Influencers are leading culture and are the driving factor behind some of the biggest new business success stories of the last few years – Gymshark, Fenty Beauty, Little Moons – and they are affecting real change for established brands, too.

They’re able to do this through a native understanding of the platforms that now lead culture, their speed in execution, and their understanding that no one consumer is the same. With the increase in use of social media during covid lockdowns, this has become even more apparent.

As we move into 2022, brands should be thinking about how to get the most out of influencer marketing and what role they have in the marketing mix. 

Billion Dollar Boy outlines the key trends expected to dominate the industry in 2022.

1. Integration Will Accelerate – Thomas Walters, CEO UK & Founder

From the onboarding of influencers as Creative Directors to influencer committees and focus groups predicting the talkability of products before they make it to production, to the integration of influencers and their content into the overarching creative and media plan, integration is happening.

2. Social Commerce Advances – Permele Doyle, Founder & President

As the platforms like Instagram and TikTok continue to advance their social selling capabilities we will see brands turn to influencer and social content as true conversion tools, going a step further than brand awareness.  

3. The Rise of Celeb x Nano Partnerships – Alex Williamson, Creative Director, UK

We’ll see more partnerships between celebrity talent and nano talent. Celebs will look to nano talent partners to keep them relevant. Nano talent will be seen by broader audiences in return.

4. Return of Ambassadors – Piet Southey, Head of New Business, UK

As influencer programmes become more strategic, the role of the ambassadors will return. For brands; the economies of scale, advocacy and a steady stream of content. For influencers; authenticity, partnership building and trust with their audience.

5. The Role of Responsible Influencer – Aleksandra Pawlowska, Strategy Director, UK

Talent will be expected to be more conscious, ethical and aware of how their content fits into the culture and social landscape.

6. Sustainability Reigns – Brigitte Swimer, Senior Data Analyst

This was already a huge focus last year, but in 2022  this will continue to grow – brands will need to be very transparent about how they plan to make their products and processes more sustainable. Campaigns will centre around knowledge sharing so the consumer can make informed decisions. 

7. Influencers as Brand Owners – Thomas Walters

More and more influencers will take the plunge into the owned brand arena.

8. Brands Pursuing Entertainment – Thomas Walters

More brands will pursue the transformation of their social into entertainment destinations.

9. Increase in Cross-Platform Campaigns – Omkar Shinde, US Data Analyst

Clients will try to build their presence on multiple platforms. Rather than recycling the same content on all platforms, it will be important to grab the audience’s attention depending on what platform it is.

10. Brand Owned by the Customer – Aleksandra Pawlowska

We will see brands coming up with innovative ideas to invite customers to be a part of the brand.

11. 360 Approach Leads the Way – Ed East

More brands will begin to use influencers’ content across all types of media – not just social media.

12. De-Fi Influencer Boom – Tom Bannister – Creative Director, US

There will be a third crypto-currency boom that powers the de-fi influencer community, driving adoption of apps like Telegram, Square, Coinbase, and launching a new wave of coin-based start-ups with help from finance Influencers.

What trends do you predict in 2022? 

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