The good news: influencer marketing remains one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal. In fact, by 2025, researchers estimate that the channel will reach another all time high with investments totalling $24 billion. Why? Because consumers want it more than ever.

The bad news: the way that consumers want to experience influencer marketing is changing. Which won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s spent any amount of time in this fast-moving channel.

With investments soaring and the financial crisis placing greater pressure on the importance of a decent return, brands will need to keep up with these moving targets, adapting their strategies to placate and engage a restless audience and emerge on top.

Here are the big influencer marketing trends for 2023

1. Economy-conscious content

2023 will see the world grapple with the fallout of a global pandemic and international discord, meaning an inevitable hit to economies everywhere. As the cost of living rises for the average consumer (and soars in some major markets) influencers will need to be savvy in how they share branded content.

To avoid accusations of insensitivity or pushing consumerism in a time where many will have reduced spending power, influencers and brands should work together to reframe content from an economically friendly perspective. Consider highlighting product features that reflect durability or low cost-per-wear or use, or for fashion retailers specifically, encourage content in which influencers can highlight how to get the most out of your clothing: day to night challenges, for example, or one dress worn seven ways.

It’s also important to lean on branding activities here rather than put all your eggs in the performance basket. While this might sound counterintuitive (after all, it’s sales you need, right?), in times of turbulence, the trust consumers have in your brand can be the deciding factor when it comes to where they spend their money. As consumers look to brands for consistency and stability, investing in yours could be the smartest money you spend.

While there’s still a chance that you’ll see some reduction in sales figures in the short term, in the longer term, consumers will remember how you chose to promote your brand during these challenging times for the better. Or, of course, for the worse…

2. Niches get niche-r

‘Find your niche’ has long been the first advice offered to aspiring influencers. Whether you were a fashion guru, a restaurant connoisseur, or a crafting fanatic, clearly signposting what social media users could expect from your feed was crucial to building a following.

But much like the unquenchable thirst for authenticity, consumers are going to get even more picky and creators will double down to stand out from the competition, refining their niche and offering greater specificity when it comes to the content they share. Fashion influencers, for example, could come to centre their content around sustainable fashion or budget fashion, while foodie accounts could funnel themselves down to street food or home cooking.

This trend presents pros and cons for brands collaborating with influencers. On the one hand, this is exactly the kind of organic targeting that brands should want and which will ensure the maximum relevance of your offering without making your audience feel like their privacy has been compromised; on the other hand, if your product does have multiple relevant audiences then you may have to incorporate more influencers into your collaborations to achieve the same breadth of reach.