Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2023

Linsey Knerl
December 15, 2022
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Influencers (or, as they've been known more recently, "creators") have fueled much of the internet with their often non-scripted appeals to audiences to try all the things they try. While there are so many of them these days that it's impossible to count, they represent a big part of the marketing economy.

The global influencer market has doubled since 2019. In 2022, the influencer market was valued at a record $16.4 billion. If the trend holds, we will see even more spending focused on getting internet personalities to share our stuff, although the platforms they call us from will likely change.  

Top trends to watch in 2023 

Here’s what we have our eye on in the coming year. 

1. Twitter Spaces

While Twitter has had some turmoil over the past few months (and will likely see even more breaking-news revelations), those that stay, are seeing traction in the audio Spaces feature. It has no video capabilities or a way to record, so it feels strangely like tuning into a radio show – or how live audio-only podcasts felt in their genesis.

Spaces has already been through a few shifts, such as removing the option for creators to earn up to 97% of their revenue from ticket sales to live Spaces events. This didn't seem to affect those using it, however, and influencers in all realms continue to share live Q&A sessions with fans that often include brand mentions or even interviews with the brand heads themselves.

Since Twitter seems to be the type of platform you hop on any time of day or night, the Spaces feature may be just the edge brands need to reach aimless internet wanderers who haven't abandoned the Wild West atmosphere of Twitter. It's also ideal for influencer-hosted watch parties and cultural moments we want to experience with others. 

2. Shoppable content 

While we breathlessly await the adoption of real QVC-style live shopping on social media, there's good news coming on the shoppable content front. With influencers much more likely to share content live than ever before, they can also share their shopping experiences on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Whether they take viewers on a shopping spree at their favorite online store or they use product drops to share brand collabs they are selling personally, influencers will be taking consumers under their wing to show them just how this online shopping thing works. All you need to do is make sure your shoppable content is set for success. 

3. Further evolution of UGC

User-generated content (UGC) has appeal as a low-cost, high-trust way to get the word out about your brand. And while highly-recognizable brands will have no problem getting customers or even creators to snap a pic and share on social media, less influential companies will have to work harder through incentives like prizes.

Trends in UGC may also revolve less around “how” the content is made and more around how it is discovered. Could small bloggers (micro-influencers) or the Grandma across the street boost your brand with their quirky reviews of your latest app? Sure, they could. The key may be to finding out they did it at all, especially if they aren't savvy or forward-thinking enough to tag you correctly or choose the right hashtag. As tech evolves, content may become more scannable, giving marketers an easier way to scout out just the type of home-grown UGC that can't be recreated in a marketing lab.

We also look forward to even more “mixing” and reaction videos that mash up two content pieces for something truly unique.

4. AI 

Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably already using AI, from the auto-correct feature in your chat app to the auto generated text that gets added to TikTok videos. Influencers are already using artificial intelligence to make it easier to create and distribute content (hello, Grammarly?), but we are just beginning to see what’s possible.

The recent news surrounding Lensa AI App (which turns your photos into artistic-looking avatars generated completely by computers) has brought the possibilities – and the risks – into the limelight, but it also has marketers wondering if there's no way to promote with influencers in fun, new ways beyond just chatting up your product in a video review. Time will tell just what an AI-powered influencer campaign will look like, but there's no putting this genie back into the bottle. 

Bottom line: We can’t always predict how digital marketing will change, but influencers are here to stay. It may be less important to choose which tech or platform to utilize than it is to vet your influencers for a good cultural fit. If 2022 taught us anything, there's a risk when you align your brand to just anyone. One poor move in picking a spokesperson, and you’ll be spending much more to clean up the mess. 

Linsey Knerl

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