If you haven’t gotten on the influencer marketing bandwagon yet, you are missing out on a lot. The world has moved on from traditional advertising and marketing methods. Forget billboards, TV commercials, newspaper or magazine ads, social media is the new marketing platform for businesses. As of 2021, there are more than 3.7 billion social media users worldwide. And this number is only increasing each which by 2025 is expected to hit 4.41 billion.

No wonder so many businesses are turning to influencer marketing as a mainstream marketing strategy today. Social media influencers have a wide reach in their niche and with influencer marketing, brands are able to penetrate new markets that are otherwise hard to conquer.

Influencer marketing trends, like all social media trends, keep changing too. Knowing what is in helps brands make a bigger impact with their promotions. Here are some of the influencer marketing trends to watch out for in 2022.

3 influencer marketing trends to watch for 2022

The 2020s have probably been the most promising time for influencer marketing. In 2021, the influencer marketing market size globally was valued at 13.8 billion USD. And this growth is expected to continue in 2022 and beyond.

Working with nano- and micro-influencers for audience engagement

Though reaching a wider audience is always the primary goal of most marketing campaigns, the focus is shifting towards engaging the audience even if it is just a small segment. This is where micro-influencers and nano-influencers can help brands.

Micro- and nano-influencers have a smaller following but their audience is usually more engaged and connected. They are responsive to audience comments and messages. A survey carried out by Influencer Marketing Hub in 2021 shows that micro-influencers have the highest engagement rates on social media, towering over even the mega influencers.

Micro- and nano-influencers can be brand ambassadors that the audience can relate to. For brands with a smaller influencer marketing budget, partnering with micro-influencers could be more economical and productive.

Focus on building long-term relationships/ambassador programs

For a long, influencer marketing was seen as a one-off promotion by social media influencers, where brands only partnered with an influencer once and then moved on to another. But finding the right influencers for your brand is an effort-intensive and costly process. So doing it over and over again is only increasing the costs and consuming time.

The outlook has changed and brands are now looking to build long-term relationships with influencers. Once you have found the influencer who is the right fit, you stick to them. This has its own perks.

A one-off promotion does not seem very genuine to the audience anyway. When an influencer recommends a product only once, their followers know it is just paid promotional content. But when the same influencer promotes the brand often, it may be able to convince prospects that the brand is worth their attention.

Influencers who are approached by brands to join their ambassador programs are also likely to be more committed to the whole campaign. A long-term relationship will be beneficial for both the brand and the influencer, economically and otherwise. So the outcome is bound to be better.

TikTok is the new superstar among social media platforms

While most brands are investing in influencer marketing on Instagram and Facebook, TikTok is slowly capturing the market with its strategies. In the survey we mentioned above, it was also found that micro-influencers had the highest engagement on TikTok compared to other platforms like Instagram or YouTube. In fact, TikTok engagement was far higher than the other platforms for all levels of influencers.

The biggest advantage of TikTok is the raw and real feel of the content that is shared on the platform. There is an option to share quick 15-second videos and trends tend to get viral in no time on TikTok. The same is possible with Instagram stories too, but the audience’s intent with both these media is different. While people consider TikTok videos to be real content, Instagram stories, are seen as temporary or simply offering behind-the-scenes footage.

Finding and connecting with the right audience on TikTok through video content can be much easier. Brands only need to focus on creating platform-appropriate content and finding the right TikTok influencers to promote it. With the right TikTok influencer, you don’t even have to worry about content creation. Just let them take charge of how they engage their audience with your promotional content.

TikTok has also partnered with Shopify to let influencers and brands create shoppable ads and videos. So the opportunities on this platform are immense.

Summing up

Social media is a constantly evolving universe in itself. So trends keep changing and brands need to keep up with them. The latest influencer marketing trends are gradually changing the landscape and the focus is shifting towards long-term partnerships, meaningful content, and audience engagement. Brands that can stay up-to-date with these influencer marketing trends will have a competitive advantage in the near future.