Every year, Klear reviews #ad content across the top social networks to identify trends in influencer marketing as part of its annual State of Marketing Report. This year, the firm found a jump in sponsored collaborations and growing reliance on influencers as digital took center stage in consumers’ lives. In addition, the report shares four 2022 influencer marketing trends brands need to know.
First up, Klear’s data shows that after a slight decrease in sponsored content in 2020, this year #ad content increased 26.7 percent compared to last year. In 2021, influencers shared over 3.7 million sponsored posts; in 2020 they shared a little over 3 million.
Aligning with the overall trend of stories usage in 2021, the research also found a 33 percent increase in sponsored stories. In 2021, influencers created an average of 16 sponsored stories a week, four more than they did in 2020.
Micro-influencers dominated sponsored collaborations. According to Klear, 91 percent of all sponsored post engagements were with content created by micro-influencers this year as marketers valued their small but focused audience which makes for high engagements.
Using its AI pricing technology, Klear estimates these are the given rates of a US-based micro-influencer focusing on food content with about 9,000 Instagram followers and 684 engagements per post: $354 per post, $555 per video and $179 per story.
Micro-influencers dominated sponsored TikTok collaborations, too, with 55 percent of ads on TikTok posted by influencers with an audience size ranging from 50,000 to 500,000. When analyzing influencers with #ad content on the platform, Klear found that influencers had a lower following count, suggesting brands are still getting a hang of TikTok. For example, 23 percent of all sponsored posts on TikTok came from profiles of creators with 1 to 10,000 followers.
Upon reviewing more than 1,800 campaigns on social media, Klear found that 94 percent were on Instagram, followed by 43 percent on Facebook, 13 percent on TikTok and 10 percent on YouTube.
Fifty-three percent of campaigns also involved Instagram Stories, with 42 percent of campaigns leveraging 1-4 feed posts and 20 percent of all campaigns leveraging 1-4 stories.
Klear identified the top advertised industries in influencer marketing this year. Beauty topped the list, followed by food, fashion and travel.
One influencer marketing trend Klear anticipates brands will capitalize on in 2022 is enhancing their relationship with influencers and establishing ambassador programs. Doing so can help a brand build meaningful relationships with existing clients, reach untapped markets and amass user-generated content that can be repurposed.
Marketers should also keep in mind the emergence of financial influencers on TikTok sharing advice. Klear shows this market has experienced some serious engagement, with the hashtag #stocktok generating 1.8 billion views on the platform.
Another influencer marketing trend Klear anticipates is progressive social discourse. Consider, for example, marketing outside the gender binary to align with younger consumers’ value of gender expression as a personal choice. A brand winning at this form of marketing is Telfar, a unisex line founded in 2005 with the slogan: “It’s not for you—it’s for everyone.”
Unisex marketing will require brands to incorporate gender-inclusive imagery, use relevant pronouns and understand that the connection with a product isn’t gender-specific (for example, packaging women’s deodorant in a pink bottle).
Lastly, brands should identify industry thought leaders when selecting an influencer for their campaign. Some factors to consider include: true reach score, audience demographics, network interests, relevant #hashtags and other thought leaders in the network.