2024 Influencer Marketing Trends That Could Redefine Your Strategy
The creator economy is evolving quickly and the future of influencer marketing is more promising than ever. Social media’s role in business success continues to surge, earning a prominent seat at the table. Creator culture, once on the fringes, has become a driver of marketing strategies.
As we reflect on the influencer marketing trends that defined 2023—where the lines between influencers and creators were clarified, new regulations were enforced by the FTC, micro-influencers gained prominence and authenticity eclipsed the pursuit of perfection—it’s evident that these shifts will continue to leave a lasting impact in 2024.
In anticipation of the unfolding year, let’s explore the influencer marketing trends that will absorb our attention in the months ahead.
Top 10 influencer marketing trends in 2024 (at a glance)
1 – Mid-tier influencers will gain popularity.
2 – Influencer marketing will rise in prominence as a business-to-business (B2B) tactic.
3 – The way influencers sell will change, making way for more long-term partnerships.
4 – There will be progress with pay equity.
5 – Influencers will extend beyond social feeds.
6 – Creator roles will expand, leading to more collaboration.
7 – More ad spend will be allocated to influencers.
8 – TikTok will pull more of the marketing budget.
9 – Influencers will employ more agents/agencies.
10 – Podcast hosts will rise in influence.
#1 – Mid-tier influencers will gain popularity.
As the industry continues to evolve, a new player is stepping into the spotlight: the mid-tier influencer, boasting follower counts ranging from 50K to 800K. Formerly micro-creators, these influencers have seen impressive growth in their audiences while sustaining high engagement rates. What sets them apart is their commitment to genuine content, steering clear of an overreliance on showy sponsored posts. In the upcoming year, these creators will be the ones to watch, and the brands collaborating with them are likely to grow in tandem.
#2 – Influencer marketing will rise in prominence as a business-to-business (B2B) tactic.
While only used by a handful of brands in years past, B2B influencer marketing will see a surge in popularity in 2024. Even the last few months of 2023 showed an influx of brand partnerships on LinkedIn. For example, Semrush partnered with influential business voices to amplify the release of its annual trends report.
As the B2B buyer journey continues to shift and people increasingly rely on trusted recommendations and personal research, thought leaders will have a major impact on decision-making. More B2B brands will try to capitalize on this influencer marketing trend through sponsored content, official partnerships and employee advocacy.
#3 – The way influencers sell will change, making way for more long-term partnerships.
Consumers are voicing their frustrations with overconsumption. Some wonder when the vibe changed and “the internet now feels like a place whose sole purpose is selling you something.” As a result, the future of influencer marketing won’t include product-heavy posts and over-sponsored accounts.
This will play out as influencers try to remain authentic while complying with FTC sponsorship transparency guidelines. The content creators who are more educational, less sales-y and serve a niche will see more success as they approach brand partnerships more organically.
This shift could prompt creators to be more selective about partnerships, potentially opting for long-term collaborations with a limited number of brands. This could benefit brands, as long-term and ambassador partnerships often result in more authentic content and can deliver up and down the marketing funnel.
#4 – There will be progress with pay equity.
In 2023, significant attention was drawn to the pay disparities existing among white and BIPOC creators. 2024 will mark a positive turning point towards achieving greater pay equity. The intricacies behind this issue are multifaceted, with transparency—or the lack thereof—emerging as a contributing factor. The absence of industry-wide standardized pay rates and historical models for creator compensation has left many in this community navigating uncharted waters, especially for micro-creators without legal representation or professional guidance.
As the influencer marketing industry matures, there will be an establishment of clearer standards, exemplified by recent guidelines released by the Association of National Advertisers. These developments will not only enhance transparency but also contribute to making creator-pay data more readily accessible, marking a pivotal step toward fostering fair experiences.
#5 – Influencers will extend beyond social feeds.
We’re already seeing more influencer-generated content (IGC) being used in digital campaigns and OOH advertising. As this influencer marketing trend grows, influencers are poised to become a central part of larger marketing campaigns that extend well past social media feeds. The trust built with IGC, which makes it successful on organic social, also makes it impactful on channels beyond digital.
#6 – Creator roles will expand, leading to more collaboration.
Influencers are gaining more recognition as professional content creators. Brands are recognizing their unique creative talents and storytelling abilities. Instead of using influencers as just spokespeople, they’re now partnering with them more deeply to co-create content that aligns with the influencer’s style and resonates with the brand’s target audience. The future of influencer marketing will require more collaboration and less dictation from brands. Content creators are true experts on what their audience wants to see.
#7 – More ad spend will be allocated to influencer marketing.
The creator economy has upended the advertising world, routing marketing dollars to creator sponsorships. Influencer ad spend is accelerating faster than investment in traditional adverts. In 2024, many brands will adjust their campaign strategies to align with the rising popularity of influencers. There will be more spend allocated to sponsored content and the amplification of that content with paid tactics like allowlisting.
#8 – TikTok will pull more of the marketing budget.
Instagram has historically reigned as the top platform for influencer partnerships, but in 2024 the scales will tip toward TikTok. Currently, TikTok pulls higher engagement rates and adults in the U.S. spend more time per day on TikTok than on any other social media platform. Additionally, influencer marketing trend reports show that TikTok is expected to take up 2.6% of total digital ad spend worldwide in 2024 and 3% in 2025.
#9 – Influencers will employ more agents/agencies.
Micro-influencers are now actively seeking business representation—a domain traditionally reserved for their celebrity-sized counterparts. As those with smaller follower counts continue to grab the attention of major brands, they recognize the need for business council. Working under talent agencies or with managers can empower them to negotiate better partnerships, secure favorable deals and navigate the complexities of contracts.
#10 – Podcast hosts will rise in influence.
Podcast listening among Gen Z Spotify users has jumped nearly 50%. This is partially due to the same force driving the rise of the creator economy: the trust and sense of connection listeners feel toward the people behind the mic. With a growing number of Gen Z consumers spending hours each week tuning into podcasts hosted by their favorite creators or other influential figures, there’s an opportunity for brands to embed themselves into niche communities. More marketers will capitalize on the trust earned by podcasters and turn to them as brand spokespeople.
Decoding the future of influencer marketing
As we distill the intricacies of 2024’s influencer marketing trends, it becomes evident that the creator economy is not just gaining momentum; it’s evolving at a rapid pace. The upcoming year promises exciting shifts for the future of influencer marketing that will redefine how brands engage with their audiences.
Among the key influencer marketing trends for 2024, the spotlight shines on brands actively seeking longer-term and more collaborative partnerships, the emergence of mid-tier influencers, a notable recalibration of ad spend, an expansion of creator roles and more B2B campaigns.
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