Will TikTok be banned in the U.S.? What influencer marketing trends are emerging as we near the end of the first quarter of 2023? The Motherhood’s analysts are diving into these questions and more as we curate the latest in influencer marketing resources and social media updates.
Here are the top headlines for March 2023, which we update on a weekly basis throughout the month.
Influencer Marketing Resources
AI is already indispensable in influencer marketing. From scouting for the right influencers and detecting sentiment to analysing influencer content and predicting campaign performance, AI powers some of the most effective influencer marketing solutions and most successful campaigns. Now it is generative artificial intelligence (AI) that is turning heads – and it hasn’t taken long for ‘Big Tech’ to get involved. Microsoft’s $10bn investment in OpenAI and Google’s hurried release of ‘Bard’ illustrate that this tool could open a whole new world of innovation.
Brands typically prioritize Gen Z influencers when they seek to work with a creator. The goal, of course, is to reach younger consumers, so it would only seem natural to find creators who appeal to that audience.
Brand investment in creator-led marketing is growing in popularity. In the US, companies will have increased their spending on creator marketing by 65% over the last five years, to $4.6bn by the end of this year. Globally, it’s valued at a record $16.4bn. And for good reason. According to Nielson, 92% of consumers trust influencer marketing over traditional advertising. Perhaps that’s why content published by influential creators delivers 11x the return on investment (ROI) than traditional marketing tactics.
A lot has changed for influencer Corporate Natalie since she posted her first TikTok in 2020 about the quirks of working remotely. Since then, she’s accumulated nearly 1 million followers across Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn, started her own virtual assistant business for influencers, and attended the Golden Globes—all while continuing her consulting career in tech.
In the rapidly growing creator economy space, even the creators themselves struggle to price their wares. U.S. advertisers are anticipated to spend over $6 billion on influencer marketing this year, per Insider Intelligence. But creators still aren’t sure how big a piece to claim from this pie, a new report from social media management platform Later and influencer marketing platform Mavrck finds.
Content marketing seems simple, right? Publish some engaging blog posts, upload a couple of captivating videos and maybe throw in a few infographics for good measure. But if it were really this easy, every marketing leader charged with developing online content would see the ROI they dream of. Unfortunately, the reality is much more sobering. Putting your content ideas out there for audiences to see doesn’t mean they will. Even if they do, the pieces your team works so hard to create must be relevant and timely to work. Complicating matters is the fact that what resonates today won’t necessarily do so tomorrow. As a result, most marketers need to shake up their strategies once in a while. If you want to breathe new life into your approach, here are four tips to try.
Agency leaders are always working to develop innovative advertising and marketing campaigns that will capture the attention of their clients’ target audiences. While there is no substitute for experience, reading about the lessons more seasoned industry peers have gleaned through their client work—especially projects that were highly unique—can help agency professionals develop more effective campaigns.
As consumers become savvy—and therefore, more immune—to traditional advertising, influencer marketing is rapidly becoming an essential marketing strategy for businesses to reach and engage with their audiences. At my agency, it’s something that we have increasingly included as an essential tool for all of our clients. Why? Over 80% of consumers have either researched, purchased or considered purchasing a product or service after seeing friends, family or influencers post about it. It’s no wonder the industry reached $16.4 billion in 2022!
Influencer marketing is all the rage. It is a form of social media marketing that leverages endorsements and product placements from famous personalities and businesses to change hearts and minds. Think Kylie Jenner endorsing a new face lotion on TikTok or Roger Federer tweeting about that new Rolex in his watch collection. In many ways, influencers are often trusted more by everyday consumers than brands themselves since people can form strong connections with the people they follow online (even if they never meet them). Look at it this way: Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has more Instagram followers than there are people in the United States and Russia combined, making his thoughts, feelings and endorsements massively consequential—and uniquely marketable.
In recent years, influencer marketing’s explosive growth as an industry has been leading to the rise of the “mega-influencer”—influencers with millions of followers on social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube or TikTok. These influencers have become powerful forces in the world of advertising and marketing, thanks to their potential to reach massive audiences and wield significant influence over consumer behavior.
Look around you. Not as many people are picking up the daily newspaper or sitting through long commercials on TV. However, they do have one thing in common. Regardless of the demographic, they are scrolling social media on their phones. According to Pew Research, 70% of Americans check Facebook daily. It’s second nature for youth to use Snapchat, Instagram and TikTok multiple times a day. That’s how they communicate, read the news, raise awareness — and shop.
Influencer marketing has become a popular solution for brands looking to leverage the power of social media and connect with audiences in a more credible and engaging way. Traditional advertising is losing ground to this approach, as new generations are increasingly turning to social media to inform their purchasing decisions. Furthermore, consumers are growing more skeptical of traditional advertising: Sixty-one percent of consumers trust recommendations from family members, friends or influencers on social channels, while only 38% trust recommendations from brands.
Viewers tuning in to Peacock’s “Bel-Air” this week will be introduced to a new recurring character: Simply Spiked. The boozy juice will appear as an integral element in one character’s quest for influencer stardom. The sponsorship, which spans three episodes, is an example of how brands are increasingly leaning into streaming TV to capture elusive TV audiences.
Affiliate marketing, which started as a tiny portion of beauty and fashion brands’ marketing strategies, is now a major component of their businesses. The reason is that it provides a potentially less costly alternative with more ROI to pure influencer marketing. It’s a proven opportunity to drive sales with minimal investment. “The real value of affiliate marketing is that it’s just a way to supercharge your influencer marketing,” said Julia Casella, who oversees global communications for Hourglass Cosmetics. Affiliate marketing saw major growth during the height of the pandemic, just as e-commerce did, in general. More than 50% of affiliate marketing programs increased their revenue during the lockdown.
From car dealerships to political-action committees, organizations big and small are striking endorsement deals with college athletes—known as name, image, likeness arrangements—that despite marketer enthusiasm remain a largely untested frontier. A number of big brands, including H&R Block Inc. and Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen Inc., are trying out the NIL space, at times making it a regular part of their marketing plans. But many are treading cautiously—even as the upcoming 2023 March Madness basketball tournaments offer arguably the year’s largest spotlight in collegiate sports.
3 steps small-business owners can take to build successful (and affordable) influencer collaborations
Small-business owner Molly Fedick and consultancy owner Alexandra Shadrow discuss influencer marketing resources. They discuss strategies for affordable influencer collaborations. Building influencer relationships and staying within prices comfortable for the business are top tips.
As influencer marketing continues to mature, here’s why brands are hiring creators as ‘creative directors’
Last month, Visible rolled out a Singles’ Awareness Day campaign featuring comedian and influencer Benito Skinner aka Benny Drama. The effort is part of a brand shift for Visible to reduce the number of influencers it works with in favor of more collaborative relationships, said Visible CMO Cheryl Gresham. That focus on collaboration meant Skinner took an “active, participatory role,” explained Gresham, who said Skinner pitched in with script suggestions for the character as well as set design tweaks.
The influencer marketing industry has grown to an estimated size of $14.6bn globally. But for all its maturity, it remains an ever-evolving space. Leading both the industry growth and constant change is the always dynamic creator economy, a complex ecosystem of brands, agencies, creators, and consumers redefining the very nature of marketing and advertising in today’s social media age.
If business bros with corporate jobs in tech and finance — stable, high-paying careers with cushy benefits! — felt the need to supplement their status (and possibly their income) by becoming influencers, what hope was there for the rest of us? In an increasingly unpredictable economy, one with massive wealth disparity and mass layoffs, where landing a solid career path feels out of reach for so many, of course the industry that promises self-employment and creative freedom sounds like the best possible option.
As marketers begin to test new strategies to innovate and optimize for 2023, an elastic and expansive overall marketing mix will allow brands to be ahead of the curve on newly arising marketing trends. Influencers have proven to play a vital role in 2022, and many brands are increasing their investment in influencer marketing for their 2023 marketing mix. Here are three ways to include influencers in the 2023 marketing mix currently stand out from the rest.
Influencer marketing has become a key part of many businesses’ marketing strategies. It’s something I have been using over the past five years for all major brands I’ve worked with. The brand lift and recognition that influencer marketing can offer, in addition to the boost in sales, have made it an essential tool for my clients. Drawing on my experience, here are 10 ways to maximize your own influencer marketing.
Before Gary Vaynerchuk started his digital ad business, VaynerMedia, in 2009, he spent hours a day replying to Twitter comments with the goal of promoting his family’s wine business. Vaynerchuk—who goes by Gary Vee—has become a prominent voice in the entrepreneurial world, where he often preaches about the value of ambition and hard work. Today, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a business who increases their exposure by spending hours a day replying to individual comments on social media platforms. Instead, they resort to influencer marketing, a multi-billion dollar industry that has exploded in the last few years with help from the pandemic.
Niche Influencer Marketing Resources
Few advertising creations have stirred as much civic pride as “I❤️NY,” the New York State tourism campaign devised by the agency Wells, Rich, Greene in the 1970s and bearing Milton Glaser’s famous logo.
The rise of the wellness industry has left many companies scrambling to define the parameters of the category. Ad Age’s The Wellness Revolution, held March 7 in New York, offered attendees insights into how the marketing space is shifting to make room for the concept of wellness.
There was a time when medical practitioners didn’t need to market themselves. New patients would choose doctors or other medical professionals based on location, availability, and most commonly, referrals. But unless you live in a small town, there’s a good chance this is no longer the case. Healthcare customers are more empowered than ever before. They have access to digital channels, which can be used in innumerable ways to decide how and where they will receive their healthcare. And if you’re not yet utilizing these digital channels, you’re undoubtedly missing out.
One of the positive developments coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic is that more and more consumers are embracing and prioritizing their own personal health and well-being like never before. Consumers are looking for a sense of control and, in turn, a sense of optimism. Healthcare brands should do more than take notice—they need to find ways to help
Consumerism by and large has radically changed the way healthcare providers are now required to market their offerings. Many of today’s clients look for a digitally advanced healthcare experience, just like the innovation they expect in any other industry.
Did you know that it can cost five to 25 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one? Also, you have a 60% to 70% chance of selling to a current customer, compared to a 20% chance for a new prospect.
When inflation begins to rise, for-profit businesses have an easier time mitigating the adverse effects. For instance, an online apparel brand may raise prices or shipping rates to cover economic fluctuations. However, it can be more challenging for nonprofit leaders to figure out how to navigate a world of increasing costs while still achieving their mission.
As the demographic landscape of donors changes, nonprofit organizations are facing the challenge of attracting younger donors and retaining their support. With their growing influence and potential for long-term support, younger donors represent a critical segment for the sustainability of nonprofit organizations. To appeal to this demographic, organizations need to adapt their fundraising strategies and engage younger generations in a way that resonates with their values and interests. Below, 15 Forbes Nonprofit Council members recommend their most effective strategies for increasing donations from younger generations and ensuring their long-term support.
Women’s History Month is upon us, dedicated to recognizing and honoring some of the most influential women and girls. We will undoubtedly see media highlights of female trailblazers from the past and present while businesses highlight the accomplishments of their female employees and fierce executive leaders. But it’s also B Corp Month, recognizing businesses that are audited for their impact on all stakeholders, not just profitability. So make room for another worthy mention: women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs who pursue social and environmental impact, alongside profit.
In 1951, Palmer Paint introduced a paint-by-numbers system. It was a way to replicate painting masterpieces simply by dividing the picture into shapes. Each number corresponded to a color. It was a great system to simplify and break down a complex masterpiece into steps that even a beginner could follow. A budget (or what I like to call a planning-by-numbers) is similar in concept: You can break down each department and line item easily by translating the specific financial outlay (color) with the goals (shape) that a nonprofit is expecting to accomplish for the year
Nonprofit organizations occupy a unique position in the business world. Unlike for-profits, they tend to operate under a mission centered more on impact. However, this doesn’t mean that nonprofits and for-profits look nothing alike; in fact, they share plenty of similarities once people look beyond the surface.
In business, rebranding is a common practice. It allows an entrepreneur to evaluate how their products or services are performing and make needed changes that increase the reach and value of their organization as a whole. Care, however, must be taken when leaders are considering modifying how the business operates. Every change will require time, effort and money, and there is also no guarantee that the eventual outcome will prove successful.
The price of harming the environment is emerging on the horizon of the corporate world. Bloomberg reports that, “Litigation could cost the plastics industry and its insurers $20 billion in the U.S. over the next eight years, according to a report backed by the United Nations and an Australian billionaire.
Social Media Marketing News
While US senators debate whether or not to ban its main app, TikTok owner ByteDance is already working on building its American presence, with its Instagram-like Lemon8 app now rising up the App Store charts.
If you’re wondering why social division feels more prevalent and present than ever before, this could provide some insight. According to a new study, which analyzed over 105k variations of story headlines from Upworthy.com, stories with more negative terms in the headline drive more clicks, while positive terms decrease engagement, based on user response.
What are the kids listening to these days? Asking for a friend advertiser…YouTube’s latest ad offering, which will roll out later this summer, aims to answer that question, enabling brands to target Gen Zers based on the songs that are most popular with them at the moment, Nicky Rettke, VP of product management for YouTube ads, told Marketing Brew. By leveraging AI, YouTube plans to create content packages centered around songs that are trending on YouTube among Gen Zers, Rettke said, enabling advertisers to target that demo based on their current music interests as YouTube continues to expand its audio ad offerings.
Elon Musk Says Priority Ranking for Tweet Replies from Twitter Blue Subscribers will Come Into Effect Soon
Get ready for the next phase of Elon Musk’s ‘Twitter 2.0’ plan, with Musk revealing over the weekend that Twitter Blue subscribers will get priority ranking for their replies soon.
LinkedIn’s looking to help foster the next generation of podcasting talent, with the launch of a new LinkedIn Podcast Academy, which will provide participants with the knowledge they need to launch a successful podcast. Building on the LinkedIn Podcast Network, a collection of LinkedIn-branded podcasts which the company launched last February, the new podcast academy will provide support to emerging podcast hosts, aligned with its expanding podcast network push.
Could this be a sign of things to come in social media regulation? The State of Utah is set to pass a new law which will restrict people under the age of 18 from using social media apps without a parent’s consent. As per Axios: “Starting March 1st, 2024, all Utahns would have to confirm their ages to use social media platforms or lose account access, under the bill, sponsored by state Rep. Michael McKell.” The new law, if enacted, will add an extra level of protection for youngsters, with parents to lose access to their own social media accounts if they fail to verify their kids’ age, and monitor their activity.
Social News: TikTok
Amid ongoing talks about a TikTok ban in the US, and potentially other regions, the timing of this is particularly interesting. Today, data.ai has released its latest app performance report, which shows that TikTok surpassed Instagram as the most downloaded app in Q1 2023.
With a full ban of the app in the US looming, everything may well be riding on TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew’s appearance before the US House Committee on Energy and Commerce this week, in which Chew will have the opportunity to present TikTok’s case, and convince senators that TikTok does not pose a national security threat.
With TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew set to appear before US congress this week, in what many consider to be a pivotal appearance that could decide the fate of the app in the region, TikTok has today shared a new user milestone in the US, while also calling on US users to contact their elected representatives to voice their support for the platform.
With its engaging and innovative platform for sharing short-form video capturing the attention of younger audiences globally, TikTok has quickly become a powerful marketing tool for many brands. However, the app has also faced controversy, from calls to ban it entirely in the U.S. to numerous universities actually banning its use on their campus networks.
TikTok is rolling out a new option that enables you to start your TikTok feed afresh, if you no longer like the videos being recommended to you, while it’s also developing new systems to avoid repetition, and limit exposure to harmful elements.
After initially resisting calls to ban TikTok from government devices, the UK Government has now changed course, and announced an immediate ban of the Chinese-owned app on all Government employee phones. The announcement brings TikTok into line with the EU, which enacted a ban of TikTok on Government devices last month, while the majority of US states have now also banned the app from Government-owned phones.
TikTok’s new Series feature gives creators a way to charge followers for long-form, exclusive videos, but the format could present challenges for the TikTok stars who rose to stardom through the viral nature of the platform. In fact, Series could stifle the powerful reach that fuels creators, according to TikTok creators and ad agencies.
Amid ongoing talks of a potential TikTok ban in the U.S., creators are rethinking platforms such as Instagram and YouTube to offset any potential loss of revenue streams from the embattled social platform.
As Gen Z embraces de-influencing on TikTok, marketers and influencers need to be much more transparent and authentic
What began as “don’t buy this product” has morphed into “don’t buy that product, buy this product instead” — this phenomenon is better known as the current de-influencing trend on TikTok. For example, gaming influencers are now giving opinions on which chairs, microphones, and headsets they don’t recommend, there are posts from Sephora employees who are critical of makeup products that do not live up to their hype and dermatologists telling users which products they should avoid when it comes to skin care.
Hilton challenged the conventional brand approach to TikTok marketing with a 10-minute-long video that far exceeded the platform’s recommended video length of under 34 seconds and its advice to keep content “short and sweet.” The virality of the TikTok, despite its length, is sparking the industry to rethink TikTok marketing conventions to include long-form content.
More bad news for TikTok, with the US House Foreign Affairs Committee today voting to give President Joe Biden the power to ban the Chinese-owned app, if he deems such a move necessary, amid ongoing security discussions around its potential connection to the CCP. The White House has already announced a full ban of TikTok on government-owned devices, following similar moves in over 30 US states. EU and Canadian officials have also followed suit, banning the app on all official devices, as tensions between China and the west continue to simmer, largely tied back to the Ukraine conflict.
TikTok is looking to help more businesses incorporate audio into their promotions, with a new collection of free-to-use audio elements to help spice up your short clips, and align with popular trends in the app. The new Sounds for Business offering, available in TikTok’s Commercial Music Library, will incorporate a range of audio elements, including voice-over clips, music, and more – providing new options for your creations.
Social News: Meta
As it works to provide more tools to facilitate brand safety in ad placement, Meta has launched a new set of inventory filters for Facebook and Instagram Feeds, which will provide a simple way for brands to avoid unwanted association with potentially offensive, or otherwise undesirable content.
Instagram’s working on a new way to integrate Stories and Reels, with a new experiment that sees some Reels playing for their full duration within the Stories flow.
People come to Instagram to discover new brands, products or upcoming events. Today, we’re introducing two new ad products that give businesses more ways to get discovered and form meaningful connections – reminder ads and ads in search results.
Twitter hasn’t been doing too well lately, and now the sharks are coming. Facebook’s parent company Meta is working on a standalone, text-based social network app that will be both a rival to Twitter, and its decentralized competitor, Mastodon, at the same time.
Hey, have you ever been utterly frustrated with the lack of assistance available for your Facebook or Instagram issues? Many social media managers have experienced the pain of trying to get help from Meta’s reps, who are almost impossible to contact.
Facebook’s on-again, off-again relationship with hashtags seems to have taken another down turn, with the company announcing that hashtag topics in groups, which were added in 2019, will be depreciated next month.
Meta has announced some new updates for Facebook Reels, including an expanded length limit, Memories integration and new trending Reels templates. First off, on Reels length – your Facebook Reels can now be up to 90 seconds long, an additional 30 seconds on the previous limit.
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