The Latest Marketing Trends: Findings From Our Annual Survey

Industry Insights
Lifestyle influencer uses video, a popular marketing trend

Our Annual Influencer Marketing Trends Report is here! For the third year in a row, we surveyed hundreds of key players in influencer marketing about how the industry has evolved over the past year. This time, we partnered with our parent company CreatorIQ to bring you the most up-to-date picture of trends in marketing across various verticals. By understanding the latest marketing trends, brands can better plan their marketing strategies and goals for 2023. 

The report covers topics such as:

  • How marketers leverage social media platforms
  • How brands work with influencers via paid partnerships
  • How much influencers earn for a single Instagram post
  • Which marketing strategies drive the highest ROI

Download the Influencer Marketing Trends Report

Sending Product Samples Remains Popular

Two product samples sent to influencers on pink background

For the time period monitored (September 2021-August 2022), marketers selected paid advertising as their most common marketing engagement strategy. Seventy-nine percent of brand respondents identified paid advertising as their most frequent engagement, closely followed by the 78% who frequently used UGC in their owned media. These results are a slight reversal from the previous year, when sourcing UGC ranked as the No. 1 way for brands to engage influencers. The use of paid ads and UGC both represent proven strategies to source new talent and track ROI. 

Beyond noting their most common engagement strategies, we asked brands which marketing strategies proved most effective. Brand respondents chose sending products to creators as the most effective tactic, despite this strategy not ranking as the most common option. Product sends serve to jumpstart conversations about your brand, and boost your earned media performance. They can also cement a partnership between your brand and an influencer who might be particularly aligned with your brand’s ethos or product offerings, providing a solid foundation for long-term relationships.

Notably, among the hundreds of creators we surveyed, 91% received gifted products during the time period monitored. According to these creators, product samples were the most popular way that creators interfaced with brands. This is a similar result as the previous year, when influencers reported frequently receiving product samples from brands that they then featured in social media posts. 

Product sends can be coupled with a branded #GiftedMe tag that enables your brand to track the performance of individual influencers, as well as the directional performance of your influencer program as a whole. Quality of product offerings was the single most important factor in influencers’ decisions about whether to partner with a brand. Sending influencers products is an effective way to secure buy-in.

Instagram Drives the Greatest ROI

Instagram and TikTok are in a battle to secure the most amount of consumer time spent on their respective platforms. TikTok has demonstrated its staying power, and other platforms like Instagram have emulated its people-to-content model. However, when it comes to social media marketing, Instagram currently comes out on top. 

Ninety-nine percent of creator respondents regularly used Instagram, while 74% posted more video content on Instagram this year than they had in previous year. Creators are confident that short-form video content has solidified its critical place in creator marketing. Further, brands reported that video content has shaped activations and influencer discovery. In other words, rising video content is a key trend in the current social media landscape.

We spoke to Doug Weiss, Instagram's Head of Creator Commerce, about the future of the creator economy, and the role Meta will play in it. Keep up with our Earned podcast, which features interviews from influencer marketing industry experts.

An influencer reviews content

The shift from static content to video affects more than user experience, or how marketers approach activation: it creates opportunities for blending the social networking experience with social commerce. Platforms like YouTube and TikTok increasingly incorporate e-commerce directly into their core offerings. These changes will only become more common as Gen-Z consumers continue to use these popular platforms as search engines

With many social media platforms testing out consumer purchasing within the app, brands charting out their marketing plans for 2023 should allot time for trial and error. Social commerce within a platform offers an alternative solution to increasing restrictions around consumer behavior tracking.

Takeaway

Even in the face of economic uncertainty, investment in influencer marketing is on the rise. Still, to maintain buy-in from executive leaders, marketers need to be craftier about making their programs recession-proof. Choosing the right investments requires tracking performance, as well as access to best-in-class influencer analytics. 

Forbes recently featured our Influencer Marketing Trends Report, using our insights to share how brands and creators can still succeed despite challenges. We value sharing these insights on top creator economy trends with you. 

What do influencers get paid for a single Instagram post? What do marketers prioritize, and what are their greatest challenges? How are brands and creators thinking about DEI? 

The full report details all of these questions, and so much more. Download your copy today!

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