2023 doled out a lot of pivots and curveballs in the world of social media and influencer marketing.
Let’s recap some of the major highlights this past year brought us:
– Twitter became “X,” and Meta launched Threads seemingly as a direct response.
– TikTok launched their new shop feature, making it easy for viewers to shop the items showcased in the post.
– Instagram discontinued its Reels Bonus program, which allowed creators to earn money for reaching view thresholds on their Reels.
– TikTok followed suit, eliminating its Creator Fund, which allowed influencers to be paid for their viral content on the platform.
As marketers, we’re constantly working to keep up with ever-changing algorithms, platform features, and new social media sites. Influencers are no different: they also have to navigate these constant changes, all while finding new and innovative ways to break through and create meaningful connections with their audiences.
At A&G, we design our influencer campaigns to best represent the needs of the brand while also taking into consideration the needs of the creator community. We emphasize the need to treat creators like people, not ad buys, and understand that aside from just creating content, they are in the business of delivering positive experiences to their well-curated audiences.
As we continue to look ahead, here are some things we think will define the realm of creator relations in 2024.
Trend #1: Creators will lean into in-platform shopability features.
Affiliate marketing is one of the leading ways by which creators monetize their content. For years, third-party platforms like RewardStyle and ShopStyle were the go-to source for creating and sharing affiliate link content. Now, we’ve seen platforms like TikTok integrate shopability and affiliate linking directly in-platform – and we’re only going to see more of that in the future.
Creators know that the more steps users have to go through to access an affiliate link, the less likely they are to convert to sales. Similarly, social media sites also know that they can benefit by providing tools that make it easier for creators to build content directly on their platforms – which, in turn, keeps their followers engaged for longer periods of time. According to Influencer Marketing Hub, “social buyers” – or, in other words, people who buy items directly from social media – make up 32% of all online consumers in the United States. If brands (and social media platforms, for that matter) want to continue to earn a piece of that action, in-platform shopping is the way to go. And if your brand is looking to break through in the e-commerce space, make sure that your products are available wherever they can be commissionably linked, such as through RewardStyle or Amazon Associates.
Trend #2: Creators will continue to own their own piece of the internet.
Despite the fact that in-platform shopping is becoming more accessible to creators, it can still be exhausting to maintain a meaningful presence on all of the various social media apps. This is particularly true when you’re also competing against algorithms to grow your following – let alone, be seen.
Whether it’s through a blog, website, or newsletter, creators are continuing to see the value of owning their own piece of the internet. In order to be successful, grow, and – yes – earn money, creators need to be able to consistently reach their entire follower base.
Platforms like Patreon and Substack – which allow creators to speak directly to their audiences while monetizing the content they create – will continue to grow and work as meaningful tools for creators.
Trend #3: Short-form videos aren’t going anywhere.
From TikTok to Instagram Stories and YouTube shorts, we’re absolutely surrounded by short-form video – and it’s a trend that isn’t going to change anytime soon. These quick videos, often 90 seconds or shorter, pack a lot of impact into their limited time on screen.
Creators are able to use these shorter videos to create a more comprehensive narrative about their lives. They can show their day to day, including the products they lean on, and bring their followers into a deeper relationship with them. Short-form video’s also helpful for jumping on trends through challenging, lip syncing, and using viral sounds.
If you think that short-form video is a bubble that’s set to burst at some point, think again and plan accordingly – especially when it comes to deliverables you’re asking for creators in upcoming campaigns.
Want to learn more about A&G’s approach to influencer marketing? Contact us today to schedule a quick 15-minute chat with our Creator Relations & Social Media team.
About the Author
Amber Burns is a supervisor on the Creator Relations & Social Media team at A&G.