The influencer marketing industry is evolving as fast as it’s growing.
Here are the five trends Vamp Co-Founder Aaron Brooks thinks we should be paying attention to in 2022 to stay one step ahead of the curve.
#1 Social sales people will be in high demand
The future is looking bright for social commerce in 2022, but its success will lie with influencers. This year, platforms like Instagram and TikTok have really paved the way with shoppable ad units and features, yet few brands have been able to adapt to the updates. Many are also struggling to close the loop between inspiration and purchase, so there’s still a lot of untapped potential.
Influencers will bridge that gap. They’re the absolute experts in building shopping confidence and that’s going to be invaluable in this new world of S-commerce. We’ve seen a lot of success this year both with ongoing partnerships that engage the same influencers for extended periods, and with the boosting of influencer content, which makes it shoppable. These are two strategies I’d encourage marketers to explore to maximise the S-commerce opportunity. If you can invest in influencers and get it right, the pay off will be huge!
#2 The most successful campaigns will be omni platform
2021 has been dominated by the ‘Instagram vs TikTok’ chatter, but marketers shouldn’t get distracted by the noise. In 2012, the average social media user had three social accounts. Today, that number is up to eight! A single platform doesn’t need to win out, we’re spending more than enough time on social media and we go to different platforms for different things.
TikTok provides us with immersive entertainment and light relief. Instagram transports us to a world of aspirational content, while YouTube is unparalleled when it comes to long form tutorials and reviews. Similarly, marketers can access different audiences on different platforms, helping them tap into a more rounded customer base. YouTube’s users are predominantly 15-25, TikTok’s are 18-24 and Instagram’s are 25-34, according to Sprout Social. Different platforms can also help a brand show off different sides of their personality.
The challenge is not for marketers to pick a side. It is delivering a cohesive experience across each platform, while adapting to their intricacies. How can a single campaign idea be adapted and how much content should be repurposed? These are the questions marketers will be asking themselves in 2022. Thankfully, platforms like Vamp’s make it easy to run Instagram, TikTok and YouTube campaigns concurrently, so “where will I find the time?” won’t be a question you need to ask!
#3 Influencer experiences get more immersive
With the equal importance of sound and visual on TikTok, emergence of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) and the promise of the metaverse, influencer marketing is set to become a more immersive experience in 2022.
Each of these developments make social media a more entertaining and valuable place for audiences. They also pose opportunities for deeper connections between brands and their customers. There’s endless possibilities to create fun, multi-dimensional branded content and get closer to your customers.
While much of the metaverse is still a mystery, one thing you can be sure of is that influencers and content creators will be the early adopters leading the way. Brands will work with them to find exciting ways to tell their story within the new digital world.
#4 There will be renewed focus on authenticity
The way creators make money is changing. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have all launched new creator funds to help influencers monetise their content and there are more stand alone platforms emerging, like Patreon, that give super fans a chance to purchase more content. We can already see more creators selling their work as NFTs too. This diversifies the revenue streams available to a creator and makes them less reliant on brand collaborations as their only source of income.
This impacts their approach to collaborations, as influencers are looking to play the long game. They know that by remaining authentic and nurturing their relationship audience, they can forge a sustainable career as a creator. That means they’ll be less likely to accept collaborations that don’t fit with their personal brand. A quick buck isn’t worth throwing their relationship with their audience off course – and they are less reliant on them now.
What does this mean for brands? Well, a more discerning influencer community may mean brands need to adapt the way they approach collaborations. Allowing more creative freedom, so influencers can remain authentic. Giving creators a fair fee and enough time to create their content, so they can keep the quality high. Their briefs may need to ‘sell’ the opportunity more. Ultimately, everyone wins. Because more considered, creative collaborations, mean more engaging and effective campaigns. Influencers are less likely to work with brands they don’t have a natural affinity to, or abandon their style to fit a constrictive brief.
#5 Decisions will be data-driven
As influencer marketing matures the industry is becoming more data-driven. Both in the creator selection phase and the reporting phase. It makes sense that the more money brands invest in influencer marketing, the more important the ROI becomes.
That’s why Vamp has been dedicated to working with our social platform partners to ensure we can be surfacing the most accurate, first party data to our customers. Marketers have always wanted to work with creators that align with their brand values and have high engagement levels. But now platforms like Vamp can accurately display creators performance and audience data, in a way that’s easy to understand and compare against their peers, marketers can make better decisions.
They can be sure that they are not only choosing a creator with great content and brand affinity, but a high proportion of followers that match the brand’s target customer. Marketers are benefitting from more sophisticated insights in the reporting phase too. We’re able to drill down into content performance and calculate clear ROI, so brands can clearly see the impact of their influencer marketing efforts.