It is no secret in the marketing world that influencer marketing has quickly become one of the most effective methods there is to raise brand awareness, brand loyalty and to drive sales. Many brands find themselves looking to incorporate influencer marketing into their marketing mix but are not sure where to start. The world of social media evolves so quickly. So, it is important to ensure you understand the current (and rising trends), so you can properly position yourself as an influencer and garner the desired results for a brand.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “don’t box yourself in” to one platform? Well, this trend connects with that reality. Do you have a favorite social media platform? It’s in your best interest to pick a few different social media platforms. You need to decide which social media suits your content creating. Then, create content for your community consistently on those social media platforms. You will use each platform for a slightly different purpose, because they all function slightly different. However, you’ll begin to notice certain followers interacting on all your social media platforms, like a “super fan”. This response is going to become even more invaluable in 2022 influencer trends.
It’s common to view influencer marketing and affiliate marketing as separate entities. However, they are becoming more closely related. Both marketing techniques involve an outsider promoting a product or service to their follower community. According to influencermarketinghub.org “The line between affiliates and influencers is becoming increasingly blurred. Influencer platforms integrate with e-commerce more and more, moving beyond simple ‘awareness’ campaigns to actually drive sales.”
The beauty of bringing affiliate marketing and influencer marketing together is that professional influencers only promote items they actually trust and use. Influencers will often give personal testimonials, tutorials, and calls to action when talking about a brand they love. They can help their followers through the entire sales funnel. The sales funnel from awareness to consideration and even purchase. And they do all this in an authentic, personal way. Affiliate marketing needs influencers, and that is only going to heighten in 2022 (influencermarketinghub). You can see a good example of an influencer promoting via affiliate marketing in this “favorites” resource page.
With the spread of advanced technology across the world, audio and video has become more widely consumed. The growth of video-based platforms like TikTok or YouTube and the spread of podcasts accessibility has only amplified this content growth. No, text and images are certainly not dead. But expect this push for video and audio to increase. Even on text driven platforms like Twitter, there will be continued growth in 2022.
Live shopping became popular over 2021. This popularity will continue into 2022. Influencers promote products to their online communities on their favorite social platforms. They do so using live video and interactive content. Projections suggest projected sales through live streaming are likely to reach $500 billion by 2023. Amazon, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram have all developed livestream shopping tools and partnerships. In addition, many of TikTok’s most prominent influencers have participated in shoppable livestream events. Expect to see more of these livestreams in 2022. (influencermarketinghub).
We are seeing a much greater emphasis on diversity and representation in our society of late. So, it comes as no surprise to see this moving into influencer marketing. A good example of where you can find this is on the Societygal app. They bring together women in business from all backgrounds, demographics, and ethnicities. Nowadays, both influencers and consumers analyze branded messages and campaigns. This analyzation is meant to make sure everyone is represented. Brands can shift their corporate cultures to focus on inclusivity. They can also shift their cooperate to remove any traces of exclusivity.
There are different types of influencers that currently exist. For many years, influencers with hundreds of thousands to million of followers were leading the industry. However, According to a 2019 report from Later and Fohr, micro-influencers, particularly those with fewer than 25,000 followers, have the highest engagement rates. These engagement rates are at around 7%. But engagement rates on Instagram have been declining. Influencers with an engaged following are getting a closer look from businesses, even with fewer followers.
By focusing on nano and micro-influencers, brands will be able to stretch their influencer marketing budgets. Brands can do this while still working with influencers who are deeply connected to (and care about) their audiences. Influencers will benefit from partnerships with an increasing number of brands in 2022.
Throughout 2022, expect brands and influencers to join together for long-term, ongoing projects. These projects will be more common than one-off sponsored partnerships. There are multiple reasons for this shift, but it ultimately comes down to this: it takes time to make a sale. Even influencers with the most engaged audiences will have trouble making any real contribution when commissioned for a single sponsored post. If you want to capitalize on this influencer marketing trend, create packages that you can sell to brands. You can seek services that include several sponsored posts over a period of time. This strategy is much like what they do when running Facebook ads or ads on other platforms. It can also help to join an influencer marketing network to give yourself some legitimacy.
If the last two Covid-affected years (2020 and 2021) have taught us anything, it’s that we always have room for more social media platforms. TikTok had stellar years due, in large part, to the pandemic that swept the globe and kept people indoors and bored. But TikTok isn’t the only new social app to come recently. The exclusive, audio-based social app Clubhouse (no longer invite-only) and Reels (Instagram’s answer to TikTok) came on the scene in 2020. While no new platforms gained a hold in 2021, there will undoubtedly be new social platforms just around the corner.
When TikTok took off in early 2020, influencers were right there with it. They were amassing followers on the platform and partnering with brands to create sponsored posts and ads. There’s no doubt that TikTok’s popularity will continue to surge throughout 2022 with both influencers and brands alike. Platforms have also taken lessons from the global pandemic to heart. This awareness is making it easier for brands to create and amplify branded content. It also makes it easier for consumers to shop on the platforms. Those trends will continue throughout 2022
Performance-based influencer marketing will likely increase as brands and influencers seek out longer-term partnerships. This means that clients will expect influencers to deliver on their promises. One of these promises includes a specific number of sales or clicks. If you’re an influencer confronted with a performance-based contract, you might want to consider turning it into ongoing royalties instead of accepting a single payment. You’ll also want to be diligent in your contract review before signing to make sure you know what you’re agreeing to before guaranteeing a specific return. Read that contract until you know it by heart. Don’t sign something you haven’t fully grasped. That’s a mistake that far too many influencers make.
We’ve already seen influencers carving out niches for themselves, and that’s an influencer marketing trend that shows no signs of changing. Influencers will continue to develop expertise in their niche or industry, making them even more sought after by brands in those verticals. As an influencer, it might be time to consider what industries you’re most passionate about and start courting partnerships with brands that make sense for the direction you choose to go. Here’s an example of a specialized influencer.
As influencers become more specialized, we’ll likely see a shift in the language that we use. We’re already seeing some influencers opt for being called “creators” or “content creators” instead. Since so many influencers are true artists—photographers, videographers, writers, etc.—it’s not surprising that they’d want to be known for what they really do instead of being lumped together as “influencers” or “internet celebrities.” We think they can be both but be on the lookout for these fundamental changes in verbiage.
Influencer marketing trends indicate that 2022 will bring us more connections and collaborations between influencers. We’ve already seen influencer houses become a thing, and it’s highly likely there will be more of that as influencer networks seek ways to increase influencer marketing campaigns and earn more return on their efforts. Ultimately, we need each other for growth. That reality is a big reason The Reroot newsletter was created.
As we mentioned earlier, performance-based contracts and deals will increase, which means planning and data will play an important role in influencer marketing for 2022. Now that brands and influencers are more comfortable working together, you’re going to see more collaboration between brands and influencers in planning campaigns and a lot more interest in tracking the social media marketing metrics that let brands know the influencer they’ve found is worth what they’re paying them. While influencer networks already have some analytics and reporting in place, solo influencers will need to understand what social media metrics are important so they can deliver on promises.
Yes, we know. Every year for at least the last eight years, video content has been on everyone’s list of not just influencer marketing trends but marketing trends in general. And there’s a good reason for that. People just love video. With the increasing popularity of TikTok and the introduction of Instagram Reels, we’re going to be seeing more video content than ever. Plus, IGTV (now Instagram Video) is just sitting there, waiting for Instagram to let loose the rain of ad revenue that everyone is expecting once they stop testing and let ads go live on the platform. In late 2021, Instagram renamed IGTV Ads as Instagram In-Stream video ads. Creators can monetize their long-form content, and brands can reach audiences engaging with long-form video.
The point is, even with platforms like YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, Instagram Reels, Instagram Video, and many more, consumers are barely getting their itch for video scratched. On Facebook alone, the number of users watching live video increased 50% in early 2020. Sure, there was a global pandemic and lockdowns going on, but a 50% increase is huge.
For the past few years, there’s been a powerful pull for “authentic” content. This means influencers have to be careful with the content they create for brands to make sure that the products they take on will resonate with their audiences. Of course, this is also something that brands need to watch out for. Even the most engaging influencers aren’t going to be able to whip their followers into a frenzy over a product that they just don’t care about. It won’t benefit the brand trying to make it work, and the influencer will likely lose credibility in the eyes of their audience.
Instead, influencers and brands should seek partnerships only with other influencers and brands whose audiences overlap with theirs. Blatantly sponsored posts themselves aren’t the problem, despite what some social media marketing experts would have you believe. You don’t have to forgo production value or makeup to make your sponsored posts feel more authentic. The growing value of authenticity is one of the most valuable 2022 influencer trends.
What makes sponsored content authentic is a genuine sense of excitement about the brand and the product you’re talking about. And this can come across no matter whether or not you’re just sitting in your room or recording on a yacht, unless you’re doing a sponsored post for a yacht-builder, in which case recording on a yacht would make a lot more sense. For most audiences, that means deeper connections with the influencers they follow along with value-driven content.
In 2021, brands were forced to get creative with how they connected with shoppers. Brick-and-mortar stores scrambled to embrace eCommerce, and eCommerce stores, suddenly finding themselves with more competitors, had to find ways to offer shoppers better and easier ways to buy. The year basically forced more brands to embrace new technology faster—and likewise forced the creators of new technology to fast-track their inventions.
As such, we’ve seen new opportunities for influencer marketing and brand sponsorships through social commerce. Shoppable videos and shoppable posts have created a seamless user experience from influencer content to brand channels, as well as farther-reaching eCommerce solutions. In 2022, influencer marketers should expect those trends to continue and seek partnerships with brands ready to include shoppable content in their influencer marketing campaigns.
The last influencer marketing trend on our list for 2022 is all about advertising. Yes, we realize that paid ads are typically not used in conjunction with influencer marketing campaigns. However, brands and influencers will both benefit from the paid amplification of the content created by influencers. Using the fine-tuned targeting available on Facebook Ads or through the advertising tools for other social media platforms, brands will be able to push out high-quality influencer content to the people who care about seeing it, without relying on social media algorithms to make it happen.
2021 followed on from 2020 as a year of unexpected marketing problems that required out-of-the-box thinking to solve. As we look ahead to influencer marketing trends for 2022, those solutions will be put to the test.
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