2022 Influencer Marketing Trends

Influencer marketing continues to be one of the most exciting, innovative and impactful mediums for brand communication. Here are our key influencer marketing trends and projections for 2022.

We Will See More Originality in Campaign Execution  

Influencer marketing has and will continue to be buoyed by social media innovation, this in turn will have an impact on campaign execution.

Person taking photo of person watching hot air balloons in the sky displaying example of influencer marketing trends.

The influencer marketing industry is projected to be valued at $15 billion in 2022.  As more and more brands increase their influencer marketing spend, originality in campaign execution will be key to stand out. Everyone is seeking that proverbial thumb stopping content. Never before has there been more social media platforms or posting formats at our disposal. Influencers are often the first to embrace and have access to new platform innovations providing brands with a unique opportunity to stand out.

Some examples of innovative campaign execution which stand out from 2021 are pet food brand Pedigree’s partnership with US influencers on Clubhouse to help rehome rescue centre dogs and Ellesse’s collaboration with musician Zara Larsson to create the world’s first shoppable gig on TikTok. Pedigree leveraged the momentum around new audio platform Clubhouse, which partnered with influencer engagement, drove brand preference and inspired earned media coverage. Ellesse with their Zara Larsson collaboration cleverly combined TikTok’s existing affinity to music with its more recent social commerce innovation.  

Finally, in 2021 Ketchum London worked with Herbal Essences on one of their largest influencer campaigns to date, which reimagined influencer storytelling.  The team partnered with over 30 different influencers who each blind tested the brand’s new Argon oil hair mask and shared on social media how much they would be willing to pay for the product based on performance. The blind testing element captured audience’s attention adding an element of mystery and intrigue. The collaborations concluded with each influencer revealing the brand, product and actual retail price.

Brands and Agencies Will Explore Pay by Performance Models to Address Industry Pay Disparity

Among influencer marketing trends, there continues to be examples of pay disparity in the industry linked to gender and race. Quite rightly there is an expectation on brands and agencies to take tangible action to address this.

Given the variance in approach to influencer campaign costing to date, which has resulted in the current inequality, the next foreseeable step is a pay by performance model with mutually agreed key performance indicators.

Social media innovation combined with the use of trackable URLs has taken the ambiguity out of the impact of influencer marketing, paving the way for the exploration of pay by performance models

We Will See More Examples of Employee Advocacy  

Authenticity is key to influencer marketing success and there is continued momentum around the use of employees as brand advocates.

With the rise of live and in-the-moment content and the explosion of TikTok, there is less expectation for highly polished and hyper edited social media content and a preference for more off-the-cuff, entertaining posts.

A notable example of where the aforementioned has converged is the M&S Romford TikTok account, which has over 60k followers, has amassed millions of views and features content created by the store’s employees.

Influencer Content Will Continue to Expand beyond Social Media and Include Longer-term Partnerships with Brands

In 2021, Ketchum London worked with the Olay team on an influencer-led television advertising campaign and with Adobe on a tiered influencer activation which featured both on and offline content, just two examples of where influencers have been featured outside of social media.

We expect this trend to continue and, in line with that evolution, have created K.I.M 360. This blended approach integrates our influencer marketing expertise with our heritage in earned media, helping optimise our influencer partnerships across earned, owned and amplified channels. Influencer marketing should no longer be thought of as in-silo social media posts but be integrated across the entire communications ecosystem.

As the industry has matured the congruity between brand impact and longer-term partnerships has become increasingly apparent. With that in mind we will see continued momentum around longer- term influencer partnerships and influencers taking on a more collaborative role in the planning of campaigns.

As Social Commerce Gains Momentum, Measuring Influencer Marketing Success Will Evolve

It would be remiss not to mention one of the buzzwords of influencer marketing in 2021 — “social commerce” — and what impact this will have on influencer marketing trends in 2022.

Social media platforms are fast creating an ecosystem where it will be easier to track bottom funnel sales metrics from influencer marketing. Agencies in turn will be able to deliver tangible business impact through fewer partnerships creating cost efficiencies for brands While social commerce is gaining momentum in Europe there is still a way to go to fully win over consumer confidence with concerns over data retention and privacy.

With that in mind, brands should manage their expectations when running test and learn social commerce activations and be mindful that brands first need to build relevancy and equity with social media audiences before seeking to leverage platforms for sales.

As the influencer marketing industry continues to mature and innovate at pace, Ketchum offers a truly global offer, being active in over 70 counties. Our influencer marketing work and talent continue to be recognized as some of the best in the business. Not representing any influencers or being affiliated to any influencer management agencies means all our campaigns are cast impartially and without bias setting our clients up for success.  Contact us to learn more about our influencer marketing capabilities.

Stephen Farrell, Associate Director, Influencer Marketing, Ketchum London

Stephen’s experience includes working for a roster of globally recognised brands on influencer marketing strategy across the sport, fashion, food, drink and travel sectors with teams in the United Kingdom, the United States and China.

Prior to joining Ketchum as the influencer marketing lead, Stephen worked on the team to launch Glossier in the UK, has led on influencer marketing strategy for Sainsbury’s Tu Clothing, Ba&sh and Karl Lagerfeld and was a speaker at the 2018 PR Week Influencer Marketing Breakfast Briefing.