7 Influencer Marketing trends for 2023 (5 of 7) : Influence at Scale

Wanna know everything about the main Influencer Marketing Trends for the next few years? TREND #5 : Influence at Scale

young woman with multiple reflection in mirror
Influencer Marketing trends – Influence at Scale
Photo by Ichad Windhiagiri on Pexels.com

I believe that 7 influencer marketing trends are now emerging for the next 3 years (for 2023):

The first four were detailed in previous articles:

  1. The scarcity of data, or the end of easy and free access to data from social networks.
  2. The CIOs era (Chief Influence Officer), or the affirmation of Influence Marketing as a field in its own, transverse to the various functions of the company.
  3. We Are All Influencers, or the use and promotion of 100% of the stakeholders (employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders) of the company as Key Opinion Leaders (or K.O.L).
  4. The End of Amateurism, or the professionalization of practices in Influencer Marketing, from advertisers to influencers.

The fifth one is detailed below : Influence at Scale, or the boom in advertisers x KOLs collaborations, in terms of volume and complexity.

TREND #5 : Influence at Scale

Boom in advertisers x KOLs collaborations, in terms of volume and complexity.

Thousands of K.O.L partnering with one brand… and soon millions?

On average, marketers today activate tens or even hundreds of Key Opinon Leaders (K.O.L) for their brand.

Most of the companies that paved the way of Influencer Marketing (IM) regularly increased the number of influencers involved. They are now working with them on the long term, and they are learning how to manage such multiple relations across years.

The burst in IM investments and the underlying financial issues will undoubtedly fuel a boom in volumes of collaborations. As a great number of exchanges are required to achieve each collaboration, this boom will also significantly increase the points of contact between a brand and their K.O.L.

Based on this current trend, I believe that collaborations between influencers and brands will soon reach thousands. Or even millions.

For example, a retailer like Alibaba is now working on hiring more than 100,000 K.O.L for 2020 to promote products. Amazon is also doing it already at scale with its Amazon Influencers Program.

“[AliExpress] is looking to attract more than 100,000 content creators this year to its recently launched AliExpress Connect, rising to over a million in three years. The platform offers a matchmaking service, helping pair social media influencers with brands and merchants looking to market their products. Its initial focus is Europe, where Russia, France, Spain and Poland comprise the majority of users. » Zheping Huang – Bloomberg – article May 27th 2020, quoting Yuan Yuan, head of operations for AliExpress.

AliExpress Connect – influencer program

Brands are now fighting for K.O.L

The increasing competition between brands on the same KOLs will force brands to always find new profiles of still “untapped” influencers. 

Let’s take an example with the German market. 

There are “only” 22,000 K.O.L on Instagram with more than 5,000 followers (at more than 50%) living in Germany.  (source Kolsquare, Nov 2020)

Not all the 22,000 German KOLs are relevant to your brand values and your target audience, and if you start working with several hundreds of them you will rapidly need to find other K.O.Ls if you want to maintain your growth. 

Hopefully the number of K.O.L is growing everyday. But you will soon have the opportunity and necessity to reach the 190,000 nano influencers with more than 1,000 followers in Germany. Or you will explore other social networks. 

In any case, it will increase the complexity of your K.O.L Marketing actions.

I recently had a chat with the CMO of one of our users at Kolsquare, a beauty company operating IM campaigns in 15 countries including more than 2,000 in Germany. She described to me how she was using our platform to identify and “steal” all her competitors’ influencers, but also how she was securing long term contracts with them.

woman in blue sports bra and black leggings doing exercise
Fighting for influencers!
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

More complexity, but more opportunities

Influence Marketing is entering adolescence, becoming more efficient but also requiring more expertise. 

At Kolsquare, we work with hundreds of brands across the world, and we see a multiplication of Influencer Marketing use cases. 

Brands are activating K.O.L from the entire pyramid of Influence: from Nano, consumers (UGC) and even employees at the very bottom, to Mega Influencers and Celebrities at the top (see “We Are All Influencers”). 

Marketers now use KOL Marketing to reach their branding target, but also to acquire customers or convert buyers with a performance approach.

Fortune 5000 and all large growing companies are now setting up multi-brand and multi-country Influencer Marketing campaigns, increasing the complexity of coordination for a same brand.

The rise of challenger Social Networks, such as TikTok, SnapChat or Pinterest will fuel an acceleration of multi-platform influencer marketing campaigns. It will make it possible to reach different consumer targets, in different countries, with different media (videos, photos, text, etc.), at different moments.

The burst of niche social networks, hyper-segmented and ultra-affinity media, will foster new types of collaborations, in terms of volume and complexity.

Finally, brands will receive countless requests directly from KOL: inbound proposals for collaborations, creative ideas, requests for freebies, questions, etc. As a result, marketers will need to manage the points of contact and the relationship with these demanding and influential interlocutors as well as possible

And finally more human, more technology!

Influencer Marketing is not simple, and it will never be. It requires expertise, time, and processes.

But to help them reach their potential, marketers will need efficient Influencer Marketing tools. To cope with this increasing complexity. And to manage outbound and inbound opportunities with Key Opinion Leaders.

In an efficient and easy to use way.

man people woman desk
Marketers will need efficient Influencer Marketing tools
Photo by AlphaTradeZone on Pexels.com

And you, did you identified this trend too? Do you already deal with hundreds of KOL for your brand? How do you manage this increasing complexity to reach your potential as IM professional?

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