• David Hoos

THE KEY INFLUENCER MARKETING TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2022

Updated: Aug 30


"The only thing constant is change" one philosopher noted.


And nowhere is this more true right now than in the influencer industry.


But when there's so much evolution, it’s more important than ever to your business that you zoom out—that you take a look at the big picture—to see what's happening at a higher level so you can plan ahead.


That’s why we assembled this collection of the most important trends to watch in 2022, broken down by platform, creator, and brand trends.


Take a peek and then give us a shoutout over on Twitter and tell us which trends you’re seeing.


SOCIAL PLATFORMS


New social media platforms—and types of influencer content—will continue to emerge

  • In recent years, we’ve continued to see social platforms emerge, evolve, and expand. From Twitch, to TikTok, to Instagram Reels, to YouTube shorts, platforms are continuing to compete for creators and in turn for consumer attention.

Live Shopping Will Become a Greater Part of Influencer Campaigns

  • As we’ve already seen in gaming, there is a large and growing audience who will engage with live streams from their favorite creators. Add to that the fact that all the major social platforms are working on social commerce features, and that points to more live shopping in our not too distant future.

Content will continue to move toward video (with lots of growth in short-form video)

  • If there is one thing we’ve seen already–and expect to continue seeing more in 2022, it's more movement toward video. Clever creators are demonstrating that you can communicate a lot with a short-form video.

Social commerce tools will begin to reshape consumer purchasing behavior

  • While social shopping features have already emerged on some social platforms, we expect to see more movement in this area and more consumers becoming more comfortable with purchasing natively on social platforms.


CREATORS


Creators will get more focused with their content.

  • As the broader niches are dominated by more established influencers, new opportunities will be found in those areas where influencers can go deeper and demonstrate niche authority.

More creator-focused products and services will emerge

  • As more brands seek out creators to sponsor, more products and services will emerge to help creators build and grow their platforms–and attract sponsorships.

Influencers will find new revenue streams and become business owners

  • We expect to see more influencers finding new revenue streams that go beyond ads. This might include membership programs, personalized video messages for fans, and even launching ecommerce brands. We’ve already seen this with creators like Mr. Beast, but we fully expect more creators to dip their toes into the ecommerce world to further monetize their audiences and provide stable income.

Short-form video will help drive consumer trends

  • As we’ve seen a few times already with TikTok, the ability to go viral has increased. As a result, we expect the top creators to be able to help shape consumer sentiments and trends.


BRANDS


Brands will look within their existing database of customers to find early influencer partners.

  • Many brands looking to exercise extra caution when entering influencer marketing are starting with their existing customer base. While there isn’t a guarantee of great reach, this UGC and ambassador-type approach can work for smaller brands testing influencer while minimizing risks.

Influencer collaborations will increase

  • As data privacy makes data-driven ad targeting more difficult, more brands will flood into the influencer space where ads can be natively included with the creators they already enjoy.

Debates about UGC & crediting will emerge

  • As more brands pay to have small creators create user-generated content, we expect discussions to emerge about whether brands need to be transparent that the ‘reviews’ are coming from paid relationships.

Micro and nano influencers will become critical to performance-based affiliate programs

  • As startup brands recognize the strong impact of relevant influencers, we expect them to test out their influencer programs using micro and nano influencers.

Authenticity will continue to be the key ingredient

  • As more creators rush to become influencers for the payday, it will likely erode some of their authenticity. Paradoxically, those creators that do it for the honest benefit of their audience, will be more authentic and drive better results for brands.

Brands will use paid advertising with influencer content to broaden reach and results

  • We’ve already seen this in action, but we expect to see this scale even further. We expect more brands to hop into influencer-paid-social programs to get additional amplification and results from their organic influencer campaigns.

Greater focus will be made on diversity and inclusion

  • It’s no secret that the influencer world has historically been more homogeneous. We expect that with continued industry transparency, we’ll see more brands, platforms, and agencies partner with more diverse talent.

Causes and issues will continue to be important

  • As younger consumers in Gen Y & Z continue to be attracted by social causes, we expect to see a continuing trend among brands to express more stands on social issues as well.

Brands (and creators) will look for more ongoing partnerships vs one-off projects

  • As creators look for more stable and dependable income and brands look to achieve ongoing results from good fit creators, we expect to see more brands and creators establishing longer-term partnerships.

Integration prices are rising as creators are getting more and more offers

  • While we expect this to level off fairly soon, there are a lot of brands working to start and scale their influencer programs which is driving demand up. However, we also expect new creators to take advantage of this opportunity, which will likely cause rates to level off.

We’ll see greater convergence of UGC, paid social, and influencer.

  • As more brands awaken to the authentic credibility of UGC, the organic reach and trust-building benefits of influencers, and the scalability of paid social, we expect to see more brands work to blend all of these together.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

Now that you're armed with this knowledge, how will it shape your company's strategy in 2022?


Have questions about these trends or our take? Say hey to us over on Twitter and let's chat.