A lot has happened in the digital marketing world this Q2. For example, who hasn’t heard of Elon Musk’s plan to acquire Twitter for $44 Billion? The deal isn’t done yet but seems like it will be soon with Twitter finally giving Musk the data he requested. However, as of July, Musk backed out of the deal and Twitter is suing him over the cancelation.
Elon Musk and Twitter aside, here are other important news from digital marketing this Q2:
The rise of short-form video content
TikTok is currently leading social media in terms of the average time spent per day (38 minutes). It also has higher engagement levels compared to the other platforms. Currently, TikTok has 1 billion daily active users and 9.7 million monthly video views. All these cement one fact: short-form video content is on the rise and will keep on rising.
Following TikTok’s footsteps are Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts. Despite not being the pioneer, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts are closing up on TikTok’s fame.
Instagram has been making changes to further boost Reels’ consumption. Reels can now be up to 90-seconds—extended from 60-seconds. Instagram also tested the new visual feed to make the platform more immersive. The change applies to both images and video, turning them into full-screen vertical (16:9) format. This shows Instagram’s commitment to make Reels a better experience for its users and creators.
YouTube Shorts have recorded an average of 30 billions daily views. It is a significant increase from the 5 trillion all-time Shorts views in February. With the rapid rise of Shorts, YouTube might be TikTok’s biggest competitor yet.
The social media channel to look out for
Snapchat’s rise and fall
At the start of Q2, Snapchat was looking to be a dark horse. The company’s Q1 financial report released in April 2022 reveals that their daily active users increased to 332 million—an 18% year-over-year (YoY) increase. They also grew YoY revenue by 38%, even though advertisers paused ads for a few weeks because of the war in Ukraine. Not only that, Snapchat is beating Facebook and Twitter when it comes to growth.
Snapchat’s Dynamic Ads is one of the best revenue-generating channels for advertisers. Its’ revenue more than tripled YoY, as more advertisers use their product catalogs to automatically create ads in real time. AR (augmented reality) is also something for advertisers to look into. Snapchat revealed, more than 250 million Snapchatters engage with AR everyday on average. Online retailer platform, GOAT, uploaded two AR shoe try-on Lenses to its public profile and saw over 1 million plays in the first week alone.
However, in May 2022, Snap shares plunged 30% after CEO Evan Spiegel announced the company will miss its target revenue and adjusted earnings in the current quarter. Not only that, the company will also slow hiring through the end of the year to manage expenses. At this rate, Snapchat may surprise us all at the end of 2022, but we’re not sure if it will be a positive one or a negative one.
YouTube might be coming for Netflix
YouTube and paid streaming services are on the rise following the move from linear TV. But with the fragmentation and rising prices, YouTube seems like the best choice. Thus, traditional TV advertisers started appearing more on the channel to advertise.
In 2021, YouTube’s ads only revenue was $6.01 billion, almost matching Netflix’s total revenue. Aside from the appearance of more TV advertisers, direct response ads and brand advertising also contribute to the number.
Social commerce is the way
Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest are some of the few that understand how appealing shopping without ever having to exit your social media scrolling is. Being able to just shop while you scroll through social media or when watching a live stream is the level of convenience that we all strive for. Streamlined and seamless in-app shopping is not only beneficial to customers, but also to brands.
According to TikTok’s own studies, 48% of users have discovered a product or service on the platform and immediately bought it at least once in the past year. Clean skincare brand, Plant Mother saw a 100% increase in revenue and a 1280% increase in referral traffic after launching an Instagram shop in November 2021. Accenture Study even predicts that Social Commerce will reach $1.2 trillion globally by 2025: a 3x faster growth rate than traditional eCommerce.
Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest have announced their integration with WooCommerce to make the in-app shopping experience more seamless.
What this new integration does for each platform is that it allows brands to sync their store catalog into the platform—converting it into a shoppable post. It also allows campaign performance tracking and developing ads so brands can streamline promoting specific products. On Instagram, any users can now tag products on their posts and stories, and if the tags are clicked, it will redirect to the store’s Instagram shop.
Aside from shop features, another winning sales channel is livestream shopping. Consumers spend three-times longer watching live videos compared to pre-recorded ones, noted Rob Illidge, CEO of social media agency Social Republic.
But the big reason for the success likely comes from the fact that it’s a safer and more convenient alternative to in-store shopping. It helps customers to interact with the product directly which in turn boosts their trust toward the brand. The jewelry brand, Moriarty’s Gem Art started doing shoppable Facebook and YouTube livestream in 2021. And in November 2021 alone, the brand made $30,000 from its livestream show alone.
Interactive and responsive marketing is happening
WhatsApp business app for maximum convenience
Research shows nearly 71% of users want to communicate with businesses in the same way that they message friends. To respond, Meta announced a new way to create Facebook and Instagram ads that start a WhatsApp chat. Many businesses think this ad style is the best when it comes to letting new customers discover and have a conversation with them.
With WhatsApp Business App’s new updates, there’s no need to switch between WhatsApp and Ads Manager. Marketers can create the ads directly in the WhatsApp Business App. Aside from this update, the App also offers premium paid features such as:
- Managing up to 10 chats across many devices
- Customizing ‘Click-to-Chat’ links
- Access to statistics
- Sending WhatsApp messages to users who leave WhatsApp without completing a sale
WhatsApp also rolled out WhatsApp Cloud API that targets smaller businesses. Whatsapp Business Accounts will pay on a per-message basis. The rates will depend on the number of messages sent per month and the business’ region. The API is compatible with Zendesk and MessageBird.
The new API helps businesses:
- Ease third-party channel integrations: cutting the weeks-long integration process to only a few minutes
- Have a better CRM experience: store private data through the app seamlessly; integrate all tickets through one channel
Metaverse immersion has begun
Metaverse is the new marketers’ playground. More and more brands are starting to leverage the digital channel’s interactive, seamless, and immersive nature to advertise. A great example of this is Roblox’s Gucci Garden, which aimed to raise brand awareness amongst younger consumers. In the virtual garden, visitors could try on and buy digital Gucci products to dress their avatars.
NFT (non-fungible tokens) plays a big part in the Metaverse. Brands have also leveraged the authenticity and exclusivity factor of NFTs to link owners to communities or use it as a digital badge. An example of this is the 2022 Super Bowl when the NFL gave each spectator an NFT that was unique to their row and seats to commemorate their tickets and be used as digital keepsakes.
So why Metaverse? Well, according to eMarketer research, there will be 65 million people that use VR and 110 million using AR every month in 2023. That’s a lot of potential young customers to have in one space. Aside from that, the use of Metaverse as a digital marketing channel also has the potential to offer an entirely new set of performance metrics.
“Marketers will be able to experiment with how long virtual objects are held, how much space they take up in a user’s peripheral vision, and even where users are looking when experiencing an ad. These insights have the potential to completely re-map what you know about your audience, providing invaluable direction going forward.” — Patrick Casey, director of growth marketing at digital health brand Felix Health
Meta creator marketplace
Meta is testing its very own Creator Marketplace. It is very similar to TikTok’s Creator Marketplace—an in-house influencer marketing platform where brands can source top TikTok personalities for their marketing campaigns. It’s clear that the Marketplace is part of Meta’s continued efforts to take on TikTok and to pull more creators into the platform.
TikTok Pulse: next-level contextual advertising solution
TikTok recently launched Pulse, its new contextual advertising solution aimed to bring brands closer to its customers. It lets advertisers place their brand next to the top most engaging content in relevant consumers’ “For You” section: supercharging brand exposure as it puts brands among the top 4% of all videos in TikTok.
TikTok also offers 12 categories of Pulse, allowing brands to place their ads next to the most culturally relevant content. This allows brands to engage with the communities that matter the most to them. Categories include beauty and fashion, cooking, and other verticals TikTokers love engaging with.
Pulse is also a new way for TikTok to engage with and begin exploring their first advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures, and media publishers. Creators and publishers with at least 100k followers will be eligible in the initial stage of this program.
PMax launches new features
Performance Max released new features that will help advertisers to gain new customers, understand campaign performance better, and upgrade Smart Shopping campaigns easily.
PMax’s new features will help advertisers to focus on new customers through new acquisition goals, understand automation-based decisions, and improve Smart Shopping campaigns via the “One-click” upgrade tool.
The sunsetting of ETA
As you already know, Google RSA (Responsive Search Ads) will be permanently replacing ETA this 2022. RSA is Google’s way to better adapt to current browsing behavior so it could always present relevant ads to customers’ search queries. RSA uses automation to simplify the way you create Search Ads and drive performance. This allows advertisers to drive incremental conversions while at the same time creating fewer ads.
Microsoft advertising also announced open beta for RSA ad customizers. Advertisers can create more dynamic ads with more product information without having to manually edit text. This means a lot of ad variations can be created in a single ad. The ads will also be more targeted based on specific product details provided in the ad.
Privacy is now more important than ever
End of third-party cookies
It’s almost the end of third-party cookies. Zero and first-party cookies: data the customers willingly give, will rule instead. Surveys, emails, CRM tools are some examples how advertisers can get this data. This is for sure a win-win-win case for everyone involved.
Google launched GA 4, its cross-device analytics tool that respects and protects users’ privacy. GA 4 has privacy mechanisms in place, allowing it to fill in the gaps that were previously users’ third-party data. That aside, GA 4 also comes with a lot of advanced features and benefits that allows for a more granular user journey personalization. With UA sunsetting in 2023, advertisers are encouraged to migrate their data as early as now so they have working data available next year.
Wrap up: Q2 in a nutshell
Customers will keep on engaging with short-form content, as apparent with the continuous rise of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and YouTube Shorts. Advertisers need to try exploring Snapchat Dynamic Ads as well as YouTube advertising aside from Metaverse, as both can prove to be a profitable channel. Social commerce will continue to stay and will be the future of online shopping. Giving customers an immersive, interactive experience that responds to their needs and respects their privacy will be the key in staying relevant in 2022.
Q2 was pretty intense. Q3 and Q4 will be even more so. It’s high time for your business to start getting ready for these heavy months.
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