae Karwowski, CEO and founder of influencer marketing agency Obviously, said. “I think that’s definitely a little bit different than what you might have seen a few years ago, where it was like, ‘Let’s work with Charli D’Amelio,’ or ‘Let’s work with a giant influencer on TikTok that everyone knows.’”

Long haul

Krawowski said that certain forms of content are trending because they can feel personal and authentic, noting the enduring popularity of the “get ready with me” style of video.

Other marketers echoed the growing importance of authenticity and microinfluencer partnerships. Corey Smock, VP of business development at creator marketing agency Cycle, said microinfluencers “are generally open to longer-term partnerships” and as a result, can often deliver more content than a larger influencer would potentially provide to a brand.

Making influencers feel valued is also of tantamount importance in building longer-term partnerships between influencers and brands, according to Smock.

“This space can get really transactional,” he said. “There’s 15,000 influencer agencies out there, and tools, and a lot of these automated solutions. If you engage in this way, you end up not really even developing real relationships with talent. It’s all superficial; it’s all email correspondence…There’s a human element here that is increasingly lost.”

Providing unique events or experiences for influencers to participate in can provide value for creators, attract them to a brand, and help strengthen influencer-brand relationships, Smock explained.

Deloitte Digital’s Kenny Gold, the agency’s managing director and head of social, content, and influencers, said treating influencers as equals could help make potential partnerships more attractive to them.

He said it’s important for brands to “have a really strong system in place to contract the influencer” and pay them in a timely fashion. “They shouldn’t be treated like a channel; they should be treated as a cocreation partner.”

In with the new?

As microinfluencers and relationship-building trends for influencer marketers, TikTok could end up trending out.

Some marketers are working on contingency plans in response to the potential national TikTok ban. The app has already been banned on US government devices, and Montana could become the first state to ban TikTok.

According to Smock, influencers may revert back to platforms that were popular prior to the explosion of TikTok.

“If TikTok becomes banned, [influencers will] probably go back to Instagram, and then there’s new and emerging TikTok copycats out,” Smock said. “We’ve talked to some of our clients about what would happen…The inherent tension is, there are certain channels that treat influencers better than their peers. TikTok is very good to creators, and primarily that has to do with monetization opportunities for creators.”

But Gold said a TikTok ban would not be the end of the world for influencer marketing.

“I’ve been in the social media world for 15 years, and we’ve seen the channels come and go,” he said.

Source: marketingbrew