While economists around the world are warning that a recession is looming, and as we move toward greater economic uncertainty, influencer marketing will remain a key differentiator for brands. This is the contention of marketing expert Assil Dayri, CEO of AMD Consulting Group.
The latest social trends reports predict that social media will top marketing budgets in 2023 as marketers turn to new strategies. Business plans already consider the imminent recession, and the marketing and social media sectors would be the first to see reduced resources, although work carried out by influencers through these channels is still on the rise. With this financial uncertainty, marketing investments will probably decrease, but brands will have to be smart since a total cut is not a viable option, Dayri said.
Indicating that influencer marketing is essential for the consumer, who will also feel the impacts of this economic instability, Dayri said, "After all, as these difficulties settle in, the public turns to content producers they trust to seek references on where to safely put their money. Collaborating with key personalities to promote your brand will become even more essential based on the trust and credibility they have."
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Dayri pointed out that in tough economic times, you don't want to make any mistakes when selecting the influencers you work with. "One of the great advantages of working with influencers is that regardless of the size of the brand or the audience you want to reach, there are nano, micro or macro influencers who are skilled at reaching that target market and can work within your budget,” he said.
Dayri noted that recent research shows that more brands are finding success with smaller influencers, thanks to their hyper-focused audience with very specific interests. "Since smaller influencers are seen as more genuine and trustworthy, their followers tend to put more faith in the products or services they promote. Consumers also begin to have less confidence in macro influencers, as they understand how many of them think more about the financial aspect and not the value that the brands they promote brings to the public," Dayri said.
Noting that Instagram still leads the influencer marketing space in terms of professionals using the platform, as well as the amount of budget they invest, Dayri said, "You also see a lot of content being posted on Instagram that comes to be repurposed from TikTok. However, with the significant growth that TikTok is seeing, we could see a shift soon as more brands are now entering the TikTok space."
To prepare for these changes, Dayri said that influencers need to find ways to make their content relevant and genuine. "Considering the cut in marketing budgets we could see in the next year; Influencers need to be consistent and creative to be chosen to collaborate with brands in these uncertain times," Dayri said. “Being faithful to your niche and producing quality content to have a solid, strong and influential image becomes essential, because companies will start being even more selective."
On the positive side, this line of work is still on the rise. Even with the recession, the world still needs influencers. Dayri predicts that brands will continue to invest in influencer marketing in 2023 despite the economic downturn and revised marketing budgets. Influencer partnerships help reduce overall marketing costs and allows businesses to build more brand awareness, Dayri concluded.