6 New Influencer Marketing Trends for Brands in 2022

Influencer marketing changes rapidly. Especially in the past few years because of the pandemic, the rising popularity of eCommerce and the rise of new social platforms. I’ve been in the influencer marketing space for 11 years and am often baffled by how quickly the industry changes. In fact, when I first started in this industry, it was called “blogger outreach.” Now we have the sexy term “influencer marketing.” Whatever it’s called and no matter what new platforms come out, influencer marketing at its core will always be the same–strategically partner with high profile bloggers and/or social media content creators to authentically promote a brand. I won’t pretend to have all the answers. But, because I love my role as an educator in the influencer marketing space, this article explores 7 influencer marketing trends that I’ve noticed lately and that I believe will be extremely prevalent in 2022. Platforms Are Making Influencer Collaboration Easier Platforms like Instagram and TIkTok have recently released creator marketplaces. This allows brands to run campaigns within the social platform of their choice. The most enticing part of this new feature is that influencers and brands can communicate better. Social platforms will continue to add features this year that makes influencer marketing easier and more streamlined. From discovery to recruiting to tracking results, social media platforms will become more all-encompassing this year. Consumers Crave Authenticity From Influencers While a super clean and professional aesthetic used to appeal to brands, many brands are finally realizing that earned media from influencers doesn’t have to be perfect. In fact, consumers respond better to humanized content, videos and photos. This year, be sure to recruit and activate influencers who produce authentic content that doesn’t come across like an ad. Consumers Trust Brands Less Than Ever Before Brand loyalty is dwindling. Consumers are smart and they can see through a brand’s self-promotional messaging and instead seek out authentic product reviews and to find new brands. 73% of consumers report that they’ve changed their shopping behaviors since the start of the pandemic. This shift is largely comprised of consumers making purchase decisions based on recommendations from peers and influencers. To keep up with shopping behaviors and meet consumers where they want to be met, influencer marketing is the answer. Less brand trust with an increase in social commerce equates to influencer marketing being the best strategy to generate brand awareness and sales. Long Term Partnerships Benefit Both Brands and Influencers Research shows that when an influencer mentions a brand 3 or more times, conversion rates go up. Many brands are seeing the power of ongoing mentions and are hiring influencers for a year and having them post once per quarter. Working with influencers for the whole year not only brings in more sales, but it also saves a lot of work. Recruiting influencers is time consuming. If you do one round of outreach at the beginning of the year (NOW!) and equip your influencers with a plan for the whole year, you save a lot of time. Influencers respond really well to long term partnerships because they like to work with brands on an ongoing basis so that they feel part of the brand. Brands Are Integrating Influencers Into More Aspects of Business Brands are finally seeing the value of influencers past a one-off campaign. Many influencers are talented and professional and are being recruited to do more than just post about a new product. This year, consider hiring influencers for things like: Writing blog posts for your brand Compiling newsletters for your audience Manage your influencer network Run your social channels Handle your online marketplace(s) Influencer Marketing for B2B Brands Will Become More Popular Many marketers have the false assumption that B2B brands aren’t interesting enough for influencer marketing. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is more that you can do beyond marketing on LinkedIn. There are plenty of B2B influencers and I have personally run many successful B2B influencer campaigns. Something to note about B2B influencer marketing campaigns is that they tend to not be as scalable as B2C influencer campaigns. However, working with 5-10 influencers in the B2B space can yield fantastic results. What are your influencer marketing predictions for 2022? I’d love to read your insights in the comments below!