Influencer Marketing

8 Influencer Marketing Trends to Watch in 2022


By Monique Thomas

Published December 8, 2021

7 minute read

This just in: the influencer marketing industry is heating up 🔥

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Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

As you plan your upcoming influencer campaigns, it’s helpful to keep an eye on the latest industry and influencer marketing trends. 

How is Instagram supporting creators? Why is everyone working with Micro influencers? Should you invest in vertical video? 

We’ll cover all this and more with our top influencer marketing trends to watch in 2022.

Influencer Marketing Trends to Keep on Your Radar

From Instagram and TikTok dropping new creator features to more transparency about diversity, here are eight trends to keep on your radar: 

  1. Creator-focused Marketplaces

  2. The Rise of Nano & Micro Influencers 

  3. A Shift to Video Content Partnerships

  4. Influencers Turned Business Owners 

  5. Authenticity Over Perfection

  6. A Renewed Focus on Diversity & Inclusion

  7. More Ongoing Partnerships & Collaborations

  8. Conversations About UGC & Crediting

1. Creator-focused Marketplaces

When TikTok launched its Creator Marketplace, it became an easy way for brands and creators to collaborate on campaigns. 

And Instagram wasn’t too far behind. 

Recognizing the need for more creator tools, Instagram stated: “We’re introducing a suite of new tools that help creators and brands connect and collaborate on Instagram through brand partnerships, commerce and more.”

As both platforms release new features and tools within their creator marketplaces, it’ll help streamline how brands and influencers communicate. Which is great news!

With the rapid growth on the platforms themselves, we predict a shift in the influencer marketing agency space. 

Could reliance on agencies decrease if everything from discoverability to collaboration can be done all within one app? 

While that remains to be seen, this is definitely an influencer marketing trend to watch. 

2. The Rise of Nano & Micro Influencers

Nano and Micro influencers have incredibly niche communities brands can tap into, making their product recommendations seem like they’re coming from a friend or trusted confidante.

And while they may not have massive followings, Nano and Micro influencers still have a significant social presence, with up to 100K followers. 

In fact, the Later x Fohr Influencer Marketing Report revealed that the less followers an influencer has on Instagram, the higher their average engagement rate. 

The takeaway? With steady engagement rates and supportive communities, we predict Nano and Micro influencers will continue to shine. 

Over 3.5M Instagram posts were analyzed to discover how an influencer’s follower count impacts their Instagram engagement, reach, and more. Get the FREE report now

3. A Shift to Video Content Partnerships

With the growing popularity of TikTok and Instagram Reels, vertical video is rapidly becoming the must-have format for influencer marketing.

In other words, video content will reign supreme in 2022.

Social media strategist Christina Galbato says she plans on adding more video to her strategy and encourages others to do the same.

She also recommends “focusing on your niche and creating related video content on Instagram Stories and Reels – it’s a great way to engage your community on a deeper level and provide a ton of value.”

TIP: Use the Instagram Collabs feature to partner with an influencer on a Reel or Instagram video.

Schedule your video and photo content in advance with Later – sign up today!

4. Influencers Turned Business Owners 

One trend we’ve noticed more and more in the influencer marketing industry is the creation of full-fledged entrepreneurs.

While being an influencer is its own full-time job, we’re talking about the creators who’ve turned their influence into their own businesses. 

From @coffeebae97 who now sells her own coffee to Elanna McGowan who recently launched a beauty brand, influencers are becoming entrepreneurs too: 

What does this mean for brands? 

It opens up a world of opportunities for partnerships. If you have an upcoming campaign, consider partnering with the influencer's account and their brand account for a giveaway or collaboration.

Being able to leverage their new business – when it makes sense – can be mutally beneficial for you both.

5. Authenticity Over Perfection

Authenticity on social media is one of the most effective ways to build a digital community, and it’s become a growing influencer marketing trend too. 

Creators are shifting away from the perfectly curated feed aesthetic, and choosing to share less filtered and more in-the-moment photos of their lives. 

Take Emily Mariko whose simple videos frequently get millions of views: 

Nichole Ciotti, co-founder of design app, Storyluxe, thinks this trend will continue evolving: “In the beginning, everyone was forced to be super polished. Now, after some time has passed, people are finding their true voices on social.” 

So what does this mean for brands?

Partner with influencers who know how to create ads and sponsored content that don’t look like ads.

In other words: don’t worry so much about finding influencers who have the “perfect” aesthetic.

Instead, focus on the creators who foster real relationships with their community and offer valuable authentic content.

6. A Renewed Focus on Diversity & Inclusion

The increase in social activism in 2020 spotlighted a lack of diversity in the industry.

With many brands called out for tokenism and unfair pay, many creators were vocal about the need for more representation in influencer marketing

As entrepreneur and content creator Sashagai Ruddock shared, “Representation matters because it inspires and can change the way people see themselves, and how they see your brand.”

While we recognize that diversity and inclusion should not be a “trend”, we predict (and hope) they become more of the standard moving forward. 

And it’ll take more than simply working with a range of diverse influencers – your internal company culture matters too. 

As PRZM co-founder, Larry Milstein, says: “It’s not enough to cast diversity and inclusion. It needs to be built into the fabric of the brand.” 

Want to create a more inclusive marketing strategy? Watch our Business of Belonging workshop with strategist Sonia Thompson:

7. More Ongoing Partnerships & Collaborations

This trend has already popped up onto our feed, and we predict it’ll continue in 2022! 

Rather than a one-off post or video, influencers will be looking to partner with brands on a more ongoing basis. 

Take Jeannette Ogden, whose love for skincare brand, Cocokind, is apparent throughout her sponsored content – making the partnership feel more authentic:

They then took it a step further by collaborating on a product together, which generated tons of excitement when it dropped in Target:

Investing in a long-term relationship is a win-win for both parties. Not only does it build trust with the influencer’s community, but it adds a level of legitimacy. Plus, it’ll drive sales! 

8. Conversations About UGC & Crediting

According to Forbes, over 86% of companies use user-generated content (UGC) as part of their marketing strategy.

And for good reason.

UGC is typically seen as more trustworthy than branded advertising, can help build credibility of your product, and is great for building a feed full of beautiful content.

That said, the legality around reposting UGC remains a gray area, and we predict we'll see a shift in the conversation in 2022.

"We've had some creators ask us to credit them within the first two lines of our caption, rather than at the end," says Christine Colling, Later's Social Content Lead.

"It's definitely a growing trend, and speaks to the shifting nature of content creation and the creator space. People want to make sure their work is credited above the fold on Instagram – and in some cases, they want to be compensated too," explains Christine.

We'll keep an eye on whether this trend takes off, but remember to always ask for permission before reposting a photo, tag the creator, and credit them in the caption (whether it's at the beginning or the end).

There’s no doubt we can expect to see new, creative influencer marketing trends in the industry for years to come – watch this space!  

In the meantime, download our FREE influencer marketing campaign kit to map out your goals, source the right influencers, and more.

Stay on top of the biggest social media marketing trends!

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