Video is King!
Tik Tok’s takeover of the digital space in 2020 ensured that in 2021 all other social media platforms followed its lead and shifted their focus to more video content. We saw Instagram shift its focus to Reels and Instagram Video (RIP IGTV), with Instagram head Adam Mosseri stating back in October that Instagram is “no longer a photo sharing app” shifting more towards video content to be more in line with its competitors Tik Tok and YouTube.
We also have results here at Hopkins Communications that using videos as part of paid social campaigns performed incredibly well in 2021 for our clients (as we suspected/had learned in previous years), with many social media users interacting with video ads for longer than they would a static image ad. It will be interesting to watch if this move towards more video content will continue into 2022 (hint: we pretty much know it will!)
Shopping, shopping & more shopping!
On-platform shopping was one of the main focuses for many of the social media giants in 2021. While Instagram launched their shopping feature many moons ago, they made a big leap in 2020 when they removed the “Activity” tab and replaced it with the “Shopping” tab. Then in 2021, they took a bigger leap again when they introduced the ability to place ads in the shopping tab (a digital marketers dream!).
And lest we forget, that Tik Tok dove head first into the on-platform shopping world in 2021 with the launch of their collaboration with Shopify to launch TikTok Shopping at the end of August this year. This new feature made it easier than ever for businesses big and small to grow their audience and customer base simultaneously, while also helping TikTok to keep users on the app for even longer, if that’s even possible!
Shopping was made even easier again recently by Instagram when we were all given the opportunity to feel like influencers by being able to add links to our stories, a topic we discussed in our November Sparks. This new feature is especially useful for small businesses, and we noticed so many of them making the most of it during the Black Friday/Cyber Monday period recently which was great!
Privacy & Security Changes
2021 saw many changes made in the digital world when it came to the privacy and security of users online. These changes have created quite a few waves for us digital marketers and taken some adapting to. The most notable change occurred during the Summer of 2021 when Apple rolled out their new IOS updates. These updates gave Apple users the ability to hide their email activity among other changes. When we discussed this change in our October Sparks we were still unsure what effects this would have, now 2 months later we’ve seen the ripple effect of these changes. The main change that we have found in the months that have followed is issues with Facebook Pixels no longer being able to accurately track users and their activity. This means that we as digital marketers have had to think outside the box in order to ensure that our client’s campaigns are reaching the correct audiences, as well as come up with new ways to re-target these people with our clients’ ads.
The focus online has shifted towards more and more inclusivity throughout the year in 2021, something we LOVE to see! We saw so many businesses and social platforms making every effort they could this year to ensure that their content was accessible for all.
We saw Tik Tok enable text to speak, and auto generated captions features for its users to easily integrate it into their videos before uploading them. These features meant that anyone with difficulties seeing or hearing could still use Tik Tok as a platform with a bit more ease.
Instagram and Facebook also followed suit in 2021 by encouraging users to use their auto generated captions feature when posting Instagram videos, Reels and Stories.
These moves by the social media big wigs like Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok towards ensuring that their platforms were accessible and inclusive to all regardless of their ability level, was something that we loved seeing and something that we have been implementing in our own clients’ social media activity and our own as much as possible. If you’d like to find out more about online accessibility updates you can read more here.
We can’t wait to see what the major trends in the digital world will be in 2022, and better yet, what new and exciting updates the social media world has in store for us. No doubt we’ll be sharing our excitement about each and every one of them with you all in our Sparks updates every month next year, so stay tuned!
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