From influencer-to-influencer collabs and fan communities to next-gen commerce in influencer marketing and the use of data, here's a look at various trends for influencers and creators, marketers and brands and influencer marketing platforms for Asia in 2022
Written by Purwa Jain, Managing Director, Product Growth, AnyMind Group
2020’s industry predictions did not account for a pandemic that would change the way we work and live. Many of 2021’s predictions had the hope of life getting back to some form of normalcy during the year. In 2022, what we did not foresee two years ago has become accepted as the norm today. One thing is certain though: we have become a lot more resilient as an industry, as part of an ecosystem, and as individuals.
As all of us get our gears moving for another year, I’ve identified several trends for influencers, marketers, and influencer marketing platforms and technology that will make a lasting impact on 2022 for the Asia region. Let’s dive right in!
Influencer and content creator trends for 2022
Influencers get smart about platforms and content
When influencer marketing was still in its infancy, there was a tendency for influencers to focus on creating content for one social media platform and using other platforms as extensions. However, we have seen a drastic rise in influencers creating unique content for a variety of platforms, and this will continue in the coming year. One of the reasons for this is that brands and marketers are now preferring to work with creators that have reach across multiple platforms, so that they can build their own private marketplace of creators, enabling more streamlined and smoother negotiations for campaigns.
2022 will also be the year influencer content goes audiovisual (sight, sound, and motion). Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, TikTok’s short-form videos and more will see significant growth, supported by improving infrastructure in countries: 5G, data plans getting cheaper and phone cameras getting better. With this, we might even see a downward trend for pure image content produced.
Social media platforms look at more means to attract content creators
In recent years, we’ve seen companies and social media platforms such as Meta, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube launch creator funds to attract, onboard, train, and create content on these platforms, which also ultimately opens up opportunities for content creators to collaborate with brands for sponsorships.
In the coming year, this will continue to grow as these platforms look to provide the perfect environment for content creators to thrive. From new creator tools to programs around educating creators, these initiatives will undoubtedly lead to a healthier ecosystem where influencers and content creators can learn and grow, make a living out of creating content and explore new ways of expanding their influence, and brands can reap the benefits of collaborating with well-versed content creators.
Collaborations and going D2C
Collaboration is a good segue into my next point. In the coming year, we will see collaboration amongst influencers increase more and more. One of the areas to highlight is collaboration between influencers within the nano- and micro-influencer segments to create content. This is common already especially amongst the mega-influencer segment, where guest appearances, content co-creation, collaborating on products, and more.
At the same time, we will also see more influencers launching their own brands. I liken this to a successful professional launching their own startup. Influencers already have a track record amongst followers for their niche, which helps them in establishing credibility in their brand and products. For example, we helped fishing content creator Tsuriyokadesyou to create and launch their own D2C outdoor brand with products created for anglers, and top yoga content creator B-Life to launch their own yoga and fitness wear, amongst many others.
The rise of fan communities
Being a content creator and having a high follower count might be not enough in the coming years. Instead, we’re seeing content creators looking to create communities rather than just increasing follower numbers. With that, content creators should also definitely start looking for tools that can provide more insights into their followers and fans and get insights on how they can engage with followers better to grow the community.
2022 trends for marketers
Influencer marketing goes deeper into the marketing mix
Brands that use influencer marketing as a silo-ed tactic often see limited results, but the magic happens when influencer marketing is integrated with the rest of a brand’s marketing mix. Let me give you two examples.
Running a video advertising campaign (be it on TV or online) can also include influencer marketing as an extension of the story told in the video advertising campaign. For example, the ad campaign delivers a key message of female empowerment, and female influencers can be leveraged to share their stories and experiences of feeling empowered.
Another example is that of affiliate marketing. With e-commerce thriving in Asia, influencer marketing will also need to be more attributable to business results. How influencer marketing can come into play here is in forming a “circle of influence” on a consumer to impact purchase decisions, which means that audience targeting for influencer marketing will also need to be a key capability of an influencer marketing platform used by marketers.
The rise of PMPs for influencer marketing
I touched on this in my influencer and content creator trends for 2022, but will elaborate further here: private marketplaces (PMPs) in influencer marketing will become more popular than ever. Let’s draw parallels between programmatic advertising – open auction is similar to when a brand does an open call for influencers to join a campaign, programmatic guaranteed is similar to when a brand works one-on-one with an influencer.
For the equivalent of private auctions or PMPs in influencer marketing, marketers get more efficiency and control, brand safety, better access to historical data of influencer marketing campaigns done for the brand, and greater transparency. PMPs for influencer marketing will undoubtedly increase in usage not just for building strong influencer-brand relationships and a long-term strategy, but also in addressing issues related to brand safety and transparency in influencer marketing.
The rise of next-gen commerce in influencer marketing
Two of the big areas in commerce that will have a fundamental impact on influencer marketing in the Asia region in 2022 will be social commerce and live-shopping.
With social commerce, new brand collaboration opportunities will open up. This includes shoppable videos and shoppable posts which create a seamless user experience between influencer-generated content and brand channels.
With live-shopping nothing new in this region, one of the areas we’ll see really take off in 2022 is in the fashion industry. There are definitely various opportunities for fashion brands, from immediate purchase access during live product launches, to real-time interactions with a brand, and more. One example of this in action is a Japanese live-streamer launching her own brand and products, which sold out within 15 minutes of the start of sales.
Influencer marketing platform and technology trends in 2022
Machine learning goes deeper In the year ahead, expect more capabilities built for influencer marketing in the machine learning space, especially when it comes to understanding newer forms of influencer-generated content, such as videos. With the inevitable rise in short-form and long-form videos created for and on social media platforms as shared above, better metrics and analyses of videos will also need to improve to provide marketers with a better grasp of this trend.
Additionally, we’ll see a rise in technology around information relevance. For example, in understanding comments on a post that are relevant to the content. From better accuracy around post sentiment to an influencer’s relevance to a brand, we’ll see further innovations in the realm of relevancy.
The rise of data-driven planning
One of the keys to success in influencer marketing lies in the planning process. Influencer marketing platforms that are able to marry data-driven decision making with an influencer’s strength, at scale, would definitely win in this aspect. One example of this in action is when creating a campaign plan for a brand, the platform would be able to say that an image post from influencer A would be able to create a better impact compared to a 10-second video from influencer B.
An underserved aspect from influencer marketing platforms is in utilizing recommendation engines that are powered by machine learning, and will become a key differentiator moving forward. One example of this is AnyTag’s lookalike modelling of influencers, which is then able to provide marketers with similar influencers. How this comes into play is when an influencer performs well for a campaign or for a brand, the marketer is able to get recommendations on influencers who are similar to this high-performing influencer.
Influencer marketing tech becomes more open
Currently a majority of influencer marketing platforms serve major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. In 2022, expect even more integrations particularly in Asia. With new hyperlocal and niche social media platforms launching in or for specific markets, influencer marketing platforms also need to keep up with this influx or risk alienating niche influencers, audiences, and opportunities.
From the likes of LINE, NAVER and SNOW to platforms such as Clubhouse, Pinterest, Goodreads and even WordPress, influencer marketing platforms and brands have only just scratched the surface of the full potential influencer marketing can have.
Summing it all up
In recent years, we have seen the influencer marketing ecosystem and creator economy blossom, and the year ahead will see further maturation in these spaces, particularly in expansion and extension of capabilities, and new opportunities for all parts of the ecosystem.
Those who fail to keep up will lose out in the long run.
Purwa Jain Managing Director, Product Growth, AnyMind Group
Purwa Jain is Managing Director of Product Growth for AnyMind Group. She works across various products in the company, especially for products in the influencer marketing, mobile marketing, and direct-to-consumer spaces.