If we told you that there was a present under your Christmas tree containing the best up and coming influencer trends for the year ahead, would you save the best until last or open it straight away? But, why wait until the 25th, on behalf of us at The Goat Agency, here is a thoughtful gift that you can have right now! These are the top trends expected to take a foothold in the influencer marketing sphere in 2022.
Live-stream e-commerce has surged recently, sweeping over the Chinese social media landscape in the process. By 2022, Live-stream e-commerce could occupy up to 20% of China’s total e-commerce sales, almost doubling its tally from 2020.
Western markets have kept a close eye on China's activity and they are beginning to catch on, with TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook all testing respective live-stream shopping experiences. Recent examples include QVC, with their debut live-stream shopping experience on YouTube, and Walmart, who launched their first live e-commerce stream on TikTok.
Multi channel strategies
The number of brands using influencer content across their marketing channels is rapidly increasing. Now, influencers are being used as part of TVCs, OOH, display, POS, website and email marketing strategies. This is due to the authenticity of such channels, the pace at which content is made, and most importantly cost effectiveness.
In an era that never sleeps, an always-on presence is practically a prerequisite to a successful brand.
Brands are looking to generate a social presence that keeps the light on all year round, using influencers. Brands like Pretty Little Thing, Nivea, and Look Fantastic are championing an always-on approach to stay on the tips of consumer tongue’s for the full 365 days of the calendar year.
There is now an influx of brands choosing their influencers more selectively, so that they can accommodate a long-term strategy that seeks to uphold better and more authentic partnerships through ambassadors that have a closer connection to a product. For example, creating influencer editions of a particular product.
As more platforms start to congest the social space and algorithms complicate content reach, brands must establish a better rapport with creators. Issuing creators with vague content descriptions must become a thing of the past in order that brands flourish in future markets.
The days of the ‘one size fits all’ brief are numbered; this mentality will no longer contribute to the progression of the trend-driven algorithms found on TikTok and Reels.
Co-creation goes as far as even working with influencers to promote products, as is clear when we look at Pretty Little Thing naming Molly-Mae as creative director. This is a clear example of influencers going above and beyond product promotion and venturing into brand integration.
What new formats can we expect in the New Year?
The pandemic has accelerated our dependence on social platforms to stay connected, shop, and keep up with breaking stories. As a result platforms have fast-tracked new features to keep up with consumption habits and offer updated experiences to keep users on a specific app for longer.
Different formats have emerged triumphant from the pandemic that include live audio, live-streaming and short-form video.
Short-form video has become increasingly more important to reach Gen Z consumers who typically suffer from ‘ad blindness’. Ads and content championed by TikTok offer a new alternative to the typical ad format that has desensitised younger consumers.
As we look forward to 2022, social audio formats, live-streaming and short-form video will continue to dominate across social with the likes of Facebook already building out features to re-engage its 2.8 billion-plus users
Facebook is rolling out audio features to more creators and groups globally, after a smaller release of Live Audio Rooms in the U.S for select figures back in June. The platform has also centralised audio formats within an “Audio tab", that sits on the top navigation bar within Facebook Watch. This feature will first be available for U.S users over 18 on iOS and Android and will include Live Audio Room content, Soundbites and podcasts
YouTube Shorts is another prime example of a huge new development within the short-video hemisphere, with some creators on the platform taking time away from long-form content to focus entirely on Shorts content for prolonged periods.
Competition among creators continues to stiffen as the social app market proceeds to tighten. Platforms are stoking the fire with their intent to retain talented creators and increase user numbers and time spent.
The failure of Vine highlights the importance of supporting creators financially. This is something that TikTok adapted to very early on, as the platform introduced creator funds and opportunities for audiences to send donations or coins during live-streams.
As a result, more platforms are developing monetisation options such as Snapchat and Clubhouse launching their own creator funds.
The unreliable nature of YouTube’s monetisation program has also shown the impact of not supporting creators, with a lot of YouTube creators migrating to subscription-based platforms like Patreon to better monetise video content. UK supergroup, The Sidemen have even gone one step further in creating their own subscription platform called Side+.
The platforms with better monetisation options for creators will have longevity in the market, and with good creators on the platform, usership and time spent will only rise.
Rowan Byers, insights executive at The Goat Agency.