12 March 2023

Outlook 2023: This is what good influence looks like

The managing director of influencer marketing agency, Social Soup, Katie Palmer-Rose predicts that the year ahead will shine a light on what good influence looks like.


She said: “2023 will shine a spotlight on what good influence looks like: from strategic planning to influencer vetting, to measurable outcomes. But the true hero will be omni-influence, that is, always-on influence as an integrated part of the channel plan.


“Consumers don’t see the world as on and offline anymore, instead they are driven across a non-linear journey to purchase through reviews, content, and trial.”


The managing director anticipates creator-led social strategies being heavily featured in 2023.


Palmer-Rose: “Creator led social strategies will also feature heavily in 2023. We will see user generated content overtaking branded content across both amplified social channels and also more traditional channels like digital out of home – keeping that advocacy and personalised message running through to point of purchase.


“There will be a diversity of both message and messenger. While consumers' expectations are that brands contribute to a more inclusive, representative, and sustainable future, it is not something they can always speak to from a brand POV.


“It will increasingly be achieved by putting the brand in the hands of micro creators who authentically represent a particular audience segment or product need state. Brands can only do this by handing over the reins to their creators.


“Lastly, Social Shopping. It already exists, but next year we can expect to see macro global trends around creator-led shopping moments land here in Australia.”


Director of The Influence Group and chair of AiMCO, Sharyn Smith, says that regulatory focus and innovation will drive a sense of accountability beyond the horizon.

She said: “It’s going to be a big year for influencer marketing with a regulatory focus and innovation to drive more accountability on the horizon. With the ACCC focus on advertising disclosure we’ll likely see our first fines handed down with respect to misleading advertising and some rogue influencers.


“With the ACCC Digital Platforms Services Inquiry we will also see a focus on platforms to be more accountable in their monitoring and management of content (Influencer ads and paid partnerships) with greater responsiveness through mandatory codes of conduct.”


Smith predicts a shift from the Influencer to Influence via a holistic approach to planning and monitoring key touch points to provide consumers with what they’re looking for.


She said: “We’ll see more of a movement to influence rather than the influencer with a holistic approach to planning and understanding the touchpoints required with the need to be where your empowered customers are and provide what they are looking for.


“We’ll start to see the industry strain with a demand Vs supply issue as the best influencers are snapped up by brands and quality influence will be in short supply.


“The smartest brands will find the best creators and focus on the longtail of influence to build out a robust micro influencer strategy building more potency and micro targeting to deliver effectiveness.


“A renewed focus on measurement and performance for influencer marketing to show ROI as budgets are squeezed but innovation will kick-in, and we’ll see the development of a new measurement ecosystem aligned with the broader communication channels.


“Influencer marketing will earn its place as a mainstream channel on all media plans.”


Emma Barnes, co-founder of Click Media says that gaming influencers will reign supreme in 2023.


She said: “Gaming is hot and only getting hotter.


“With their control of immense, passionate audiences and their unique ability to act as bridges within the huge components of modern life in the online sphere, 2023 will see gaming influencers cement their place as non-optional components of any marketing campaigns targeting youth audiences.


“Most are familiar with the old marketing adage, “meet your audience where they’re at”. For brands wishing to reach Gen Z (and the quickly rising Alpha), then where they’re ‘at’ are gaming based metaverse worlds, the communities they inhabit are online and the content they are consuming is created by gaming influencers.”


The Click media co-founder says virtual influencers will enter the mainstream, but not in the way we might think.


Barnes: “V-tubers or ‘virtual influencers’ have been on the periphery for a while now, but 2023 will be the year we start to see them enter into the mainstream - although not in the way you imagine.


“While standalone v-tubers will continue to be created and refined, we’ll also start to see influencers in different areas - beauty, health & lifestyle and more - create virtual versions of themselves to operate, create content and build communities within metaverse spaces in an attempt to build new audiences and remain relevant to current ones.”


Barnes’ final prediction is that Influencer/Brand values synergy will matter more than ever.


She said: “The Adidas/Ye example might be old news by now but the lesson will remain the same - in 2023 and beyond it is critical to position your brand alongside influencers who align with your values.


“Gen Z are demanding the brands they spend with will be in sync with their overall value system to an extent not seen in previous generations, and we can only assume that this trend is likely to continue with Gen Alpha.


“Gen Z has grown up using social media and can easily detect brand authenticity. It's hyper important for brands to connect with these generations authentically in their space.


“Given the increasing reliance on influencers as part of overall marketing strategies, it is now critical to work only with influencers who are fully aligned with a brand's ethos as a consumer's spend will depend on it. Audiences will not demand any less.”