Consumer behaviour is changing at a fast pace. And marketers need to be empowered with the necessary knowledge to help them achieve business objectives.
If you are a marketing professional, you must register for the social media management course to gain the necessary knowledge and skill sets in social media and influencer marketing. Learn how brands use social media for outreach, customer engagement, brand marketing and influencing customer choice. Get familiar with the nuances of social media as a marketing tool and be industry-ready.
What is influencer marketing?
If you are wondering what this buzzword is about, read on. Influencer marketing is a form of hybrid marketing that leverages celebrity endorsements to power content-driven marketing.
The concept of influencer marketing involves the collaboration of a brand with an online influencer
- to market its product or service,
- to improve brand recognition. And/or
- to put out an observation or endorsement to manipulate or control the perception of their subscribers/followers.
Although today influencer marketing is mostly digital and online, it also involves offline endorsements from celebrities through advertisements and sponsorships.
According to GroupM INCA’s India Influencer Marketing Report, the Indian influencer marketing industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 25% by 2025 to reach a size of Rs 2,200 crores.
Who is a social media influencer?
Influencers are those who have the power to sway the purchasing decisions of others because of their position, knowledge or large fan following with whom they engage. These influencers have consciously built a keen and enthusiastic audience who care about their opinions.
What makes them influential? It is their large fan base. A social media influencer is a celebrity like a Bollywood star, a subject expert like a nutritionist, or an ordinary person who has built a large following because of the content, image or video he/she publishes.
A social media influencer can be a food blogger on YouTube, a fashion consultant on Instagram, a cybersecurity specialist on LinkedIn or a political commentator on Twitter. The idea is that they are influential people recognised in their respective fields of expertise or just ordinary people who publish engaging posts or entertaining videos with a substantial follower base.
Social Media Influencer Trends in 2022
Influencer marketing is already big and only getting bigger. While traditionally, social media presence was a mere extension of its online presence with automated random posts, it is now being used as a tool for marketing and promotion. And leading from the frontiers of this change are social media influencers.
The use of social media is transforming rapidly, with newer technology and advertising methods taking shape.
Here are some of the social media influencer trends in 2022:
Influencer marketing will soar.
Social media will become the most popular channel for influencer marketing. And social media influencers will get paid exorbitant amounts to promote brands and influence thought processes.
With social engineering becoming the next big thing on the social media landscape, manufacturers and service providers are using social media in a big way to manipulate people into divulging information and, in turn, gaining access to data for targeted and behavioral marketing. Think tanks and political parties are also using social media for exploiting human emotions and influence people. Social media influencers are paid to toe their line and convey the messaging to influence the followers.
Micro and Nano influencers will prevail.
A micro-influencer focuses on a niche or speciality area like teenage fashion, with typically 1,000 to 100,000 followers. They are generally considered an industry expert or topic specialist and believed to have stronger relationships with their follower base than a regular influencer. Nano influencers are those with just a few thousand followers, yet considered to have the highest engagement rates of more than 7%. Micro and Nano influencers will join the top layer in the social influencer bandwagon and be in much demand for influencer marketing.
Brands will look for partnerships.
Throughout 2022, we can expect brands to form partnerships with social media influencers for the long-term rather than promote one-off sponsored posts. The reasons are many, chief among them being that it takes time to convert single promoted posts to desired goals. It also gives legitimacy to the sponsored posts with influencers committed to a series of posts over some time, strengthening the chances of influencing followers with continued engagement on a topic.
Influencers will become specialized.
Social media influencers are already creating a niche for themselves. The success in specialised engagement will make them even more sought after by brands that look to partner with specialized content creators and influencers.
Video content influencers will increase in popularity.
Video content is increasingly becoming popular and the reason is people just love video. With in-stream video ads, video creators are monetizing their content making it easier for brands to reach audiences engaging with such video.
New social media platforms and influencer content types emerge.
Post-pandemic, several new social media platforms have come up to engage people. From Clubhouse to Twitter Spaces, various new content types are emerging, creating many new social media influencers. Existing platforms like TikTok and Instagram’s Reels will gain a stronger foothold, as social media influencers continue to innovate.
Social commerce will continue to expand.
A brand’s ability to use social media to sell products or services directly will become the norm. According to eMarketer, the social commerce industry will be worth $80 billion by 2025. From shopping posts to Instagram Storefronts, social media platforms are emerging as retail platforms leveraged by marketers for social commerce and this trend is expected to grow.
Paid advertising will become a preferred mode.
At the same time, paid advertising will become a necessity as more and more social media influencers are roped in as part of influencer marketing campaigns.
Augmented reality will become more mainstream.
Social media is adopting technologies like augmented reality. Users ask for better and more immersive experiences, and these technologies are part of those experiences.
Augmented reality filters are used on major social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram to enhance the visual content shared and ‘liked.’
Augmented reality augments user engagement by adding digital elements to transform the way things appear at an instance. Use cases in social media are photo filters that provide enhanced shopping experiences to customers. For instance, users and potential customers can try out real estate and makeup products beforehand.
Instagram and TikTok will continue to be used to target millennials.
Some social media channels like Instagram and TikTok are expected to be popular for reaching out to targeted user segments like millennials, who hang out and engage maximum on these channels. Social media influencers on these channels will be much sought after by brands whose focus is the millennial generation. For example, fast food brands, takeaway services, and food delivery apps.
Social media is all set to storm the marketing arena, and social media influencers are on the front seat of the revolution. Influencer marketing has emerged as one of the most significant channels in marketing and advertising. As an M.B.A. student or marketing practitioner, you must take time to learn more about influencer marketing and be ahead in your job. And the learning curve includes knowing all about social media platforms and the role of social media influencers in achieving business goals.