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Ways to approach influencer marketing before the year ends

Influencer marketing once referred to an Instagram power user featuring products in posts resulting in native promotional content. It was a cheaper and more authentic-feeling alternative to celebrity endorsements and paid social ads.

But the line between influencer, content creator, and celebrity is blurring. Social media platforms are marrying sponsored posts with paid ads. In fact, many creators have become media channels themselves. With the creator landscape constantly evolving, there are a range of ways marketers can leverage this $5.14 billion US market.

Sponsored posts

  • Whether you’re paying for a post or offering influencers a cut of the promoted product’s sales via an affiliate link, sponsored posts in main feeds and stories are a key form of influencer marketing.
  • Sponsored posts offer an authentic form of marketing targeted directly at a creator’s following, meaning if you’ve identified the right creators, you’ll be reaching the right market.
  • US spending on sponsored content will grow about 3.5 times faster than social ad spend this year, according to our forecast.
  • US influencer marketing spending growth will outpace ad revenue growth on every major platform except Snapchat in 2023, according to our forecast.

Traditional paid ads

  • Paid ads on stories, in feeds, and within videos can feature influencers, either through brands working alongside them to create content or asking them for ad-specific content.
  • US social media ad spend will hit $68.45 billion this year, according to our forecast.

Paid ads from creator posts

  • Another, more dynamic way for influencers to be in paid ads is to turn creator posts into paid ads, either with influencer content made for that purpose or with content that’s simply picked up traction.
  • TikTok, for example, offers Spark Ads, which allow brands to boost organic creator content by turning it into a paid ad. That means content can come not only from traditional influencers, but also from any creator whose content could boost brand awareness.
  • Social media marketers are increasingly incorporating influencers into paid ads. Some 90% of influencer marketing campaigns by The Influencer Marketing Factory’s clients include paid media, and 88% of Linqia’s clients’ creator campaigns included paid media amplification in H1 2023.

Influencer content on brand channels

  • Reposting influencer content or asking influencers to create original content for brand-owned social channels is still a tried-and-true method for driving organic engagement.

Creators’ communities

  • To diversify their platforms, influencers have built communities off social media. Creators have email newsletters, Discord channels, Patreons, Substacks, podcasts, and more.
  • These communities provide authentic-feeling ways for brands to reach interested and engaged audiences.

Untapped potential: TV shows? Selling creator products?

This was originally featured in the eMarketer Daily newsletter. For more marketing insights, statistics, and trends, subscribe here.