It is undeniable: the way we communicate on social networks and collaborate with influencers has changed. For good reason, the COVID-19 pandemic has completely overturned the codes of information consumption, shaping at the same time the new relational and commercial models of tomorrow.
These major upheavals have been accompanied, for almost two years, by a meteoric rise in the use of social networks and online purchases, but also by a stronger engagement of communities, allowing influencer campaigns to flourish through TikTok videos, live streams on Twitch or even virtual reality video games.
Above all, they have had a positive impact on the mindset and requirements of everyone in the influencer marketing sector, pulling our industry upwards in a way. What mattered this year and will matter more than ever in 2022 are the values of transparency, authenticity, accountability, integrity and effectiveness, which will be guaranteed by a winning combo of education, best practices and solid technologies. To gain visibility, credibility and conversion in 2022, it will therefore be necessary to embrace these strong values and to show more audacity, more vision, and more consistency.
In order to guide you into this new era, it is as a software provider and influencer marketing agency that we unveil our «Influencer Marketing Trends 2022» report. Our idea here is not to give an overview of all the new trends, but to highlight the winning strategies for creating relevant, effective, credible and meaningful influencer campaigns in 2022.
14 trends in influence for the year 2022
1. Transparency and professionalism
In 2022, it is no longer a time for ambiguity, but rather for transparency regarding the identification of partnerships, paid or not, between brands and influencers. To learn how to master this legal and ethical framework, training courses and schools of influencer marketing are proliferating, aimed at opinion leaders as well as brands and marketing teams. For its part, the law is specialising in the field of influence marketing in order to better protect the players in the sector, i.e. brands, agencies and influencers.
2. Responsible influencer marketing
Strong and committed values will be more than ever at the heart of influencer marketing campaigns in 2022. An expectation from consumers who now buy a product partly for the values of the brand that markets it, but also from influencers who no longer hesitate to refuse a collaboration due to lack of alignment with the brand. However, «being» will no longer be enough in 2022, it will also be necessary to «do» by carrying out concrete actions in order to support the defended causes.
3. Amplification and consistency
In 2022, an influencer marketing strategy can no longer be thought of as a stand-alone, but must be initiated or derived from a more global communication strategy, in order to create coherence in the various messages and thus increase the campaign’s influence. Implementing an amplification strategy will then become the norm, but this will not be done without a clear contractualisation of intellectual property. Furthermore, marketing agencies that master the 360 will become your best allies.
4. Influencer mix, genres and formats
2022 will be about variety and diversity: variety of content creators (mega, macro, micro, nano, superfans and brand advocates), variety of genres (human influencers, virtual influencers and animals) and variety of available formats (videos, photos, carousels, Lives, Stories, audio…). Whether it’s during different campaigns in the year or within the same campaign, you will have to vary in order to achieve creative and performing content.
5. Long-term collaborations
In 2022, one-off collaborations will give way to long-term partnerships in order to gain authenticity and credibility with communities, maintain a better relationship between campaign actors and obtain a regular flow of content over the year. These collaborations can then take two forms: as a thread, where the influencer becomes a brand ambassador for the year, or as a product co-creation, for the duration of the creation of a campaign or a product, hand in hand.
More than ever, the year 2022 will be characterised by the growing involvement of influencers with their campaigns. Co-creation of a campaign with an effective strategy adapted to consumers’ expectations or co-creation of a product for innovative campaigns with high conversion power, influencers will no longer be considered as simple communication relays, but will become real partners integrated within the brands’ sales and marketing teams. Consumers will also make their voices heard. Integrating them into the creative process will become imperative to the success of your campaigns.
Consumers are becoming more and more resistant to strictly promotional messages, looking for more authenticity and emotion in content. In order to meet these new expectations, marketers will have to turn to storytelling, the art of narration and emotions to win over consumers. Vlogs, testimonials, unboxing, hauls… These formats, very often videos, will have to be tested quickly to react.
8. B2B influencer marketing
B2B influencer marketing is developing at breakneck speed and will become a must in 2022, shaking up the standards of influencer marketing. Beyond the number of subscribers and the engagement rate, the power of the influencer’s expertise will now become key in your selection criteria. As for the leading communication channels in the B2B context, LinkedIn will take pride of place, followed closely by Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
9. Short videos (TikTok, Reels and Shorts)
In 2022, TikTok will continue its rise to power, imposing the new codes of social feeds at the same time. With Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts as strong challengers, short videos will attract more creators and brands for their fun, dynamic and immersive nature.
Beyond video, audio is also experiencing phenomenal growth, attracting more and more listeners, but also brands. Influencer marketing in 2022 will not be possible without podcasts, whose forms of monetisation are constantly growing and diversifying, nor without social audio (Facebook Live Rooms, Twitter Live Spaces, Spotify’s Greenroom…).
Twitch was undoubtedly the platform of all records in 2021, but also the one of evolutions (diversified content beyond gaming and an increasingly feminized audience), becoming a channel to take very seriously in the influencer marketing sector. If you want to invest in this platform in 2022, you will have to launch campaigns that are in line with the platform’s codes of practice, in particular its gamification.
12. Live Shopping
As the global Covid-19 pandemic has pushed consumers to shop online more, web and social giants have seen these changes as growth opportunities, developing social selling and live shopping at high speed. Whether on social networks or e-commerce sites, the newly available features will help content creators and brands alike to maximise their performance, opening up new sources of visibility, engagement and revenue.
13. Influence in the age of the metaverse
What will be the future of influencer marketing in the Metaverse? Some forward-thinking brands, mainly in the fashion and automotive industries, suggest that marketing will evolve via 3D gaming and NFT. In any case, brands will need to create their digital doubles in 2022 if they want to consolidate their status as leading, innovative and connected companies. To do so, they will need active ambassadors in the Metaverse or virtual influencers who are perfect in the role of first inhabitants of this virtual world.
14. Tech and Data
Influencer marketing is evolving. In order to adapt to the new codes and uses easily and efficiently, a data-driven approach is essential. Modern tools, leveraging AI and machine learning, help identify relevant influencers based on their stats, audience authenticity, and transparency; and help evaluate the performance of collaborations in terms of sales, ROI, and audience feedback.
The Stellar White Paper: a complete and informative book
Influencer marketing is evolving at a fast pace and it is sometimes difficult to keep up with all the current trends. For this year 2022, Stellar has launched its white paper listing the 14 major trends, listed above, to implement or take into account in the future for a successful influencer campaign. These trends are explained and analyzed in detail for an in-depth understanding of the industry.
For this book, we have chosen to support our predictions with market stakeholders coming from all horizons of the influence ecosystem. Indeed, each trend is supported by inspiring testimonials from experts (brands, agencies, agents, media, legal experts and influencers) from major companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, RTL Belgium, Publicis Consultants, TBWABelgium, The Walt Disney Company… and Stellar!
In addition to the testimonials, concrete examples of successful campaigns and advice for professionals are provided for each trend to help marketers implement them in their strategy. All the keys to a winning influencer marketing strategy to make a difference in 2022!
Preview of the White Paper
To give you a preview of what to expect, we invite you to discover this carousel published on LinkedIn which includes the 14 trends discussed in the White Paper and excerpts from the testimonials of some of our 37 experts.
Discover our White Paper and make your future campaigns more impactful!
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