What’s on the creator horizon for 2022?

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is coming to a close in just a few short weeks. This means that not only is it time to celebrate the holidays with loved ones, but it’s time to start looking forward to the promising year ahead. In what’s become a favorite tradition of ours, we’re back with a host of influencer marketing predictions for the upcoming year.

So much is at play in the influencer marketing industry. From new Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) regulations for college athletes, to the changing e-commerce landscape ushered in by the pandemic, and of course, to the continued success of everyday people taking on content creation as a career — there are a ton of changes we’re anticipating for 2022. Digressions; let’s get into it.

 

2022 influencer marketing predictions infographicPrediction #1: TikTok will overtake Instagram and Facebook as the most popular social network.

Mavrck reporting shows that there has been a 5x increase (390%) in TikTok activations between 2020 and 2021. That’s a lot of new users, new creators, new brand activations, and more content!

 

Prediction #2: The content paradigm will become more common than the audience paradigm, therefore empowering a longtail of smaller creators.

82% of marketers are leveraging content marketing in 2021. Focusing on both the content and the audience is important to brand marketing strategy, with content quality being a primary driver regardless of audience size. Micro- and nano-influencers — your time is now! 

 

Prediction #3: Retailers will turn creators into a revenue stream to promote their supplier products as part of shopper marketing budgets.

Creators are the go-to digital shelf that takes subscribing consumers from casual followers to purchasers at omnichannel retailers. We know that one in three shoppers have made a purchase on social media in the past year. Shopper marketing teams at retail companies can resell influencer marketing campaigns with creators to brand suppliers alongside or instead of end cap promo campaigns. With recycled content comes more opportunity for multi-channel activations to occur and therefore, more chances a consumer will engage and purchase.

 

Prediction #4: Brands will treat creators as a distinct target audience in their marketing strategy as opposed to simply a media channel.

Did you know that 50 million people worldwide self-identify as creators? As in, they are able to generate income in some capacity from creating content. Since creators are becoming such a distinct part of the worldwide economy, marketers are starting to engage them as a distinct target audience within their marketing initiatives. 

 

Prediction #5: The creator middle class will start to emerge and you’ll be able to get a degree in being a digital or social creator.

We know the truth after seeing innumerable everyday people amass TikTok and Instagram followings and turn their content into a profit — a social media career isn’t for pre-existing famous folks anymore. This phenomenon is going to pave the way for a middle class to emerge, with creators earning just as much as their peers who make their living via cubicles or labor-intensive jobs. And with that opportunity comes learning, which is why we can see future influencer marketing degrees and majors on the horizon, too.

 

Prediction #6: Financial services will offer products specifically for creators.

New financial tools, such as special bank accounts, credit cards, invoicing services, and more, are being developed with creators in mind. Creator endeavors are being supported by financial institutions now more than ever. New tools have already emerged, with more in the works, to support these small business-like entrepreneurs. 

 

Prediction #7: An influencer and brand rating system will surface and creators will be measured by a trust score instead of total engagements.

Some studies show that influencers are being looked at as a social proof point for brands, products, and services. While Millennials and Gen Z begin to hold more wealth in the coming years, the way that the rest of the world relies on creators as a source of truth and testimonial will also grow. We predict that to help consumers with decision-making, a trust score will emerge for creators. We’re all for it — as long it doesn’t turn into a Black Mirror episode.

 

Predictions #8: Increased creator unionization will occur and affect how brands partner with influencers.

Sadly, creators are not exempt from the pay disparity that permeates the rest of the workforce. Plus, they regularly battle misguided notions that undermine the value of their work. As more creators speak up for fair compensation, we can see unions growing into a major staple of the creator economy — and brands will be encouraged to support this movement or risk their creator partners taking their business elsewhere.

 

Prediction #9: Creators and non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will pave the way for the metaverse to become a reality.

As Bastille once said, give me the future. Brands and creators are getting in on the NFT space while it’s still in its relative infancy. Co-creating NFTs for public consumption is just the beginning. With virtual reality on the cusp of merging with, er, reality reality, new opportunities for expanded interaction are within reach sooner than you might think.

 

Prediction #10: In five years’ time there will be one billion creators working within the influencer marketing space.

Yeah, we know. But listen to this: in the last few years, influencer marketing spend has increased 16x. Plus, we already know that young consumers trust creators. As those young consumers age and become wealthier, creators will be a trusty stronghold of business. They’ll have active roles in unions and be able to stand up for fair compensation. Young people will major in content creation, fintech companies will be developing more tools, and the metaverse will lend itself to this growth. 

All our predictions point toward a creator economy that can’t stop, won’t stop. But it all funnels up to this: in five years, creators will reach 1 billion strong. You heard it here first!

 

As the year comes to a close…

Bold predictions, right? We can see big things in the works. And if you want to get the “in” on all these predictions and much more, make sure you catch the recording for our 2022 Predictions webinar. Whether you missed yesterday’s live broadcast or simply want to rewatch it and revel in future opportunities, we’ve got something for everyone. Dive in below, with more about these ten big predictions that are undoubtedly going to change the creator economy.