Creative agency We Are Social has released Future of Influence, a report that examines how influencer marketing is set to evolve over the next few years.
The report was informed by a series of interviews, speaking with talent from academics to journalists to creative technologists, as well as creators themselves. It focuses on three key areas across culture, technology and the creator economy.
Collective Influence: Creators and influencers have been working on their content in isolation. In the increasingly saturated field in which they operate, this is leading to burnout. As a result, influencers are banding together in collectives to share the burden of the creative process. Be it hype houses, metalabels, or media collectives, influencers create economic, emotional, and creative alignment between collaborators. Rather than everyone competing for the same pie, these collectives see them now engaging in co-opetition.
Human Only > Humans Extended: Advances in technology lead to questions about how it will negatively affect humans and their influence on the world. In this particular case, it is whether AI, which now gives anyone with a device and Internet connection the power to create anything from their imagination, will drown out creators. Influencers are harnessing new technology, creating alternative revenue streams and extending their influence beyond the typical means of a human life into different elements of the Web3 world.
New Patronage: Creators have cultural clout with large dedicated communities who have helped shape their careers and make them who they are. But in a saturated market, there’s a need to rethink revenue streams. Creators are taking creative control by launching their own brands, leveraging their fandoms, skills and entrepreneurial spirit.
Suzie Shaw, CEO of We Are Social Australia, said: “More than ever before, people are looking to social media to discover and research brands and products, and for lifestyle inspiration. Influencers, with their large followings and engaging and relatable content, are powerful partners for brands, because they can effectively blend wide reach and authentic storytelling. As people spend more and more time online, we expect influencer marketing to keep growing and evolve, so brands need to work to keep pace with the ways it’s changing.”
Paul Greenwood, head of research and insight at We Are Social said: “Influencer marketing has changed beyond recognition over the last few years and this is set to continue. Whether it’s influencers pooling their skills, audiences, and resources in support of a larger creative vision or purpose, getting ahead of AI and fakery, or putting their creative skills to use with new entrepreneurial endeavours – the world of influence is shifting. We hope that the Future of Influence report will give marketers a head start when it comes to understanding this new generation of online talent.”