An effective marketing strategy is built on relationships, authenticity, and attention. Influencer marketing is a unique brand awareness strategy that satisfies all three of these elements. There are several social media users out there who have access to your ideal target market. If you establish a connection with these influencers, the sky’s the limit for your business.
The influencer marketing landscape is constantly changing, and there are exciting new developments in 2022. We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about influencer marketing trends for this coming year. We also provide helpful tips to ensure your business is in an optimal position to succeed in the coming year.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is when businesses collaborate with influencers to boost brand awareness, increase popularity around a product or service, or elevate conversions for a set audience. Marketing teams can sponsor an influencer’s social media or online content. In turn, the influencer will promote your service, product, or brand.
There are several kinds of influencer marketing collaborations. Each of the below partnerships can help brands drive an influencer marketing program to success:
- Brand ambassador – a brand will work collaboratively with a popular influencer over a long time, which usually includes a contract. This model will incentivize the influencer because he or she has a stable paycheck coming through for several months.
- Posting content from an influencer – a company will allow an influencer to “take over” its accounts for a day. For example, a travel blogger can post a collection of Instagram stories to a company’s account.
- Social media contests – brands will pay an influencer to host a contest, sweepstakes, or raffle on their channel. The contest could award free products to the followers that post the best content related to the giveaway.
- Affiliate marketing – influencers receive a unique affiliate link that rewards them when their followers convert to customers.
- Sponsored content – brands will pay influencers to create a “sponsored” post and have a direct call to action.
Influencers are a valuable marketing tool because they have a lot of attention. If an influencer has thousands of followers that match up with your ideal target market, you can partner with them. These influencers can post a photo or video using their product. Then, the followers can navigate to your website to purchase a product or learn about your company.
There are many ways to make influencer marketing a successful piece of your business. Below are some best practices to optimize your influencer marketing plan in 2022:
- Strategically collaborate with influencers who align with your company’s mission, brand, and target market
- Develop innovative scripts or captions for your influencers to use
- Closely evaluate your influencer’s followers and their buying personas
- Establish clear expectations, timelines, and terms with your influencer agreements
- Develop value-added content that solves a customer pain point or problem
- Form a robust system to track influencer performance
Trends to Watch in 2022
As you form your influencer marketing strategy for 2022, here are some important influencer marketing trends to watch for. Being aware of these concepts is critical, and your marketing team should plan how your marketing initiatives align.
Focus on Micro-Influencers
The first influencer trend to pay attention to is the importance of micro-influencers. We will see a sharp increase in micro-influencers in 2022. Micro-influencers could have anywhere between 5,000 to 50,000 followers on their social media channels like Instagram and TikTok. Their followers have a much narrower area of interest, which could help make your influencer marketing program much more effective.
Micro-influencers are effective for several reasons. First, they are much more affordable for marketing teams with tight influencer marketing budgets. Micro-influencers might not have the massive amounts of following. However, they can reach an accurate target audience for a lower price.
Micro-influencers also produce higher engagement rates. As influencer marketing becomes more data-driven, nano and micro influencers will be in higher demand. Micro-influencers not only offer more accurate insights, but they are also a better long-term partner for your business.
Shift Toward Affiliate Influencer Marketing
Affiliate marketing provides influencers with a commission-based income source. These marketing partners can write blog articles or other pieces of content. You can place links within the text to drive more sales or traffic to your website. The commission payment system is reflective of the number of sales or clicks the affiliate marketer can produce for you.
Many companies are already establishing affiliate programs that organize everything in one place. When it comes to data-driven decision-making, your marketing team can analyze how many clicks or sales each affiliate marketer generates.
There are two different affiliate program directions you can go: cost per acquisition and pay per click. The cost per acquisition model will designate a percentage of the ending sale. The pay-per-click system pays a smaller sum for each click to the website.
Video Will Be the Way to Go
If you want to capture the attention of your target market on social media, videos are the most effective strategy. There are thousands of posts that compete for eyeballs and attention. The simple fact is that videos are much more engaging than photos.
Videos are better at conveying a concept than photos. Pictures are still a great way to market your brand. However, videos appeal to more of our senses. Purchasing decisions are often made through emotions, and video content does an excellent job of appealing to this.
When you form your influencer marketing program, video testimonials are high-converting. Have your influencers post a video of them using your product in real-time. When their followers see how the product works through a video, they are more likely to engage with your brand.
Authenticity Remains Key
Another critical marketing factor is the authenticity and trust that influencers have with their audience. If influencers have a strong bond with an ideal target audience, it provides your company a prime opportunity to reach them.
Your influencers have an authentic connection with their audience, which means your content needs to be authentic. Influencers will not partner with you if they perceive your content to be “salesy.” Your marketing strategy needs to be customer-centric.
Instead of searching for long lists of influencers, you should look closely at the sense of community the influencers create. Influencers are the bridge between your brand and a new group of loyal customers.
Focus on Diversity and Inclusion
2022 will see a rise in diverse influencer brand voices, including a follower demand for these social leaders to take a strong stand. There is always a stereotype for influencers to have a picture-perfect life with strategic captions. However, followers now want to see raw content, which could mean influencers addressing topics related to diversity and inclusion.
This stand on diversity and inclusion reverts to your business. What message do you want to send to your customers? Partnering with the right influencers who address these topics could be a difference-maker for your brand awareness.
Influencer Marketing Will be Driven by Data
It is no secret that companies understand the value of affiliate and user-generated content. When these companies apply a data-focused strategy, it will help them launch campaigns that generate a positive return on investment.
Data-driven influencer marketing also applies to the search process. When brands look online for potential brand partners, they will analyze the following metrics a lot closer:
- Average likes per photo, video, or post
- Engagement rates per post
- Views per post
- Overall traffic levels per post
- Total number of followers
- Subject matter consistency
Ongoing Partnerships Trump One-Time Deals
The most successful influencer marketing relationships are built for the long run. When you partner with influencers who want to see your brand succeed, longer relationships are better. Influencers want to feel like they are part of your team. When you loop them in on product launches, upcoming sales, and company announcements, they will stick around for a while.
Ongoing partnerships also give your business a better snapshot of performance. Because influencer marketing will be more data-driven in 2022, long term partnerships are ideal for your brand. You can analyze engagement rates and conversion percentages on a month-by-month basis.
Long-term collaborations also mean better content. When you work with someone for a long time, you can brainstorm better ways to communicate your brand story. As you and the influencer get a better feel for each other, you can also think of new promotions and social media contests.
More Podcast Influencers
Podcasts will be another effective tool for brands, advertisers, and influencers in 2022. An Instagram or Snapchat story might capture someone’s attention for ten seconds. However, 45-60 minutes with an audience can be especially powerful. Spotify spends hundreds of millions of dollars acquitting podcast startups like The Ringer and Gimlet Media. This trend will not go away anytime soon.
There is a good chance that your target market listens to podcasts. It is such a convenient way to consume information on the go. Brands will research podcast topics that address the same needs they do. When you plug a 30-60-second advertisement during that episode, you can drive quality content leads. Most brands will offer a discount that corresponds with a code associated with the podcast.
Introducing Live Shopping for Ecommerce
Live shopping for eCommerce will be pivotal in 2022 because customers can see product demonstrations in real-time. In fact, they can speak directly to the influencers or associates while they showcase the product. Social commerce arose because it was much easier for people to shop from home. with live shopping, you can bring back the personal touch of an in-person shopping experience.
Creators as Brand Collaborators
Creators as brand collaborators reinforce the long-term partnership that exists with influencers. Influencers and content creators want to feel like they are part of your business family. When they foresee a long term relationship with the brand, they will feel invested.
When brands and influencers are in it for the long haul, they will produce more meaningful content. The company can bring in fresh ideas from creators across the world, which will only make the marketing programs more exciting.
Brand collaborators are also good for the company. They can pay for the services, while not having to worry about taking on a full-time employee. It is a win-win situation for both the influencer and the company.
More Cross-Channel Campaigns
Why worry about the perfect channel for your influencer marketing when you can implement cross-channel campaigns? More brands will turn to influencer collaborations across multiple social media platforms in 2022. Not only will it enable the brand to reach more audiences, but it will also produce more creative content across the board.
Once your marketing team understands the best channels that align with your targeted audiences, you can launch influencer marketing campaigns. Different channels may have different influencers, calls to action, and metrics. Bottom line, the more advertising space you have on each channel, the better your business will succeed in 2022.
The Siloed Approach is on the Way Out
The days of silo marketing are over. The marketing team alone no longer oversees branding. It takes an effort from not only the influencer, but cross-functional groups to execute the strategy.
The customer support team knows a lot about the pain points current customers are facing. The sales team may understand the objections to why people will not buy the product. Each group can provide key insights toward spearheading a high-converting influencer marketing program.
When you collaborate with an influencer, he or she should interface with multiple departments within the organization. When everyone is on the same page, your marketing initiatives will be much more effective.
How Your Brand Can Get Started with Influencer Marketing and Track Influencer Marketing All in One Place
Finding the right influencers and partners can be a struggle. Without recruiting the right collaborators, your influencer marketing program cannot come to fruition. Sideqik’s intuitive keyword search function allows you to discover meaningful influencers for your brand. Our live database contains over 20 million influencer profiles that can take your company to the next level.