Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2022 from Industry Expertsby@anazaichko
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Influencer Marketing Predictions for 2022 from Industry Experts

by Anastasia ZaichkoJanuary 13th, 2022
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2022 is here and we all are waiting for it to set things in a new way in the influencer marketing field. What will be trending? What ideas and concepts will drive the flow? I have had a word with the industry experts and am ready to share the predictions for the new year of influencer marketing development.

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2022 is here and we all are waiting for it to set things in a new way in the influencer marketing field. What will be trending? What ideas and concepts will drive the flow? I have had a word with the industry experts and am ready to share the predictions for the new year of influencer marketing development.

Reusable content

Re-using ready-made content is one of the main trends for those who want to optimize ROI from influencer marketing campaigns and squeeze every last drop out of the creatives they get. Influencers’ content made for advertising can and should be used in other marketing initiatives and channels, but only on legal conditions. That’s why it’s vital to buy intellectual property rights. It can become a new must-have point in all contracts with influencers in 2022.

Pavel Beinia, Founder and CEO of BuzzGuru, explains it:

“There is a good reason why brands and advertisers are stepping into influencer marketing: the traditional paid advertising channels (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Google ads) are inevitably losing efficiency. Cost per acquisition is growing, the retention rate is dropping, thus the companies need to turn to other user acquisition channels. Since the main point of influencer marketing is the personal recommendation from a blogger or an influencer, such a type of advertising shows very high-performance indicators.

Once the influencer campaign is over, you can still get the maximum out of this collaboration. Instead of running paid campaigns with your traditional or staged creatives, you can try to use the part of the video prepared by the blogger. Thus, when your target audience sees not just an ad, but the recommendation from someone they trust and relate to, the average view time and CTR increase, while cost per acquisition is falling down. This is a great way to maximize the outcome from working with bloggers and influencers.”

Micro-influencers on the rise

Micro-influencers are those who have 1,000-100,000 followers on social media. Usually, they are not the first on the wish lists of advertisers: brands want someone more popular, influential, someone who has a larger audience and more weight on social media. This seems logical: the larger the audience, the more awareness the brand gets. But it may still be a question of whether such an audience is a quality one.

Will all those people who follow, let’s say, Kylie Jenner, be interested in buying the advertised product? Probably no, also usually you can’t accurately predict how many of them will become potential clients as such large audiences are undifferentiated. On the contrary, micro-influencers have followers that are specifically engaged in their content, share their ideas and views. Moreover, micro-influencers have a significantly higher engagement rate than big names, and ER is one of the key metrics that should be taken into account when choosing influencers for an advertising campaign.

Derek Morgen, Co-Founder of Growthster, says micro-influencers are trusted more and therefore can bring more clients:

“Micro-influencers are seen as more relatable and trustworthy than celebrities or macro-influencers (those with over 100,000 followers), which makes them more effective at driving sales and creating brand awareness. As more and more individuals seek to become popular on social media, the number of micro-influencers and potential outreach has grown tremendously. While they don't have 100,000 followers yet, they are making their mark. The effectiveness of micro-influencers is due in part to the fact that their followers see them as a peer. They're relatable and interact with users on a personal level, unlike celebrities, who are often seen as untouchable. Through platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter, reaching hundreds of thousands of users across 10-20 micro-influencers will do more justice for a business than one or two celebrities promoting a product.”

Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix, agrees and reminds about numbers that don’t lie:

“When discussing the influencer industry trends in 2022, there will be a massive rise in the demand for micro and nano influencers. This is because the industry is wholly shifting to a data-driven approach. Their high engagement rates, adaptability, and affordability make them even more valuable. Moreover, favorable data insights can be achieved more when they use micro-influencers.”

Data is king

It’s still quite difficult for many marketers to navigate the influencer market, especially for those who are used to working in more traditional and even conservative fields. Still, some ad campaigns with influencers are being launched without previous research that is actually vital.

And – still – some brands and marketers don’t know how to evaluate the results of their campaigns properly. It’s a matter of experience, knowledge, and tools used. And tools for influencer marketing are becoming more accessible, convenient, and develop into full-stack assistants like BuzzGuru. The data-driven approach is what the whole industry is moving to.

Krittin Kalra, Founder of WriteCream, believes that influencer marketing hugely depends on data and one has to analyze it wisely to run successful campaigns:

“To avoid the risk of losing massive amounts of financial investment (invested in influencer marketing), a data-incorporated approach is absolutely vital to keep up with the instantaneous development of this market. We depend significantly on data, not just while consulting with companies on the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) they require and selecting the influencer accounts that will help them achieve that, but also while tracking campaign performance and optimizing campaigns on a regular basis.

Influencer marketing that is data-driven provides you with more efficiency and, in general, bigger returns. With this strategy, we can merge brand and performance marketing into a single channel. This approach is here to stay for years to come.”

Jeffrey Pitrak, Marketing and Account Manager at Transient Specialists Inc., says that the industry development will be conducted not only by data itself but also by marketing AIs like BuzzGuru:

“Influencer marketing in 2022 will be highly driven by AI. AI makes it possible to identify the best influencers that can produce results in your company’s campaign rather than just choosing influencers based on followers. Having more in-depth data on influencers will create an opportunity to make better decisions. AI can also determine an influencer's future performance and reach towards target audiences. Using AI to measure engagement and conversation generation will allow businesses to use their budget better and expand their reach”.

Ambassadorship vs single launch

Brands are already used to launching ads once or twice now and then; to cooperating with a few influencers for a single Insta-post or YouTube video; to turning to influencers only when there’s a particular product that needs immediate promotion. But such short-term relationships are going to become less widespread. Advertisers are starting to feel the impact of a row of posts or videos, they also see that engaged enthusiastic influencers who enjoy the products themselves can attract more clients and bring more profit. All in all, ambassadorship and constant presence get ahead of simple single launches that happen from time to time.

Rishika Patel, Head of the Marketing at WriteCream, sees the constant presence of brands on influencers’ social media as the most profitable type of strategy for those who want to gain more recognition and trust:

“Always-on influencer marketing is having a continual presence on the internet through influencers who your intended audience follows, connects to, and trusts. The goal is to be in your customers' feeds (and lives) during their 'moments of need,' but also to lay the foundation over time so you'll be high on the agenda when that buying window opens. With brand recognition at the all low, converting prospects these days frequently takes many touchpoints – something yet another campaign just cannot do.”

Adam Fard, Founder & Head of Design of Adam Fard' UX Agency, says it’s not only about brands’ point of view but also about influencers’ desires:

“When influencers have more freedom to pick who they work with, brands should seek out influencers who share their values and cultivate long-term relationships with them. During these challenging times, we see brands with ambassadorship programs thrive because they are supported by actual brand fans and believers. Building solid relationships with creators who will become brand ambassadors now helps ensure the company's long-term success.”

Employees as influencers

This type of marketing has already become a trend in some fields and countries, and we think it will continue to spread. Brands launch special hashtags (like #WalmartHolidayShuffle on TikTok, for example) and encourage their employees to share what’s behind the scenes at their workplaces on their personal accounts. Sometimes it happens accidentally: we have an example of the Amazon employee who has been filming his work secretly at first and gained more than 600,000 followers and millions of likes on TikTok. Brands are smart enough to take advantage of such accidents and learn from them.

“People believe people like themselves,” – says Sharry Cramond, Marketing Director of M&S food.

Jay Soni, Marketing Director of Yorkshire Fabric Shop, believes it’s a natural way of development:

“Encouraging employees to act as influencers is a result of evolution and innovation, as well as the need for authentic content in the influencer marketing space. We've seen various examples of user-generated content (UGC) and how it can have a significant impact on sales and overall brand perception in the past.

Employee-generated or employee-driven content works in a similar way. When an employee supports their company's brand, the endorsement is more genuine. That's something a social media influencer won't be able to match. Furthermore, because employees are already involved in the company's content, marketing, and operations, the campaign gains credibility and trust.

Despite this, it could be argued that employee-generated content challenges the original definition of influencers in some ways. Brands, on the other hand, can only benefit from such a strategy because they can now have a greater say in how their campaigns are carried out.”