The virtual world grows and changes all the time, either we learn to deal with changes, or we are left behind! This is one of the most important lessons for professionals who are directly involved in this universe. Being part of this group, I say that working with influencer marketing means always reinventing yourself, after all, posting, recording and taking photos was never enough, even more so now, when being an influencer is one of the most coveted professions among young people and creating content. for the internet has become a huge competition for attention.
In addition to the conventional and the trends that materialized in 2023, such as relevant content, good productions and involvement with important causes for society, for 2024 we can expect much more investment from brands, diversification of services provided by creators and many new businesses emerging.
Currently, we are increasingly living with FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) syndrome, which is the fear of being left out of updates in the technological world. Translating to the new generations, this syndrome is when we have that feeling that we missed content that is trending at the moment and everyone is commenting, or when we can’t follow that live that everyone watched, or when we don’t know which influencers are trending on TikTok, since everything happens so quickly in the virtual world.
This syndrome affects not only social media users, who spend more and more hours on these platforms in order to overcome this need to stay updated, but also brands, which feel increasingly lost on how to communicate with new generations. and how to stay relevant among young people. It’s not enough to just create a profile on social media with the brand’s @, you need to join communities and stay active.
This is one of the reasons why brands increasingly invest in digital influencers. According to the 2023 ROI & Influence survey carried out by Youpix, the number of brands willing to invest more than 1.5 million reais in influencer marketing doubled from 2021 to 2023. For 2024, the trend is that investments not just double again, but become constant within brands’ budgets, promoting ambassador programs and long-term contracts.
It is also important to mention that companies are increasingly looking for influencers who have a presence on different social networks. Participation on the main platforms, such as TikTok, Instagram, X, Youtube, Kwai and others, makes brands feel more embraced by different audiences and generations, calming the aforementioned syndrome a little. After all, many brands are still afraid to start any communication on these platforms, especially those most characteristic of generation Z such as TikTok and Kwai.
Diversity should also guide the hiring of digital influencers this year, as well as in 2023. The fact is that influencer marketing is a market with enormous potential for minorities and for promoting discussions about social causes, which gain even greater proportion and reach with social media.
The appeal for diversity is such that we can exemplify it with a recent event in Big Brother Brasil 24: the reality participants themselves, when voting for the candidates who would still enter the house, preferred those who had some different characteristic, amidst so many options considered’ “standards” or “socially privileged”.
However, diversity without a foundation can be a very dangerous path for brands that only surf what is “trending”. Working with influencers in this niche requires a lot of study and knowledge, in addition to being just one of thousands of measures that complement an entire positioning, actions and values that add a brand to the fight for diversity.
Another interesting trend – and which is also a desire of everyone who works with influencer marketing and society in general – is to break the SP-RJ bubble that still exists in the area of advertising and its ramifications. We were limited for many years to working with influencers from São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, mainly due to the advertising agencies that, for the most part, are also located in these two cities.
However, it is practically impossible to represent all Brazilian states and all their cultures and peculiarities in just two centers in the country. Fortunately, brands are already expanding their horizons and understanding that current advertising needs more representation, especially when we talk about the digital medium, which is the place where users connect precisely with those who represent them in the best way.
This movement will bring even more diversity to the campaigns and should encourage the digital and local market, especially in the northeast areas of the country, which has been providing us with digital influencers with a lot of creativity and incredible communication power and reach, such as Ademara (@ademaravilha), Amanda Dias (@granapretaoficial), Marciele Albuquerque (@marciele.albuquerque) and so many other talents.
Another point that influencers must pay attention to is that this major investment by brands in influencer marketing in recent years has brought a lot of learning, which will help companies and advertising agencies understand in 2024 what really works and is a good investment. and what is just ”spending money”.
It is very likely that the mapping and hiring of influencers will become increasingly careful and increasingly niched this year. In other words, creators who produce good content, both in terms of relevance and production quality, and who are inserted in a specific niche, may be more in demand in 2024. This means that those influencers who browse various content segments may end up losing jobs because they do not have communication aimed at a specific audience.
Going beyond real influencers, companies will also tend to invest in virtual influencers in 2024, as this modality has been gaining a lot of strength in recent years due to great innovation in technology. An example of this are influencers who are well known and loved by the public, such as Lu da Magalu and Baianinho from Casas Bahia, who have become the symbol of their brands – I would even venture to say that they are more recognized by the public than the brands’ logos themselves. – and which have great influence among young people.
This year, AI (Artificial Intelligence) will also come to further help corporations to streamline and optimize processes, renew their image, and create new bonds with consumers, in addition to opening the doors to innovation. Most likely, influencer marketing will go hand in hand with technology, creating impressive and revolutionary possibilities for relationships between people and communities in the virtual field.
On the other hand, this is the year for creators to increasingly show the size of their potential within the Creator Economy. Just publishing is not and should not be the only source of income for an influencer, who can perform several other types of services for brands. It is becoming increasingly common to hire influencers for strategic consultancy, appearances, special participation in lives, events and even jobs as scriptwriters, video editors and other creative areas.
However, influencers should not depend solely on investment from brands in 2024. The trend of creating new and own businesses should be a constant this year, following iconic examples of entrepreneurship based on influence, such as Boca Rosa Company, Bruna Tavares BT, Mari Maria Makeup and Hair and many others. And anyone who believes that they need to have thousands of followers to be able to become an influencer is wrong. A good example of this is the profiles @anna.laura, @triptofollow and @vivaomundo, which together have less than 1 million followers and founded Holmy , a vacation rental platform that has almost 80,000 followers on Instagram.
And how not to mention UGCs? The acronym for User Generated Content, which translated into Portuguese means ”Content generated by the user”, has already become popular with Brazilians and will certainly become a strong trend in 2024. Although this type of creator does not position itself as an influencer – and in some cases not really being an influencer directly with the public -, this new method of working has brought new production paths that can generate a lot of investment for the Creator Ecomony.
This new way of exploring brands and products has enchanted some companies, who end up finding it advantageous to use UGC, not only because of the difference in fees charged, but also because of the way content is created. While a digital influencer seeks to activate their fanbase to interact in advertising, UGC has the main mission of showing the brand or product in a functional, specific and natural way, like a real consumer.
However, this does not mean that influencers will be replaced by UGCs, because the two types of creators have different objectives and must also be used in different ways within a campaign for the strategy to reap good results. However, nothing prevents the two modalities from working together or exchanging learning with each other to increasingly improve the content we will consume in the coming months.
Despite all the trends mentioned, there is an important fact that we must not forget in 2024 or in the years to come: it may not seem like it, but the internet has space for everyone, especially for those who are creative and innovative! The public doesn’t want to hear more of the same. Betting on authenticity will never go out of fashion and influencer marketing will increasingly show the power of this market made by people and for people. Let the changes come!
*Gigi Grandin is a specialist in Influencer Marketing and co-founder of Grapa Digital. She has a specialization in Brand Management from FGV-SP and an MBA in Digital Marketing from ESPM-SP.