March 2022

March 2022 Roundup

In this month’s roundup, we have a lot to keep up with as usual – the digital world is as always, a very fast-paced world! On the one hand, Instagram is upping its game with all new features to increase the ecommerce side of the business but also to support creators and help them monetise their content. On the other hand, Google Chrome is phasing out third-part cookies. Can you even wrap your head around the idea of Privacy Sandbox technology that is said to help us navigate in a cookieless world?! Challenging, right?! And we all thought back in 2007 that keeping up with the Kardashians was somewhat impossible! 😊

Hopkins Communications Sparks Post March 2022 - Instagram algorithm explained

2022 Instagram algorithm explained

Let’s start with one of the most mind-blowing facts – the Instagram algorithm isn’t a single algorithm. Instead, it’s a variety of algorithms, classifiers, and processes that work together to put the right content in front of the right people at the right time. At the end of the day, that’s what the algorithm does. It doesn’t have ulterior motives and it doesn’t want to help or hurt your business, posts, and reach.

The goal of Instagram (and therefore the algorithm) is to ensure that its users enjoy their time on the app and spend more time there. The Instagram algorithm operation principle has been a total mystery for a long time and trying to get on top of it was mostly based on guessing and the good ole trial and fail process. Although this has changed after Instagram’s CEO, Adam Mosseri explained it in a video posted on his Instagram account.

It seems that currently, key factors that affect what users see in their IG feeds are:

    • The post’s popularity indicators – how many people clicked like, where it was located, what its duration was (if it was a video)
    • How frequently the user interacted with the account in the past
    • How many posts the user has liked
    • The user’s engagement with the account’s other content

Regardless of whether you’re trying to rank on Explore, Reels, or Feed, the number of interactions you get plays a major role in your content visibility. So, if you want to make the Instagram algorithm work for you, it’s important to create content that drives a ton of likes, shares, comments, and even saves.

Hopkins Communications Sparks Post March 2022 - Likes On Stories

Instagram Enables Likes On Stories and Testing New Feed Options

Speaking of likes, Instagram has enabled likes on story posts, giving users another way to express positive sentiments towards other users’ content. In an official announcement from Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram, it’s said this feature is being rolled out to clean up users’ DM inboxes.

Previously, to engage with an Instagram story, you either had to re-share it or reply to it with a comment. Those options all cluttered up users’ DM inboxes with notifications.

Now you can engage with a story by tapping a like button, just as you would with a regular feed post, which doesn’t send a DM notification to the other user.

Adam Mosseri also announced that the platform is testing some changes to users’ feeds. The potential new layout would allow people to switch between three different views on the home screen.

The options include:

  • Home: This is the current Instagram setting in which the platform creates feeds based on the content it thinks will interest each user the most.
  • Favorites: The content in this section comes from a list of accounts chosen by the user and appears on the feed in chronological order.
  • Following: This is a chronological stream of accounts a user follows

You can watch the full video here.

Hopkins Communications Sparks Post March 2022 - Facebook Reels

Meta Launches Facebook Reels worldwide along with new creative tools and ads

Meta is starting to monetise its reels platform with overlay ads, which gives creators another opportunity to monetise their content. The feature allows creators to share short-form video content on Facebook or cross-post Reels from Instagram to reach a broader audience.

Creators participating in the ad tests will be able to try out two different ad formats: banners and stickers. These are non-interruptive ads, as they sit transparently atop the playing content instead of pausing the video to show the ad. Banner ads appear as a semi-transparent overlay at the bottom of a reel, while stickers are static images that can be placed anywhere within the reel, just like other stickers can be. Facebook will then choose the ad to display in the frame that’s best suited to the viewer.

Both ad formats will layer on top of Facebook reels in a transparent format. This means that viewers will be able to watch their favourite content creators uninterrupted, while subtly being introduced to relevant ads to them. Being part of the ad monetisation program gives back portions of ad revenue to creators, allowing them to spend more time creating quality content for the Meta platform.

Hopkins Communications Sparks Post March 2022 - Post-Cookie World

How A Post-Cookie World Will Affect Advertising 

It’s no secret that measurement has been a challenging topic for most advertisers. With the iOS 14 update, the future removal of third-party cookies, and more – new approaches to measurement will be critical for success.

Ever since Google announced its plans to make third-party cookies obsolete on Chrome browsers by 2022, many publishers and advertisers have been scrambling to prepare for a post-cookie world.  The truth is, we’ve been living in one already — kind of. Third-party cookies have already been phased out of Safari and Firefox browsers. Throwing Chrome browsers into the mix just feels like the final nail in the coffin because they’re responsible for over 64% of the market share.

All is not lost but do keep in mind that solutions put into place will rely on your first-party data and privacy-safe APIs.

These efforts put the user first by respecting their privacy, but also listening to the needs of advertisers to track campaign efforts.

Google has also updated its privacy playbook to capture these needs both from the advertiser and user perspective. The three main highlights of this playbook include:

  • Building direct relationships with customers
  • Ensuring measurement remains accurate and actionable
  • Keeping your ads relevant

In building direct relationships with customers, you’re able to capture first party data for more 1:1 direct communication, such as email marketing or in-app messaging. Moreover, the goal of some of your non-branded or awareness efforts should shift to capturing first-party data, instead of the final sale.

Not exactly sure what all this exactly means? Feel free to contact your Hopkins Communications digital experts – Email and we can start working on your digital strategy to help you navigate in a post-cookie world.

There is no one size-fits all solution – every business is different, and therefore requires a slightly different approach when it comes to digital marketing strategy – but – if you do need expert advice to help you move in your own way, please do get in touch!

Do you need help with your digital strategy or have a specific topic you want us to cover?

If there’s anything you want us to cover in our future Sparks Roundups, or if you need help planning and implementing your digital marketing campaigns, just pop an email, and we will be happy to get back to you.

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