From the “Wild West” to a projected $15 billion industry by the end of 2022, influencer marketing is constantly evolving and adding value to a brand’s overall marketing plan. As a core component of our business and expertise at Soda Pop, we are sharing five key trends we’re keeping an eye on in 2022 to integrate into our work.
image via @oliveandartison
Long-term influencer partnerships and collaborations
While one-off influencer campaigns can be effective with the right strategy, long-term partnerships help to build strong relationships between the brand, the influencer and their audience over time.
An always-on approach with influencers creating consistent content helps to deepen brand education and affinity. Audiences begin to associate an influencer with a brand knowing the value the brand brings to the influencer’s everyday life, in turn, driving product trial and intent to purchase.
Long-term partnerships also provide the opportunity to garner consumer insights directly from influencer audiences giving brands access to valuable qualitative feedback.
Longstanding partnerships are often the foundation for brand/influencer collaborations outside of digital content leveraging influencers as creative partners like creating a custom product line or utilizing an influencer partner to host virtual and in-person events.
Innovation in video content
We have seen video on the rise in the last few years, but if TikTok has taught us anything, it’s that not only is video here to stay, it’s critical to continue to innovate through video content. This includes truly creative short form videos that leverage the fundamentals of storytelling and effectively communicate the brand’s message and values. A couple of examples of creators doing it right are Zach King and Sam Way.
Authenticity and blurring the lines of organic and paid content
We have continued to see a shift from perfectly curated photography to showcasing the authenticity of the moment. Influencers are bringing their audience behind-the-scenes and sharing how their favorite brand partners integrate seamlessly into their daily lives. After all, authenticity and word-of-mouth recommendations are a main reason influencer marketing has always been so impactful - it’s like audiences are learning about new brands and products from a friend. The more that influencers blur the line between organic and paid content in an authentic way, the more effective their branded content will be.
Content that tells a story and creates an experience to drives sales
Taking authenticity a step further, influencers that create content that tells a unique story or creates an experience for their audience will help drive sales. For example, an influencer sharing creative and quick ways they prepare healthy after school meals with a food brand partner followed by an affiliate link or incentive to purchase will help amplify sales within an awareness-focused campaign.
Social platforms are continuing to develop seamlessly social shopping methods including live shopping so influencers, brands and agencies that can effectively integrate this into their content will win in driving sales.
All about the data
Brands are putting more emphasis on data and analytics, shining a spotlight on KPIs and ROI within their influencer channel. This means brands and agencies will need to invest in precise reporting tools and machine learning resources to help acutely measure the success of their influencer efforts. Likewise, influencers will need to continue to evolve their methods of reporting to their brand partners, truly understanding the brand’s KPIs from the outset and creating content that helps achieve those goals.
Influencer marketing is a vast and exciting world so we know there are many more ways brands, creators and agencies are innovating in the space. If you have more trends to add to this list, feel free to send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org or connect with us on Instagram: @sodapoppr - we’d love to hear from you!