Social Media Advertising: 4 trends to keep an eye on in 2022

Digital advertising and social networks are constantly evolving. Understanding and being aware of these changes is essential to take advantage of the advertising tools available on the different social media platforms. Read the article to find out the 4 social media advertising trends to keep an eye on in 2022.

2021 was a year full of new challenges and opportunities for digital marketing. To ensure the right visibility and relevance, brands have further increased the budget allocated to digital advertising. Global spending on digital ad in 2021 is estimated to have grown by around 20%. Furthermore, an exponential growth is expected not only in the current year but also in those to come: Statista foresees that in 2022 the global ad spend will exceed 173 million dollars and it will grow year-on-year by about 9,77%.

The decline in organic reach and engagement that will affect 2022 (as explained in the article dedicated to the 2022 Digital Marketing Trends ) will help strengthen the power of advertising, which will be for brands one of the main tools to rely on to achieve the various business goals. Knowing the 2022 social media advertising trends is essential to set up the right social media marketing strategy.

Less traditional social media platforms such as Clubhouse, TikTok, Snapchat and Pinterest appear to be better suited than in the past to reach a certain target audience, according to the Hootsuite report, drawn up following an annual survey involving over 18,000 marketers. In 2022, marketers will increase ad spend on these social networks; however, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and LinkedIn will continue to be the main reference platforms. In fact, a high percentage of respondents said they will continue to invest significant amounts in advertising on solid platforms used by different target users.

This forecast is also confirmed by the and WBR Insights report, which is based on a survey of 100 US marketing experts. In this report, 98% of respondents stated that Facebook will remain the social network on which very high advertising budgets will be invested for 2022, followed by Instagram (94%), YouTube (88%) and Twitter (71%).

What’s interesting is that optimism and confidence in new and increasingly popular platforms are growing significantly, while there is a decrease of this sentiment on “more established” social media platforms. TikTok went from being considered effective for their business by 3% to 24% of respondents, recording an increase of 700%; while Snapchat went from 1% to 13%, which means an increase of 1200%.

Analysing these statistics, it is clear that marketers will continue to allocate large budgets on the most established social networks, however, as new platforms are progressively showing their potential, this might change in the years to come. Betting on the newest social networks, without forgetting the most established ones, could be the right compromise to obtain significant results from our advertising campaigns. Beyond the numbers, when choosing which social network to invest on for advertising purposes, it is essential to take into consideration the audience we want to target.

Ads will have more innovative formats

An increase in optimism towards less traditional social networks was recorded not only by brands, but also by users. In fact, some research shows that consumers have a more positive response towards ads on TikTok, Snapchat, and Pinterest than those published on other social networks. Specifically, an analysis carried out by Kantar on behalf of TikTok shows that, according to consumers, the TikTok ads are more stimulating; while, according to a Nielsen study, Snapchat ads seem to achieve greater results in terms of reach and generate greater awareness and propensity-to-buy. As for Pinterest, ads generate a higher ROI rate than on other platforms. This is due to the advertising saturation on some platforms and to the more engaging formats offered, for example, by TikTok and Snapchat. Creativity in 2022 will be a key ingredient for success.

In addition, a few days ago Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook Reels, offering new business opportunities for brands. Reels are already one of the most used formats on Instagram by companies and creators for the promotion of their products and services. Now this format is also available on Facebook globally. Additionally, Meta’s CEO also said that the team is studying new monetization tools (including overlay ads, banner and sticker ads, full-screen ads and in-stream ads), which will be available soon.

Videos will be the most successful format

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that videos are the most successful format on social networks: for years we have witnessed a steady growth of videos compared to static images. This trend will keep on being relevant in 2022 as well.

Almost 50% of respondents said they will focus on creating videos and animations and 34% will concentrate on data-driven creativity – which consists of creating images and videos based on data. Only 19% of respondents stated that they will increase the number of advertising campaigns based on static images.

Companies will be increasingly oriented towards marketing automation tools

In recent years, advertising has become increasingly automated. While some processes such as creative and graphic development are impossible to automate, there are some software that allow us to streamline the management and publication of advertising campaigns. These are tools, based on artificial intelligence, capable of automatically optimizing ad spend, targeting and distribution on the different platforms in order to achieve the best possible result. This reduces the time marketers need to set the parameters of the campaign: for 73% of respondents, creating ads often takes a long time.

Despite this, most marketers still use manual processes. However, many of the respondents (69%) said they are interested in making their processes automated and do not rule out the possibility of relying on artificial intelligence in the near future. According to interviewees, this would allow to devote their time to achieving other important strategic goals.

The management of advertising campaigns will not be obstacle-free

Setting up a social media advertising campaign requires the involvement of multiple teams – especially marketers, graphic designers and data analysts. However, only 55% of respondents said they work within a company whose departments work closely together to achieve common goals. This percentage is 16% lower than last year’s result and the reasons must be sought both internally and externally.

Internally, talent shortages represent the most common challenge among respondents (36%), followed by the difficulty of successfully managing advertising campaigns across multiple social media channels (33%). Furthermore, 20% of respondents said that the lack of design resources to create advertisements was their biggest problem; while only 11% encountered difficulties in integrating their social media advertising strategies within the marketing mix process.

The external challenges concern, for more than a third of the interviewees, the rise in prices of ads on social media and the high competition; a significant portion of them (29%) find it difficult to adapt their campaigns to consumers’ behaviour and habits. Finally, the difficulties of analysing the KPIs of each campaign (19%) and the new privacy regulations and their impact on ad targeting and personalization (18%) are the other main obstacles mentioned by the respondents.

Summing up

The decline in engagement and organic reach will undoubtedly contribute to increasing the power of digital advertising. While optimism is growing towards more innovative platforms and more creative and attention-grabbing multimedia formats such as videos and animations, the challenges that companies face are also on the rise.

Even the process of creating and managing advertising campaigns on social networks is undergoing changes, even though (for the moment) this concerns a small number of marketers. However, this is a trend that should not be underestimated since many of the interviewees stated that they are interested in taking advantage of marketing automation tools.

What do you think of these 2022 Social Media Advertising Trends? Tell us your opinion in the comments and contact us to find out how we can help you create effective advertising campaigns!

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Since I was a child, my school career has been driven by a passion for what I wanted to do when I was grown up. So I graduated in modern languages and cultures at the University of Pavia and now I'm studying journalism and communication at the University of Bergamo. Today I do what I like most: I work in the technical publishing industry dedicating myself in particular to social media and digital marketing at Eos Mktg&Communication, the publishing house of the international ipcm® magazines. If I had to describe myself in three words according to my hobbies and interests, I would say: globetrotter, shopaholic and motorsport-addicted.

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