INFLUENCER MARKETING

Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022

Daniel Cruz

By Daniel Cruz
12 min READ | Dec 16 2021

The Influencer marketing industry will continue to expand in 2022 because your audience trusts other real people’s recommendations. Content creators are voluble, genuine, and trustworthy to produce excellent content that drives more sales.

If you keep using the methods you learned a decade ago, your marketing will soon be obsolete.

Influencer marketing trends are evolving, and you have to follow them to keep that connection you have with your loyal audience. Besides, these new trends will help you forge your way into new markets, expand your business and increase your ROI.

Read the guide below to see 22 new influencer marketing trends in 2022 and learn how to leverage them effectively.

1. Hybrid Events

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how much we like the virtual world. Therefore, virtual events are becoming increasingly popular on all social media platforms.

The truth is, some people prefer to stay inside.

In 2022, companies will have to adapt to hybrid events, aka in-person meetings with well-organized digital components for people at home.

2. Artificial Intelligence

AI will help you in 2022 with top-notch technology that streamlines influencer marketing. Imagine this: you want to start an influencer campaign, so you’re sifting hashtags on Instagram and TikTok. You’re analyzing profiles, reading posts, double-checking comments to ensure there aren’t any fake followers there.

If you don’t work with a marketing agency, this will take you weeks.

But Artificial Intelligence can do all that work in minutes. That means you can speed up the process of:

A screenshot of inBeat's fast influencer search tool.
Online marketing tools, such as an influencer database, are of tremendous help.

3. Podcast Influencers

Although thousands of articles worldwide discuss customers’ short attention spans, hours-long podcasts still became extremely popular.

What’s the explanation?

One reason could be that the ongoing pandemic made people idler, so they turned to podcasts to keep them busy. Another reason is that people have always shown interest in things they care about.

Podcasts do that: they discuss essential info for a specific target.

Thus, if you want more successful campaigns in 2022, add those podcast influencers to the mix. The audience you’ll reach is high-income, educated, and purchasing products they hear about on podcasts.

4. Better Contracts

Many companies and influencers have been winging influencer marketing. Some companies still don’t establish specific goals for their influencer campaigns, although that would be inconceivable for a traditional campaign. Besides, some nano-influencers don’t know their rights and how much they should be paid.

Then there are all the problems surrounding content:

  • Creating original content
  • Posting about other brands
  • Having a lifestyle that doesn’t entirely fit the brand’s philosophy

But as marketing professionals and influencers become more educated, their contracts will become more nuanced. As a result, marketers will get more accurate results, and influencers will receive better pay according to what they deliver.

Make sure you have solid contracts for your influencer collaborations; our free influencer agreement template and creative brief template are great time-savers.

5. Social Themes

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are poignant themes that will be reflected even more in 2022’s influencer marketing space. People worldwide strive to create an inclusive culture, and companies will follow their lead.

Look at how successful #ShareTheMicNow was.

An image of the #ShareTheMicNow campaign, a successful social campaign on Instagram.
Social themes will continue to be trendy in 2022 for influencer marketing. (Image source)

In this Instagram campaign, white celebrities gave their accounts to influencers of color who reached wider audiences. That was epic, and that’s why you should let this strategy inspire you in your business models.

6. Live Shopping

Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest allow companies to organize live shopping events. You should harness this trend too because:

  • You can see your ROI increase before your eyes because you create FOMO and desire.
  • You can evaluate tangible campaign results.
  • You can rank your influencers and their messages according to the sales they produce.

7. Live Content

Real-time posts also became popular during the COVID-19 pandemic when people isolated themselves. But humans are social creatures, so they reached out to online communities when real life was put on hold.

This community allowed them to study, listen to music, cook, garden, and pray with like-minded peers.

That’s how people discovered you could spend quality time with different groups of people worldwide. Your friends can’t share all of your interests, but you can find several communities that make you feel supported and included.

Harness the LIVE stream trend and allow your influencers to interact with your audience. You can use this feature on YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and Pinterest!

8. Longer Micro Videos

TikTok allows social media users to create longer 3-minute videos. Instagram will also allow longer video Stories.

This transition from short-form video content allows your influencers to create more in-depth posts. That will engage your audience even more because uninterrupted entertainment consolidates storytelling better.

9. All-encompassing UX

Instagram added two new exciting features this year:

  • An audio feature so that people can seek and save songs they like
  • A map feature with different businesses

So, when you’re creating content guidelines for your influencers in 2022, make sure you include these features as well. Evidence shows that people want to have an inclusive user experience on each social media platform instead of using different engines.

10. More E-commerce

People are becoming more attached to e-commerce. Many companies create a seamless buying experience that replaces in-store shopping. People can now search for, look, and virtually try on different products from the comfort of their homes.

Think of all the social media algorithms that show people the products they’re most likely to love.

Now, use these to your advantage.

Hire influencers that can make people love your products and direct them towards those products. Your audience should find pertinent info and easily purchase anything they want from any post your influencers create.

11. Righteous Brands

People want to buy products from companies that share their values. That’s why so many customers want to see brands take sides regarding poignant social issues.

This trend will continue in 2022. Make sure you’re vocal about the things your company believes in and hire influencers that aren’t afraid to take a stand for their values. In fact, these influencers should want to affect significant change—because that’s what people worldwide want to do themselves.

12. Augmented Reality

Social channels employ AR increasingly more, from Snapchat Filters to apps that age you or allow you to talk as different animals. As a result, people expect to see that AR in your influencer marketing campaigns.

Think of Facebook’s Horizon.

You, too, can leverage virtual reality in your influencer marketing campaigns through:

  • Targeting a larger audience
  • Virtual testing phases
  • Interactive content
  • Promo codes

For example, you can allow customers to test your clothes or make-up in VR. People can also immerse themselves in virtual reality to look at different devices on all sides or try them during an interactive story.

Imagine creating an online shop.

People can put their VR on, enter your store and have a lifelike shopping experience, like China’s Alibaba planned since 2016. Well, Amazon and other social platforms will soon hone these features, so keep an eye out for them.

An example of a virtual reality online shop project in China, showing hologram graphic elements inside a real store.
An example of a virtual reality online shop project in China, a growing digital trend.

13. Collaborations

Influencer collaborations are becoming a thing on various social media platforms. In 2022, you can harness different app functions that allow your influencers to:

  • Work together from distinct accounts
  • Reach and share audiences

The purpose, of course, is to amplify your brand content.

For instance, Instagram allows users to:

  • Co-author posts and Instagram Reels
  • Share their pictures on other people’s Instagram Stories

14. The Power of Familiar Audio Content

Musical or audio snippets are the new memes. People recognize the music they see on TikTok. Spotify uses neuroscience to help influencer marketers connect to their customers based on those people’s favorite audio.

Moreover, Snapchat partnered with NBC Universal so that its users now have access to audio content across NBC shows. These clips include famous quotes and theme music.

How can you leverage that strategy in your influencer marketing campaigns?

It’s easy; make sure they’re using these features.

Your influencers have a new gateway that allows them to connect to your consumers. These audio clips:

  • Show your audience that they’re speaking the same language as your brand
  • Help you create a stronger community
  • Reflect shared values
  • Foster a faster connection because that connection is based on the visceral emotion elicited by those clips

15. Long-term Partnerships

Brands are looking to make their relationship with influencers long-term. Because, let’s face it, looking for and selecting the right influencers is a tedious job.

Besides, when you find someone capable of producing value-driven content, you try to hold on to that person for as long as you can.

As a result, one-off contracts will become increasingly scarce in 2022. To be honest, we’re surprised it didn’t happen sooner.

After all, loyal communities imply long-term relationships based on mutual beliefs, shared language, etc. All that can’t be built with one-time sponsored posts.

16. Bigger Screens

Mobile apps are climbing their way up to larger screens. Just consider TikTok’s partnership with Amazon Fire TV.

That means your influencers will have to create high-quality video content that considers the particularities of bigger screens. Your content creators will have to produce longer videos with better images and deliver high-quality content.

How can you leverage this influencer marketing trend?

Just consider live tutorials. If you’re selling make-up or clothes, your audience will love to see how to use these on a larger screen. Your customers will want to see influencers cooking with your products if you own a food-selling company. Practically, the world is your oyster!

17. Less Promotional Content for Kids

When children, especially young ones, see ads, they immediately want those things. And we’re not just talking about toys and cereals; it’s also about toothpaste, dish detergent, or toilet cleaner.

As a result, many parents don’t allow their kids to use specific platforms anymore.

So, if your company’s audience is children, you’ll have to rethink how you’re targeting them. You can pretty much forget all about toy unboxing videos and walkthroughs through your toy store.

18. More UGC

User-generated content is becoming more pervasive across all social media channels. Brands ask regular people to post content about their products or company using specific guidelines, and it works. The graph below shows people's trust in UGC over traditional media.

A graph showing user-generated content is trusted more than traditional media.
User-generated content is seemed as more trustworthy. (Image source)

For example, people are now used to:

  • Post pictures (e.g., within a particular place or using a particular product) as part of different contests
  • Answer different questions or write in-depth reviews
  • Use hashtags
  • Repost brand content
  • Come up with intriguing product ideas or strategies

How can you integrate UGC with influencer marketing in 2022?

  • Give precise guidelines to people who want to create and disseminate brand-related content.
  • Make sure your influencers engage with those users.
  • Hire influencers that create original UGC following your guidelines but with enough flexibility. That way, your influencers will use their creativity and insights to create unique content. This content is highly trustworthy, so it ultimately generates more sales.

19. Local Targeting

Your influencers will have to target more local audiences in 2022; this strategy is called proximity marketing, and it’s very successful.

People identify more with local influencers. Research shows that proximity is a critical factor in attraction; as a result, local influencers have more appeal in their geographical location and can trigger more sales.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Use geotagging on social media platforms so that people can find your business faster.
  • Create specific events and local promotions.
  • Offer tailored delivery services.

20. Memes

Memes have a substantial rhetorical impact on people because they are quickly understood and relatable. Besides, memes short-circuit reason because they’re based on visual arguments, so people tend to agree with their messages faster.

That’s a gold mine for brands.

Influencers who can create meme-based content for your brand will help you:

  • Create trust and authority
  • Show people that you share their values
  • Talk to that community using their language
  • Build a stronger community
  • Sell your products faster

If your influencers are really talented, they can turn your entire brand into a meme.

Take “Netflix and chill,” for instance. Thanks to it, Netflix has become the number one association in people’s minds when you say the word “streaming platform.” Even people who don’t have Netflix know exactly what this brand is.

There’s a catch, though.

Your influencers have to use the right memes, or your brand will become the subject of mockery on the entire Internet. That’s what happened when McDonald’s used the “say no more fam” meme format incorrectly and got laughed at for trying to be hip.

21. CGI Influencers

CGI influencers are the new rising stars. The best part of it is they’re not even real.

Many influencer marketing experts struggle to find the right influencers. It’s tough finding people who share your values, audience, language, and mindset and are willing to work for you.

Luckily, a savvy team of programmers and social media experts can create the influencers of your dreams. UGG, Prada, and Diesel have already partnered with Lil Miquela, a robot social star with over three million followers, to attract more people and gain more customers.

A screenshot of digital influencer Lil Maquela's Instagram feed.
Lil Miquela’s Instagram very much looks like an actual human’s feed.

22. Employee Influencers

Employee influencers will become more prominent in 2022 because they:

  • Produce informed UGC based on their unique insights
  • Have credibility and expertise for your audience

As such, employee influencers can trigger more sales. Macy has hopped on this train since 2018, and its program produced terrific results, including better sales and a tighter relationship between the company and its employees.

2022 will continue some trends that we’ve seen flourishing in the past few years, like people’s need for high-quality and authentic content. New features like AI, virtual reality, or the transition to large screens can only work if you’re still focusing on the relationship with your customers.

But while these fresh additions can uncover a world of opportunities for brands, they also pose a significant issue.

Most companies don’t yet understand how to leverage these influencer marketing trends. And, if you let the opportunity pass you by, your competition will take you over.

Luckily, inBeat can help.

Our social media marketing experts team will help you connect to the right influencers for your brand and handle your entire influencer campaign.

We’ll discuss your strategy and find the perfect content creators for your needs, big or small. This is the best way to leverage the new opportunities 2022 brings, so don’t waste more time.

Apply here.

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