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Why influencer marketing will evolve from a trend to a common tactic in 2022

It’s official, influencer marketing is one of the biggest trends being embraced in 2022 as more than half of marketing professionals say it’s an effective way to reach the new ‘hybrid’ customer.

That’s according to a new survey of marketing professionals by Hubspot which found 57% of marketeers currently use influencers and more than a third (34%) are ready to increase their budget this year to reach both online and ‘in-person’ customers.

The reason why? Because influencers come with their own audience through their followers and if a business finds the right influencer for their market, then they can appeal to customers directly.

In fact just over 1-in-10 professionals in the same poll, say such campaigns have given them the best ROI of all marketing activity, which is why influencer campaigns are here to stay.

What’s more, over a third of marketers said that they will put influencer marketing at the top of the list above other trends like mobile web design and short-form video marketing for their campaigns.

It is also why influencer marketing has gone from an intriguing trend to a commonly used marketing tactic.

The small influencers with a big voice
But it is the microinfluencers that are forecast to pull ahead and drive industry growth according to research by Kantar and predictions by eMarketer.

They recognise brands can benefit from making inroads with small-time stars over celebrities to help increase brand awareness and build trust and loyalty among customers.

Celebrities are more likely to form collaborations with a rise in franchises and genuine partnerships as opposed to microinfluencers who, whilst also doing ‘collabs’, create their own content which gives added authenticity and credibility to products.

The broadening definition of the word celebrity will inspire more unusual brand partnerships, for example, like the recent two-way partnership where Billie Eilish launches her new music tracks within ads for the car maker Dodge. Kantar anticipates further franchise partnerships such as David Beckham fragrances, or even celebrities buying stakes in the brand they endorse such as the likes of Ryan Reynolds and his association with drinks brand Aviation Gin as well as Wrexham Football Club.

But it’s the micro-influencers who hold the real power accounting for 91% of engagement across all sponsored posts last year. That’s a phenomenal figure.

What is a micro-influencer?
A micro-influencer is someone with between a 1k and 100k followers, who exploded as content creators through the popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Tik Tok, which has the potential to give anyone and any brand a voice, all you need is a phone.

They appeal to marketers because they are much cheaper than celebrities and are more available. They challenge the idea that ‘bigger is better’. Especially now there is a raft of research that shows how effective they are in delivering campaign results.
That is because they are also seen as advisors and trustworthy, particularly if you have a younger consumer demographic. Social platforms are also rolling out new features to give creators more ways to get discovered and make money by connecting them with relevant brands.

Partnering with smaller influencers will become a core element in the marketing playbooks of many for some time to come. It is a trend that looks set to stay with an estimated £6.7 billion expected be spent on influencer marketing in the UK alone this year. A route that many other businesses look set to follow.

The Marketing Trends of 2022 [New Data] hubspot
The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers hubspot
Looking ahead: 9 trends that will steer marketing in 2022 marketingdive
Small influencers poised to win more brand followers in 2022 emarketer
Social media advertising spending in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2017 to 2025