Influencer marketing is a strategy that has taken the world by storm over the last few years. And whilst it’s nothing new – we’ve been obsessing over the lives of the rich and famous for centuries – it has helped companies skyrocket when it comes to sales, PR and growing a loyal fan base.
Influencers tend to be people with a specific niche and a large online following – seen as role models by their followers and successfully guiding their audience with endorsements for certain products or recommendations for various activities.
The growth of influencer marketing has been credited to platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Youtube and Instagram – particularly short video formats that are easy to consume whilst scrolling through social media.
But while we’ve seen the market grow from 1.7 billion in 2016 to 9.7 billion in 2021 – with no signs of slowing down – is there evidence to show that influencer marketing has less staying power now than in previous years?
Enter the micro-influencer
It could be said that generic influencers are slowly being outshone by the micro-influencer. In 2022, data has shown that micro-influencers who have fewer followers but more engaged audiences have more selling power and therefore better ROI.
Basically, Kim K flogging a protein shake just isn’t as powerful as it once was when you could have a more accessible or relatable micro-influencer engage with their fan base on a more personal level. Social media users want to feel as though they are being heard and seen, which is where the micro-influencer excels best.
So what’s next?
With more and more of Gen Z and millennials searching for authenticity and realism – the saturation of posts on social media featuring sponsored posts and advertising is turning them off. And turning them away.
The demand for authentic engagement is on the rise and there is a gap in the market for a new social media platform to deliver what the people want.
Enter BeReal… the new social platform
According to its website, the new social media platform, BeReal is offering ‘a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily lives.’ Launched in December 2019, it has exploded this year with a huge increase in app installations.
So how does it work? In a nutshell, you get a notification at a random time every day offering for you to create your BeReal. Simply snap a picture of what you’re doing right at that moment. Unlike other social platforms there is no option to edit or filter your image – and whilst you are given the option to retake a photo if you’re not happy with it – it will tell your followers how many shots it took you to get the one you went with!
Is it here to stay? Who knows? Will users try to find hacks and ways to get around the #bereal ethos, with editing and filters? Probably. Will brands and businesses need to pivot to a more fresh-faced and authentic approach? Maybe… but it’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds.
Influencer marketing seems as though it is here to stay, but what an influencer looks like going forward, is very much up in the air.