The Future of Influencers
The journey ahead for influencers will be an interesting one. It’s a controversial subject as some see influencers as freebie chasing blaggers, others see them as fresh voices with something new and interesting to say. Whichever side you take, it is clear they have transformed modern marketing. We look at 5 key trends for 2022 and beyond which will shape the future of influencers.
Better Brand Transparency
A number of influencers have been publicly named as not declaring paid for content within their feeds. The 22 influencers failed to meet ASA rules and did not clearly show their followers that they were paid to promote certain products. This will be an ongoing conversation into 2022, and influencers must tread carefully to ensure they abide by all rules. This is key to ensure that their followers are not misled, and to keep within the instructions set out by advertising authorities. If they flout these, they may face being called out on Instagram and other social platforms. Further punishments may mean they may have their content deleted entirely.
A growing number of influencers are using their voices to shine a light on charities, supporting mental health and raising awareness about environmental issues. Bloggers, vloggers and social media personalities have huge devoted followings, much larger and more powerful than many charities themselves. This means they are perfectly placed to support worthy causes. For example, Chris Hughes, star of Love Island with 2.1mil followers on Instagram, supported CALM (132K followers) in their recent #dontbottleitup campaign, encouraging men to share their feelings and battle mental health issues.
Additional Apps And Agencies
It’s very likely there will be a growth in tools, platforms and agencies that work within the influencer market. There are already new marketing tools for influencers themselves to use, like BuzzSumo, Upfluence, Buzzstream and NinjaOutreach. Many of these agencies and apps help connect influencers to brands, for example The Tandem Collective, operates within the publishing industry connecting influencers and publishing companies for regular ‘ReadaLongs’. The future of influencers may well bring a greater awareness of the different criteria brands use to choose who to work with. For instance, follower numbers, engagement rate, content type, and cost may all play a part in influencer selection.
Monetisation is a huge topic, and there are oodles of ways influencers can generate an income through their platforms. Many are launching their own brands and businesses, as their products come with a built-in army of fans ready to buy. Emma Chamberlain, a Youtube star with over 11 mil subscribers has launched her own coffee company ‘Chamberlain Coffee’. Many of the skills influencers hone while growing a fanbase are very useful when it comes to running a business. For example they are great at creating content and understand their audience inside and out. From launching your own brand, creating a new business to affiliate marketing, there can only be more opportunities up ahead to generate an income.
As the number of influencers grow, so do the categories. There are 4 types on influencers as divided by size of following, according to InfluencerMarketingHub:
- Nano influencers 1-10K followers
- Micro influencers 10-100K followers
- Macro influencers 100K – 1mil followers
- Mega or celebrity influencers – 1mil+ followers
Alongside this, influencers can be categorised by industry, content, and many more criteria. For instance, there are even virtual influencers existing now as brands are creating their own personas, living only online.
Nano influencers should not feel disheartened by their smaller following size. They are a key group that can provide great value services for brands with smaller budgets. This sector in particular may well be a category to see big growth in 2022. The Tandem Collective for example, always include Instagram influencers with under 1K followers within their campaigns.
What are the key platforms?
Where do influencers connect and share their content, and where can we expect to see these new trends blossom? Firstly, there are the traditional social media giants, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. There are also newer platforms are worth keeping tabs on, TikTok, Twitch in particular are popular with gaming influencers.
Influencers have a mixed reputation but there are certainly some exciting developments growing across the industry for the future of influencers. Whether they are living a life of freebies and selfies, or using their voices for good it will be interesting to watch 2022 unfold. The influencer world will allow us to hear some voices that we might not otherwise have come across, and with more scope for monetisation, and potentially more legal pitfalls, it will be an exciting roller coaster ride ahead.
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