#1 Social media users are more humans than buyers
It’s no secret that service-based companies, particularly those of us in the events industry, use social media primarily for brand awareness. It’s impossible for us to incorporate e-commerce onto our social platforms if we’re selling services, despite it becoming a huge feature of the Metaverse. So instead of looking at the audience we’re attracting as buyers, think of them as humans, like you and I.
I only follow a very small number of brands on my personal account, even if they’re brands I buy from on a monthly basis. One example of a brand I find myself interacting with regularly is ASOS. They write from one human to another, not afraid to use an individual voice in their content, and this puts their head above the noise of social media.
Interactivity can be as simple as a poll or quiz on an Instagram story, a ‘duet’ on a Tiktok video, landing pages, interactive infographics, or even lead capture. By engaging with these nuggets of digital content, you are putting yourself at the heart of the campaign; the brand is selling something to you, or at the very least educating you about their products and company values. But you forget all of this insight-driven consumer information whilst you’re engaged in a fun and creative digital campaign.
So, the difference between shouting about the product and subtly engaging consumers using interactive content is that the latter is a more successful marketing strategy.
#2 The ‘content experience’ becomes more all encompassing
Content, when pushed out to a digital audience without a clear strategy, will never tie in to the overall marketing strategy of your brand. The way you need to think about content creation is as an experience for the consumer to enjoy – it should include a strong narrative and tell a story.
Dove’s digital content regularly reaches out to touch the heart of the consumer, by telling diverse and inclusive stories that are so necessary for a skin brand. Their ‘Derma Series’ campaign introduced you to people who make Dove what it is, and in doing so created a seamless and inclusive content experience which felt authentic and real.
#3 Video is still making brands the big bucks
Surprise, surprise. Video content jumped into the spotlight in 2020 and it’s still here to stay. In fact, 76% of marketers recognised videos as their most effective content format in 2022 according to Hubspot.
There are a couple of important changes to long and short form video that you should know about, though.
- Now is the perfect time to optimise a Youtube strategy, as 20% more people are engaging with long-form videos on the platform than in 2021. 44% of this user demographic is aged 25-44, so your content should appeal to the wide generational split and focus on driving educational learnings
- Instagram is still pushing reels to the top of the algorithm. If you’re a brand and you aren’t organically using reels, you’re not doing Instagram right
- Pair back your marketing budget by reusing the audio recorded from your video content. Audio is on the rise in 2022, and more of us are listening to podcasts regularly than ever before
#4 Ads? What ads?
Marketers are also consumers, and so we sympathise with ourselves when it comes to advertising because we know how irritating it is when an ad interrupts our digital experience. However, 2022 is bringing a fresh take on ads. People, it’s officially The Year of the Seamless Ad Experience.
Take Tiktok as an example; their interface has recently been updated to make ads even more unrecognisable. Appearing within the feed itself, they give the user an interrupted scrolling experience and usually feature creators turned brand advocates within the video.
Consumers are becoming extremely savvy when it comes to ads, so marketers need to step up their efforts in creating relevant digital content, which aims to educate not bombard consumers.
Digital trends have always moved at rapid speed, but seeing developments in user experience and a focus on insight-driven, hyper-personalisation is making the marketer in me very happy. And in another vein, it’s also a great time to be a consumer in the digital age; ads are becoming cleverer and less intrusive, videos are providing some of the most engaging content we’ve seen on our newsfeeds in years, and Tiktok has been delivering much needed comic relief since the start of the pandemic.