2024 Influencer Trends You Should Care About

96 percent of the creator economy is yet to be tapped, per Ogilvy report

If you're working with influencers to reach consumers, you'd best get up to speed on the latest trends. Below, Ansley Williams, Ogilvy's head of influence for North America, talks about how to collaborate with creators and parses the agency's "2024 Influencer Trends You Should Care About" report, which you can download here.

First, some top-line findings:

  • Using internal voices can make a potent external impact; employee advocacy is key.
  • Content needs to be sonically vibrant; pick music that plays to brand strengths.
  • Athletes drive cultural impact off the field more than ever.
  • Social-media creators add authentically and boost product demos through livestreams.
  • Consumers are increasingly swayed to adopt greener practices.
  • The rise of AI avatars offers a personalized influencer experience.
Muse: At this point, should every brand be working with influencers?

Ansley Williams: They're a bridge between the brand and the consumer, translating the message into something relatable and approachable that connects people. And now we have all of these online communities, too—we can create connections with unexpected groups of people. It's a unique way for a brand to find niche groups they wouldn't be able to find elsewhere. And social listening—what people are talking about—can really point your brand in the right direction.

I've been profiling my favorite TikTokers for Muse, and I love to discover new talent like Gym Tan, who became a fashion influencer at 62. Is it fun for you to discover new influencer talent?

Oh my gosh, absolutely. You follow these people's lives, and you get so invested in them and their content and their thinking—and they're so creative. In the industry, we're calling them influencers, but we're also calling them creators because they're making these masterpieces, these cinematic adventures. It's so entertaining. I love getting lost in TikTok.

When you make a typical TV commercial or ad, you are telling the talent what to do. When you work with a creator, how is the process different?

I fully believe in the power of co-creation. Because, at the end of the day, influencers and creators are experts on their own channel. They built a following because of their expertise. They know how to connect with that audience. You don't really script them. We tell them, "these are the brand guidelines, this is what we're trying to do in terms of the messaging." They always surprise us. We are not trying to take them out of their process. We're really just trying to tap into the process they've already created.

Let's talk about some of the findings in your report. The importance of brands having a sonic identity in 2024 jumped out at me.

Music connects everyone—cultures, communities. When you're thinking about music and TikTok, people use sounds and interpret sounds in creative ways to unify content. And when we're thinking about how people are consuming content through their ears, there are podcasts, meditations, Spotify playlists—all of these are different ways to create a full 360 immersive experience for your consumer. It's really good for B2B, too.

Also, the report calls 2024 "The Year of Sport."

We're calling it the "TikTok Olympics" because it's the first time the Olympics are going to be on TikTok [globally] and super social.

As a casual fan, I am surprised by how many athletes and sports influencers I keep up with on social platforms.

Maybe you're not actually interested in the game, but there's something human about being able to connect with the athlete as a person, seeing a day in the life of an Olympian or a football player. It's just a fascinating human experience.

While everyone wants to be in business with famous players, in the report you encourage brands to develop relationships with student athletes.

They're getting sponsorship deals in college now. That's opened up a completely different avenue and opportunity. And retired athletes are getting into other venues. The fact that Shaq is getting into DJing—that's a whole different creative opportunity.

Developments in AI are coming at us so fast. You write about how brands and creators will unlock the potential of AI in 2024.

Right now, it's more about process and how AI makes it easier for creators to create. It's just another tool. People are adapting quickly to AI offerings. It's becoming more accessible. 2024 will be a big year for changing processes through AI.

Christine Champagne
Muse contributor Christine Champagne is a writer based in NYC.

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