These are our predictions for what 2022 might have in store in terms of updates to features, algorithms, and trends.
Increased Ad Blockers & Changing Privacy Laws
While many went back to work in 2022 and experienced an increase of in-person interactions (as compared to 2020 & 2021), more people are still working from home than ever before, and of course, spending more time online than ever before.
There’s a positive and negative side to this increased amount of screen time. On one hand, it’s never been easier to get in front of your ideal customers simply because they’re spending exponentially more time looking at their phones and computers. However, we’ve also seen a huge increase in ad blockers and changes in privacy laws, which means the likelihood that your target audience will see a display ad or be eligible for re-targeting has actually gone down.
Moreover, people are experiencing screen fatigue, especially if they work from home. Because of this, consumers have gotten much more selective about what kinds of content they consume. This is why influencer marketing continues to be such an incredibly valuable asset to marketers; you’re able to reach your ideal audience by connecting with them via a creator they already know, like, and trust.
Think of an influencer like a bridge that allows you to rise above all the red tape of changing privacy laws, cookies, ad blockers and paid advertising. It’s a proven shortcut that allows you to seamlessly integrate your brand, service, or product into their existing entertainment experience.
Trend: Boomers vs. Zoomers; Age is Affecting Platform Choice
Over the past couple of years, an interesting development in the social media marketing world is how much the age of your target audience matters when it comes to which social platform should earn your budget.
For example, while it’s the most popular platform overall with 2.9 Billion active users, Facebook continues to skew towards older audiences. Instagram has held steady as the social media platform of choice for Millenial audiences (those aged 25-35) while TikTok seems to be where Gen Z spends more time with YouTube coming in close behind.
If you market to Gen Z, be sure to follow our blog or join our Tagger Tuesday newsletter so you never miss out on our “Gen Z Roundup” series where we discuss all the latest topics and trends that matter to the Zoomer generation.
Algorithm Update: Short-form video reigns supreme
After changing their official description from a photo-sharing platform to a video sharing, Instagram sparked conversations in marketing suites around the world with regards to what type of content brands should invest in making. Every platform from TikTok to Instagram to Facebook and even to Pinterest is moving towards a video-first approach.
This is another reason influencer marketing is an excellent investment; video production, and the creative behind it, can be extremely costly. Working with influencers allows marketers to eliminate that overhead cost while also tapping into the type of content their target audiences already want to see.
We’re seeing the data backs this theory up; video consistently gets higher engagement rates across all platforms than single in-feed photo posts or even photos in stories. Investing in Reels and short-form video is going to be the top-performing content format in 2022 and 2023.
This algorithm adjustment has even been confirmed by Instagram Chief Adam Mosseri in a video saying, “We’re going to double-down on our focus on video and consolidate all of our video formats around Reels”.
Trend & Algorithm Update: more emphasis on eCommerce
We’ve been reporting on this since 2019 when we predicted the rise of Live Selling and increased opportunities for in-platform and shopping and, well…we were right. In a BIG way.
There are more opportunities for brands to drive revenue than ever before via social media, which is why it’s important to make sure you have a strategy built around nurturing customers before asking for the sale. This is where influencers are, again, so valuable. You can expose your target audience to your product repeatedly via the creators they trust, presenting them with multiple opportunities to purchase rather than just serving them an ad.
Update: Chronological feeds are back
After months of criticism surrounding how the app ranks and serves content, Instagram announced it would re-introduce the chronological feed as an option for users of the app. It harkens back to the original concept and algorithm of the early 2010’s when Instagram first exploded onto the scene.
For now, it appears this will be an optional toggle for users who wish to view their feed chronologically instead of being served content the algorithm chooses for them. It’s unclear when this feature will be introduced, but like any new feature, it will affect posting and content strategy for marketers and creators.
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