More than 50% of about 18,000 recently surveyed marketers plan to increase their social ad spending. As more brands start to be proactive in crushing their marketing goals through social media advertising, the competition will get even more fierce.
To cut through the noise, brands and marketing leaders must take the lead in improving their ads strategy and stay one step ahead in the game. They must align their strategy with their audience’s needs by recognizing and leveraging the latest trends to their advantage.
This article discusses the top trends in social media advertising we’ve seen emerge this year and how you can adapt to these trends to maximize ROI in your business. We’ve also included examples from which you can take inspiration to create high-performing ads.
1. Video ads are on the rise
About 72% of customers prefer learning about a product through a video. That’s how much videos are in demand today.
However, creating adapts and variants manually is time-consuming with traditional design tools. Especially when you’re an agency that needs to develop hundreds of ad creatives, this approach isn’t scalable.
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What works in a video ad
For a video ad to work, it needs to attract attention within the first few seconds. This has become even more difficult today as customers’ attention spans are reducing daily, year by year. Your ads must stand out as multiple brands compete for your target customer’s attention.
The colors must be attractive and eye-catching, and the ad must speak to the audience, so they’re hooked to watching until the end. More importantly, it must resonate with the target audience’s pain points or interests.
Let us show you examples of the kind of video ads that work.
This ad by Cat Footwear promotes a special labor day offer that has been extended for a few more days. What immediately catches attention in this ad is the title in a color (also their brand color) contrasting with the backdrop.
The backdrop shows a very close shot of one of their products, detailing the stitches and the quality customers can expect from the brand.
The ad is only 12 seconds long, and the video caption highlights the ad’s purpose, i.e., to announce the sale extension and show the discount they’re offering during this period.
Short, sweet, and crisp.
Indigenous Tourism Canada
This ad by Indigenous Tourism Canada uses storytelling to hook and indulge its audience with this short video ad.
The video shows a glimpse of the culture, and wildlife of Québec, along with the activities tourists can do on their trips, such as river rafting, nature walks, hiking, and more. This tempts the nature and adventure-loving audience to see Québec as a potential travel destination.
The best part—the video ad shows it all within 15 seconds, which is enough to hook travel nomads to watch this entire video, even on repeat.
2. Automated ad creation is booming
Any creative process demands time. With redundant work like creating multiple ad variations, resizing creatives for different channels, cumbersome data gathering, and making edits—you possibly can’t keep up with high volumes of campaigns coming your way.
Automation relieves you from this heavy lifting and streamlines your ad creation process. When you automate processes like bulk creation, bulk editing, setting brand governance rules, reporting and analytics, and many more—all you need to worry about is the strategy and optimization.
With Meta rolling out automated ads, now create AI-powered ads with a very simple setup process. Moreover, it uses Facebook’s data to get personalized recommendations to improve and optimize your ad for success.
3. More focus on brand marketing
Performance ads are great and all, but they rely solely on real-time digital media attribution.
We get it. It drives direct sales in a short-term period. But what about brand awareness, then?
You see, 59% prefer to purchase from brands they trust, and only relying on performance ads isn’t going to guarantee that. You need to bring out what your brand stands for and your values to enhance their perception of your brand.
Today, about 80% of marketers use social media ads to increase brand recognition. It allows them to establish trust in their customers and target customers at every stage of the funnel (from awareness to conversion).
Meanwhile, note that brand and performance marketing go hand in hand. The key is to balance both and iterate the strategy depending on the audience type and intent.
For example, check out this ad by Dove to inspire young women to be confident in their skins.
This idea of empowering today’s youth to feel more confident portrays the values Dove believes in. Naturally, people feel more inclined to such brands that share their values and beliefs.
Here are some ideas you can try for your next brand awareness campaign.
- Show behind-the-scenes of your brand—your manufacturing or packaging process
- Talk about your origin story
- Talk about a cause you believe in
- Show your work culture with their employees
4. User-generated ads for the win
Today, anyone with a smartphone or a camera can record a video and post it online. Also, when people see other people talking about a brand and sharing their reviews (positive or negative), it impacts their buying decision.
Let us take an example of the Doritos posted on Snapchat.
Doritos has been running this campaign using a Snapchat AR lens that’s allowing users to scan triangles in real-life objects and win points. This is a contest where every triangle one scans can win them an exclusive experience or a reward worth $250,000.
In the ad, you can see a woman searching around a shopping center to track triangles. When the audience sees someone participating and engaging in the contest, it urges them to try the lens out and look for triangles around them.
Moreover, this makes the ad look more authentic as people share such posts on their socials, and brands have nothing to do with ideation and strategy.
5. Ads without sound are popular
Don’t you hate it when you’re randomly scrolling, and an ad starts playing on full volume? It’s not just you—it turns out 66% of people in the US hate it too, according to a survey.
Outstream videos play without a sound and pause when a user scrolls past them. This type of content is easy to comprehend, and users can watch it anytime, anywhere.
For example, see how beautifully Lego has created this outstream video ad.
The ad has the potential to capture the attention of Potterheads instantly, and it manages to advertise the product, i.e., Lego set, so clearly, without any captions. It focuses solely on highlighting the product while detailing each building block that even adults from the Harry Potter fandom feel tempted to grab this Lego set.
6. Influencer marketing ads are worth the hype
Influencer marketing has been a buzzword lately, but it’s believed to be a tangible marketing strategy by marketers and brands. It mainly involves macro, and micro social media influencers wherein brands send their products to these influencers and promote them to their followers.
Unlike celebrity endorsements you see on TV or in newspapers, these ad campaigns cater to a hyper-targeted audience.
While looking for an influencer to market their product, brands must ensure that their audiences are in the same demographics and have similar interests and goals.
For example, Jesse is an influencer on Instagram who creates and posts lifestyle videos. His audience is likely to be a mix of millennials and GenZs that care about productivity and personal development.
View this post on Instagram
Through this ad for audible, he urges his audience to invest in their growth and learn on the go with the audiobook app. We’re sure most of his audience base can relate to how difficult it is to manage time for these things when you’re hustling with different aspects of your life. Audible is portrayed as a viable solution to make the best of their free time.
Predictive trends for the future
Social media advertising is your sure-shot way to connect with your target audience and generate business in a short span of time. However, the market changes constantly based on customers’ interests and behaviors. What works today may not be very relevant in the next five years.
Moreover, with apple announcing privacy protection to safeguard customers’ activities and data, it’ll be more difficult for marketers to gather audience insights. This is where you need to be more proactive in your marketing efforts about knowing your audience on a deeper level.
Regardless of your content format, invest more time in mastering storytelling in your ads so it invokes your audience’s emotions and captures their pain points.