What Will Rule in 2022
Written by: Stephanie Bariatti, SMB Media Marketing Consultant
Happy New Year! With 2021 in our rearview mirror, we can now begin to focus on our strategies and plans for 2022. Though last year still felt like unchartered territory in many ways, maybe we will find surer footing this year as we forge ahead. To help your business find that stable ground, let’s take a look at five of the most promising trends for 2022.
1. Influencer Marketing
This movement has shown tremendous growth of over recent years, rising from fad to trend to now becoming a full-blown strategy. Data, assembled by the PR, creative services and digital marketing agency Matter Communications, revealed that surveyed consumers trusted influencer information more than info offered by brands alone. In addition, social distancing and other pandemic restrictions have accelerated the trend, as social media users engage with influencers more often. The survey also indicated that more than half of Gen Z members and millennials consider the opinions of social media influencers while making a purchasing decision.
On the other side, most influencers now view themselves as entrepreneurs. This “creator economy” features more than 50 million independent content makers, and that new sector reached the $1.3 billion mark in investment in 2021, according to a July-published New Yorker article. As a result, influencers are taking it seriously and their output is becoming more polished and professional. As more brand ambassadors view it as an actual job, they’ve become more selective and cautious about the products endorsed.
2. Social Shopping
Thanks in part to 5G, live commerce is gaining momentum. Currently, China is leading the way. Alibaba’s Taobao Live made $7.5 billion in ecommerce transactions in just 30 minutes during Singles’ Day (November 11) in 2020. Meanwhile, reporting from TechCrunch indicated that no less than 37% of online shoppers in China (or 265 million people) made purchases on livestreams in 2019, and that the industry was projected to generate $60 billion by the end of 2021. The combination of an instant shopping experience with an audience reaction via chat function clearly results in better audience engagement, and such social shopping will only amplify trough the coming year. As Walmart and Facebook hosted their live streaming events in 2021, it would be safe to assume that Western companies will attempt to keep up with their Chinese counterparts.
3. Increase in Short-Form Video
Short-form videos have become the key feature in social media for brands to promote their products and services. It helps to understand and create content following the trend culture in the market. Therefore, it requires a very creative approach for the creators to present their content on the respective platforms. Historically, Tik Tok has been the number one platform to promote but today, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are promising better ROI to businesses. Most of the businesses that have never done any short videos should consider doing it in 2022, as it fulfills three great benefits: brand awareness, better engagement and time-saving.
4. CTV Advertising
Current connected TV (CTV) viewing figures have far exceeded pre-Covid levels. Despite strong streaming and over-the-top (OTT) viewing numbers over the last ten years, people have started taking advantage of CTVs as they spend more time at home. And so many options are available to viewers. The CTV industry is far from being homogeneous, however: Roku tops the list, followed by Amazon, Samsung, Apple and Vizio. Even with such network diversity, Roku is the obvious choice for most programmatic ads (49% of the CTV market), with Amazon in second but still significantly behind (9%).
As 15% of U.S. viewers canceled their cable subscriptions in 2020 (a number predicted to double when 2021 figures are tallied), CTV is on course to get even greater audience exposure. Video streaming undoubtedly leads the way, but gaming shows vast potential, accounting for nearly 20% of all apps present on Amazon Fire TV and Apple TV. Connected TV advertising is proving to be more effective than traditional TV advertising too, as CTV viewers are 42% more likely to buy advertised products as a result of ads, according to ExchangeWire.
5. Programmatic Advertising in CTV
Programmatic advertising is extremely target-oriented and hyper-personalized to individuals. Netflix is one of the biggest examples of programmatic advertising as part of its global marketing strategy. They have invested more in the data-driven marketing approach for better personalization of their content recommendation to gain more sign-ups.
According to Bloomberg, product placements on video streaming will top $23 billion in 2021. What makes that such an effective advertising strategy? Unlike typical ads, this placement can’t be skipped or muted: it is indistinguishable from original content. Numerous studies confirmed that it also improves brand awareness and creates a positive attitude towards products advertised. However, placements can drive negative connotations if they are made too obvious, so subtlety is key, and predisposition towards a certain product matters a lot, particularly when viewers lack general information. Product placement also needs to be increasingly performance-measurable, so marketers can accurately predict ROI, and another shift around the corner might be the introduction of a programmatic approach to product placements on CTVs and OTT devices.
Good luck in the New Year implementing your new marketing plans and strategies. After navigating the complexities and ever-changing outlook during the pandemic, let’s hope for a more stable 2022.
And don’t forget to reach out to SMB Media Consulting for any of your business needs! Check out our website for the services we offer.
Stephanie Bariatti works as a Consultant and Project Manager for SMB Media Consulting. She has had extensive experience with many facets of advertising and media, having worked for and with creative agencies, production companies and research departments. She lives in New York with her wonderful husband, three lovable little boys and a snuggly Golden Retriever.
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