Making a List…

Making a List…

Welcome to this month’s edition of our newsletter “If Brands Put People First” where we pop up in your inbox monthly with our analysis of campaigns, advertisements, and commercials from brands that we think could make a major impact if they used real people, with real stories, to achieve real results.

In this month’s newsletter we’re taking an end-of-year look at how creator-driven content has outpaced brand-focused marketing in 2023 and what trends we can expect in the new year. (Hint: even more growth!)

Is your influencer marketing on the nice list or the naughty list this year?

It’s December, and that means “listing season” is upon us. Yes, ‘tis the season for wish lists, shopping lists, “best of” lists, and New Year’s resolution lists. And here at People First, it’s also time for our favorite list: the list of reasons that creator content is a better bet than brand focused content – this holiday season and all year round.

We’ve made our list and checked it twice, so read on for our top stats showing how much creator content outpaced brand content in 2023.

  • A Record-Breaking Year: The global influencer market has more than doubled since 2019, and in 2023 alone, the market took in an estimated record $21.1 billion. 
  • More Bang for the Buck: Influencer marketing spending growth outpaced ad revenue growth on every major social media platform in 2023.
  • Post Less, Buy More: Many users have been posting less on social media platforms, but they’ve been consuming more. Creator content within stories, in-feed, and in smaller community groups have all proven to be strong spaces for marketers.
  • Instagram is #1: Instagram’s popularity with influencer marketers has led to an exceptionally high return on investment.
  • “Follow” Through: 31% of social media users prefer to discover new products through an influencer they follow as opposed to any other format or channel, and recent data shows that 85% of Gen Z shoppers say that social media influences their purchasing choices.
  • Staying Power: The creator economy has also proven to be more resilient than paid social ad spending, as marketers lean into authenticity.
  • It’s All About Authenticity: The value of influencer marketing lies in the fact that 69% of consumers trust influencers’ recommendations.

But wait – our list doesn’t just look back, it looks forward, too. Here’s what the new year (and beyond!) promises to bring:

  • (Even More) Growth: Next year, US influencer marketing spending will hit $5.89 billion, and 82.7% of marketers will use influencer marketing.
  • On the Fast Track: US influencer marketing spending will grow more than three times faster than social ad spending did in 2023, and it will remain ahead through at least 2025.
  • Big Money: In 2024 on Instagram, US influencer marketing spending will pass $2 billion. On TikTok, YouTube, and Facebook, spending will surpass $1 billion.
  • No Contest: US influencer marketing spending growth will remain in the double digits through 2025, while social ad spending growth lingers between 4% and 10%.
  • Once Again, Authenticity Wins: Influencer marketing growth will be driven by a younger generation that values genuine authenticity, personalized content, and relatable influencers.

Don’t take our word alone for it. Keith Bendes, the VP of Strategy and Marketing at Linqia, puts it best:

“The next five (years) is going to be going beyond social…You truly do need to create content at unbelievable speeds these days… and it’s expensive as a marketer. So the idea is, ‘Hey, I’m already doing this thing over here. And I’ve already gotten the rights to the content…’ It’s just very cost efficient to then pivot it and move it to these other places.”

And Adam Mosseri, the Head of Instagram, agrees:

So as the holiday season and the end of the year approaches, make sure prioritizing creator driven content over brand focused content is your number one resolution. It’s been ours for years, and we’re always here to lend a helping hand however we can.

That’s the power of putting people first in your marketing.