As consumer behaviour shifts to accommodate the rise of Web3, 2023 is set to be a pivotal year in the influencer marketing space.

Last month, we attended the Influencer Marketing Show. With three stages, dozens of panel discussions, and hundreds of attendees there was much to absorb. We heard from leaders of the world’s most recognizable brands like TikTok and Only Fans, who shared insights into the influencer landscape, touching on everything from shifting e-commerce trends to partnerships and future gazing.

As we start to strategize for 2023, here are three key insights to keep front of mind: 

Data driven AI will be the solution to working with influencers at scale

Once upon a time, the barometer of a successful Instagram campaign was Kim Kardashian posting a selfie with a gummy bear to over 100 million followers.  
The goal was prestige, fame and views – not science.

Today, Influencers are the ‘sexy’ part of marketing, but the currency is data. With over 1 billion creators on social, influencer identification has become one of the most time-consuming challenges within the industry. Follower count is no longer the be-all and end-all and success metrics are increasingly nuanced.

That’s where AI comes in. In 2023, we are seeing an increased demand for AI-enabled influencer marketing tools to facilitate end-to-end influencer campaigns. Ultimately, the increased use of AI tools will shift the dial regarding influencer selection criteria, how we measure ROI and the parameters of success.  

What does this mean for 2023?

The planning phase of an influencer campaign will hold more weight. Brands will expect to see new measures of influencer compatibility before making their final selection. Whereas previously we pitched influencers based on reach and engagement metrics, now, data regarding traditionally more qualitative measures (think everything from content style, colour gradients, and video to static image ratios) will be essential. AI tools and auto-generated influencer lists are the way forward.

Creators will make the metaverse a success

The metaverse: the buzzword of the Influencer Marketing Show and the guest star in every creative pitch. The concept of the metaverse may not have completely materialized yet, but in 2023, influencers will pave the way to boost the metaverse into the mainstream.

The metaverse provides influencers with a whole new level of communication, not only with their audience but with brands as well. From KPMG to Gucci and Nike, we are already seeing leading names mark their territory in the virtual space. It’s inevitable that influencers will follow suit with meta-collaborations and avatar brand campaigns. We picture foodie influencers cooking together, travel influencers collaborating from across the globe, and sports stars hosting virtual penalty shootouts – the opportunities are unlimited.

The rise of the subscription model

Finally, we will see a move to more intimate influencer-consumer relations. Previously, influencers were happy to barter organic content for likes, re-tweets and shares. But since the rise of Only Fans, more and more creators are taking back ownership and monetising the content they share online.

A panel discussion hosted by Only Fans discussed their move to shift the platforms’ reputation from adult-only content to becoming a more mainstream hub for creators. Other channels are catching up. Instagram, TikTok and Spotify have recently rolled out their subscription services and there’s been a huge surge in influencers signing up. From celebrities like Emily Ratajkowski to nano influencers with fewer than 10,000 followers, subscriptions are becoming commonplace.

The implications of this are twofold. Firstly, with this new stream of revenue, the creator economy is set to skyrocket. Influencer fees will increase, and brands will need to provide additional incentives to attract top talent, beyond a flat fee rate.

Second, a subscription model is an opportunity for brands to connect with consumers on a more direct and personal level. As the influencer landscape becomes cluttered with product endorsements, amplifying on a subscription-based channel will provide an additional layer of trust. We expect conversion funnel tactics to shift towards this new model as smaller but more engaged audiences show increased willingness to convert.

Moving Forward

The Influencer landscape is ever-evolving and, with the rise of the metaverse, the opportunity for creativity is infinite. As brands start to map out their 2023 campaigns, it’s evident a strategy built on data is king, and more immersive influencer campaigns will dominate.