With the slew of trend forecasts rolling out, our team combed through reports published by social platforms, consulting groups, and consumer insights tools to curate the need-to-know creator economy, cultural, and consumer trends that will impact the influencer marketing spaces for 2023.What’s on our radar for the year ahead:Creator EconomyTHE NEED FOR NICHECollective individualism continues to grow as post-pandemic internet users build connections and communities online. Hyper-niche communities are increasingly thriving on social networks and platforms that foster individual interests and discovery. Platforms such as Twitch, Geneva, Discord, and even TikTok help people from around the world connect through shared interests and ideals, and a new class of creators is emerging that speaks directly to these hard-to-reach communities. As brands look for ways to connect with consumers, building community and partnering with creators from niche communities is key.A 2023 Webby Report revealed that 33% of GenZers find community on social media in online groups. TikTok’s 2023 What’s Next Trend Report showed that the platform is 1.8x more likely to introduce people to new topics they didn’t know about than other social platforms. Valentino and Coach partnered with the card game “We’re Not Really Strangers” to target hyper-niche influencers whose content speaks to a smaller, but targeted audience. LONG STORY SHORTFrom TikToks under 30 seconds to Youtube Shorts and Instagram Reels, short-form video content has taken over social and requires sharp, succinct storytelling and true creativity to break through. This format meets the growing consumer demand for entertaining, spontaneous, and engaging content. In the year ahead brands should look for short and engaging moments such as product drops, sneak peeks, and behind-the-scenes style content to attract and retain the eyes of viewers in a saturated social space.Videos under 60 seconds now make up 57% of all YouTube views, compared to merely 11% two years ago. Nearly 60% of short-form videos are watched for 41-80% of their length, as viewers drop off as videos get longer. A recent social report revealed that 68% of social media users wish to learn about a product through short-form video content.THE ROI OF IRLOver-the-top opulence for IRL creator events is no longer embraced. After a two-year hiatus, beauty brands are returning to their pre-pandemic experiential investments, but expectations are quite different as they target Gen Z. With a more class-conscious and savvy audience watching these events unfold, brands should move away from frivolous spending and center these trips on sustainability, personalization, education, and community building.The recent Tarte trip to Dubai brought out some strong opinions about the brand’s tone-deafness with the current state of the economy and the constant stream of layoff news. However, bad press or not, the trip was all anyone could talk about that week: The hashtag #TrippinWithTarte has over 140 million views, and #TarteDubaiTrip has over 20 million views.To avoid brand reputation issues, IRL events should be designed with purpose at their core and impart a distinct brand message.CultureBOOMER BOOMERANGSocial stardom has no age limit and ‘granfluencer’ content is here to stay in 2023. While aging has mostly been seen as something to avoid at all costs, a growing cohort of boomer creators is brazenly embracing the aging process and rallying their audiences younger and older to do the same. As brands continue to push their DE&I initiatives, age should be a key consideration for representation.L’Oreal Paris enlisted 10 influencers aged 45 to 84 to promote its Age Perfect Rosy Oil-Serum.@OldGays a joint TikTok account belonging to four gay men in their 70s, has over 10 million followers—many of whom belong to Gen Z.In 2022, Sports Illustrated featured Maye Musk as its cover model, making her the oldest cover model at the age of 74.SELF-CARE SUPERCHARGEDHow consumers perceive self-care will expand beyond just mental and physical space in 2023, coming to life through the lens of fitness, beauty, travel, food, creativity, and more. As brands take their stance on what self-care means for their specific service, consumers are looking for them to put authenticity, quality, and social impact as the foundation of their offerings. The phrase “taking care of yourself” is taking on new meaning with this holistic lens, opening new ways of engaging with the world to better oneself.64% of people globally were looking to explore low-or-no-ABV drinks further across 10 different markets with sober curiosity on the rise. More people are willing to take radical steps to support their inner and outer selves. The brand Pinch Me: Therapy Dough demonstrates the intersection of human senses, art, and wellness designed with the proven scientific methodology of color and scent to provide self-care to consumers. Loose interpretation and ambiguous messaging around self-care from brands and creators cause ‘self-care’ fatigue': making it hard for consumers to navigate the territory. Clearly define and decide your positioning and stick to it, demonstrating precisely what your brand can provide. EXPRESS YOURSELFBold, bright, and energized expression prevail amidst continued economic and social uncertainty. From trends like dopamine beauty to maximalist interior design, consumers are lighting up their lives with unapologetic and unconventional colors and styles suited for them. Striking statements of self-expression on social can drive optimism, brand affinity, and aspiration for consumers.The Future 100 2023 Report speaks to the rise in unapologetic expressionism, bold shapes, and unconventional colors that will signify resilience over escapism. Dopamine Beauty is replacing clean beauty in pursuit of vibrant and maximalist makeup. ConsumerSAVVY SPENDERSAs they enter the real world, GenZers are embracing financial literacy more than any other generation. An increasing number of GenZers are using their entrepreneurial mindset to turn passions and hobbies into a means of making money. In addition, they are relying on brands to not only help them with their financial literacy but also educate them into having a deeper understanding of financial history. Brands should consider ways to lean into this generation’s finance-first mindset and ensure that their marketing efforts are strategic and not tone-deaf toward their perspective on money, budgets, and savings.78% of GenZers are cutting spending, 52% are holding off on big purchases, 32% are seeking out jobs that offer stabilitySavings challenges are popular on social among this generation (ex. Bi-weekly saving challenges, envelope saving challenges) and they are looking for ways to gamify their budget and saving experiencesOnly 34% of GenZers felt their banks understood them and are turning to smaller start-ups/ institutions with a more strategic approach to their financial goals.DARE TO DISCOVERConsumers are trading Google for TikTok as they head straight to short-form videos for their search needs. TikTok shows no-frills, relevant results catering to the individual's personalized algorithm for any questions, topics, or decisions. Brands should get smart on the evolving SEO optimizations and search capabilities these platforms will continue to roll out to ensure that their content gets discovered.TikTok is leaning into the fact that it is being used as a search platform with TikTok UK releasing a 60-second ad featuring the slogan ‘Search it with TikTok.’Google’s studies showed that almost 40% of young users used TikTok or Instagram to look for a place for lunch instead of Google Maps.SKINCARE, EVERYWHERESkincare is evolving into a body care boom, with increased awareness and concern for exfoliating, hydrating, and soothing skin. Going beyond body cream, consumers are increasingly looking for serums, masks, and sculpting products that target more than just their faces.The hashtag #Bodycareroutine now has over 800M views on TikTok.Consumers are putting pressure on brands to meet them where they’re at and create products that target body concerns such as eczema, acne, and dryness.A 2022 Mintel report showed that 33% of Americans are using body care products more frequently than they used to.