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Introduction

It feels like just yesterday that influencer marketing was the new disruptive industry changing social media marketing. Now, it is a massive part of the online marketing ecosystem, a global industry worth billions. This all happened incredibly quickly, showing how fast change can take root. Just because influencer marketing has taken over social media platforms doesn’t mean there aren’t further changes likely to take hold.

The social media landscape is rapidly evolving. Social media trends come and go, and things change incredibly quickly. Every day, new technology or ideas come out that are poised to disrupt the market. It is unlikely that influencer marketing is going anywhere, considering how profitable and future-oriented it is. What is likely is that there will be changes in the future that disrupt the industry.

But what will these changes be? Some of them are completely unpredictable. The Covid-19 crisis re-shaped the industry, driving people to do much more of their shopping online. But this was something no one could’ve ever seen coming. But what about the ones we can?

Here are five potential changes that could disrupt the influencer marketing industry.

A Shift Towards Authenticity

One interesting change may already be underway. Many struggle with body image due to social media, so brands and influencer marketing agencies might step in. In the UK, Oglivy, a major PR and marketing agency, has announced that they will no longer work with influencers who edit their bodies or faces for ads.

This could have a broad impact on the industry and lead to a social media landscape with less pressure on influencers to edit themselves. This could help reduce the damage of the harmful body image problems caused by social media. It can also lead to a more authentic and transparent marketplace.

Virtual Influencers

Influencers share with us their opinions, their lifestyles, and their personalities. That is why people love them. But who says they have to be real? Virtual influencers are a trend that is on the rise around the world. These are completely constructed social media creators that are made with CGI.

Many of these influencers have received significant followings. Lil Miquela, a Brazilian virtual influencer, has attracted 3 million followers. She’s worked with brands like Samsung, Amazon, and Calvin Klein, all while being a computer-generated creation from an LA-based startup. The line between the virtual world and the real one is blurring, and with virtual influencers, this could continue.

Regulation

There is a nationwide concern over the trajectory of the social media industry, and regulation has been brought up as a solution. If the government regulated social media, this would have a massive impact on the influencer marketing industry. From TikTok influencer marketing to Instagram, every social media platform is vulnerable to being affected.

The FTC already regulates the social media marketing industry, but marketers will have to adjust if the government makes any structural changes to social media. This might not necessarily be a bad thing; it could just change the way social networks run.

More Pathways to Influencer Monetization

Brand partnerships are a big part of paying the bill for the average full-time influencer. Influencer marketing works so well because both the social media creator and the brand need each other. It is a mutually beneficial partnership that provides influencers a way to monetize their platform and brands a way to reach bigger audiences.

One thing that could disrupt this relationship is influencers finding other ways to monetize. Some exist right now. Patreon and Twitter Super Follows are two examples of subscription models where influencers monetize their platform in exchange for exclusive content. These haven’t caught on in a big way, but if influencers have other pathways to monetization, it could change the industry.

Platforms Orient Towards Social Commerce

Social commerce is all the rage these days. Inciting people to purchase products from social platforms is easier than ever, and more people than ever are doing their shopping through social media. This is extremely exciting for the influencer marketing industry as they directly benefit from increased social media shopping.

Platforms see this and are changing their offerings to be more shopping friendly. Instagram has added several recent features to be as e-commerce-accommodating as possible. Other social media platforms will likely follow suit, and the growth of social commerce and influencer marketing will continue.

If you are looking to take your influencer outreach to the next level, partnering with an influencer marketing firm is the way to go. Influence Hunter is a top influencer marketing agency with years of experience partnering with brands to develop customized, high-performing campaigns. Contact Us Today to find out how we can grow your business through social media.

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