Social media marketing is one of the most rapidly changing industries in the world, and if you don’t keep up you’ll be left in the digital dust! So - you’re welcome in advance - we’ve polished our glasses, cracked our knuckles and scoured the internet for you. If your brand wants to stay ahead of the curve, here are FIVE things we predict will become mainstream in social media this year:
1. Paying for exclusive access to content from your favourite Creators
From writing, producing and editing footage, Creators put in a whole lot of work, and they’re often doing it all for free! 2021 saw some big names make some big ~moves~ when it comes to exclusive content. This concept of paying for ‘exclusive access’ has proved to be a gamechanger for creators globally. Ghanaian-Australian Lillian Ahenkan, aka Flex Mami on Instagram, is a popular media personality and creator who has placed her prime content behind a paywall via a monthly subscription to her IG Close Friends list. Here, users can gain access to outfit links, daily pop culture analysis, BTS access to her life plus way more. Genius, we reckon. And more creators will soon adopt this, too. We’re sure of it!
2. More tools from Instagram, Facebook and TikTok to help Creators monetise their content
The year 2021 saw the introduction of Instagram’s Collab function. You may have seen some questionable collabs, like Diane Keaton and Justin Bieber who teamed up for his new music video, ‘Ghost’. Head of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced that “We’ve seen creators on Instagram collaborate more and more over the last few years and we wanted to embrace that and support that…” With Collabs, you can actually reach not only your followers but their followers too - a smart move on IG’s behalf. Nice.
Last year, Instagram finally launched Links for stories. Previously, the ‘Swipe Up’ feature was only available for users with 10k+ followers. This made it difficult for small businesses or novice creators who had to jump through hoops to promote their products in a user-friendly way. The ‘Swipe Up’ feature has since been retired (RIP) and ALL USERS can now add links to their stories! Yay!
We’re predicting that many more features will be implemented to make Instagram more creator-friendly in 2022. We’re just waiting patiently for Links to become available for In-Feed posts, so we can FINALLY stop ending posts with “Link in bio!”. One day …
3. TikTok will become the go-to for marketers
In the first financial quarter of 2020, the rise of TikTok set the record for the most downloads in a quarter for a social app, totalling at 315 million installs. This had a lot to do with the COVID-19 pandemic.
TikTok has the unique ability to provide a level playing field for audience reach and engagement. Unlike Instagram or YouTube algorithms – which promote those who have amassed thousands or millions of followers – TikTok accounts with NO followers can get millions of views on a new video. In short: if the content appeals to the audience, engagement will soon follow. This is why it’s so important for marketers to take advantage of the platform. There are so many opportunities for virality – you just need to source the right content creators for your brand (and think up an impeccable hashtag strategy, while you’re at it!), which brings us to our next point…
4. Marketers will begin the shift away from overt paid ads to native-style content (just ask The Content Cliq)
Ads that look like ads are so last season!
What are native ads, you might ask? Put simply – it doesn’t look blatantly like an ad. Native ads get 53% more views than traditional ads. It’s a unique way to get your content in front of viewers without it disrupting their online experience. And when the ad adds (pardon the pun) value to their lives, that’s when you know you’re doing something right.
Our sister agency The Content CliQ specialises in on-trend, native-style content on demand. They’re always keeping an eye on what’s trending in the world of TikTok, so you definitely don’t have to.
5. Social Media will become an even more crucial part of the shopping experience (see #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt for reference)
Ever bought something completely random like incense sticks or a pepper grinder because you saw that your favourite Content Creator did it? Yeah, same. We’re all copycats.
Remember the 2020 TikTok of the guy skateboarding while drinking Ocean Spray cranberry juice, with Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ playing in the background? Thanks to this video by Nathan Apodaca, stock quickly flew off the shelves that month, with some stores completely selling out of the suddenly famed juice. Speaking on the Modern Retail Podcast, Ocean Spray CEO Tom Hayes discussed how the pandemic and this viral video prompted the company to alter their traditional marketing strategy. They’re now “trying to move the brand to be a little more edgy, and to be a little more attractive to the younger consumer.” All this aside, it’s pretty clear that one video can have a massive impact on consumers.
It’s 2022, baby. We’re predicting big things.