From 'Likes' to 'Lives': The Unstoppable Evolution of Influencer Marketing in 2023
In the ever-evolving realm of influencer marketing, staying ahead of the curve is essential for brands and creators alike. With recent changes in regulations, a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and the constant social media trends, the landscape of influencer marketing is undergoing a transformation.
The New Rules of Disclosure: One significant shift in influencer marketing revolves around disclosure requirements. In the past, a post could only be classified as an "Ad" if the influencer was compensated, and the business had editorial control over the content. But things have changed now. Content created by influencers that have a personal or business relationship with a brand, have accepted payment in kind, or have both, must be clearly labelled as sponsored content. This means that a clear "Ad" disclaimer must be included with every inducement, regardless of whether it's money, goods, services, invites to events, or other benefits.
When engaging with influencers, the notion of "organic" or "earned" content is no longer relevant. Everything must be labelled as an "Ad," even if it was made without first undergoing a brand evaluation or getting permission from a contract. This change emphasizes how influencer marketing requires compliance and openness.
Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: Influencer marketing involves more than simply content—it also involves the individuals who create it. Companies are realizing more and more how crucial it is to create an environment that is inclusive of all people and diverse. A token gesture or an afterthought should not be DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion) during cultural events such as Black History Month, Pride Month, or International Women's Day. Rather, what matters is that the material brands link their name to reflects the diversity of the real world.
Content creators need to reflect the diversity of their audiences. It's important to keep in mind that an influencer's following may not necessarily match their personal demographics. Reach and more genuine connections can result from embracing diversity in influencer marketing.
Trends: People are consuming more audio and video content these days, and podcasters, Twitch streamers, and YouTube creators are growing in prominence. Statistics show that over half of consumers would want to see more video content from companies in 2024. Therefore, according to some forecasts, TikTok might even dethrone Instagram as the dominant platform for influencer marketing by 2024.
The platform's emphasis on tools like the TikTok Creative Exchange and Creator Marketplace, which facilitate connections between TikTok content creators and businesses, is largely responsible for its success.
Live shopping is another trend that is becoming more and more popular. For instance, Instagram introduced "Live Shopping," enabling users to make direct product purchases via Instagram Live. The platform claims that this arrangement is appealing because it offers customers a compelling way to find and purchase things. Numerous influencers have collaborated with brands and used live shopping to great effect.
The changing face of influencer marketing demands adaptability and adherence to evolving regulations. Transparency in labeling content as advertising is now a non-negotiable requirement. Brands must prioritize diversity and inclusion, not as an occasional nod but as a core value in their influencer partnerships. Staying ahead of trends or even being trendsetters is a vital part of successful digital marketing.