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GUEST COLUMN: Influencer marketing trends to keep on your radar in 2022

Instagram’s Reels and YouTube Shorts are adapted to cater to a generation of the modern world.

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Mumbai: There is no denying that digital marketing in the modern era is an essential part of brand building and expansion. Not only does digital marketing open doors for brands to connect personally with their customers, but it also enables interactions across countries and cultures. Ad spending in the digital advertising market is projected to reach $565.20 billion in 2022. While digital marketing has several effective techniques that have made it the most influential form of promotion, one particular branch that stands out is influencer marketing. 

Influencer marketing is a form of marketing where brands choose certain ambassadors or people, who are not celebrities in the actual sense but have a high social media following, to promote their products or services. Due to the boom of social media in recent years, this form of marketing has seen a tremendous rise with every brand, little or large, opting for influential people on social media to promote their products and services. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, an online forum that teaches various digital marketing techniques, around 70 per cent of the younger audience worldwide tend to trust influencers while making purchases.

Findings by the research firm MarketsandMarkets reveal that influencer marketing is set to become a $24.1 billion industry by 2024, globally. Seeing this exponential growth it is only fair for brands to know the latest trends in the sector in order to expand their reach and generate higher revenues. 

Rise of nano & micro-influencers

The rise of nano & micro-influencers is a trend that seems to be at an all-time high in recent times. As per the Financial Express, high-end celebrities accounted for only about 27 per cent of the influencer marketing spend while the remaining 73 per cent was spent entirely on micro and nano influencers in India. The primary reason for this is that the engagement that comes with micro-influencers exceeds that of high-end celebrities by about seven times. 

Nano and micro-influencers have a smaller base, generally one that they are familiar with and interact quite frequently with their followers. This makes the customers feel a personal connection with the figure causing building of trust. Through these influencers, brands can execute focused campaigns cost-effectively.

Short-form videos will continue to rule social: 

As attention spans shift from minutes to seconds, short video promotions will always remain the king of social media. Features like Instagram’s Reels and YouTube Shorts are made to cater to the short attention span of the modern world. 

Brands tell their stories via a number of video formats, including product teasers, explainer videos, behind-the-scenes and user-generated content. Connecting with Bharat by partnering with creators on Indian short-form video platforms is a big opportunity that is yet to be tapped on.

Regional content will thrive: 

In recent months, there has been an exponential rise in the regional content that brands generate for promotional purposes. As per a report published by Financial Express, there are about 210 million monetizable internet users who speak vernacular languages in India.

This demand for vernacular content has caused regional content-creators to carve out a strong niche for themselves. Consumers feel a strong connection with the influencer and the familiarity of the lingo gives the influencers a high trust and reliability index. 

The shift from ‘one-off’ campaigns to ‘always on’ strategy

The industry is shifting from experimental influencer marketing spending to planned budgets. Brands are more focused on building long-term partnerships with creators who can be the voice of the brand across all stages of the marketing funnel. 

Rise of B2B influencer marketing

B2B influencer marketing is one dominant trend that will emerge in the influencer marketing sphere in the times that lay ahead. In a recent article carried out by Garner, it was reported that around 80 per cent of sales in the B2B spaces are now being made digitally.

B2B brands are for sure to leverage key opinion leaders and content-creators on platforms such as LinkedIn & Twitter in order to shape and spread their brand narrative.

Given that now, a national advertising regulator like ASCI is issuing guidelines for influencers, the industry is being given its due and influencer marketing is being treated as a force to be reckoned with. Going forward, influencer marketing will only become a stronger part of digital marketing strategies for brands.

The author is Opportune Ventures founder Kanishk Kanakia.

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