Creativity, originality and technological innovations are the keywords that will accompany influencers and creators throughout 2022. Read the article to find out the influencer marketing trends of 2022.
By now, Influencer marketing does not require major introductions thanks to its spread and popularity. The power of this marketing strategy continues to grow, as social networks are increasingly populated by accounts with a large audience, popularity and fame that are able to exert a certain influence on the public, directing users to certain products and services and guiding their decision-making processes.
Since relying on influencers and content creators will be one of the main strategies on which brands will continue to focus in 2022, in this article we have collected the main trends surrounding influencer marketing.
Table of contents
Greater creativity and originality
The competition between influencers is growing more and more. Standing out from the crowd is essential to grab the attention of one’s followers, who are constantly exposed to a large number of contents –
often very similar to each other. Creativity and originality are the two main elements on which creators will have to focus in order to continue to be successful within the social media landscape. Being creative and original means offering the audience new content or an innovative format; it is not necessary to create complex and sophisticated contents, but you should be able to amaze and entertain users.
Khaby Lame is perhaps the most cited example, and not by chance. The second most famous TikToker in the world, with over 134 million followers on the Chinese social network alone, has become famous for his simple and original video-reactions, in which he shows his hilarious reaction to videos offering ridiculous remedies that, instead of “simplifying life” – as they are intended to – they complicate it unnecessarily.
Short videos, memes, challenges of various kinds and funny content are just some of the winning formats. The more creative and original you are, the more opportunities you will have to stand out and be appreciated by users.
Micro and nano influencers will be fundamental for brands
Influencers are not all the same: as we have already described in the article dedicated to influencer marketing, there are different types. The number of followers acts as a discriminating factor for categorising an influencer’s profile: nano influencers have a few thousand followers; micro influencers are followed by a maximum of 25,000 fans; while macro and mega influencers have millions of followers.
Today it is clear to everyone that quantity is not synonymous with quality and that the number of followers is not synonymous with success and influence. Audience engagement rate is what really matters – an extremely important factor that brands should evaluate when choosing the influencer(s) they want to partner with.
Often, the “smaller” influencers have higher engagement rates, since they generally have some skills in a specific sector (such as travel, lifestyle, food, etc.) and therefore are able to attract the attention of a really niche audience interested in that particular topic.
Therefore, brands will have to carefully evaluate the vanity metrics (but not stopping at the mere number) when determining the most suitable profile, in order to achieve their marketing objectives.
More monetisation opportunities with the creator economy
If in the past the main source of income for influencers was collaborating with brands, today they have the opportunity to increase their profits thanks to the multiple monetisation options available on the various social platforms. As a matter of fact, in order to convince influencers and creators to continue producing content and remain on a platform, to beat the competition social media platforms have developed tools and options to “reward” influencers economically.
Creator economy, also called the economy of individual monetisation, refers to the income that creators can obtain from the production and sharing of different contents (videos, articles, audio, etc.). The creator economy is also referred to as a passion economy, to indicate an economy born from a passion and later developed into a real job.
The new monetisation options will allow creators to increase their earnings by receiving an income not only from brands – as it happens with partnerships and collaborations – but also from the platforms themselves or from users. Except for LinkedIn, all major platforms have some monetisation options.
Let’s see the available monetisation options:
• Revenue Sharing on Ads
It is a business model focused on profit sharing. While we all know the importance that ads have for social platforms, organic content is often underestimated. However, without it, users would be less likely to spend part of their free time on social media. For this reason, platforms have begun to reward creators and their content by sharing the revenue generated from advertisements. For instance, the ads appear in YouTube videos of the creators and the platform divides the revenues with the influencer.
Users invest varying amounts of money to access special and exclusive content made by their favourite creators and get perks like special emoticons and badges. While this kind of option is currently available on Facebook (with the Subscription programme), YouTube, Twitter (with the new Twitter Blue) and Twitch, Instagram Subscription is still in the testing phase.
To express loyalty and support their favourite influencers, users are allowed to donate “tips” by choosing from some predetermined amounts or by customising it.
To encourage the activities of content creators, social platforms have created – or are still experimenting like Instagram and Facebook – a virtual space where companies and influencers can meet and forge the partnerships they deem most suitable.
• Creators funds
With its Creators Fund, TikTok has introduced a new support programme that allows the most influential accounts to receive money not only from their loyal followers, but also from the platform itself as it allocates a certain amount of money to support the activity of influencers. Currently, creator funds are also available on the Zuckerberg-owned platforms, Clubhouse, Snapchat and Pinterest.
There are also some platforms that were born with the specific aim of making content monetizable. Among these, there are Only Fans – an English website open to all >18 users which offers creators the opportunity to earn through subscriptions that users stipulate to access exclusive and dedicated content – and Tipeee, a platform that allows artists and creators to receive “tips” (i.e., financial contributions) from the community. In this way, fans financially support the creators so that they can continue to produce content in complete autonomy, following their own creativity and passion and without depending exclusively on advertising revenues.
Brands will look for long-term collaborations instead of single projects
Forging long-term partnerships with one or more influencers will be increasingly important in terms of credibility and brand awareness. Let’s imagine seeing the same product or brand sponsored by different influencers rather than always by one or by a smaller group of influencers. In the first case, brands would almost certainly be able to reach a wider audience, deriving from the sum of the followers of the individual influencers; however, relying only on few influencers allows brands to create a dialogue and a more stable and lasting relationship with them and consequently their followers. By doing so, brands will convey the message that their product/business is reliable and also worth investing on.
Therefore, influencers will become ambassadors of a brand or product.
NFTs as a new source of income
In the recent weeks we have been talking more and more often about NFTs, so much that they have also been included among the digital marketing trends of 2022. Acronym for Non-Fungible-Tokens, NFTs are unique and non-replicable digital goods (videos, images, GIFs, etc.) registered on a blockchain which guarantees their authenticity and ownership and that can be sold in exchange for money.
Forward-thinking content creators have already started using this format and leveraging non-fungible digital works as a new source of income.
Social media also looks carefully at NFTs. For example, TikTok announced that it has partnered with some creators to produce NFTs within “TikTok Moments”. This way, TikTok offers an additional way to reward its content creators.
Live Shopping will grow in popularity
Live shopping, the marketing practice that usually involves an influencer or content creator promoting a product via a livestream, has become popular in 2020 and will continue to be so in the current and future years. Through live broadcasts, influencers are able to find the right synergy between entertainment and promotional content, thus involving the followers more. Amazon, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have already developed new live shopping tools for influencers; so, let’s expect to see this type of format more often.
The metaverse and the virtual influencers
A word that we have been hearing more and more is Metaverse. It is actually a term invented in 1992 by American sci-fi writer Neal Stephenson in the book “Snow Crash”. Today, the word Metaverse is back in the limelight after Mark Zuckerberg announced the decision to change the name of Facebook Inc. to Meta, because the American giant is dedicating itself to creating a virtual universe. Within the Metaverse, users will be able to create their own avatar, meet other users, participate in concerts, events and conferences and so on by accessing the virtual space through some technological tools (i.e., 3D viewers).
Companies and influencers are already entering the virtual world and we should expect to witness a growth of the so-called virtual influencers and the collaborations between them and brands in the future. Thanks to some forward-thinking companies that have realised the potential offered by such influencers, these collaborations have already started. However, the launch of the metaverse will determine a significant evolution in this sense.
What do you think of these trends? Do you think influencer marketing can help you achieve your brand’s communication goals? Tell us your opinion in the comments and contact us to learn more about our marketing and communication services.