Social & Influencers

What 2024 has in store for influencer marketing, according to experts

From AI (again) to sports marketing, here’s what might be big.
article cover

The Good Place/NBCUniversal via Giphy

· 5 min read

From debates around deinfluencing to the increased use of UGC, 2023 saw a lot of change in the influencer marketing space.

With a new year just around the corner, we asked people in the industry what they think will be the biggest trends to watch for in 2024.

AI gets more sophisticated: While AI was arguably the buzziest word of 2023, it doesn’t seem to be a one-and-done trend like the Metaverse. In fact, 2024 may bring changes we can’t even anticipate.

Rahul Titus, global head of influence at Ogilvy, cited a campaign the agency did with Cadbury Celebrations and Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan—where the agency licensed Khan’s image and created “millions of hyper-personalized ads” for small businesses in India by using a deepfake of the actor and mimicking his voice using AI—as an example of what the “AI-powered social media world” will look like.

As AI-generated likenesses become more prevalent, including through virtual influencers and Meta’s AI Personas, Titus expects that more influencers will be asked by brands to license their likenesses, and said it won’t be long before all kinds of people have their own AI personas on social media. To prevent confusion as more AI-generated content spreads, he said, more disclosure on social media will be necessary: “If you lose [authenticity], the whole discipline of influencer marketing fails.”

Beyond content creation, Krishna Subramanian, co-founder and CEO of influencer marketing platform Captiv8, told us he expects to see AI incorporated in performance measurement in 2024. “This approach will enable brands to more effectively predict which influencers and content types (such as long versus short-form videos) will drive desired outcomes like downloads or sales,” he said.

Taking it offline: Here’s something virtual influencers can’t do. In what she calls the “anti-influencer influencer approach,” Julianne Fraser, founder of digital influencer marketing agency Dialogue New York, told us she expects to see more in-person events and product collaborations with influencers. Part of the reason, she said, is that some customers are experiencing a kind of “fatigue” from the onslaught of digital influencer content.

“Brands are investing more in influencers, and the volume of paid influencer campaigns is just skyrocketing,” she said. “Because it’s becoming so saturated and busy, it’s important to consider offline influence as part of your strategy as well.”

Just remember to invite your consumers, too. After influencer trips hosted by brands like Tarte and Shein faced backlash in 2023, Fraser said she doesn’t anticipate they will be as big this year given that those kinds of experiences can seem “inauthentic and staged.”

Internal influence: While some agencies are bringing TikTokers in-house to create brand content, Titus told us he expects to see more companies putting employees in front of the camera in 2024. As the agency outlined in Ogilvy’s 2024 Influencer Trends Report, benefits of this approach include both talent acquisition and building brand trust.

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.

“The collective network of your employees is 10x larger than your company,” Titus said. “Who knows your company better than your employees?”

On the flip side, some creators may also keep using their experience to land industry jobs. Isabella Muggeo, who goes by @TheCampaignGirl on TikTok, told us that while influencer platform work at and her social content are separate, being a creator has helped her in her career. “I think in 2024, a differentiator to be hired by a company or a creative agency is to have a profile yourself and put yourself out there,” she said. “[You] have the duality and perspective of being somebody that knows the strategy and the corporate side of things, but can put yourself in a creator’s shoes.”

Go small or go home: Muggeo predicts that big-name influencers may start making private profiles, blogs, and stories as a way to interact with fans, share recommendations, and “make their presence a little bit more niche,” she said. It’s something we’ve already seen with creators like Meredith Hayden of Wishbone Kitchen, who has a second account and newsletter for more personal and food-related content in addition to her main channel.

On the brand side, Fraser said she expects to see more work with nano-influencers and UGC creators who can create engaging content (and grant brands full usage rights) without large followings.

“I think there’s going to be a surge in specific UGC creators—people who might not have a following but are excellent at creating socially native content—who are experts at knowing what type of TikTok video will perform well or the type of photography that works on Instagram,” she said.

Sport mode: With Travis Kelce’s old tweets going viral and the 2024 Olympics on the horizon, Titus said we should expect to see a lot more athletes become social media stars in 2024. “I think off-the-field antics are where brands are gonna do really well,” he said, citing examples like UK Olympian Tom Daley, who once went viral for knitting after diving.

What will make it more interesting, he said, is that this is “the first year that we’re having an Olympics since TikTok has taken over the fabric of society.” As a result, “the way content is produced and consumed…is going to be completely different to what we’ve seen before.”

Get marketing news you'll actually want to read

Marketing Brew informs marketing pros of the latest on brand strategy, social media, and ad tech via our weekday newsletter, virtual events, marketing conferences, and digital guides.