The changes we’ve navigated through in the digital media landscape during 2020 and 2021 were, as you may have heard, unprecedented. From public disruption with social media giants to the TikTokification of social content consumption and a partially required shift in ecommerce adoption, brands and consumers along with advertisers have all been taken on a wild ride. After the initial shock, we looked at where the dust settled, analyzed the shiny new data and laid out what we can look forward to in 2022.
1. TikTok advertising will take viral commerce to the next level.
With the growth of ecommerce and social commerce during the pandemic, we’ve seen one platform take the cake with viral commerce in the last two years. As TikTok surpassed the 1 billion user mark in September 2021, its appealing composition of Gen Z and millennial users gives it an advantage over other social platforms. An eMarketer report quotes, “Accenture estimates Gen Z and millennial consumers will account for 62% of global social commerce expenditures by 2025, when social will account for 17% of all ecommerce spending.”
TikTok’s user base combined with creators’ unrivaled content virality make this an easy prediction for the year. Viral trends vary from sounds, dances, life hacks and products, #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt being the one constant trend throughout. Successful brands on TikTok can tap into consumer trends, quickly engage and discover new audiences offering a fresh perspective on their purchasing motivations. Creators and brands will forge a new relationship in product promotion while cross-posting and staying consistent in the reliable consumer offerings on Instagram and Facebook Shops.
2. Influencers will create more brand content.
Creators on social platforms do just that: create. User-generated content, branded content and sponsored collaborations are filling feeds across the globe. Brands and advertisers are no longer limited to who they work with or how they work with creative influencers across digital media. Micro influencers are providing macro results, and, after years of domination by influencers with hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers, brands are “sizing down” to speak to highly curated, engaged audiences through micro and nano influencers.
Through Meta’s creator offering, influencers can tag brand products in collaboration to cut the friction from the customer purchase process and thus increase overall sentiment and sales. TikTok’s Creator Marketplace allows creators to choose brands and campaigns that align to their content and result in excitable native content that drives results. Because social platforms are expanding how brands and influencers can collaborate and partner, social users may be more apt to trust and engage with content. Brands can delve into the world of true community.
3. Brands will explore new ways to look at data and privacy.
As brands continue to broaden their digital footprint and social platform presence, the importance of brand loyalty, personalization and favorability will grow. More platforms mean more users and more opportunity to reach them, yet in our post-iOS 14 and diminishing-cookie world, data remains the glittering treasure for social marketers. Privacy enforcement and data sharing preferences in 2021 have shifted in a new way, which has caused brands to pivot their messaging. One thing in 2020 we were grateful for is how revisiting brand perceptions helped create a more agile atmosphere for evaluating goals and creative in the social space.
Brands now need to consider both data compliance and platform integrity as it pertains to their audiences. While social commerce offers solutions for brands, consumers have lingering security concerns, which vary by platform. Through lean testing frameworks, a focus on proprietary data, deeper social behavior insights and flexible messaging, brands will align with the platforms that best reflect their values and provide solutions to their business outcomes.
4. LinkedIn will ride the video bandwagon.
Video makes it onto the trends list yet again. To increase user time spent as well as amount of engagement, social platforms continue to prioritize video content, and LinkedIn is joining the ranks. As the platform’s tone shifts to being more business-casual, video content has found solid footing within LinkedIn’s features.
In early 2021, LinkedIn debuted Creator Mode, which helps individuals and businesses craft more engaging original content with LinkedIn Live capabilities and “introduction” videos. Creator Mode allows brands to push video content front and center, showing the live broadcast on users’ profiles as their background. To push the video efforts along, in August 2021, LinkedIn acquired short-form video tutorial app Jumprope as a part of its continuing video strategy. This partnership will enable LinkedIn creators to share step-by-step video tutorials, allowing them to enhance their expertise and stand out in the feed.
5. Long-form video content will consume more screen time.
2020 blazed the trail for average time spent on social networks across the globe. In the U.S., average time spent per day on social grew 20% as Americans filled their 2020 lockdown time with social content and, you guessed it, videos. While our patience for commercials grew shorter, our appetite for video consumption grew insatiable and with this came longer video content.
TikTok increased video length to three minutes, which bumped its time spent on the platform 37% in 2021. Instagram combined IGTV and feed video into one seamless format (IGTV caps content at 60 seconds.) YouTube is the most downloaded app on the Google app store and offers popular “comfort viewing,” which lends itself to longer video content. While bursts of short, digestible content have kept us scrolling for more, long-form video content is returning to relevance as people seek out information, entertainment and a more immersive distraction. Social video ad spend comprises 10.2% of the digital ad market, and advertisers are spending more on content that drives branding and performance goals, where long-form video content excels. Brands can use this trend to create hyper-targeted long-form content but should keep in mind – being “thumb stopping” is still key.
Social media continues to shape culture and transform the marketing landscape – one post at a time. Finding ways your brand can join the conversation can be difficult, but with a pulse on these 2022 social media trends and a willingness to try new social strategies, you’ll be ready to captivate your audience and have fun along the way. Want to kick off your business resolutions or engage in a strong branding push? We’d love to help your brand excel in the ever-changing social advertising ecosystem and propel your brand loyalty through honestly smart digital campaigns. Contact us to learn more.
As the social arm of Goodway’s Center of Excellence team, Traci leads the social media efforts to excellence standards. She does this by improving and maintaining Goodway’s expertise within social buying and execution to ensure continuous improvements and a competitive advantage. With her deep knowledge and understanding of social platform buying and strategy and her wealth of experience managing social within the digital ecosystem, Traci knows how to leverage platforms to find success for brands of all types.