By Zainah Yassin, client partnerships manager – GCC, Vamp
As we start a new year, it is a good time to reflect on the previous year and speculate on what may lie ahead in the coming year. We have compiled what we think are the biggest trends for 2023 in the format of a SWOT analysis that provides actionable tips for brands and marketers.
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Relevancy and authentic quality content
Considering 63 per cent of people trust an influencer’s messaging more than the brand itself – according to Rise at Seven – and 86 per cent of consumers cite authenticity as a key factor to determining what brands they support, is it any wonder this is the first place we will start? Additionally, 2023 has seen a rise in creators sparking trends by creating their own storyboards to best reflect their personality as well as that of their audience. This ensures relevancy and authenticity are in place from the get go, allowing for a more natural approach. By working with content creators that align with your brand, having a genuine interest in your products and actively engaging with your wider industry and community, you will be introduced to their followership in a more authentic, natural way.
Short-form and portrait video
According to Wyzowl, 73 per cent of consumers prefer to watch a short video when assessing and evaluating a product or service. When you compare that to just 3 per cent who would rather watch a demo, it is clear this is a powerful tool your brand should be tapping into. On top of this, the continued rise of TikTok, YouTube Shorts and Instagram Reels has further cemented this type of creative as the current front runner in the realm of video marketing. The platforms are favouring this content and their algorithms reflect it. A study has shown that 90 per cent of marketers who use short-form video will increase or maintain their investment next year and 21 per cent of marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time in 2023.
Authenticity and genuine connection with your audience is crucial. The Social Shepherd stated that 61 per cent of consumers trust influencer recommendations, compared with 38 per cent who trust brand-produced content. On top of this, 60 per cent of marketers shared that influencer-generated content performs better compared with branded posts. We are sure to see more brands leveraging the power of influencers in their branded content, whether that is through amplification of messaging or content creation.
In addition, creators can bring a new level of expertise to a brand’s social activations, no matter the platform they are activating on. Creators have the ability to create content in any format for any platform, and that is why it is extremely important to be leveraging the creator’s creativity on their strongest platform.
Reactive or campaign-only
A common problem we see with marketers and their approach to influencer marketing is they see it as a short-term channel. In other words, it is not ‘always-on’. 70 per cent of marketers see influencer marketing as campaign-based, according to a study by Influencer Marketing Hub. Whether it is affiliate, growth or social media, every other channel in your business is likely to have an always-on approach. Influencer marketing is no different. When we know that as many as 86 per cent of people look to social media for purchase recommendations and 81 per cent of consumers need to trust a brand before buying from them, it is clear that you need to have a consistent and near-constant influencer marketing presence to gain learnings and insights to iteratively improve your performance.
Focusing on nano and micro creators is vital for a brand to be able to get the right eyes on their product, allowing the brand to stay relevant to their specific market and audience demographic.
Micro-influencers make up more than 90 per cent of the market share. Consumers are more likely to follow influencers they can relate to, and micro-influencers attract far superior engagement levels. Add to this the fact that they are far more cost effective and it becomes obvious why we think the rise of these more niche influencers will continue.
2023 is set to be a highly competitive year, with lower consumer spending power, and restricted marketing budgets. It can be a great time for brands to stand up for what they and their consumers believe in. Not only can this be brave messaging, it can also yield four to six times more customer loyalty.
Creators have the capability to keep up with consumer attitudes, preferences and tone of voices. Therefore, they have the capability to get your brand out there whilst keeping in mind the consumer trends at the current moment, allowing brands to stand out from competitors. Besides, with markets like KSA specifically changing and becoming more open, brands should tap into the opportunity of being bolder with messaging to demand market share early on.
Sales metrics – driving revenue and proving ROI
Finally, we come to the all-important, and often contentious point in influencer marketing. As alluded to already, a whopping 86 per cent of women look to social media for help with purchasing decisions, A-List stated. We see that the opportunity exists to drive revenue and business value.Studies show that 71 per cent of marketers think the quality of influencer marketing traffic is better than other sources and influencer marketing ROI is 11 times greater than banner ads.
For 2023, the continued development and evolution of social commerce will be key. Every social media platform is working to make the journey to purchase easier. However, we think this is the year that marketers will begin to realise and prove the business value of influencer marketing. A great tactic we see brands adopt is to mix their branded content ads with standard ads to drive cost-effective action intent. Some more quick tips from ourselves to drive better ROI include: develop an always-on strategy; define your goals from top-to-bottom of the funnel; choose your channels that align with those goals carefully; determine an investment that works for your business; take your highest performing organic content and use the power of paid media.