While creator marketing does not possess the long history of other, more “traditional” methods of promoting products and services, it has more than proven that it belongs, showing no signs of fading.
With more people consuming digital media, and new technologies making it easier to create that digital media, the ecosystem continues to grow.
Creators and marketers have shown their ability to adapt to changes in the marketplace and on the platforms that they use to share their work, and those social platforms continue to update their offerings, particularly in terms of livestreaming, short-form video, and user-generated content.
Brands have adapted, as well, reaching more long-term partnerships with creators, rather than relying on one-off social posts, which helps to cement authentic connections with their audiences.
Market research firm Insider Intelligence shared a treasure trove of data and projections for creator marketing and social platforms, and Open Influence, a world-renowned creator marketing agency, focused on these three key findings:
Riding the Up Arrow
Insider Intelligence pegged U.S. creator marketing spending at $5.14 billion in 2023, up 14% from $4.51 billion in 2022, and the company sees that total continuing to rise at a similar pace of over 14% annually, reaching $6.74 billion in 2025.
The market research firm found that 78.6% of marketers are using creator marketing in 2023, projecting an increase to 90.3% in 2027.
The sector will likely continue to ride the momentum of technologies such as e-commerce integrations, interactivity, and live streaming, as well as adapting to the continued emergence of artificial intelligence, with the blockchain and nonfungible tokens potentially playing a role, too.
Creators can do their part by ensuring that their skills are up to date and keeping tabs on the latest developments in areas such as graphic design and video editing.
Size Doesn’t Matter
Insider Intelligence sees creator marketing spending in the U.S. continuing to grow for creators of all sizes, but those with smaller follower bases are projected to take in more revenue by 2025.
According to the market research firm:
- Nano-creators (1,000 to 4,999 followers) will earn $510 million in 2023, skyrocketing to $930 million in 2025.
- Micro-creators (5,000 to 19,999 followers) will take in $1.22 billion in 2023, climbing to $1.79 billion in 2025.
- Mid-tier creators (20,000 to 99,999 followers) will post revenue of $1.64 billion in 2023, increasing to $2.07 billion in 2025.
- Macro-creators (100,000 to 999,999 followers) will earn $1.26 billion in revenue in 2023, edging up to $1.39 billion in 2025.
- Mega-creators (1 million followers and up) will see revenue of $510 million in 2023, rising slightly to $560 million in 2025.
In terms of share of the U.S. creator marketing ecosystem, only nano-influencers (9.9% in 2023, seen rising to 13.8% in 2025) and micro-influencers (23.8% in 2023, projected at 26.6% in 2025) are forecast to experience gains, while those with larger follower bases will see smaller pieces of the pie: Mid-tier influencers are forecast to drop to 30.7% in 2025 from 32% in 2023, macro-influencers to 20.7% from 24.5%, and mega-influencers to 8.3% from 9.9%.
While content from nano-influencers and micro-influencers is seen by fewer people, those people are far more likely to engage with content aimed at specific interests and niches and bringing far more authenticity to the table than is possible when tailoring a message to millions of potential viewers.
Those creators can also help their brand partners build and nurture strong online communities, as they are far more likely to engage with their viewers and respond to comments.
Of course, the possibility of reaching hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of potential consumers with a brand’s message opens a world of opportunities, as well, so it is up to brands, creators, and agencies like Open Influence to team up and decide on the best path to success for each individual campaign.
Instagram Still Rules, But TikTok Draws Closer
While the best practice for brands and creators is to share their campaigns and other posts across multiple social platforms, one platform in particular, Instagram, has dominated the creator marketing sector.
Insider Intelligence found that 97.6% of creator marketers used the Meta-owned platform in 2023, forecasting that number to jump to 98% in 2027, and those figures for marketers in general are 76.7% and 88.5%, respectively.
Instagram grabbed a 38.1% share of U.S. creator marketing spending in 2023, but Insider Intelligence projected that its share will slide to 36.9% in 2025.
Instagram’s loss is TikTok’s gain, as its 19.3% share of the U.S. creator marketing ecosystem in 2023 is forecast to rise to 23.2% in 2025. No doubt that TikTok creator marketing will continue to give Instagram a run for its social money.
Insider Intelligence said 63.7% of creator marketers and 50% of marketers overall use the platform in 2023, pinning those numbers at 70.1% and 63.3%, respectively, in 2027.
Projections for YouTube are mixed, as Insider Intelligence sees its share of U.S. creator marketing spending sliding to 17.8% in 2025 from 18.7% this year, as well as 53.4% of creator marketers using the platform in 2027, down from 56.3% in 2023. But the share of overall marketers using YouTube is seen climbing from 44.2% this year to 48.2% in 2027.
The sheer size of Facebook’s user base helps it to maintain its standing, although Insider Intelligence sees its 17.5% share of U.S. creator marketing spending in 2023 sliding to 16.5% in 2025, while creator marketers using the platform are also projected to decline, from 73.8% this year to 70.4% in 2027. However, more marketers in general are seen using Facebook in 2027, 63.6%, versus 58% in 2023.
However, brands and creators alike are well served by a multiplatform approach, meeting their target audience on the platforms they spend time on, and tailoring their content to each platform, enabling them to take full advantage of the power of influence.
Open Influence is an award-winning global influencer agency that is dedicated to creating vibrant and relatable creator marketing campaigns.
Image in banner: ChayTee/iStock.