Influencer marketing in 2022
Influencer marketing continues to be one of the most exciting, innovative and impactful mediums for brand communication, here our London Influencer Marketing Lead Stephen Farrell surmises key 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. Never has there been a more diverse range of platforms and posting formats at our disposal.
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.
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 worlds first shoppable gig on TikTok.
Finally in 2021 Ketchum worked with Herbal Essences on one of their largest influencer campaigns to date which reimagined influencer storytelling. We partnered with over 30 different influencers who each blind tested the brands new Argon oil hair mask and shared on social media how much they would be willing to pay for the product based on performance.
Brands and agencies will explore pay by performance models as they seek to address pay disparity in the industry
There continues to be examples of pay disparity in the influencer marketing 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 URL’s has taken the ambiguity out of influencer marketing reporting 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 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 and content created by the stores employees has amassed millions of views.
Influencers will feature beyond social media and longer-term partnerships with brands will continue to gain momentum
Last year Ketchum 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, just two examples of where influencers have featured beyond 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 the frameworks for 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 the industry in 2022.
Social media platforms are fast creating an eco-system where it will be easier to track bottom of the funnel sales metrics from influencer marketing, this will impact the influencer economy in two ways:
1.There will be better bottom of the funnel sales metrics which will allow brands to define true pockets of influence and reduce the number of “influencers” in an industry that is currently oversaturated
2.Tangible sales data will mean it will cost more to work with influencers and brands will want to seek out longer term partnerships with key sales converters, agencies are well placed to negotiate these deals based on the relationships they hold
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.
Stephen Farrell, Influencer Marketing Lead, Ketchum London