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How influencer marketing is changing the game

Over the past decade, influencer marketing has grown exponentially across social media. From celebrities with millions of followers, to niche content creators with small but highly engaged audiences, influencers come in all shapes and sizes, spanning multiple demographics and sectors. Both consumers and businesses have been experiencing the rise of influencer marketing and the role it now plays in supporting brands. With as many as 70% of consumers following at least 10 influencers on social media1, and 51% of marketers stating that working with influencers helps them acquire better customers6, there has never been a better time to tap into the world of influencer marketing.

In this article, The MTM Agency’s social media team dives into the world of influencer marketing, discovers what’s new, and how they are changing the game.

An introduction to influencer marketing

Characterised by their extensive social network followings and an ability to create real connections with their followers, the impact of influencers is extensive. But, what does this look like in reality? There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach and influencer marketing encompasses multiple strategies, content and post types, and relationships. Here are just a few examples of what influencer marketing could look like.

  1. Paid partnerships: a collaborative agreement between an influencer and a brand, where the business pays a fee for the promotion of its product or service

  2. Collaborations: a joint venture between a brand and an influencer, where they develop a product, service or content together

  3. Affiliate marketing: influencers or content creators earn commission by promoting a brand’s products or services

  4. Gifts and reviews: brands send products to influencers in exchange for a review shared on the influencer’s own channels

  5. Brand ambassadors: an influencer hired to be a representative of a brand and promote their products or services to their audience

  6. Social media takeovers: when a brand or influencer takes over another account to post content on the other’s behalf for a short period of time

Taking word of mouth marketing to the next level

92% of consumers trust word-of-mouth recommendations2 above all other forms of advertising. In fact, it drives as much as $6 trillion in annual global spending and is responsible for 13% of all sales3. For businesses of every kind, influencers and content creators take word-of-mouth marketing into their own hands, acting as trusted third-party sources to provide opinions on products and services. This is invaluable when we learn that more than half the population of the world are using social platforms5, a massive 88% of Gen Z and millennials are learning about the products they’re interested in buying on social media, and nearly two thirds of them follow an influencer5.

How influencers stay ahead of the social media curve

The concept of influencers predates social media entirely, with what are described the first ‘modern day’ influencers taking the form of parenting bloggers as far back as 2002. Whether the influencer you choose to work with has been in the field since the beginning or became an overnight sensation, what makes them exceptional at what they do is their ability to develop genuine connections with their followers, build trust, and foster loyalty. Your average influencer knows their audience inside out and has hordes of experience creating content that resonates with them. If their followers align with your potential customers, you have an already engaged audience and a high-quality content creator at your disposal.

Only the most successful creators have developed the ability to grow with their audience, pivot to the platforms that work best for them, and create content that the algorithm favours. Like marketeers, influencers must always be ahead of the curve. Influencers that built a following on YouTube (launched in 2005) or Instagram (launched in 2010), may now find that their audience spends more time on TikTok, for example, which launched in 2016 and is already home to 3.1 million influencers 4. As well as new and emerging social media platforms, influencers work hard to keep up with trends, topical issues, and regular updates to existing platforms and algorithms. Instagram, for example, launched its video feature, Reels, in 2019. Today, Reels receive around 22% more engagement than static posts.

Influencer marketing trends to look out for in 2023

The global influencer market size is anticipated to reach $84.89 billion by 20288. New social media channels, content categories, and channels for brands to interact with potential customers continue to emerge every year. Brands must take advantage of existing influencer marketing trends to establish their authority and expertise, and increase their appeal. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest trends for 2023:

#1 Authenticity is key

In recent years there has been a strong demand for genuine, authentic content. Almost 25% of consumers will unfollow a creator if they feel that they cannot trust them to be honest and authentic1. In order to ensure that the items or services they endorse are relevant to their audiences, influencers should be careful and selective of who they work with, what they post, and what they are willing to promote. This goes for businesses too — always research the influencers you’re working with and always prioritise quality, relevance and authenticity.

When producing content, influencers and brand ambassadors must consider what their audience wants to see. For the majority of audiences, this is content that is unique and beneficial to them. Original, creative content will increase audience trust and loyalty both for the influencer and the brand itself.

#2 An increase in following creators across multiple platforms

Even though many influencers have a preferred social platform, most use a variety of them. With the average social media user engaging with between six and seven different social media platforms9, it is highly beneficial for creators to tap into various social networks. Although this is nothing new, the most successful creators have large audiences across a number of different platforms, tailoring their content where necessary. No longer describing themselves as ‘YouTubers’ or’ Instagrammers', for instance, but instead, specialist creators that select their platforms for a specific purpose or form of content.

#3 Ongoing partnerships over one-off projects

In 2023, expect to see a rise in long-term partnerships between influencers and brands as opposed to one-off sponsored or advertised posts. When hired for only one sponsored post, even influencers with the most active audiences may struggle to provide genuine value. Oftentimes, a long-term marketing effort with a specific influencer will simply be more successful than a short-term one. It allows brands and businesses to nurture long-term, strong relationships with creators, which in return benefits the influencer and the brand.

When prioritising ongoing influencer partnerships, brands may decide to develop ambassador packages instead, which creates a deeper connection between your brand and the influencer. But, remember to consider what this means when it comes to developing contracts and agreements.

#4 Video content will become even more popular!

As 5G adoption increases globally, along with several other factors, people are consuming more video content than ever before. Today, consumers' craving for video is just beginning to be satisfied, especially through the creation of the fastest growing social media platform TikTok10. Popular video-based social media platforms, like TikTok and YouTube, are often favoured by influencers over platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, with 40% of TikTok creators having more than 500,000 followers and between 1.5 to 5 million influencers being present on YouTube1.

What to look for when choosing an influencer to work with

Selecting an influencer goes way beyond the amount of followers an individual has. Here are some key areas to consider.

  • What tone of voice do they have on social media?
    1. Does this match your company's tone of voice, brand values and mission?

  • Do they know and understand your industry?
    1. Will they be able to produce content suitable for your industry and appropriate for your brand or product?

  • Are they active on the correct social media platforms?
    1. Are they active on the same social channels as your audience?

    2. Do the social platforms they are active on enable the type of content that you want them to produce for or with your brand?

  • Do they have a positive reputation?
    1. Is the influencer well-known for the right reasons?

    2. Do they share your brand’s values?

    3. Research them online and across social media to review their reputation and the nature of the content they publish

  • Do they have a loyal and engaged audience?
    1. How many people are you trying to reach? Check how many followers they have and make sure they are real people, not fake accounts

    2. Check their engagement rates by reviewing likes, views and comments and gathering an idea of whether or not their engagements are legitimate, impressive and worthwhile

  • Are they constantly active on their social media platforms?
    1. How often do they post? If so, how many of these posts are relevant to your industry?

Discover how The MTM Agency levelled-up Fairline Yachts’ social media presence here.

If you want to learn how we can elevate your social media strategy, speak to our experts today.


  1. 101 Influencer Marketing Statistics in 2022 | GRIN

  2. Influencer Marketing Has Changed The Game

  3. The Impact Of Influencer And Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

  4. Top growing U.S. TikTok influencers by followers 2021 | Statista

  5. The Impact Of Influencer And Word-Of-Mouth Marketing

  6. How Brands Can Work With TikTok Influencers

  7. 16 Influencer Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2023

  8. How Many People Use Social Media in 2022? (65+ Statistics)

  9. TikTok says 1 billion people use the app each month