The influencer marketing industry is poised for explosive growth, building on recent gains. We examine the influencer trends for 2022.
According to recent studies, in 2022, 72.5 per cent of US marketers in companies with 100 or more employees will use influencer marketing. These figures are up from 70% in 2021. Meanwhile, eMarketer predicts that US influencer marketing spending will reach $4.14 billion this year.
Influencer Marketing Hub predicts that by 2022, the industry will be worth $16.4 billion globally.
Influencers on a variety of social media platforms, from TikTok and Instagram to Twitch and YouTube, are driving a shift in the eCommerce space.
But it won’t just be B2C companies driving this expansion. B2B companies are also seeing the value of such collaborations. These companies are eager to show social proof while also gaining access to new content and audiences. Indeed, this is driving a renewed emphasis on influencer identification, recruitment, and engagement.
As brands prioritize content creation over audience reach, a larger portion of influencer marketing budgets will go to nano- and micro-influencers. While TikTok may have paved the way for such opportunities, other social media platforms have quickly followed suit and expanded their creator tools to include smaller influencers.
Predictions for influencer marketing
Here are some of the key trends that will shape influencer marketing in the coming months.
More advanced tools
According to eMarketer, 50 million people considered themselves to be part of the creator economy in 2020. With the pandemic, work-from-home orders, and the Great Resignation, that number is only going to rise. As more people declare themselves creators and seek to monetize their followings, the race to clearly define the value proposition for potential brand partners will intensify. As a result, social media platforms will need to improve their monetization and monitoring tools for content creators. TikTok has already shown how quickly a newcomer can gain market dominance.
Putting the cookie jar away
The modern marketing landscape is defined by third-party cookies. There isn’t much point in rehashing what has already been written about the cookie’s demise. Instead, think about how influencers can be a safe haven for digital marketers. Influencers have followers, not audiences. On social media, followers aspire to the lifestyles of those they follow. Most influencers work in a specific niche, such as health and wellness, beauty, fashion, or sports. Influencers have already achieved this, as the industry talks about “cohorts” as a replacement for cookies.
A visual and auditory feast
Podcasts and short-form videos have emerged as a time-saving panacea. Time poverty isn’t just related to work or household responsibilities; it also reflects an excess of media consumption options. We don’t have much time to consume media between sleep, work, friends, and family. Technology limited our media consumption in the previous century. The internet has fundamentally altered this dynamic by introducing a plethora of options, resulting in the paradox of choice. For the most part, audio and visual media are more engaging than text and will continue to gain market share in the coming years.
Influencers as collaborators
Influencers and brands will collaborate more closely. Influencers are treated more like partners than contractors in these relationships. Influencers, after all, know their fans better than brands. As a result, marketing executives can gain valuable insights that can be applied to a broader demographic.
In the consumer journey, influencer and affiliate marketing are important.
Following the digital marketing revolution, the consumer journey has become incredibly complicated. Before making a purchase, customers will encounter hundreds of touchpoints. Influencers can help brands streamline the sales funnel by introducing them to a brand, product, or service. It doesn’t matter how small a contribution you make. As a result, expect to see a greater convergence of influencer and affiliate marketing activities, which will help brands better assess the value of their marketing spend while also increasing conversion rates.
Good things in small packages: nano and micro-influencers
The rise of nano and micro-influencers has already been attributed to this focus on assessing value in the consumer journey.
These influencers have a compelling value proposition not because they are a less expensive alternative to macro-influencers, but because they frequently boost much higher levels of engagement.
Small-scale influencers interact more with their followers, who do not see themselves as part of a homogenized audience. This allows them to increase customer loyalty and retention.
In light of this, brands must not only have a clear mission statement but also be selective with whom they partner as influencers.