Influencer marketing truly kicked off in 2020 during the pandemic and we have seen growth since then.

For 2021 it was the rise of Micro and Nano influencers, a call for more authenticity, and video content was King.

So, what can we expect to see in 2022? Besides the fact that Video content is still King.

If you are an influencer or a brand/ marketing expert, keep reading, I have something at the end that might interest you.

Before we go any further, let’s agree on one thing. Consumers drive trends, while we (brands and marketing professionals) align our strategies to leverage these trends. So, as consumers’ shopping attitudes change over time, it’s only normal for this to affect how we go about influencer marketing.

On that note, here are five trends you can expect to see this year as the space evolves.

Cause Led/ Purpose Led Campaigns
This was predicted last year and we will be seeing more of it in 2022. Cause-led campaigns are basically where brands highlight the good work they are doing in society through influencers. The idea here may be to spread a message or raise awareness around a particular issue while promoting their products.

This trend has sprung from continuous pressure from consumers to brands and influencers to use their platforms to promote social issues.

However, If the Kendall Jenner and Pepsi fiasco taught us anything back in 2017 or even more close to home, a certain cooking oil brand’ ad last year, it is that you do not want to come across as tone-deaf when running a cause led campaign (with or without influencers). Make sure it is a cause that you fully understand, run it by colleagues, and make sure it aligns with your brand values way before bringing influencers on board. Consumers are perceptive so think through your concepts carefully.

Priscilla Aseye Febiri: The future is now: 5 influencer marketing trends to expect in 2022

Long Term Partnerships
We will also be seeing a lot more long-term brand and influencer partnerships. You will see brands signing long-term contracts with influencers as they embrace the data-led influencer marketing strategy. Long-term partnerships will allow brands to see what is working and adjust their strategy.

It will also allow influencers’ followers to connect with the brand, once trust has been built between the brand and the influencer’s community. The idea of long-term partnerships etches influencer marketing as a relationship-building tool more than a sales channel.

Cross Channel Influencer Marketing
While it is positive that many more brands and marketing professionals are allocating a budget for influencer marketing, it will become necessary for brands to resist the temptation of treating influencer marketing as a silo within their marketing strategy.

In 2022 as brands adopt long-term campaigns they will realize the need to view influencer marketing within the wider scope of their other marketing strategies. We are already seeing some of this with some Ghanaian influencers partnering with brands to create content for TV or YouTube, others are also seen in the press to further promote the message behind a specific content created for social media.

The goal here is to make sure each strategy slots into each other and tells a seamless brand story. As marketing professionals continue to understand the complexities of the buyer’s journey and sales attribution in connection with influencer marketing, we can only expect to see more of this.

Influencers Niching Down
This year, we will be seeing influencers carve out a niche for themselves, making them more sought after by brands in those verticals. As an influencer, now may be a good time to begin to assess what you are most passionate about. Once you do, begin to create relationships with brands within that space.

Social Commerce
The 2020 lockdown saw many consumers turning to social networks to research and shop from brands. Research from Morning Consult, a global data intelligence company, showed that millennials listed influencers’ posts as their top source when buying new products.

Now more than ever, brands need to have a presence on social media and jump on some of the opportunities offered by these platforms. In 2022 you will want to be engaging influencers to create visibility around your products if you are a product-based business. Instagram currently has several shopping features, Tik Tok is also investigating e-commerce. Seek the services of influencers on these platforms to leverage your brand.

So there you have it, 5 influencer marketing trends and platform changes 2022 has in store for you. So on to the surprise, I promised you, this year I and others in the PR field would like to increase conversations around influencer marketing in Ghana.

The idea is to bring brands and influencers together to share ideas, discuss good practices within this space, network and create opportunities to nurture young talents. So if you would like to contribute to this conversation, find me and send me a message on Instagram under the name @purplecomms or LinkedIn Priscilla Aseye Febiri to know a bit more about this project and how you could get involved.

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