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In 2024 and beyond, influencer marketing remains a significant trend, with several key developments shaping its landscape. Notable trends include the increasing integration of AI in influencer marketing strategies, a rising demand for sustained brand partnerships, the diversification of social media platforms, a surge in performance-based deals, and the emergence of college athletes as influential figures. The industry, which amounted to $1.7 billion in 2016, is projected to soar to an impressive $85 billion by 2028.

The efficacy of influencer marketing endures, with a majority of brands expressing satisfaction with the results. According to a survey by the Influencer Marketing Hub, a remarkable 90% of respondents consider influencer marketing to be effective. This positive perception has remained consistently high over the years, underscoring the enduring impact and reliability of influencer marketing as a powerful method for brand promotion.

An engagement rate above 3% for professional Influencers on Instagram is considered better than average.  The average college athlete garners close to 6%.  This is an encouraging indication that NIL marketing is not only thriving but is poised to sustain its success for the foreseeable future.

Providing brands with an unprecedented opportunity to connect with customers and delivering a high level of authenticity, an NIL athlete might just be the elusive ingredient your marketing trend needs.

My own personal opinion is that given the continued growth of influencer marketing and the increasing emphasis on authenticity, the biggest trend for college athlete influencer marketing in 2024 might involve a shift towards more genuine and personal content.  There might be a rise in evergreen content that showcases the athletes’ daily lives, training routines, and personal stories.  Evergreen content aligns with the long-term goals of brands, offering sustained benefits in terms of visibility, engagement, and authority. It allows brands to maintain a relevant online presence and connect with their audience over an extended period.