The marketing industry has gone largely unpredictable for the past two years. Many predictions have fallen by the wayside, been blown off by the winds of the pandemic and macroeconomic changes.
However, predictions are a beautiful thing. They represent a ray of hope for the next step in the industry, an observation of the year passed and what will likely transpire in the coming year.
There have been many changes in the influencer marketing space over the past year, with companies in a bid to crack certain myths and perceptions that have plagued the industry for the last half of a decade.
In fact, I’d say that the influencer marketing industry is thriving now more than ever. Our recent State of Influence in Asia 2022/2023 report provided a glimmer of insight into why this is so. Across Asia, influencers in certain verticals have doubled including arts and entertainment as well as the travel industry, while fashion and beauty influencers came close to doubling.
This also represents the top three influencer verticals in Hong Kong, which combine to claim a 55.16% share of total influencers in Hong Kong.
With that, I’ll touch on three areas that we’re seeing formulate across the influencer marketing space.
Influencer marketing will start to sit on the precipice of digital commerce
The aforementioned report highlighted that food and drink (37.5%), fashion and beauty (25%), and lifestyle & home (12.5%) brands leveraged influencer marketing the most in Hong Kong, and it is no surprise that these brands are also the ones starting to connect influencer marketing to online commerce.
From automated attribution of an individual influencer’s campaign performance to product sales, to areas such as live commerce, social commerce, and affiliate marketing, influencer marketing has never been more closely connected to business results.
Leveraging on influencers to bridge the gap between online and offline
With physical events restarting in Hong Kong, we’ll see a greater number of offline activations from various brands that are looking to reintroduce a more experiential element to marketing efforts. This is also where influencers come in handy, not just in driving footfall to events, but also in bringing these experiences to their followers online, and even being the driving force for user-generated content around such activations, such as what GP Batteries did to have great effect.
Influencers will continue to expand the channels they have to connect with fans
The latest numbers are in - influencers in Hong Kong are almost equally on Instagram (38.07%) and Facebook (33.94%), whilst YouTube slightly lags (26.45%). We will also start to see more influencers going “live” with all of these platforms launching live-streaming features in recent times, and even find more ways to increase engagement with their followers and fans. From content subscriptions and merchandise to in-person meetups, we will see new and creative ways where influencers can build stronger bonds with their audiences.
The onus is now on brands to be there when it happens.
Ultimately, we’ve seen a sea change in the past year in how influencer marketing has evolved, driven by improvements in technology, greater expertise and understanding, and maturation in the ecosystem.
2023 will be exciting.
This article is sponsored by AnyMind.
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