Social media influencing. What once started out as a side hustle for creatives to share their passions in visual squares has now become a full-time job where they can leverage an extremely healthy income – all from the comfort of their own smart phones. Over the years, social media has evolved in ways that no one could have predicted: our idols are no longer blue-tacked to our bedroom walls or scrapbooked with magazine cut outs. Instead, we can gain an intimate insight into all aspects of their lives, simply by opening an app and scrolling through their highly addictive feeds.
As users get to be more invested, inspired and intrigued by the lives of the creators they follow, they are also being influenced by their content… often subconsciously. It’s therefore no wonder that global brands (big and small) have tapped into this seamlessly natural way of forming partnerships to promote products – and it’s only going to continue getting bigger and better for this year.
In the background, social media apps are constantly being strategically tweaked and updated to harness the endless capabilities of influencer marketing; enabling creators to offer a wider variety of content, and brands to elaborate their briefs to whole new levels.
Whether your KPI is to raise brand awareness, reach more audiences or to drive more sales – collaborating with influencers who reflect your values is the perfect place to start.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at five of the key influencer marketing trends to watch out for that will keep brands on top for 2022…
In app shopping gets bigger
Social networks want to do more than simply display content – they want to provide an entire experience that keeps users truly engaged. Needless to say, the opportunity to extend this to the wonderful world of online shopping was too good to miss. From Instagram and Pinterest introducing digital storefronts, to TikTok partnering with Shopify, and YouTube testing the online retail waters – e-commerce is beginning to take the social media world by storm. But it doesn’t stop there! We can now also join our favourite influencers at live streamed events, where they talk us through the latest ‘must-haves’. All of these newly added features make it incredibly easy for creators to add shoppable links to their content, meaning e-campaigns are going to hit it big in 2022. Tell a friend (ahem, but maybe not your competitor…)
Video content is king
With authenticity at the forefront of many social users’ preferences – easy to digest content has never been more effective. It doesn’t take a media mogul to know that TikTok has dominated the social world since 2020, and Instagram reels are becoming increasingly popular as the app moves in a more video-based direction. But why? 30-60 second videos instantly grab attention and are just the right length to keep people watching as they partake in their daily (or hourly) Instagram scroll. This is exactly why working with influencers to create engaging videos will no doubt accelerate your brand awareness over the next 12 months and beyond. Lights, camera, action!
Micro influencers get their moment
When it comes to influencer marketing, the motto ‘quality over quantity’ should by no means be underestimated. Whilst partnering with big-shot macro influencers is highly effective for boosting brand awareness, micro influencers have far higher engagement rates – particularly those with less than 25,000 followers. Smaller accounts also tend to foster more intimate relationships with their audiences – meaning the people who do follow them are engaged and invested in what they have to say. The main perk of focusing on micro influencers? They’re significantly more affordable – so brands can get more quality content out of their budget. It’s a no brainer.
TikTok will continue to dominate
TikTok, TikTok… If you haven’t tapped into this global hysteria for marketing your brand yet – the time is now! The social network, which boomed over the pandemic and continues to grow, offers users digestible and addictive content that keeps you scrolling for more. There are now over one billion monthly active users (and counting) – most of which are Gen-Z and Millennials keen to explore new brands recommended by their favourite ‘TikTok-ers’ (read: content creators). The ever-evolving features on TikTok are being introduced so rapidly that many brands have yet to discover the advantages that can drive organic reach, engagement and sales. With formal advertising platforms now built within the app to help brands thrive, getting started with influencer collaborations here has never been simpler.
Influencers will become more ‘specialised’
We’re now seeing the way social media influencing has turned into a full-time career for many – and having a ‘niche’ is crucial not just for attracting relevant brands in the industry but approaching them to work on campaigns. You’ll notice that these ‘specialised’ niches make finding the ‘perfect fit’ a lot easier; look for specific keywords, demographics and attributes to really refine your influencer search. As they evolve as professionals in their own right, creators want to self-identify in their own particular area and be established as creators. So, if you’re looking to form long-standing relationships with influencers to market your brand authentically and effectively, be sure to talk to them as the specialised creators they want to be recognised as. They mean business!
If you want to learn more about how we can tap into the world of influencers to elevate your brand, get in touch!