Get ready for the game-changing influencer marketing trends of 2024! This ever-evolving field is set to get even bigger, with new social media platforms, content styles, and brand engagement opportunities on the horizon. Influencers who stay ahead of the curve will become even more appealing to brands.
In a world still reeling from three years of COVID-related spending and the Ukraine conflict, economic times are challenging. The IMF predicts a global growth decrease from 3.4% in 2022 to 2.8% in 2023, with advanced economies facing a steep drop from 2.7% to 1.3%. Inflation is making a comeback in many regions.
However, Morgan Stanley Research offers hope, forecasting a significant recovery in 2024, extending into 2025.
For brands, finding cost-effective marketing strategies in these turbulent times is crucial. Influencer marketing thrived during the pandemic, with the industry reaching around $21.1 billion in 2023. According to Data Bridge Market Research, the influencer marketing platform market is poised to hit a staggering $69.92 billion by 2029, with a remarkable 32.50% CAGR from 2022 to 2029. This is why influencers are shining brighter than ever.
Now, let’s explore the influencer marketing trends that will keep your business thriving in 2024.
- AI Revolutionizes Influencer Marketing
- A Shift Towards Multi-Platform Creator Loyalty
- The Fusion of Influencer and Affiliate Marketing
- The Surge of Live Shopping in Influencer Campaigns
- The Rise of Diversity and Inclusion in Influencer Marketing
- The Era of Long-Term Influencer Collaborations
- Short Videos Rule the Social Sphere
- The Surge of Performance-Based Deals
- The Era of Specialized and Professional Influencers
- Conclusion: Embracing the Influencer Marketing Revolution
AI Revolutionizes Influencer Marketing
AI is reshaping influencer marketing, and it’s a trend to watch in 2024. AI’s role in influencer marketing is growing, as seen in our comprehensive benchmark report on The State of AI in Influencer Marketing. Notably, influencer marketing platform Upfluence has harnessed AI, integrating ChatGPT to introduce advanced messaging features that are set to transform influencer recruitment.
In the coming year and beyond, AI-powered influencer partner selection is poised to become the norm.
Another intriguing development is the rise of virtual influencers. These digital personas, brought to life through computer graphics software, act as social media influencers with distinct personalities. Surprisingly, virtual influencers can achieve nearly three times the engagement rates of real influencers. Major brands are already partnering with virtual influencers, and more are sure to follow suit.
A Shift Towards Multi-Platform Creator Loyalty
In 2024, the loyalty of followers to their favorite creators transcends individual social networks. Many creators now maintain a presence across various platforms, a trend that’s been ongoing. What’s changed is the emergence of “super fans” who engage with these creators wherever they appear.
These successful creators boast substantial audiences that seamlessly interact across their various accounts. They no longer confine themselves to a single platform like Instagram or YouTube. Instead, they identify as niche creators, sharing their work with fans across the internet. They choose the best platform for each specific purpose.
In essence, they manage multiple social platforms for distinct purposes, yet all these platforms together constitute a unified experience.
The Fusion of Influencer and Affiliate Marketing
It is predicted that influencer marketing and affiliate marketing will merge by 2024. While they were traditionally seen as separate activities, they are now inextricably linked.
Both influencer and affiliate marketing involve external parties promoting products to their audiences, and this synergy is becoming more evident. Platforms like Refersion have already recognized this connection, functioning as both affiliate and influencer platforms. The lines between affiliates and influencers are blurring as influencer platforms increasingly integrate with e-commerce, shifting from mere “awareness” campaigns to driving actual sales.
In the past, affiliates were typically conventional bloggers or publishers who featured product demonstrations, walkthroughs, and reviews on their websites. They often promoted various, sometimes competing, affiliate programs to maximize referral fees from a broad readership.
Now, a transformation is underway. Influencers are recommending products to their followers, but they do so selectively, endorsing only products they genuinely use and trust. This shift underscores the idea that influencers can be powerful advocates for brands. They provide personal testimonials, demonstrations, and calls to action, guiding their followers through the entire sales journey, from awareness to consideration and even purchase, all in an authentic and personal manner.
The Surge of Live Shopping in Influencer Campaigns
Live shopping has been gaining tremendous momentum in recent years, and this trend is set to persist in 2024. As Marijana Kay from Shopify aptly puts it, “Live commerce is here to stay.” Influencers and other prominent thought leaders will continue showcasing products to their communities on their preferred social platforms, utilizing live video and interactive content.
What’s noteworthy is the growing preference for livestream shopping over other forms of social media purchases. Major players like Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have recognized this shift and have introduced livestream shopping tools and partnerships. For instance, Instagram launched Live Shopping, enabling users to make direct purchases during Instagram Live sessions. This format offers an immersive way for shoppers to explore and buy products, making it highly appealing.
Influencers have already capitalized on live shopping, forming partnerships with brands. Even retail giant Walmart has joined the movement by collaborating with TikTok creators to host live shopping experiences. Expect to witness more of these collaborations in the coming year.
The Rise of Diversity and Inclusion in Influencer Marketing
Diversity and representation are extending into the realm of influencer marketing by 2024. The leading LGBTQ+ influencers on platforms like YouTube boast nearly 20 million followers, reflecting the growing demand for representation.
Dedicated influencer agencies are emerging to champion this cause. For instance, REFLECT is committed to ensuring that underrepresented groups are prominently featured in media campaigns. They exclusively collaborate with brands that share their commitment to diversifying the media landscape and integrating diversity and inclusion into their brand identity and marketing strategies.
Other agencies like Shade and Black Girl Digital focus on amplifying the voices of black and brown creators. Black Girl Digital, as the name suggests, centers on black female influencers, aiming to inspire brands to form deeper partnerships with this group and empower them to establish sustainable businesses doing what they love.
In today’s landscape, both influencers and consumers scrutinize branded messages and campaigns to ensure that everyone is represented. In the future, brands will find it increasingly imperative to shift their corporate cultures towards inclusivity, eradicating any remnants of exclusivity.
The Era of Long-Term Influencer Collaborations
By 2024, influencer marketing will experience a significant shift, with brands and influencers increasingly forming long-term partnerships instead of making sporadic sponsored posts. This trend, suggested by Neal Schaffer, is poised to become the standard practice.
This transformation is underpinned by the understanding that making a sale takes time. Even influencers with highly engaged audiences may struggle to make a meaningful impact with a single sponsored post. Running extended marketing campaigns with specific influencers often proves more effective than short, one-off efforts. Brands are now seeking to cultivate deeper relationships with influencers, mirroring the relationships they have with brand ambassadors.
To leverage this influencer marketing trend, consider offering packages to brands that encompass multiple sponsored posts over a set duration, similar
to the approach taken with Facebook ads and other platforms. Joining an influencer marketing network can also lend credibility to your services.
Short Videos Rule the Social Sphere
In the ever-evolving landscape of social media, the dominance of short videos cannot be overlooked. Although we’ve already touched on the ascent of TikTok, it’s crucial to acknowledge the broader impact of short video content in today’s digital realm.
Short-form videos have transcended the realm of TikTok, with major players like Meta introducing Instagram Reels, Snapchat unveiling Spotlight, and YouTube embracing YouTube Shorts. Beyond these platforms, Triller has emerged as a significant TikTok alternative in regions like India.
In the influencer marketing arena, collaborations across all these platforms now prominently feature short-video content. These bite-sized video morsels have become an essential medium for influencers to convey their messages effectively.
The Surge of Performance-Based Deals
Influencer marketing programs are evolving in 2024, and brands are seeking enduring partnerships with influencers. This year, we can anticipate the increasing prevalence of performance-based deals.
Performance-based deals entail influencers committing to deliver specific outcomes, such as a set number of sales or clicks. For influencers presented with performance-based contracts, a strategic approach might involve negotiating for ongoing royalties rather than accepting a one-time payment. It’s essential for influencers to exercise diligence in contract reviews to gain a comprehensive understanding of their commitments and the expected returns before formalizing any agreement.
The Era of Specialized and Professional Influencers
The influencer landscape is evolving, with influencers becoming more specialized and professional, transforming the dynamics of influencer marketing in 2024. This shift is poised to redefine not only how influencers view themselves but also the terminology we use to describe them.
Niche Expertise in High Demand
Influencers are continuing to carve out niches for themselves, showcasing their expertise within specific industries or topics. This trend persists, making specialized influencers even more attractive to brands within those verticals. As an influencer, this could be the ideal time to identify the industries that resonate most with your passions and establish partnerships with brands that align with your chosen direction.
A Language Shift Towards “Creators”
As influencers intensify their specialization, we’re witnessing a linguistic shift in the industry. Some influencers are opting to be recognized as “creators” or “content creators” rather than being solely labeled as “influencers” or “internet celebrities.” This transition aligns more accurately with their artistic roles, such as photographers, videographers, writers, and more. Be prepared for these fundamental shifts in terminology.
The Professionalization of Influencer Marketing
The professionalization of influencer marketing is on the horizon, with both influencers and the industry itself elevating their standards. While we might not have fully reached the era of complete professionalism as predicted, there’s a discernible trend pushing us in that direction. This shift is fostering a more structured and strategic influencer landscape, paving the way for influencers to be viewed as true professionals in their respective fields.
Conclusion: Embracing the Influencer Marketing Revolution
As we journey through the ever-evolving landscape of influencer marketing, it becomes evident that the future holds a tapestry of exciting trends and transformative shifts. Influencer marketing is not just an industry; it’s a dynamic force that continually adapts to the pulse of changing times.
In 2024, the narrative unfolds with a powerful ensemble of trends. The fusion of AI and influencer marketing opens doors to new possibilities, while the interplay between creators and platforms heralds a new era of content creation. The ascendancy of TikTok and short-form video content underlines the importance of adapting to evolving audience preferences.
Diversity and inclusion, a non-negotiable aspect of our society, extend their influence into influencer marketing, amplifying voices and perspectives. Long-term partnerships and performance-based deals shape collaborative landscapes, cementing the professionalization of the field.