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Expert Predictions on What 2022 Holds for Influencer Marketing

by | Jan 11, 2022 | Best Practice, , ,

2021 was a busy year for the B2B influencer marketing & social media marketing space, with lots of new updates and features from the social media giants. There were lots of company acquisitions, not to mention the boom of social audio platforms such as Clubhouse.

We reached out to the top experts in the influencer marketing space to learn what they think 2022 has in store for influencer marketing!

Shift to long-term partnerships

“We’re going to see a shift from tactical to long-term. We’re going to see influencers working with less brands on longer term projects. It’s going to be the year of the creator. They’re going to be connecting more into the strategies of these organizations to bring content to life, to their channels in a deeply authentic way.” Danielle Guzman, Global Head of Social Media, Mercer

“In 2022, we’ll begin to see B2B companies understand that they cannot work with influencers in a functional one way direction, they need to develop long-term relationships with influencers that are give and take. They may want to co-create content with those influencers, whether it’s a guest blog post, podcast or video interviews, so that when they do have a campaign they want to work with influencers on, it’s not just a functional one way relationship, instead it’s a long-term developed relationship.” Justin Levy, Director, Social & Influencer Marketing, Demandbase

“You’re going to see more, longer-term partnerships where an influencer is locked in to a brand over the course of a year or multiple years. I also see some B2B influencers becoming full-time creative directors and marketing directors, content marketing directors and managers within B2B companies, because a lot of B2B companies are struggling to produce their own real, engaging content.” Jason Falls, Senior Influence Strategist, Cornett

“When influencers are brand advocates, content co-creators and ecosystem allies, qualified leads will follow. So, sponsors that commit to long-term relationships will build a sustainable advantage.” Kathleen Kruse, President, Kruse Consulting

Focus on collaboration

“We’ve all seen content marketing become more collaborative over the years, but in 2022 including collaborators and influencers in your content isn’t going to be a nice-to-have, it’s going to become table stakes. If you don’t have a collaborative format with influencers and other points of view included, you’re going to be at a disadvantage.” Andy Crestodina, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Orbit Media Studios

“In 2022, we’re finally going to see that shift from those one-off efforts to more collaborative approaches and have influencer marketing fully shift to that influencer relations mentality.” Ian Gertler, Industry Thought Leader, Advisor, Founder & CMO, Symplegades

Social media savvy senior execs

“Senior execs are realising they can’t just be present on social, they need to have an opinion, they need to be saying something meaningful and building their own following. In 2022 we’re expecting this trend to continue, for senior execs to be integrated into more influencer programs and to become thought advocates for their brands.” Luke Brynley-Jones, MD & B2B Social Strategist, OST

“I predict that B2B leaders will see the value that contributing to and engaging in online conversations has, making it integral to their roles. They will rely less on communications teams or paying outside influencers, and instead do the work themselves of building and amplifying their influence. This more authentic social capital means better leadership platforms that are much more powerful and effective, and their organizations will hugely benefit.” Andrea Learned, Global Climate Influence Advisor, Learned On

Influencers will be used to drive sales

“The biggest difference we’re going to see in 2022 is moving from using influencers to create content, to using influencers to drive sales. Influencers can be integrated within sales calls, within sales meetings, within sales conferences in such a way that we’re going to be bringing value to the overall engagement process at a time when sales are in a balance.” Jim Marous, Owner & Host, Banking Transformed Podcast

Influencer & brand value alignment

“Shared values such as diversity and representation create trusted relationships. Much like consumers care greatly about the brands they choose standing for something, influencers likewise will be looking for aligned values from the brands they partner with on programming in 2022.” Stacy Miros, Senior Marketing Communications Manager, Microsoft

“Value alignment will still be a key driver for partnerships going forward. It is crucial that we collaborate with brands and employee advocates who share similar values and visions that we do. That makes the messaging that much stronger and more authentic.” Theodora Lau, Founder, Unconventional Ventures

Marketing leaders will become more selective

“The marketing executives will be more selective in collaborating with influencers. They will realize that they’ll get a bigger return by working with influencers who are subject matter experts, who are more engaging and creating more authentic and innovative content.” Helen Yu, Founder & CEO, Tigon Advisory Corp

“In 2020 I coined the phrase competence is the new influence. That trend will continue in 2022 where large brands prefer competence as influence for their message.” Dr ir. Johannes Drooghaag, CEO, Spearhead Management

Credibility and trust are paramount

“B2B brands need to think about three focuses for the year: creating deep, meaningful, buyer focused content; developing strong influencer and creator relationships, for really genuinely valuable content; building the brand not through a big splash but through a nudge/nurture approach.” Katy Howell, CEO, immediate future

Focus on telling stories

“I tell brand stories and really shape such stories in a way that everybody can understand their message, despite how technical it might be or not, it’s about capturing that audience and making them believe. I think that similar adoption will happen with B2B influencers, where businesses will no longer sell as such but tell each other’s stories for their audience to buy into their products and services.” Dr Dean Anthony Gratton, Technology Influencer, Analyst & Futurist, The Influencers

“There are 3 key trends that I see within the sector. One is diverting more content creation budget into employee-generated-content and external influencer-generated-content. This is going to allow your brand to tell stories in a much more inspiring way to influence your target audience.” Tim Williams, CEO, Onalytica

Personalization of brand messaging

“One of the things I see happening in 2022 is the greater personalization of brand messaging. By this I mean using technology, such as augmented reality and meta worlds, to tell a brand’s story and to allow brands to plant themselves into alternative worlds and experiences for end-users, customers and clients.” Dr Sarah-Jayne Gratton, Technology Influencer, Analyst & Futurist, The Influencers

The ways in which we refer to influencers will change

“The taxonomy will change from describing people as ambiguous influencers into event speakers, YouTubers, podcasters and independent analysts. Those terms are going to be much more mainstream as senior management and influencer marketers have to get to grips with how important influencers are as part of their marketing journey.” Tim Williams, CEO, Onalytica

Influencers will be held accountable for business results

“What gets measured, gets done. The influencers that you bring into the organization, how do they help your organization get better? What metrics do you hold your organization and an influencer to? Is it time per hire, is it talent pipeline development, is it cost per hire? These are the metrics that now allow you to gauge whether or not the influencer and the organization is getting better over time.” Fields Jackson, Jr, CEO & Chief Cheerleader, Racing Toward Diversity Magazine

Brands will embrace live video and social audio

“B2B brands that will hop on the live streaming bandwagon, will hop more and more on the podcasting bandwagon, and we see that already. All kinds of B2B brands are producing podcasts, it is a fantastic way to show your human side.” Christoph Trappe, Director of Content Strategy, Voxpopme

Platforms will join up data from different channels

“The impact on brands in particular is going to stay really hard to join up your data across all of your platforms. Any workflows, tools that you have that can join up that data and give you a complete picture of what’s going on all the social platforms, when it relates to your brands and the conversations around your key topics, is going to be absolute gold dust. It’s only going to get more true in 2022.” Jack Morel-Paulo, VP, Product, Onalytica

Watch our compilation video for the full expert predictions below.