Influencer marketing has been growing massively over the past years as more and more brands are putting a lot of effort and budget into this form of marketing.
As a creator, there are some essential things you should really understand about influencer marketing to be able to spot the top trends and leverage them for your business.
But before that, let’s start with the basics.
What is influencer marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of social media marketing based on recommendations and endorsements from content creators and influencers.
The brand will agree on a fee to pay the creator in exchange for different pieces of content and other deliverables.
In return, brands expect to maximize their brand awareness to reach new audiences and increase sales of their products.
Why content creators and influencers are more important than ever?
After 2020, brands realized the importance of having a strong social presence. And this doesn’t mean just activating their social channels.
As traditional marketing methods were not compatible with their audiences being locked up at home, brands started to turn out to content creators and influencers who are experts at creating creative content for their audiences.
Influencer marketing increased by 46% in 2020 and it is on track to become a $15 billion dollar industry by 2022. Furthermore, 63% of marketers have stated that they intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year.
So yes, the influencer and creator’s industry seems to have a bright future and as a creator, knowing where this industry is heading is essential if you want to succeed in a very competitive landscape.
Top Influencer Marketing Trends Creators Should Know About:
1. The shift of terminology from influencer to creator.
While the influencer marketing industry is growing fast, the term “influencer” has seen a shift over the last few years.
The term was initially used to describe anyone with a following on social media. Today, the word is more associated with monetization through sponsorships and other brand deals.
There is a global movement where many influencers are now starting to prefer being called content creators, or simply creators.
Furthermore, those that self-identify as creators tend to put more value on their creative worth and the quality of their content.
Content creators are more than just Instagrammers with a following, they are photographers, videographers, bloggers, creative directors, coaches, etc
And they want to be recognized more for the value they provide to their audiences and the quality of the content they create versus the number of followers.
2. Video content is king (and it will continue to be)
With the growing popularity of TikTok and the rapid adoption of reels, the video will continue to rise as a trend in the influencer marketing industry.
As a creator, you should already be producing more video content than ever for brands and for yourself.
Try to document as much as possible the things you do, how you work, the places you visit, etc As long as it is relevant to your niche. You can then use this for stories, reels, IGTVs, etc
3. Micro and Nano-Influencers will continue to rise
According to a Fohr report, micro-influencers (those with an audience smaller than 100k) have the highest engagement rates, averaging 7% on their feed posts.
In fact, influencers or creators with audiences smaller than 25k have the highest engagement rates regardless of their niche, audience, and topics.
We all know that engagement rates have taken a massive decline on Instagram, so brands are seeing huge value in partnering with creators who have a small or micro, but very engaged following.
By focusing on nano and micro-influencers, brands will be able to stretch their influencer marketing budgets, while still working with influencers that are deeply connected to their audiences.
So for influencers and creators, this is a massive opportunity. Especially a great reminder of not focus just on the follower count but on how connected you are to your audience.
4. Content that adds value and creates connections
After 2020, audiences on social media started to crave more real and authentic content versus the typical perfectly curated influencer feed.
Influencers and brands saw this and started to get more “real” with their followers.
Today, the trend continues to grow, pushing creators towards creating deeper connections and real relationships with their audiences.
This means that the content you create should really be serving your audience, and not you. Authenticity is essential to stand out and to create those bonds with people that will resonate with you.
When working with brands and delivering content for them, try to think outside of the box. Instead of doing the typical sponsored post, what about doing a live Q&A about the product or service you’re promoting, a reel that shows you using it, etc
5. Long-form captions are on the rise
This trend goes in hand with the previous one about content that adds value and creates connections.
Creators and influencers that want to develop stronger connections with their followers have realized that using long-form captions allows them to do this.
In fact, Instagram is turning into some sort of micro-blogging. Creators who write long captions that are reflective, motivational, inspirational, and form part of a narrative, have it much easier when it comes to positioning their image.
Longer captions also mean more engagement with your audience. They can be used for direct interaction with followers, whether it is through asking a question or a CTA which prompts engagement.
In terms of influencer marketing, the personal nature of long-form captions adds credibility to the influencer or creator. This is highly beneficial for marketers, as they will be able to position their brand very convincingly through these posts.
Brands and marketers will definitely be more enticed to form relationships with those creators who can form genuine bonds with their followers.
6. Ongoing Partnerships will take over one-offs.
It is no secret that it takes more than one post to really convince an audience to do something and brands have started to realize this.
Even creators with the most engaged audiences need to be consistent with their messaging using different formats like reels, IGTV, or stories to really persuade their audience to take an action.
So when it comes to influencer marketing, a single sponsored post might not bring the desired results for the brand.
As a creator, you should be creating custom packages when negotiating with brands to offer more than just a single post. Remember that the more you can do for them, the more value they will see in your collaboration.
You could offer anything from blog posts to social media optimization, IGTV series, or even creating Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns.
7. Staying on top of new social media platforms and trends will be crucial
In 2022 TikTok had a stellar year mostly as a result of most of the population being locked up in their homes and with a lot of free time in their hands.
Many influencers and creators started to capitalize on this growing trend and started to grow huge audiences.
Another perfect example is the case of the invite-only, audio-based social app Clubhouse. A lot of influencers have grown their Instagram following by thousands only by participating in Clubhouse rooms and sharing their knowledge and expertise with others.
What’s next for Influencers and creators?
With the industry growing faster than ever and the competitive landscape getting stronger with new talented creators rising every day, it is all down to the capabilities of content creators to take on the role of business owners.
Content creators that want to succeed need to step up and learn not only about social media marketing but sales, branding, entrepreneurship, and anything that will help them become confident enough to run their own businesses.
Do you want to build a business as a creator or influencer but don't know where to get started? Join my Side-Hustler to Full Time creator course where I will teach you how to navigate the online world and start making a profit from your passion!