Working in the fast-paced industry of PR and communications, it can be tough to keep up with the latest trends. Knowing what is current and how to include these in your influencer marketing is key to ensuring you get the best campaign results. Here are the trends worth paying attention to if you are looking to improve your influencer marketing strategy in the UK, Scandinavia and the Baltics from our in-house social media team.
1. Short form audio visual content becoming increasingly popular
As short form video content exceeds engagement targets and becomes increasingly popular, expect influences to produce more Instagram reels, YouTube shorts and of course TikTok. Younger viewers consume more video than ever before with YouTube being one of the most-used social platforms among millennials (84%) and Gen Z (91%). TikTok became increasingly popular amidst the pandemic especially among Gen Z so expect brand partnerships and ecommerce shopping to shift into the video format. Short video content translates as authentic and relatable, it’s also attention-grabbing and highly shareable. As consumers' attention spans get shorter expect online influencer advertisements to become shorter and snappier.
2. Social media ecommerce: Expect more in-app purchases
The concept of live shopping isn’t a new one but it is making a return. Forbes forecasts that more than 72% of e-commerce sales take place on a mobile device, with 85% of consumers favouring mobile apps over websites. With the rise of influencer marketing and the rapid popularity of online video, shopping on mobile apps is the latest big trend. Instagram, Facebook and TikTok have all innovated formats that allow influencers to sell and advertise their favourite products. As audiences turn towards their phones more for shopping, expect in-app purchases in conjunction with influencer marketing to grow.
3. Longer term brand x influencer partnerships
Authenticity is arguably the most important element of iInfluencer marketing. As brands become more aware of the importance of selecting influencers that fit their brand identity, they are opting to build relationships with influencers and pursue long-term partnerships. In a similar vein to using celebrities as the ‘face’ of a product/brand.
While celebrity partnerships are used for aspirational purposes (“if you use our products you could be like this”), influencer partnerships are more relatable (“you are like this so you should use our products”). Influencer partnerships are superior to celebrity partnerships, as a YouGov study reports that 62% of social media users trust influencers over celebrities. Long-term partnerships tell the consumer that the influencer has trust in the product/brand and reinforces the idea that the partnership is authentic.
1. Social Commerce: Full-scale localisation in e-commerce strategies
Denmark, Norway and Sweden’s presence on social media are growing exponentially, when it comes to e-commerce markets combining buying, selling and social media. We expect to see e-commerce businesses using influencers as a way to localise products and content even further. Scandinavian influencers use localisation to add additional cultural value to their content together with the upcoming trend of sustainable e-commerce. According to a study on e-commerce trends, Scandinavians are willing to pay more for sustainable products, and together with a full-scale localisation strategy, influencers and brands will be able to include sustainability within the product’s lifecycle on social media.
Get ready to complete the entire sales journey on social networks instead of moving consumers over to another social networking website. According to research done by The Harris Poll, 73% of businesses are already participating in social commerce while 79% expect to be doing so in the next three years.
2. A rise in Corporate Social Responsibility
As the younger generation participates in online discourse through taking a stand against societal inequalities and climate change, they also ask influencers who work with brands to speak out. Not only will influencers earn respect when taking a stand, they will also inform their followers about accountability and speak up about brand’s standards and ethics before they convince consumers to part with their money. The time for simply talking is over and social media channels will become even more action-oriented and important when it comes to implementing pledges.
3. Storytelling through Audio and Video will be at the front of SoME
In the coming years, social media platforms are hoping to capitalise on users’ willingness to consume audio and video content. More possibilities to create reels, longer videos as well as audio content will continue to be developed on traditional social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, whereas TikTok, who are also developing other formats of video content such as AR and VR. For 2022, the Cisco Annual Internet Report shows that 82% of online content will consist of videos this year and that will rise by at least 4% beyond 2022. We have already seen a move from text-based content to video as storytelling with influencers such as Matilda Djerf or Emilie Tommerberg creating “ideal Scandinavian content”.
1. Employee-Driven Content Will Increase
The desire to see authentic content has led to an increase in employee-driven or employee-based content. Brands have already seen how user-generated content can increase sales and impact how brands are perceived; it only makes sense for brands to begin treating their own employees as influencers through employee advocacy programs.
For example, Baltic companies like airBaltic and Printful have joined this trend with positive reactions from their audiences and positive reactions from their audiences could be seen. Employee-driven content appears natural and easier to connect with. Additionally this kind of content is more cost-effective as companies use their own employees.
Who wouldn’t want to become an overnight TikTok sensation by being a little extra at work?
2. Live Shopping Experiences Have Become The It Thing
The Baltics have seen a rise in live shopping in 2022, and this will continue well into 2023. Influencers promote products to their communities and secret groups on their favourite social media platforms, such as Instagram or Facebook. Using live streams, influencers interact with customers and can answer product questions immediately. FOMO (fear of missing out) and a sense of belonging are the leading motivators behind the live shopping experience.
Amazon, Facebook, TikTok and Instagram have all developed livestream shopping tools and partnerships to make the live shopping experience as interesting and interactive as possible. In addition, many of TikTok's most prominent influencers have participated in shoppable livestream events.
3. Micro and Nano Influencers Will Get More Recognition
There are different types of influencers, from nano to micro influencers with a few thousand followers to influencers with followers in the millions. It is noted that brands are increasingly focusing on engagement rates rather than follower counts. According to a 2019 report from Later and Fohr, micro influencers, particularly those with fewer than 25,000 followers, have the highest engagement rates at around 7%.
With engagement rates on Instagram declining, Baltic influencers with engaged followers are getting partnership deals, even those with fewer followers. By focusing on nano and micro influencers, brands will be able to stretch their influencer marketing budgets while still working with influencers that are deeply connected to their audiences. Influencers will benefit from partnerships with an increasing number of brands.
Throughout Europe, key future trends are beginning to emerge and studies have shown that even though trends grow at different rates in different countries, they are still quite similar. All three parts of the world covered in this blog have shown that the rise in short form videos, the use of in-app live shopping and long-term relationships between companies and influencers are on the rise. Product localisation and corporate social responsibility will have a major impact on social media in Scandinavia in the coming years, with employee-driven content becoming popular in the Baltics. Authenticity remains as important as ever in the UK, and it is expected that influencers will begin long-term partnerships with brands to increase consumer trust.