2 Types of Influencers Your Brand Should Be Working With in 2022

Email marketing first became popular in the 1990s. For brands who are taking advantage of this medium in 2022, it’s safe to say a lot has changed since then. This type of marketing has evolved as platforms, audiences, and global market conditions have, and the same goes for all other mediums. Influencer marketing on social media has only been around since 2013 or so, but it’s changed significantly since then, too.

As we begin a new year, there are a few developments in the influencer market that online merchants should be aware of. Whether you’re an influencer marketing expert or just starting out in this arena, plan to pay special attention to two new influencer marketing trends in particular. Before we dig into what they are, let’s take a quick look at why influencer marketing is so effective for online brands right now.

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Why is influencer marketing so powerful?

The modern consumer has been exposed to advertising essentially every day since they were born. They’re savvy and experienced, which means their standards for what type of advertising will impact them are higher than ever. That’s why the name of the game in this day and age is authenticity. Consumers—especially the younger generations—don’t want corporations to tell them about how great their products are. They’ll take a lot more stock in the information if it’s coming from someone they can trust and relate to—in other words, they respond best to advertising that feels more authentic.

That’s why influencer marketing is so powerful. Even though influencers have to disclose when they’re advertising, the widely accepted notion that they only partner with brands they truly like and believe in means their word is gold to their followers. As a result, influencer marketing can help you get your products out there in a way that feels more transparent, authentic, and trustworthy than traditional marketing. If you’re still not convinced, just look at the stats:

  • 61% of consumers in a survey said they’re likely to trust recommendations from a friend, family member, or influencer on social media, but only 38% said they’re likely to trust recommendations from a brand on social media. Who your message comes from is important.
  • 60% of millennials said they’re more likely to take advice from an influencer rather than a traditional media celebrity.
  • 87% of consumers in a survey say they’ve purchased a product they saw an influencer promoting.

Influencer marketing shows prospects that your brand is trusted by people who they trust, and that’s a powerful thing. In fact, 80% of US consumers say they’d continue to patronize a brand they trust even if other brands become more trendy or popular. To put it another way: Authenticity builds trust, and trust translates to sales for your online store. An investment in a quality influencer marketing strategy is an investment in all three of these, which clearly correlate to the success of your ecommerce brand.

 

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Two types of influencers you should work with in 2022

Now, let’s talk about your influencer marketing strategy for the year ahead. Your first priority when choosing influencers you want to work with should be relevance. Does their following have significant overlap with your target audience? Do their voice and perspective align with your brand’s values and positioning?

But beyond those basic criteria, it’s important to pay attention to influencer marketing trends when selecting who you want to work with. Because this industry takes place entirely on ever-changing social media platforms, it tends to evolve quickly. Here are two 2022 influencer marketing trends your brand should be aware of and capitalize on for best results with this advertising method.

#1. Microinfluencers

2022 is predicted to be the year of the micro-influencer. First things first: What is a micro-influencer? Simply put, it’s an influencer who has enough followers to make an impact, but isn’t as well-known as accounts with a million or more followers. Micro-influencers usually have 100,000 or fewer followers. Why are they becoming increasingly popular for brands to work with? Two key reasons:

  • Expertise. Influencers with millions of followers are widely popular with many different types of people. Micro-influencers, on the other hand, tend to be popular with a more specific niche. Let’s say you sell protein powder. Consider the difference between an international fashion model with 2 million followers promoting your product, and a nutritionist and fitness guru of 80,000 followers promoting your product.
    The model certainly exercises and many of her fans may be interested in fitness, but there’s likely not enough of an overlap there to be worth your while. The nutritionist’s audience is more likely to be engaged and care about products in your niche, and more likely to trust the word of a nutritionist than a fashion model when it comes to this type of product.
  • Diversification. Partnering with influencers who have over a million followers is going to be expensive for your brand. Micro-influencers, of course, charge less, which means you can invest in a few instead of spending your entire budget on one campaign. This approach means less risk for you, and has the potential for better results even if some of the campaigns don’t do as well.

micro influencer examples

At 17k followers and a clear niche—working millennial mother—@millennialmommyboss is an example of a micro-influencer.

How do you find micro influencers? One of the easiest ways is to use an influencer search engine such as Upfluence or BuzzSumo—just two of many out there. Tools like these provide databases of influencers by niche, size, and other metrics, along with analytics about their performance across multiple platforms.

#2. TikTok influencers

Did you know that the most-downloaded app in both the US and the world in 2021 was TikTok? It shouldn’t be surprising that the popularity of TikTok influencer marketing has skyrocketed accordingly. While Instagram is still the most popular app for influencers, TikTok has recently crept up into the second-place spot. Why should you consider expanding your influencer marketing strategy to this platform? Here are three compelling reasons:

  • Demographics. 69% of TikTok users are between 16 and 24 years old. If you’re looking to access the Gen-Z demographic, there’s no better social media platform right now.
  • Time spent on the app. The average TikTok user spends 858 minutes on the app each month, on average. Instagram users spend about 840 minutes each month, which means TikTok users are already more invested in the video-sharing app. More time spent there means more opportunities to be exposed to and learn about your products.
  • Influencer engagement and effectiveness. Whether it’s because of the young age of TikTok’s key demographic or because of the engaging nature of the content there, influencer marketing is incredibly effective on this app. In one survey, 67.9% of respondents said they’d purchased a product after seeing it in a TikTok. The same study found that 87.1% of influencers say they see higher engagement rates on TikTok than on any other platform.

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This TikTok micro-influencer, @ashlee.png, regularly collaborates with relevant fashion brands to promote their products.

As long as TikTok’s key demographic matches your target audience, you should absolutely include this platform in your influencer marketing strategy this year. Wondering how to get influencers to promote your product there? It all starts with sourcing the right ones. You can search by hashtags or keywords on TikTok itself, Google “TikTok influencers [your niche],” or use one of the influencer search engines we mentioned above. Again, make sure the ones you find are a good match for your brand, and don’t forget to consider micro-influencers! Finally, give the influencers you partner with creative freedom to promote your products in a natural way. No one knows their audience better than they do, so it only makes sense to trust them to advertise authentically.

Focus on these two influencer marketing trends for success in 2022

In the digital age, conditions and trends can change seemingly overnight. That’s why the best marketing strategies are flexible, adaptable, and constantly adjusted. To give your brand a head start on influencer marketing in 2022, plan for the two trends we’ve covered here. As long as you select relevant influencers who can help build consumer trust in your brand through authenticity, you’re likely to enjoy impressive results in the coming year.

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