- The connection between influencers and buyer decisions will continue to deepen as the creator economy expands beyond the $104 billion mark
- Social shopping will shape online shopping experiences and strategies with personalization as the keyword
- The metaverse will mark 2022 with a significant technological shift for the decade, impacting Governments, industry, and academia
- Exclusive advice on how brands use this year to prepare for the metaverse of tomorrow
Brands have surely used December to take stock of their 2021 performance. As senior marketers start planning, I believe these three key themes are set to be particularly important in 2022:
1. Love for creators
Creators, also known as influencers, are professional internet producers. They are visual artists, comedians, gamers, dancers, musicians, thought provokers, journalists, and anyone for whom the internet is their medium, and internet culture is their way of life. They are often ordinary people with something to share.
The creator economy is booming and is now estimated to be more than 50 million creators around the world. From 2019-2020, the number of content creators earning more than $10,000 per month grew a whopping 88 percent.
We see creators build communities and deeply personal and inspiring relationships with their followers, as well as interesting relationships with brands.
They have an increasingly powerful influence on what consumers buy. It’s now estimated that about two-thirds of shoppers use social media as part of their shopping strategy. Furthermore, 63 percent of 18 to 34-year olds trust what an influencer says about a brand more than what the brand says about itself in its advertising.
In 2022, the creator economy is set to get even bigger.
There’s a big opportunity here for brands, but in order to take advantage of it, brands need to understand how creators work, the tools they use, and how they collaborate. Measurement will also be critical, as brands need to understand what is and isn’t working.
2. The search for seamless shopping experiences
The coronavirus outbreak accelerated several trends we were already seeing before the pandemic hit-
Firstly, shoppers are going online to be inspired and to discover products rather than just to buy a specific item. In fact, nearly half of all shoppers say that the internet has made them more spontaneous in their shopping. One in four people who discovered a new product first on one of our platforms were not actively shopping when they stumbled upon it.
Secondly, there is a growing demand for personalized shopping. Being shown products we want is obviously far better than being shown a barrage of items we just aren’t interested in. It’s also a much more effective business strategy. Three in four small businesses feel personalized advertising is important to the success of their business.
This will continue to be the case in 2022. At Meta, we believe it is critical to creating a personalized and seamless customer journey where you can learn about a product, decide to buy it, pay for it – and then have it arrive on your doorstep.
We’ll do this in a variety of different ways: We will continue to develop Shops on Instagram and Facebook, which allows businesses to create their own online shops on our platforms for free. We intend to continue the work on business messaging, and will make sure our platforms remain the best place to advertise.
The brands that are going to thrive in 2022 will be the ones that offer a seamless and personal online shopping experience from start to finish.
3. The metaverse
Mark Zuckerberg has been talking about this a lot. Essentially, the metaverse is an internet that you’re inside of rather than looking at. In the metaverse, you’ll be able to hang out with friends, work, play, learn, shop, create, and more.
Every 10-15 years there’s a significant technological shift. The last one was from desktop to mobile, and this next one will be the shift from mobile to the metaverse.
Bringing the metaverse to life is still some way off. We’re only at the very start of a five to 10-year journey, and collaboration with different people and companies, as well as with Governments, industry, and academia, will be critical to get this right.
The metaverse will bring big opportunities for people, creators, and brands. Imagine being able to turn your Facebook or Instagram shop into a virtual space in the Metaverse for people to try out your products? Or what about hosting a huge event with a creator in the Metaverse in a location that is far larger and more amazing than you would ever be able to rent out in your local town? Or how about being able to sell things that don’t exist in the physical world like digital clothing?
Brands can help prepare for the metaverse of tomorrow in three main ways:
Firstly, by continuing with their existing marketing strategy. That’s because the products and tools being built today are likely to be important gateways into the metaverse.
Secondly, by experimenting with early glimmers of the future. Try out Horizon Workrooms, play a game of Beat Saber on Quest, try on some Sephora makeup using their virtual try-on feature in their Instagram shop. Consider staff training using VR the way Hilton has, or use AR to see how a Hyundai car looks on your driveway.
Thirdly, ask this key question – What would you do if all the existing physical limitations of the world were removed? Think about this and you’re thinking about the potential of the metaverse.
As we enter 2022, brands should increasingly be aware of the creator economy, the rise of seamless and discovery shopping, and the metaverse – with an eye towards how these trends can help them better connect with customers, grow and thrive.
Nicola Mendelsohn CBE is VP Global Business Group at Meta. The Daily Telegraph has called her “the most powerful woman in the British tech industry” and she was also named in Campaign magazine’s ‘Power 100 2020’ list of top marketers.
She can be found on Twitter @nicolamen.
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