Social Media Trends That Will Impact Digital Advertising

Social media has become a critical ingredient to every advertiser’s marketing mix. Gone are the days in which social media was simply used for product discovery and awareness. Today, social media marketing plays an increasingly important role in driving intent and conversion within the consumer journey. But the world of social media is dynamic and in constant change.

Keeping up with social media evolution can be challenging for many marketers. From Facebook hearings to influencer transparency, here are social media trends and areas of focus that advertisers should keep an eye on to stay on top of the social media marketing game.

Organic Reach Is Changing
The organic world of social content has been unfolding for some time and reflects a broader trend of the evolution happening in SEO. As Google, Facebook and Amazon cracked down with more updates and AI-driven technology, marketers have had to become savvier to reach consumers.

What does this mean for social media marketers? It’s time to change the game by investing in more useful, high-quality content that consumers actually want to see and engage with. Despite all the headlines about Facebook’s algorithm changes, it didn’t wipe out brands that effectively used organic content — it weeded out those that didn’t. If your messaging didn’t produce “meaningful interactions” among users, you weren’t set up to win in the first place. The next generation of content marketers needs to know how to create content that builds a bridge between business goals and consumer needs and desires. Invest in creating engaging social content, and you will continue to win organic social.

Facebook Still Reigns Supreme
Despite all the negative publicity regarding its data privacy and security practices, coupled with disappointing Q2 Wall Street performance, consumers still flock to the tech titan by the billions. Facebook’s daily active users continued to rise in the second quarter to 2.23 billion, solidifying its stronghold as the most impactful social media platform for advertisers.

Sure, Facebook has frequently tinkered with its algorithm, and passive organic reach for businesses has been on the decline for years. But the reality is that advertisers on this social network can no longer rely on passive engagement to play the game. Marketing on Facebook now entails branding, video creation, remarketing, influencers, content marketing, data and analytics. The continuous changes on Facebook shouldn’t deter advertisers from the platform. Instead, brands should redefine the win with better data, analytics and optimization for both paid and organic efforts.

Linkedin Dynamic Ads are Making Ads More Personal
One thing that never changes in the social media world is the ubiquity of advertisements. In fact, recent research says 66 percent of B2B marketers used paid methods to distribute content last year, and 80 percent said they used them to reach a new audience. The last thing you want to do to new audience members, though, is turn them off with impersonal, invasive ads.

That’s why news that LinkedIn is rolling out new ad features is so important. With LinkedIn Dynamic Ads, you can personalize paid ad content and foster more authentic communication. Personalizing content from the beginning breaks down trust barriers early enough to make an impact.

The Instagram Stories Feature isn’t Slowing Down
As counterintuitive as it sounds, perhaps the most valuable content is short-lived. While only temporary, Instagram Stories have become a popular way for users to consistently update their profiles, keep followers engaged, and, in some cases, even increase followers.

What makes the Stories feature so valuable for brands of pretty much any kind — aside from the fact that it’s about twice as popular as Snapchat — is that you don’t need to invest a ton in video to make the most of it. You can share pictures or behind-the-scenes videos that give your audience a glimpse of your values and culture without spending a dime. And you can do so as frequently as you want without overwhelming your followers with half a dozen posts in a day.

Content Will Lead The Pack for Younger Consumers
With billions of daily video views happening on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, marketers should not ignore the engagement that ephemeral (or short-lived) content can provide, especially with millennials and Generation Z-ers. Ephemeral content allows the user to engage with a brand on a more authentic level.

A well-crafted content strategy can deliver stronger brand engagement and loyalty using the right mix of images, influencers and rich media, such as video. Marketers and their creative designers should re envision their video strategy for ephemeral, given the content is short-lived and designed to create FOMO (fear of missing out), no matter the industry. Through buyer personas and other audience segmentation tools, marketers can leverage ephemeral content as the purest form of social media storytelling.

Marketers should expect more changes in the social media landscape in the near term, which means the role of social media marketing will continue to evolve. Combining the power of continuous reach and the ability to optimize and target will elevate the winners on this platform to the next level.