The world of social media platforms is a fast-paced one. With the average lifespan of posts ranging from 21 minutes to one day, you can’t stay stagnant and expect success.
Similarly, you can’t continue to rely on the same tactics and strategies you’ve been using for the past several years and expect their performance to stay the same.
Here is a roundup of channels and newer ad capabilities to consider in 2021. Take a look at how they can help keep your social media marketing top notch.
Social media channels to add to your marketing mix:
In Q3 2020, Spotify reported 320 million monthly active users, which was up 29% year-over-year (YoY) and up 7% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Additionally, this platform has proven to capture users’ attention. They listen to content on Spotify an average of 1.5 to 2.5 hours daily. Spotify presents an opportunity for brands to connect with their audiences — whether it’s through ads, a branded account where you can put together playlists or a hosted podcast that’s available to stream. With the increased popularity of streaming audio content and the amount of time spent on the platform daily, Spotify marketing is worth considering this year.
In Q3 2020, Pinterest reported 442 million monthly active users, which was up 37% YoY. Pinners go to the platform to get inspiration and are open to discovering new brands. In fact, 97% of all Pinterest searches are unbranded. That being said, when users find branded content, 78% find it useful. Pinterest offers brands an opportunity to visually showcase how their products and services fit into the inspiration Pinners are looking for. It also is a great platform to leverage step-by-step or how-to content, which might exist on your blog or YouTube channel. The platform growth and usefulness of branded content make this channel an appealing addition to your marketing mix.
Known as the platform for sharing 15-second content, TikTok has a reported 800 million monthly active users. It became the most downloaded app in the world after 315 million downloads in Q1 2020 and more than 2 billion in Q2. On average, people spend 45 minutes on the platform daily, and 90% of these individuals check the platform multiple times every day. More than half of users are between the ages of 18 and 34, making it easier to connect with a younger audience. In 2020, content on TikTok drove several social media trends and challenges, and people are sharing this short content across multiple platforms. If your brand is looking to influence younger audience members, TikTok could be a good investment.
In the United States, 68 million people listen to podcasts weekly. While a lot of podcast listening happens during transit and at work, 49% of listening is done at home — a number which has likely gone up over the course of this year. Interestingly, podcast listeners are more likely to follow brands on social media than non-listeners. And 69% of listeners agree that podcast sponsorships have helped increase their awareness of different products and services. Podcasts give brands the opportunity to connect with users in a relatively new medium while cross-promoting their other communication channels and driving sales. Consider adding podcast ads or your hosted podcast to your communication matrix.
Social media tactics to leverage:
Conversation and lead generation ads
In 2020, LinkedIn released its conversation ad to all advertisers. This ad format is essentially a mash-up between a Sponsored InMail and chatbot, giving brands the opportunity to guide their audience members through a conversation to drive a specific action. This ad type provides opportunities for marketers to connect users with the content or reasoning they need to drive a certain action. With other ad formats, you have one CTA and hope that it entices your audience to take action. With this ad, you’re able to deliver personalization, multiple messages and a few CTAs. Some of the highest conversion rates of any social media ad — up to 90% — have been seen coming from this ad type.
Instagram product tagging ads
In October, Facebook announced an advertising capability on Instagram that allows advertisers to add product tags to their paid-only ads. Historically, this has been an organic feature, so bringing it into the world of paid advertising opens new opportunities for marketers pushing online sales — a likely trend in 2021. This feature is available for photo, video and carousel ads.
Instagram Stories ads
Across platforms, users have adopted Stories or a Stories-like functionality. About 500 million users engage with Instagram Stories daily, and branded story content has an 85% completion rate, indicating users find value in the content brands are sharing. Because people are heavily using Stories, it’s a great placement to leverage for advertising. And on Instagram, the industry sees a higher average CTR and lower CPC in Stories than for in-feed placements, which indicates it could be a good place to direct marketing dollars.
Paid Facebook events
Events on Facebook aren’t new, but the ability to monetize them in-platform is. As brands continue to look for ways to engage with their audiences virtually, paid Facebook events are a cost-effective (and profitable) alternative to paid ads. People increased their social media usage in 2020, so a paid Facebook event might be a good answer when planning your online events that have fees associated with them. If this is a tactic you’re considering, make sure you’ve complied with the following: Facebook’s Partner Monetization Policies, Paid Online Events Terms and Conditions, Apple’s App Store Guidelines for In-App Purchases, and Google Play’s Monetization and Ads Policy.