• Sebastian Wulff

How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Sales in 2022

Expanding brand awareness and engaging with consumers is a constant challenge for marketers. Businesses are moving away from outdated practices like cold calling and pop-up ads in favor of more consumer-friendly tactics like sponsored content and influencer marketing. But how does that approach impact sales?

The truth is, the $13.8 billion influencer marketing industry isn’t new. The concept has been around for centuries.

But now, with social media, anyone can be an influencer, and brands are seeing the benefits of leveraging influencer-driven marketing campaigns. Let’s explore how influencers can drive sales and which trends will have the biggest impact on your 2022 marketing initiatives.

Key Takeaways

  • Most brands believe that influencer marketing is effective.

  • Influencer marketing campaigns use authenticity, shareability, and virality to reach a wide audience and generate a high return on investment (ROI).

  • Podcasting, consumer pressure for diversity and inclusion, and short-form videos are driving influencer marketing trends.

  • Brands are also leveraging brand advocate programs and affiliate marketing initiatives to maximize the potential of their influencer campaigns.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is an endorsement partnership between a brand and an influencer, typically an individual who has a large, highly engaged community of social media followers.

A brand pays an influencer a monetary sum or perks (such as free product) in exchange for an official endorsement. Depending on the arrangement, this could be as simple as posting a photo on Instagram or a more extensive review of the product, such as an in-depth blog post or unboxing video.

How Influencers Increase Sales

A whopping 90% of surveyed brands believe that partnerships with influencers are an effective form of marketing. It’s easy to see why – 82% of consumers have researched, purchased, or considered buying a product or service after seeing posts from friends, family, or influencers.

How exactly does this modern-day marketing tactic influence sales?

  • Authenticity: Influencer marketing is successful for the same reason content marketing is. Endorsements aren’t interruptive ads. Most influencers have built a strong following based on genuine trust and interest, so their audience perceives product endorsements as authentic.

  • Virality: Social media has made sharing content easier than ever. All it takes is a single click to spread the word, boost brand awareness, and reach a wide audience with a chance to go viral.

  • ROI: Not only is influencer marketing a cost-effective marketing strategy, but the ROI is easy to measure. Brands can see real-time metrics to gauge the effectiveness of live campaigns while collecting influencer-created assets to use in other marketing initiatives.

6 Ways to Drive Sales through Influencer Marketing in 2022

Are you ready to tap into the powerhouse market of influencers? Here are six of the biggest trends for 2022 that will influence sales and marketing partnerships:

1. Podcast Influencer Marketing

Almost 60% of U.S. consumers over the age of 12 listen to podcasts. Compared to other forms of influencer marketing, podcast partnerships are inexpensive and have a growing base of attentive listeners.

Podcast advertising with influencers is quickly becoming a valuable cross-channel marketing opportunity. Since this media platform isn’t oversaturated yet, podcast advertising allows brands to tap into new territory where listeners are likely to be engaged.

2. Diversity and Inclusion

The racial justice movement has spearheaded a massive corporate culture shift that’s continuing to impact influencer trends in 2022. Consumers want to see brands embrace diversity and be inclusive.

These standards are having a huge impact on influencer marketing campaigns. Audiences are tired of seeing the same air-brushed, Photoshopped models. They want to see real people in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. The demand for diversity will continue to change the way brands seek out influencers and create inclusive content.

3. Social Listening Tools

A trend we’re watching closely is the rise of social listening tools. Such tools monitor brand mentions across social platforms and compile them into reports.

Social listening tools can help businesses understand their audience, identify useful feedback, and analyze their current brand perception. The valuable reports that social listening tools generate can help inform future influencer campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

4. Short-Form Video

TikTok is still a relatively new platform compared to established social media giants like Facebook and Twitter, but it’s seen tremendous growth since its revamp in 2018.

Businesses are quickly realizing that short-form video content is changing the way consumers want to interact with brands. In a recent study that included TikTok for the first time, brands listed it as their #4 go-to social media network for influencer marketing, beating WhatsApp, Twitter, blogs, and LinkedIn.

Instagram still reigned supreme as the #1 choice, but analytical data reveals that the influencer engagement rate on TikTok is higher than Instagram.

TikTok’s popularity and leading position in the top five despite its recent debut makes it a serious contender paving the marketing landscape on other platforms. Brands and influencers will continue to push short-form video content in 2022 as a result of TikTok’s rapid growth.

5. Brand Advocacy Programs

A brand advocacy program incentivizes consumers to post about their positive experiences, usually in exchange for free products, discounts, or other perks.

Essentially, a mutually beneficial brand advocacy program establishes your own influencer network. It encourages up-and-coming influencers to reach out to you in order to represent your brand and products.

Why is this a good idea? Developing your influential customers into brand advocates builds trust among consumers. These aren’t random individuals getting paid to endorse your products – these are real customers who genuinely love your brand. Brand advocacy programs also create a ton of user-generated content (UGC) you can repurpose across your owned and operated social accounts.

6. Affiliate Programs

Affiliate programs encourage influencers to include product links in their posts. If someone clicks to a brand’s website through that link and makes a purchase, the influencer receives a small commission.

Affiliate programs are effective because they’re typically performance-based, which means you don’t have to pay unless someone makes a purchase. The influencer has an incentive to market your brand because when you get paid, they get paid.

The Power of Influencers

In addition to understanding the current and upcoming trends driving the influencer marketing business, brands must manage their influencer relationships. They also need to know how to track campaign results and understand how to analyze the success or failure of their influencer campaigns.

That’s a tall order, but we can help! Paladin makes it easy for brands big and small to manage all of their influencer marketing initiatives in one centralized platform.

Are you ready to get started with influencer marketing? Schedule a free demo of Paladin to learn how we can help you connect with the right influencers and track your campaign success.