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    Influencer marketing trends across industries

    When singer Shay Lia showed off her vivacious dance moves during Kaytrandas’ iconic Boiler Room set in 2013, she dazzled audiences and quickly became a meme. Over a decade later, people still reminisce and rave over the viral moment.

    Influencer marketing trends across industries

    As the creator economy grows, today’s landscape resembles a dance floor. The brands are the DJs, guiding the tone of the party with music (products) while consumers are the crowd. Then, there’s influencers—the dancers commanding the room with their magnetic energy and vibrant moves.

    There’s no denying the impact of influencers on social media, culture and commerce. Trendsetters and culture drivers like Lia have made influencer marketing an essential piece to social media strategies. Brands will need to be aware of the dance floor if they want to disrupt the music in a way that resonates with influencers and consumers alike.

    We’ll explore five influencer marketing trends shaping the social media landscape in 2024. We’ll also share trends in influencer marketing by industry to help you benchmark your brand.

    Influencer marketing trends shaping 2024

    Let’s explore five influencer marketing trends, based on data from The Influencer Marketing Report and other sources. For this report, we conducted a survey with over 2,000 consumers and 300 influencers to get perspective on what makes influencer marketing successful and predict how the landscape will evolve.

    1. Consumers are more discerning

    One of the top influencer marketing trends surrounds a popular buzzword marketers hear all the time: authenticity. But authenticity isn’t enough to grab the attention of audiences, especially younger consumers.

    Our report shows only 35% of Gen Z consumers rank authenticity as a top trait they care about when it comes to influencers. While older generations, like Millennials, seek out influencers who align with their personal values, younger consumers are more discerning. They are digitally savvy, spotting inauthentic endorsements and partnerships a mile away. They aren’t loyal to brands. Instead, they value personal recommendations and trending products from influencers that entertain or interest them.

    2. Purchase decisions are evolving

    Goodbye window shopping and in-person demo—social commerce functionality and in-app shopping are here to stay. Influencer marketing has transformed how we shop. According to our Influencer Marketing Report, nearly half of all consumers (49%), make purchases once a month because of influencer posts.

    Content like hauls, GRWM and live reviews, give consumers a chance to learn and engage in community while considering products or services their favorite influencers are raving about. Nearly half of consumers trust influencers as much as they did six months ago, and another 30% trust them even more.

    3. Influencers and brands seek stronger, long-term partnerships

    Influencers understand their impact on the culture of social media and purchase decisions. They don’t want to simply collaborate with any brand. Influencers are leaning into their agency and use discretion when considering new influencer-brand partnerships.

    Influencer marketing report data shows a majority (93%) agree they consider the quality of a brand’s existing social content when determining if they want to collaborate, followed by 63% who work with brands with shared values and 59% who work with partners with defined budgets and payment structures.

    Brands using B2C and B2B influencer marketing benefit from strong, long-term influencer relationships because it enables them to nurture organic communities, reach new audiences and build brand awareness and trust.

    4. Niche influencer marketing trends continue to grow

    Millions of followers doesn’t equate to a successful influencer marketing campaign or record sales. Micro and nano-influencers with loyal followings have the ability to persuade and funnel consumers throughout the buyer journey.

    Sprout’s data reflects this influencer marketing trend. Our Q1 2024 Influencer Marketing Survey found 40% of consumers say they prefer to interact with micro and nano-influencers. Influencers are experts in their niche or industry, making them prime partners for vertical markets like higher education or healthcare.

    5. Diversity and representation are more important than ever

    Brand diversity in social media is non-negotiable. Today’s top influencers are diverse, coming from a wide range of backgrounds, cultures and identities. Consumers, content creators and influencers alike take note of how brands approach diversity and representation. Younger generations take note of inclusive marketing when considering their next purchase. In a Deloitte report, respondents 18-25 years old took greater notice of representative advertising at the time of purchase.

    Communities also take notice when brands only feature diverse voices during cultural heritage or identity celebrations like Pride Month. Instead, you need to incorporate DEI year-round to demonstrate their efforts aren’t rooted in performative allyship or activism. Brands should also consider how they want to honor Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Black History Month, National Hispanic Heritage Month and other calendar milestones that are important to underrepresented communities to craft an inclusive strategy. Brands who are intentional when collaborating with influencers will resonate with diverse audiences.

    Influencer marketing trends across industries

    It’s no surprise that influencer marketing trends have evolved across fields and social networks. Each sector has its strengths and challenges. Brands in fitness, beauty and fashion have led the charge on social media for over a decade while other sectors like higher education are still experimenting.

    Let’s explore some of the top trends in influencer marketing across industries, based on data from The 2024 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report. The benchmarks data was sourced from Tagger by Sprout Social, analyzing posts from more than 10 million vetted social profiles from Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, X (formerly known Twitter) and YouTube between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023.

    An infographic from The 2024 Influencer Marketing Benchmarks Report showing consumers' favorite influencer marketing topics by demographic. Food and drink, beauty, fashion, music and DIY/crafting are the most popular topics across consumers.

    Food and drink influencer trends

    Food and beverage is a top influencer content category across all consumers. Consumers enjoy posts featuring #aesthetic photos of meals, homemade goodies, mocktail recipes, restaurant reviews and more. The average engagement rate is 1.19%, with Instagram and TikTok having the highest engagement rates.

    Nutella regularly collaborates with food influencers and creators to showcase how people enjoy the hazelnut spread. For example, for Nutella’s brand collaboration with Krusteaz, the Dashleys shared a recipe for Mother’s Day pancakes:

    A sponsored post from the Dashleys for Nutella’s brand collaboration with Krusteaz. The family shares a recipe for Mother's Day pancakes using both products.

    Key takeaway: Food is a universal language. Industry brands benefit from engaging and activating influencers with food-forward content that can showcase their food or beverages in a new way by connection to familial experiences.

    Beauty influencer trends

    Beauty is the second most popular topic category across all consumers. It’s also a top category for women across generations. The beauty industry has been at the forefront of social media for decades and consumers remain hungry for tutorials, new aesthetics and hauls. In 2023, there were 25.8 million beauty influencers posts that had an average engagement rate of 1.95%. TikTok and Instagram were the most popular networks.

    Fenty Beauty was one of the most popular beauty brands mentioned by influencers in 2023. The beauty brand features content from influencers that feels genuine to their style and personality. For instance, to promote a new foundation the brand showed influencer Monet McMichael with the product at the Soft Lit Luminous Foundation launch party. McMichael is known for her unique editing style and flawless skin so showing her using it at a brand event resonates.

    A TikTok video featuring influencer Monet McMichael at the Soft Lit Luminous Foundation launch party.

    Key takeaway: Beauty brands can continue to highlight products by working with influencers through social media posts and event activations.

    Fashion influencer trends

    Among all consumers, fashion is the third most popular influencer topic for consumers. Women, Gen Z and Millennials are the top demographics interested in fashion influencer marketing. Gen Z consumers look to influencers for fashion inspiration, catapulting the category to one of the most viewed on social media. In 2023, influencer fashion content reached 1.21 trillion impressions. Instagram is the most popular channel for fashion content, followed by TikTok. However, the average engagement rate for TikTok (2.26%) is higher than the industry average (1.56%), making it a favorable network for the fashion space.

    Finesse is an excellent model for brands who champion representation, target Gen Z and focus on building strong partnerships. Along with mega and macro influencers, Finesse connects with micro and nano influencers across networks. The AI-generated fashion house consistently partners with influencers within the LGBTQIIA+ and BIPOC communities. Many of these influencers wear multiple hats, working as models, fashion commentators, stylists and other aligned roles.

    On Instagram, you’ll find influencers adorned in Finesse attire like model Jade Buzangu, shown below:

    A post of model and influencer Jade Buzangu on Finesse's Instagram page. Finesse interacts with users in the comment section.

    Instagram is popular globally for content, especially fashion influencers in the United Kingdom. Our Q1 2024 Pulse Survey found UK consumers are most likely to engage on Instagram at a higher rate than participants in the US (38% UK vs. 27% US).

    Key takeaway: Fashion brands should use visual-forward networks like Instagram and TikTok to showcase their collections, engage younger, diverse consumers and foster community with niche audiences.

    Sports and fitness influencer trends

    From workout gear recommendations to form tips and athlete interviews, sports and fitness influencer content is a fan favorite across generations. Sports ranks highly for Gen X while Gen Z and Millennials are more interested in fitness content. Instagram, TikTok and X (formerly known as Twitter) are the most frequented networks. Average engagement rate for this category is 1.6%, but TikTok engagement surpasses it with 2.51%.

    The WNBA takes advantage of the athlete-turned-influencer phenomenon by connecting with brands who support women’s health and wellness. To celebrate the WNBA’s partnership with Opill®, the first non prescription contraceptive, the league posted several social posts featuring Betnijah Laney, point guard for the New York Liberty.

    A TikTok video showing Betnijah Laney, point guard for the New York Liberty, at a brand event with Opill®.

    Key takeaway: The sports and fitness industries can use professional athletes, trainers and other related careers to support brand partnerships, especially those that support the organization’s overall goals and values.

    Travel influencer trends

    What better way to enter your wanderlust dream than through social media? There were over 6.5 million travel influencer posts in 2023. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube enable consumers to immerse themselves in influencer destinations and adventures because they can get a peek inside the best accommodations, restaurants and excursions.

    Sonder, an award-winning hospitality platform, featured several travel influencers for their #ABetterWayToStay campaign on Instagram. In the Reel below, Sarah Witpeerd encourages viewers to embrace intentional travel by slowing down and enjoying simple moments like brewing a cup of tea:

    A sponsored post from Sarah Witpeerd for Sonder. She encourages viewers to embrace slowing down by enjoying simple moments like brewing tea.

    Witpeerd is a lifestyle blogger and creator known for travel, coffee and “slow city life,” so she’s a natural partner for Sonder, a platform that aims to provide immaculate, personalized hospitality experiences.

    Key takeaways: Travel and hospitality industries work with influencers to highlight unique product offerings while alluding to customer experience through strong storytelling and eye-catching imagery.

    Create impactful influencer marketing strategies to win 2024

    Consumers know they’re being sold to and seek influencer content resonates with them. Building stronger partnerships, leveraging niche communities and championing diversity are relevant trends for brands looking to craft the ultimate playlist for the crowd to enjoy.

    Read the full 2024 influencer marketing report see other influencer marketing trends and learn what it takes to create meaningful influencer marketing strategies.

    The post Influencer marketing trends across industries appeared first on Sprout Social.

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