Right now, there is a global social media boom that shows no signs of abating. It’s no longer only about well-known social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter; a slew of new networks are gaining traction and making a stir among marketers and brands.
Take, for example, the rise of TikTok, a relatively new player that continues to grow in popularity, or YouTube, the go-to channel for video enthusiasts, or Instagram, which in 2022 altered its formats to focus on video content. Then there’s a shift in social media demographics as platforms grow in popularity and offer more advertising opportunities.
According to Statista, the number of social media users will reach 3.9 billion in 2022 and 4.4 billion in 2025. That’s a lot of eyes to get your content and brand in front of, and it opens up a lot of organic and paid search advertising chances.
So, what are the most essential social media trends for B2C and B2B in 2022? These are the important 5 trends to watch and plan for this year, according to our panel of experts on our ‘2022 Trends in Digital Marketing podcast:
- TikTok marketing
- Easier social commerce
- Usefulness of influencer marketing
- The rise of YouTube advertising
- Instagram video creation
1. Marketers Can No Longer Ignore TikTok
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You’ve probably heard of TikTok, whether you’re a B2C or B2B marketer. So, do you use it in your marketing efforts, or have you tried your hand at creating content on the platform? If you answered no, skipping TikTok in 2022 could be a massive mistake.
According to Apple’s App Store Awards 2021, the most popular free app was TikTok, which was followed by YouTube and Instagram. People aren’t just downloading the app; they’re also spending money on it, with TikTok’s revenue soaring to $535 million in the second quarter of 2021.
In 2022, the app’s advertising possibilities will further increase. “TikTok has been on the verge of becoming one of the most widely used apps in the world for quite some time. It’s no longer just a passing fad or trend to do a fast dance routine or a challenge; it’s evolved into a really intriguing technique to reach a youthful audience rapidly and on a shoestring budget.”
TikTok’s algorithm and potential for virality are appealing to companies and creators. “When compared to other sites like Instagram, TikTok videos are treated fairly in the algorithm.” TikTok doesn’t care how many followers you have or how long you’ve had your account; it only cares about the quality of your material. So, if your video is compelling, it has a good chance of going viral on the platform,” says the author.
On TikTok, there’s also freedom for experimentation. Chipotle focuses on material made by its employees, but Disney, a constantly inventive company, showcases Disneyland with videos of its tours and exclusive behind-the-scenes information. There are also specialty enterprises that provide a lot of entertaining material with little forethought.
It’s time brands sat up and took notice, especially with TikTok Shopping coming online properly with Shopify in 2022. “Marketers are starting to realize that TikTok allows them to reach a much larger audience than Instagram or Facebook.” As a result, it’s also driving brand results.”
2. Social Commerce is About to Become Seamless
Customers can’t buy in-app, which has been a restriction for many marketers with such a captive audience on social media. Consumers were previously directed to a website or landing page to make a purchase after clicking on a tag or photo. That is beginning to change!
Customers will be allowed to purchase on social media platforms this year as a result of major improvements made by social media companies. “TikTok has collaborated with Shopify, Instagram is improving their shopping section, YouTube is improving shoppable tags in videos, and you can shop on Pinterest,” says the author.
Brands that think smarter about how they exhibit their store windows will prosper now that this type of capability is available on social media networks. According to eMarketer data, social commerce in the US will reach nearly $80 billion by 2025.
So, as a marketer, what can you do to ensure a frictionless consumer experience and that your products or services stand out on social media?
“For example, it’s not simply reliant on one snapshot. It’s all about having three, four, or five different photographs per product in your Instagram shop, as well as adding keyword-rich descriptions. There’s also the option to make Instagram collections and gift suggestions, as well as summer and autumn collections.”
Other recommendations for fully utilizing the power of social commerce in 2022 include:
- When replying to inquiries, be ‘human’ by offering suggestions, links, or a discount coupon.
- Consider teaming up with influencers to promote products with shoppable tags.
- Analyze your data to identify performance and weaknesses in the customer experience.
- Experiment with different content formats and messaging to figure out who your target audience is and how to engage them.
3. Influencer Marketing Will Help Build Authenticity
The influencer marketing industry has increased from $1.7 billion to $13.8 billion in the four years following 2016. This value is expected to increase by 19 percent to $16.4 billion by 2022 according to The State of Influencer Marketing 2022 report.
The role of influencer marketing will become more mainstream. “It’s something that brands who haven’t used it to date will look to use on an increasing basis. Particularly, how influencers intersect with video content and B2B and B2C. I think it will be a more regular part of the marketing mix for brands than it has been in the past.”
Influencer marketing can be very powerful for a brand. The key is to choose an influencer that will not only help drive brand awareness but has an alignment with your product or service. It doesn’t have to involve huge budgets and well-known names, micro-influencers (with between 1,000 and 10,000 followers) can also create a stir.
Take the modern beauty brand, Glossier as an example. Through an army of 500 brand ambassadors, the brand saw users share images of their beauty routines and favorite products. This lends authenticity to the brand and focuses on wellbeing, two things that are more important to people in a post-pandemic world.
Aligning with a 2022 social media calendar is a wonderful method to tap into social media influencers. This will show you popular and relevant events, such as Earth Day, International Cat Day, and Halloween, that you may promote with an influencer.
In the end, influencer marketing will only work if you do your homework and locate influencers who provide authenticity and realness to your business.
4. YouTube Advertising Offers a New Revenue Stream
YouTube’s ad revenue increased by 26% to $8.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021, compared to the previous quarter. Traditional TV advertisers, brand advertising, and direct response commercials all contributed to the spectacular expansion.
YouTube, as a platform, provides enormous opportunities for marketers seeking to raise brand exposure. According to their CEO, Susan Wojcicki, in 2022, the new YouTube Shorts format will test new ways for creators to receive money through branded content deals and NFTs after receiving 5 trillion views (Non-Fungible Tokens).
Many marketers have been hesitant to put material on YouTube in the past because they assumed it had to be of TV-quality. That, however, is not the case.
“Creating effective video content may be a challenge for SMEs without a huge creative budget. However, YouTube has extensively invested in automating some of this, and Google provides a number of tools that allow you to quickly create video assets for use as in-stream adverts.”
This year, a bigger group of businesses will be able to advertise. “YouTube has progressed further down the funnel.” It used to be about brand recognition or branding, but Google has spent extensively in assisting people in using YouTube to generate action, so it now has traction. A number of merchants have had a lot of success using YouTube to drive sales in the last few months.”
The key line is that you should not let your lack of skill in making video content deter you from using YouTube. In 2022, there’s a lot of potential, and advertising on YouTube is still relatively inexpensive compared to other social media platforms. So, develop a YouTube marketing strategy, expand your channel, and start selling ads!
5. Instagram Video Creation Will Explode
“In 2021, Instagram’s CEO said that the company’s strategy would alter to focus more on video-based content. As a result, we’ve seen new features in the app, such as Reels and the unification of IGTV and feed into a single product called Instagram Video,” says the company.
This shift is the result of Instagram realizing that their audience responds favorably to video content and deciding to transition from a photo-sharing app to a major entertainment platform. Instagram is also aware of TikTok’s rising popularity and is adapting to compete with the video-sharing app.
Instagram’s evolution has brought new video forms into play, such as making stories longer and adding more effects to Reels. In Facebook Ads Manager, you can also turn an Instagram Stories highlight into a Reels clip and purchase more video ad formats.
“So, if you’re planning an Instagram strategy for 2022, video content must come first.” You should consider how you can incorporate more video, Reels, stories, and gifts into your Instagram feed,” says the author.
As you can see, social media marketing has a lot going on this year. New prospects for video content and advertising have arisen as a result of exciting new developments on YouTube and Instagram, as well as the widespread use of TikTok.
Transactions will now be allowed within social media apps thanks to new agreements with commerce companies like Shopify, allowing for a frictionless purchase experience. Not only that, but influencer marketing is still a successful technique to interact with your target audience in a meaningful way.
Now is the time to take advantage of some of these B2C and B2B social media marketing trends to make the most of your social media efforts in 2022.