In this episode of Negronis with Nord, James shares insights from his discussions with major brand clients. He outlines four current trends in influencer marketing and forecasts expectations for 2024 that include UGC creators, gifting, influencer contracts, and more.
Below is a portion of the episode transcript for your reading pleasure. Make sure to subscribe to the Fohr YouTube channel to get notified of new episodes, and watch the full episode below.
This is obviously the time of year when many brands are setting budgets and strategizing for 2024. So we spent a lot of time visiting with our clients, discussing what the next year will look like. It was both exhausting and invigorating at the same time.
4 Trends in Influencer Marketing, According to Brands
Influencer marketing across the full-stack
I believe that the scope of influencer marketing has expanded. In the past, it mainly consisted of sponsored content.
Nowadays, brands are seeking to consolidate not only their sponsored content but also the gifting and seeding they do for user-generated content (UGC). They are connecting with paid teams to create content for paid social ads, which is a major driver in the growth of influencer marketing. Many brands are finding that influencer content performs significantly better than their own brand content, leading to higher return on investment (ROI).
This trend continues to be discussed frequently. Additionally, there is a strong demand for UGC creators who work with brands but do not post their content publicly.
Renewed interest in gifting
There is a renewed interest in gifting and seeding.
While some brands are increasing their budgets, many are still maintaining their current levels for the next year. This reflects the economic uncertainty that persists in the market. Consumer news is generally negative, with decreased consumer spending and record-high credit card debt.
It is possible that the American consumer is finally feeling the impact of financial strain. Ultimately, Q4 will provide valuable insights into the strength of the American consumer, their spending patterns, and the upcoming holiday season. We still find ourselves in a state of uncertainty, unsure of what lies ahead.
From my observations, brands are generally keeping their influencer budgets steady or even increasing them.
More short-term contracts
There is less emphasis on long-term partnerships. We are discussing this with our clients due to the unpredictable nature of social media. Influencers can experience rapid success but also see their popularity decline just as quickly, affecting the performance of their content.
Although we still offer long-term, year-long contracts and consider them important, brands are increasingly requesting shorter contracts of three to six months. Brands want to ensure that influencers consistently deliver results throughout the entire year.
With the growing number of influencers, brands are concerned about using the same creator repeatedly in their paid content. This is also a concern expressed by our travel clients, as featuring the same person too often in their feed can lead to monotony.
As the influencer marketing industry expands, it may become more challenging for individual influencers to maintain high performance. Brands are evolving their approach to working with influencers, and the pool of creators is also changing.
More focus on specified creator goals
Another trend is the increasing focus on being specific about the roles and responsibilities of creators and influencers in a program.
Previously, we wanted someone who could drive awareness, drive sales, repurpose content for organic and paid usage, and even shift brand perception. We would try to find one person who could fulfill all of these requirements, which is obviously impossible. However, as budgets grow, there is now a greater emphasis on being more specific.
For example, certain partners may be selected with the goal of going viral, while others may be used solely for content creation in paid ads. Some partners may be chosen for their ability to convert and drive link clicks and sales, while others may be skilled at storytelling and shifting brand perception.
We are changing the way we brief influencers, select influencers, and build campaigns to accommodate this shift. It's almost like assembling a baseball team, where different roles are assigned and we seek individuals who excel in those specific roles. The value and importance of an all-rounder influencer diminishes in comparison to someone who is exceptionally talented in one area. With larger budgets, we can now afford to hire individuals who excel in a particular skill.
I'm not sure how this may affect your work, but it's important to understand how brands are changing their approach and allocating their budgets for the upcoming year.