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5 Influencer Marketing Trends to Utilize in 2024

Influencer Marketing

December 18, 2023

Influencer marketing and social media marketing are steadily becoming mutually inclusive marketing channels. With a declining reach for business accounts, influencers give brands the bump they need to make not just their social media marketing successful, but their marketing in general.

We’ll take a look at five trends that are set to reshape the way brands connect and engage with their audiences. From the ascendancy of small influencers over their celebrity counterparts, to the unwavering importance of authenticity and the integration of AI for content creation — these trends will dominate influencer marketing in 2024.

1. Small Influencers

‘Micro’ and ‘nano’ influencers have been marketing buzzwords for a while now, and they are really going to shine in 2024. We’ve seen a shift from celebrity influencers with seemingly perfect lives to small, often local, influencers who we can relate to.

A large focus for these ‘smaller’ influencers will be working on their personal brand so their content reflects who they truly are as a person. Although many people will never meet the influencers they follow in-person, we’re seeing a rise in content that is so genuine and authentic that it feels like you’re good friends. When this connection is present, followers trust the recommendations influencers make and are more likely to support the brands they’re talking about.

2. Authentic is Key

‘Authentic’ was Merriam-Webster’s 2023 word-of-the-year and it’s not going anywhere in 2024. While there will always be a place for beautiful graphics and flawless creatives, more brands are realizing the power of perfectly imperfect, authentic user-generated content (UGC) created by real people.

So why has adoption for using UGC been slow? Tracking and metrics. When your friend posts about a new restaurant they tried, do they include discount codes and affiliate links for you to make reservations? Maybe, but probably not. That’s because we, as humans, crave authentic connection. When we see overly promotional copy, tracking codes, etc. our brains often register that content as being an advertisement and we keep scrolling rather than stopping and reading like we would if a friend or nano influencer we trust posted it.

3. Using AI for Creation

AI is absolutely amazing, and there are so many advantages to using it! You can bet that influencers will be utilizing it in 2024 if they aren’t already. It’s helpful for expediting the creation process for things like planning, capturing a great photo, editing videos, writing captions and so much more.

When you’re working with influencers, do be aware that AI fraud is increasing. This could look like AI generated content and even complete AI generated influencers. Using an influencer marketing platform will help ensure authenticity of the influencer and the content.

When in doubt, working with influential people who create content in their community or as a side hustle will likely be less risky to work with. You can also use AI to vet your influencers and make sure they are real and have an audience that aligns with yours.

4. Social Search + Research

When you’re looking for a restaurant for dinner, planning a vacation or checking out local events, where do you start? There’s been a massive shift from Google searches to social media searches, especially on Instagram.

Rather than pulling up guides, people are recalling the restaurant their friend posted about, or checking an influencer’s account to see where they just went on vacation. This is especially true for Generation Z who quite literally grew up with social media playing an active role in their everyday lives. If you want to appear during the research phase, start optimizing your social media content for search and activate influencers to talk about your brand’s offerings.

5. High Adoption of Influencer Marketing

The last trend is influencer marketing becoming truly mainstream. In 2024, if you’re not working with influencers in some way, you’re going to be left behind. We know that consumers are numb to traditional marketing tactics, like billboards and TV commercials. They’re spending time on social channels like Instagram, TikTok and Reddit for product discovery, research and entertainment.

The brands utilizing influencers to increase awareness, drive sales and create loyal customers are going to really pull ahead of the competition. By the end of 2024, we predict that working with influencers will be just as common as brands having social media pages.

Don’t be afraid to utilize influencer marketing!

If you haven't worked with influencers yet, don’t be intimidated. There are influencer agencies and platforms that make working with influencers easy, but most are used to negotiating deals independently if you want to run it in-house, as well. Experiment with different types of influencers and have fun watching the UGC roll in!

The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.

Emily Steele

Emily Steele is the CEO and Cofounder of Hummingbirds. A spin on influencer marketing, Hummingbirds drives local behavior by pairing businesses with real people who experience their brand and share about it on social media. Emily and her cofounder, Charise Flynn, raised their Seed round of funding in December 2023.