While 2020 didn’t pan out the way most digital marketers envisioned, social media advertising has experienced an unprecedented increase.
Shifts in digital behaviour were to be expected as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, there have been some hard-to-ignore, enduring upward shifts that may have changed online habits heading into 2021.
For instance, cybersecurity company Akamai has reported a staggering increase in global internet traffic of up to 30 per cent.
A Datareportal study, in association with We Are Social and Hootsuite, revealed that this traffic surge unsurprisingly also translates to social media growth. The research shows that more than half of the global population now uses social media.
This represents a 10 per cent growth from the previous year. Indeed, users now total 3.96 billion as of July 2020. The adex benchmark 2019 report showed that social media ad spend was higher than €1bn in four markets and €100m in a further 14 – with the increases in users, this growth is set to rise.
Knowing where to concentrate your business’ ad spend, or take advantage of opportunities in this ever evolving online landscape can be the key to success.
In this article, we take you through the upcoming social media advertising trends for 2021 to ensure you can capitalise on the opportunities presented by the increasing popularity of social media.
What 2021 social media advertising trends will we be discussing?
The growth of story formats’
The continued rise of influencer marketing
Creative automation of ad production
The continued growth of video formats
Giving optimisation algorithms a chance
1. The growth of story formats
Instagram Stories and Snapchat have become so popular that Facebook even snapped up the Stories format for their homepage feed. This type of content is called ephemeral content and is designed to entice the viewer into wanting to discover more about what they’ve just seen.
More about ephemeral content
Why is ephemeral content so effective? It’s quite simple, really – it creates a fear of missing out. Few people enjoy not knowing the conclusion to something and this is what story formats create – the need to want to know more. What this does is provoke an immediate reaction.
Effective use of this on Instagram, for example, is when brands advertise between the stories a user is viewing of those they follow. The latest deal on a coat or a beautiful advert that cuts off could very well see a user not wanting to miss out and therefore clicking through.
Another way brands can effectively use these formats is by posting engaging story content to bring followers back day after day. This will, in turn, increase your regular social media following and increase the number of eyes on your ads when you share them.
2. The continued rise of influencer marketing
Influencer marketing has been a popular method of advertising with marketers for a few years now, but this trend certainly doesn’t look like going away anytime soon. In fact, Instagram Stories has given this method of marketing more wheels.
The beauty of these trends for your social media advertising is that many of these seamlessly slot together. The Stories functionality has increased the possibility for influencers to take on-brand campaigns.
When it was just the platform’s grid, it limited the number of partnerships or advertisements these individuals could take on as users won’t tolerate being spammed. Stories has made it possible for influencers to take on more partnerships. Plus, become more creative with the advertising content they produce, ultimately helping to increase engagement.
An additional trend for 2021 and beyond is the rise of marketers using micro-influencers to target niche audiences. Micro-influencers have 1,000 to 100,000 followers. Using this type of influencer is increasingly seen as an effective method of advertising. The reason for is the low cost of a campaign in comparison to a macro-influencer.
Creating a positive working relationship with a micro-influencer could be fantastic for your conversions. For either a free product or payment, they will put your brand in front of their followers, further increasing your audience.
Influencer marketing in numbers
Earlier this year, Oberlo collated fascinating influencer marketing statistics that show the future is certainly bright for this method of advertising:
9 out of 10 marketers think influencer marketing is effective.
For every $1 spent on influencer marketing, there’s an expected average return of $18.
8 out of 10 consumers have purchased something they’ve seen an influencer recommend.
By 2022, the influencer marketing industry will reach $15 billion.
93% of marketers are using influencer marketing.
Top tip! Oberlo also found Instagram to be the most popular and effective social media platform when it comes to influencer marketing. Something to keep in mind when creating your 2021 strategy.
3. Creative automation of ad production
Employing the invaluable assistance of a Creative Management Platform (CMP) means you can use the ad creator functionality for high-speed social media advertisements.
This is something that you can use for other ad formats, including display, too. Thus your marketing team do everything in once place, saving your business time and maximising ROI.
What does a CMP ad creator do?
A CMP offers your brand the opportunity to get personalised onsite messaging out to your followers at scale. Meaning, you have the power to replace generic customer relationship copy, imagery and video content with HTML5 advert placements. What’s more, these can transform depending on the user! The data you have also helps your management platform pair appropriate content with the customer, live.
The possibilities of what you can achieve for your social media advertising with a CMP in 2021 are extremely exciting. In fact, with Bannerflow, you can publish directly to Facebook and Instagram.
Top tip! Don’t forget to look into the possibility of using social listening as part of your social media advertising strategy. When your followers are chatting or searching for something on social media, the ads surrounding that subject pop up in front of them. Jump on board this strategy before your competitors do!
4. The continued growth of video formats
Video content has been a go-to for brands for years. And 2020 has reaffirmed the role moving pictures can play for any brand looking to advertise on social media!
How TikTok has shaken up the market
The rise of TikTok in 2020 clearly showed advertisers how popular short-form video is and continues to be. While this social platform was released internationally back in 2017 – it was the dawn of social distancing that influenced a surge in the platform’s activity.
March 2020 saw TikTok experience its biggest month with 115 million downloads across the world. With 745k of those came from the UK alone. Its popularity is also set to rise, with predictions expecting the app to reach 10million users in the UK alone by 2021.
Why you should use video for your social advertising
These statistics show that video content is definitely not going away and, in fact, it’s only increasing in popularity. TikTok’s rise even encouraged the already very well-established Instagram to introduce its Reels function.
These numbers are exciting news for the world of social media advertising, as video formats allow brands to get their message across far more efficiently and keep users engaged with creativity.
Top tip! The emergence of TikTok has shown how important it is for brands to diversify in 2021. TikTok has really shaken up the social media space, so reconsidering your strategy to include platforms you may not have previously considered could be a smart move.
5. Giving optimisation algorithms a chance
Even though social media algorithms are largely a mystery, even to experts, 2021 is the year to give them a chance – especially with the increase in potential audience.
What is a social media algorithm?
A social media algorithm selects advertisements it thinks the user will be interested in. This is based on a number of factors, including the advertiser’s targeted demographics, the users’ previous behaviours and interactions and the quality of the ad. As an advertiser, if you set up your campaigns with care, you’re certainly on the right track.
How can you get the most out of a social media algorithm?
Here are some top tips to get the most out of the Facebook algorithm:
If you’re looking for great engagement, utilise video content.
Play around with Facebook’s ad formats.
Stick carefully to the site’s rules to avoid penalties.
Design your ads to promote positive engagement but avoid anything is clickbait.
Using tactics such as Facebook targeting, the users viewing your ads should be those most likely to interact with your brand and, ultimately, convert to sales.
Despite the events of 2020 creating many barriers for advertisers, the resulting upsurge in social media users presents tantalising prospects for 2021 and beyond.
However, with a vaccine on the horizon, the future is certainly looking brighter! Indeed, harnessing quality audience research, in combination with the power of the latest trends and a robust strategy, and you a recipe for success.
This is where Bannerflow can seamlessly assist your business – get in touch with our experts to learn more about our CMP.
Apply for a demo today and experience the excitement of creating, distributing, and measuring the performance of your digital advertising efforts from one advanced cloud-based platform.
Read more: bannerflow.com