How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

How to Win at Social Advertising in 2022

What social strategies should your brand be focusing on 2022? Here are the trends we are seeing that could impact your brand’s advertising strategy this year.

#1: Growth of Social Commerce

The pandemic-driven need for ecommerce availability drove accelerated growth in social commerce in 2020 and 2021, a trend that is predicted to continue on into 2022. 

What you need to know:

Tips:

  • Stay on top of platform updates and feature launches, including those on emerging platforms like TikTok. Build room in the budget to test and play to see which tactics drive the most conversions for your product.
  • Continue working to build trust and prove legitimacy with your social commerce efforts. How can you show your audience that they can trust the process? What platforms do your audience trust the most?

 

#2: The Rise of Micro- and Nano- Influencers

A major component to social commerce that should not be ignored is influencer marketing. Marketers are dedicating budgets to this multi-billion dollar industry because it is an increasingly effective and, in the case of micro- and nano-influencers, a cost-effective and trustworthy way to build awareness for your brand. 

What you need to know:

  • Brands increased influencer marketing spend by 42% in 2021, for a total of $13.8 billion, with spending in the US expected to rise 12.2% to $4.14 billion in 2022.
  • 56% of social media users would rather follow normal people than celebrities because of the authenticity of their content.
  • According to the Digital Marketing Institute, “49% of Consumers Depend on Influencer Recommendations.” 
  • Micro and nano-influencers (between 1,000-100,000 followers) are gaining traction due to their affordability as compared to macro influencers with 100,000+ followers. Data from HypeAuditor shows influencers with smaller audiences (1,000 to 10,000 followers) charge around $100 per post on Instagram, while macro- influencers typically ask for $1,000 or more.

Tips:

  • Concentrate on finding and engaging micro- and nano-influencers whose content aligns with the interests of your target audience and whose followers look most like your core consumer. 
  • Incorporate your influencer marketing into your overall digital media plan for omni-channel consistency and efficiency with other tactics – don’t isolate it from the broader strategy. 

 

#3: Building an Effective Video Content Strategy

Video creative has and will continue to be King of Content in 2022.  

What you need to know:

  • Video will continue to dominate the creative space. In 2021, the average person spent 100 minutes per day watching online videos.
  • Short-form videos are what consumers want to watch – whether on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Snapchat Spotlight. The social media giants know this and have shifted their algorithms to prioritize and incentivize users who utilize these features.
  • Animoto surveyed 580 consumers, 93% of which said video is helpful when purchasing a product while 71% have purchased a product or service after watching a brand’s video on social media.
  • GenZ shoppers cite YouTube as their mostused platform for researching products, indicting that video is an effective 

Tips

  • Lean into video content – it’s what the people want to see and the social platforms are prioritizing it. 
  • Adapt video style to fit the expected user experience of the platform. For instance, a fully-produced, high quality commercial may not resonate on TikTok, where users are used to more informal, user-generated content. 
  • Follow video creative best practices to create a captivating and engaging experience for the consumer without the need for high dollar production budgets. 

#4 AR, VR and the Metaverse

Facebook’s 2021 name change to Meta and the rise in AR and VR features on multiple other platforms are a signal that immersive, 3D online consumer experiences may soon dominate the social space. 

What you need to know:

  • Gaming is currently the most widely used iteration of the Metaverse, with more than 3BN gamers who spend over $100BN per year.
  • Social platforms have started investing in the Metaverse by developing in-app gaming options for users. 
    • Facebook leads the pack with over 400 million people playing games on the platform. 
    • 30 million people play games on Snapchat.
    • In 2021, TikTok partnered with Zynga for game development. 
  • AR and VR experiences, such as filters and virtual “try before you buy” shopping options, have begun to enter the social landscape, with apps like SnapChat, Instagram and Pinterest leading the way. 
  • Half of US adults have either an interest in or have used AR and VR while shopping online. 

Tips: 

  • While the Metaverse and AR/VR technologies are still new, it is vital for brands to follow developments in this field and begin brainstorming ways they can use the technology to enrich the consumer’s experience. 
  • Watch this video for more insight from Coegi on the future implications of the Metaverse and how brands may be able to use it in the future. 

 

#5: Privacy Permissions = Strategy Shifts

In the past two years, Apple has released iOS updates that give users more control over what data apps can and cannot track through their mobile devices. This change will limit targeting capabilities on social platforms and will force marketers to explore other channels, incorporate more first party data, and expect further implications to scale and measurement as privacy becomes even more important to consumers.

What you need to know:

  • The most impactful changes with the iOS updates have been downloaded app permissions and email privacy, both of which will affect marketers abilities to target and track user behaviors across Apple’s mobile devices. 
  • For social media apps in particular, the biggest blow comes from the new automatic prompt to block an app from tracking their activity, which can limit social media platforms from gathering key targeting and retargeting data needed to reach Apple users on mobile. 
  • iOS’s privacy changes are one of many, including cookie deprecation and other limitations being implemented within the social platforms themselves. This is a signal that privacy concerns will continue to shape how marketers are able to reach and measure their audiences across all tactics, including social. 

Tips: 

  • Use social platforms and advertising capabilities to build your own banks of first- and zero-party data. Targeted polls, surveys and form submissions can open up opportunities for you to gather this data directly in the platforms themselves or by directing users to your site. 
  • With limited access to user data, brands will need to develop their own means of proving ROAS and ROI for bottom funnel tactics on social media on iOS. Learning how to overlap social data with website metrics for measurement is one way this can be accomplished. 
  • Continue tracking privacy updates across all social platforms and remain flexible in your strategies so your efforts are not derailed as new updates are announced and implemented. 

 

Overall, we are seeing a convergence across social channels. Platforms are no longer one dimensional: a photo-sharing app, a shopping app, or a gaming app. Instead, we have channels blending shopping, video entertainment, online gaming and image sharing all into one community-based platform. 

Explore the channels your core audience is most active on. See how you can take advantage of these trends and emerging technologies to build relationships with your consumers through some of the most high impact advertising tactics available. 

Further Reading: 

3 Reasons Podcast Advertising Could Boost Your Marketing Strategy in 2022

“The growth of podcasting has brought a massive opportunity for advertisers to reach highly engaged, niche audiences.” – Arica McKinnon, Vice President, Client Consulting at Nielsen.

Podcasts have been around for nearly 20 years, but only recently have gained mass appeal among both audiences and advertisers. With their growing audience numbers, loyal listener behaviors and new advances in targeting and reporting options, there has never been a better time to explore this high-potential advertising medium.

Not sure if it is the right tactic for you and your brand’s bottom line? Here are three reasons that may change your mind.

Reason #1: The audiences are there…and growing

It is estimated that 120 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2021, with a projected growth to 160 million listeners in 2023. Despite a short flatline in listenership in 2020 due to shortened or non-existant commutes (a highly-popular listening time for the avid podcaster), podcast engagement increased notably this year with no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, according to a survey done by NCS Solutions, 88% of current listeners maintained or increased their listening time over the past year. This increase can be attributed to several factors including the return of standard commuting time, increased word of mouth recommendations from avid listeners, new shows being developed for specific niche audiences, and an influx of influencers, celebrities and brands developing their own shows to flesh out revenue streams and reach their audiences in a new way.

With this growth trajectory, it is no surprise that advertisers are increasing investment in this lucrative channel. According to IAB, podcast ad revenue in the US increased by 19% in 2020 and is predicted to exceed $3B by 2023. These numbers clearly indicate that brands are seeing success with this tactic and competition for reaching these audiences will continue to build over time. Jumping into the pool of opportunity now will allow you to expand your reach and effectiveness alongside the growing medium itself.

Reason #2: More options and flexibility

Podcasts have held the attention of highly-engaged, niche audiences for years. Historically, due to limitations in technology, the only option for brands to advertise in this space was to purchase expensive, inflexible and hard-to-measure direct buys negotiated with the shows themselves. In recent years, however, the growing popularity of podcasts has created a demand for an updated, more flexible and measurable system for reaching these audiences.

The industry recognized this opportunity and began developing alternative ways to monetize it. The result? A programmatic option called dynamic ad insertion (DAI) has now entered the market, making it easier and more affordable to incorporate this tactic into your media mix.

This biddable technology allows for new audience targeting options, including listening habits, geographic region and weather conditions. Due to the nature of podcasting and the recency of programmatic technology in this space, the current options for targeted demographics are somewhat limited. However, as the technology continues to develop, there will likely be more targeting options on the horizon and therefore should not keep you from investigating this tactic as an option for your strategy.

Reason #3: Listeners are ad-friendly

Not only are the audiences growing, they are receptive and responsive to the ads they hear while listening. A recent study on podcast “super listeners” discovered that 48% of listeners pay more attention to podcast ads than any other media and that 71% of those surveyed say they never, rarely, or only sometimes skip the ads they hear while listening. The study also found 54% of respondents are more likely to purchase a product after hearing an ad for it on a podcast, up from 46% in 2019.

There are a few surface-level reasons for this acceptance. Firstly, most podcasting platforms are free to use and audiences understand they trade the ad for the content. There is also the fact that most listeners tune in while doing other activities – driving, cleaning their house, walking their dog, etc. Their hands are not free to access their phones during these activities and therefore they are more likely to listen through the ad, unlike many other ad formats that are easy to scroll by or tap the skip button.

The primary reason audiences are receptive and responsive to podcast advertising, however, is trust and authenticity. Listeners often feel like the host is directly speaking to them and, before the introduction of DAIs, all ads on podcasts were read by those hosts. Because podcasts tend to attract highly engaged, niche audiences, the hosts became their own breed of influencer, making trusted recommendations to their highly connected listeners. This has set the stage for advertising to natively work its way into the expected user experience. Host-read spots are still the most highly trusted advertising spot in podcasting, but they have conditioned podcast listeners in general to be more receptive to advertising.

Recommendations

With the growing audience sizes, ad-friendly listener behavior and advancing technology options, reaching your ideal audience in the podcast space has become easier than ever. However, the unique channel constraints may require different strategies than what is successful for your brand on other channels. Here are a few recommendations for how to get started:

  1. Be creative with your targeting strategy. With limited out-of-box options for DAI placements, hyper-targeting will likely lead to overly expensive and minimal scale results. Instead, research the audiences that are already listening to podcasts and find a happy medium between niche and broad targeting options. What podcasts would your target audience be listening to and engaging with? Use interest and affinity-based audience insights to inform your targeting strategy.
  2. Consider the user experience when creating ad content. Like with all advertising mediums, your ad will perform better if it blends into the user experience of those being exposed to your ad. Since podcast listeners are used to more conversational, one-on-one listening experience, ads that feel more organic, informal and relatable are more likely to keep the listener engaged with the ad.
  3. Experiment with programmatic and traditional direct-buy placements. If there is a podcast whose audience perfectly aligns with your target audience, it may be worth the direct ad buy. But also experiment with more flexible DAI purchases to find the most successful shows and targeting combinations for your brand.
  4. Stay on top of technology developments. As more opportunities become available, being well-practiced in these platforms will allow you to take advantage of the high value podcast audiences before your competitors.

3 Key Elements for Better Performing Video Content

“Humans are incredibly visual and powerful, moving images help us find meaning…video helps capture and contextualize the world around us.”

– Dan Patterson, Digital Platform Manager for ABC News Radio

Digital video consumption is on the rise and forecasted to reach $12.66B by 2024. How are marketers adapting to changing consumer trends? Recent studies show that the increased ad spend towards digital is a worthy investment as video is the #1 preferred content form to see from brands on social media. Additionally, video has major down funnel implications with 71% of consumers who report purchasing a product or service after watching a brand’s video.

Compiling a quick video and using it across all channels, however, is not a strategy that drives results for businesses. Doing so without considering where and how long you have your audiences’ attention could mean you are wasting the resources and budget you have dedicated to this highly effective medium. Your video content must be intentional, authentic, and targeted to resonate with your audience.

So what goes into the best-performing video content? Here is a breakdown of our top strategies for getting the greatest exposure and driving the highest conversions with your digital video marketing and advertising content.

 

Time is money

With the recent popularity of short-form video platforms and formats like TikTok and Instagram Stories, expectations of and conversions from short-form video are now outperforming longer-form video. Brands have mere seconds to capture their audiences’ ever-shortening attention. According to a report by Analytic Partners, this shift has translated into much higher ROI for 6-second videos (127%) than it does 30-second videos (58%).

 

 

Reason #1: The audiences are there…and growing

It is estimated that 120 million Americans listened to podcasts in 2021, with a projected growth to 160 million listeners in 2023. Despite a short flatline in listenership in 2020 due to shortened or non-existant commutes (a highly-popular listening time for the avid podcaster), podcast engagement increased notably this year with no signs of slowing down. Furthermore, according to a survey done by NCS Solutions, 88% of current listeners maintained or increased their listening time over the past year. This increase can be attributed to several factors including the return of standard commuting time, increased word of mouth recommendations from avid listeners, new shows being developed for specific niche audiences, and an influx of influencers, celebrities and brands developing their own shows to flesh out revenue streams and reach their audiences in a new way.

With this growth trajectory, it is no surprise that advertisers are increasing investment in this lucrative channel. According to IAB, podcast ad revenue in the US increased by 19% in 2020 and is predicted to exceed $3B by 2023. These numbers clearly indicate that brands are seeing success with this tactic and competition for reaching these audiences will continue to build over time. Jumping into the pool of opportunity now will allow you to expand your reach and effectiveness alongside the growing medium itself.

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