The influencer marketing industry has continued to evolve at a rapid pace with spending increasing every year by leaps and bounds. It was estimated that, over the course of this year, influencer marketing would grow to be a $13.8 million market. The industry grew despite the pandemic, and will continue to flourish as we go forward. Here are some new influencer marketing trends we will witness in 2022.
Increase in demand for micro-influencers: Brands are now increasingly working with micro-influencers owing to their higher engagement rates and affordability. This demand will continue to rise in the coming year as the industry shifts to a more data-driven approach. Micro-influencers provide favourable data, better insights, and usually have carved out a niche that caters to the brands’ target audience. Most micro-influencers prefer to work with the same brands over and over, thereby providing better brand recall and loyalty. We are excited to see how this changes the face of branded content.
Focus on podcasts: Brands will look to work with podcast influencers, as podcast listening increased during the pandemic — the percentage of monthly podcast listeners has grown from 27% in 2017 to 49% in 2020. With an increase in users, we saw a rise in ad spending as well. Podcast ad spending hit $800 million in 2020, but it’s expected to more than double to $1.7 billion by 2024. Working on branded content with podcast influencers provides brands the chance to get exposed to a well-informed, well-read, and high-income audience. Overall, this year will see a rise in focus on audio, especially with Twitter launching Twitter Spaces.
Rise in short video content: TikTok paved the way for short videos, and this was promptly followed by Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, etc. With platforms promoting short video content, brands and creators alike are also moving their content to this format. According to Cisco, in 2022, more than 82% of global online traffic will be accounted for by video content — 15 times more than in 2017. As the attention span of consumers continues to shrink, they prefer short video content, as it allows them to consume more in a limited period of time. Brands will be working with creators for more short video content in the coming months.
Cross-channel promotions: Instead of focussing on short campaigns with influencers, brands will now work towards a larger cross-channel promotion strategy. Brands will not just execute campaigns across different channels such as emails, social media, TV ads, etc, but will also focus on different platforms across social media, such as Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and podcasts. This approach is apt for brands with a larger target audience, as cross-channel promotions enable larger reach and better brand recognition.
Hopping onto the metaverse wagon: Metaverse is set to change business, marketing and, in turn, influencer marketing; 2022 will be the first step in that direction. Influencers and brands alike will jump on this bandwagon with digital avatars and identities. Luxury brands such as Gucci and Prada are already driving results from the metaverse. The Gucci Garden exhibition held in Roblox in May, for example, drew over 19.9 million visitors. The metaverse will provide a brand-new opportunity for people to do things together, but digitally. For instance, cooks can cook together, and fitness influencers can work out together. What the future of the metaverse looks like is still a big question, but brands and influencers are already working on their metaverse strategy.
It’s an exciting time for the industry. Influencer marketing will continue to grow dramatically, as the potential truly is limitless.
The author is COO, WORD and Alchemy Group