Four key social media advertising trends for 2023
6 min read

Four key social media advertising trends for 2023

The power of social media as a space for brands to focus advertising spend is becoming increasingly undeniable – so monitoring latest trends can be crucial for success.

According to GWI’s Social Media Report, 95% of people online use social sites and apps. This percentage alone is a key indicator to brand decision-makers that social media is worth investing ad expenditure.

By the end of 2021, Statista predicts social advertising spend could reach $153,974 million – that’s projected to grow by 10.93% annually to $233,137 million by 2025.

To keep pace with competitors, you should make a robust social media advertising strategy an important aspect of your overall marketing plan.

So what will 2023 bring? In this article, we take a closer look at social ad trends. Plus, what’s changed and what your brand could focus on for the year ahead.

What will our social media ad trends guide cover?

  • Social media – the challenges
  • Four key social ad trends for 2023:
  1. The prominence of video
  2. Automating social ad production
  3. Influencers remain popular – but authenticity is demanded
  4. In-stream shopping and shoppable post growth

Social media – the challenges

Getting the most from your social media ads and content is a more nuanced process than simply producing ads for increased revenue. It’s important to have a view of the market, know what’s trending and understand what consumers want from your brand.
As we discussed last year, global internet traffic experienced an unsurprising rise due to the pandemic, which created an upturn in social media usage.

However, the GWI report also shows social usage has fallen and stabilised as we’ve moved through 2021.
The report highlights that, across the past two years, social media user behaviour is evolving to lean more towards making connections, plus seeking entertainment and news.

Misinformation – especially well-documented regarding Facebook – has also been a huge issue for social media since the start of the pandemic. Although platforms are trying to combat the rise in fake news, there’s likely to be distrust surrounding content consumed in these spaces.

Over the next year, it will be fascinating to see how the industry reacts to combat distrust. However, although this is a real issue, social media is being used in great numbers, remains popular, and there’s an incredible opportunity for brands to service consumers.

Four key social ad trends for 2023

1. The prominence of video

Last year, we said video formats would continue to grow – and that momentum looks set to continue as the industry moves into 2023. For years, video content has been a guaranteed engagement winner for brands and that is set to continue.

Twitter says that video is the fastest growing advertising tool on its platform. In fact, Twitter Business reported that there are over 2 billion video views on the platform every day. It also says that Tweets containing video content receive ten times more engagement than those without it. The great news for your creative team is that it’s a budget hero, too. Twitter Business states that ads containing video save over 50% on cost-per-engagement!

Previously, we reported the rise of TikTok and the surge of stories within the world of social media. These have been joined by further formats such as Instagram Reels and Snapchat Spotlight to bolster social video content.

After researching the role video can play within advertising, Bannerflow discovered that video content can offer 85% more click-throughs than static ads.

Video can be key to any brand’s social media advertising strategy. After all, it’s engaging, entertaining and remains one of the biggest trends in the industry.

TikTok or Reels?

With so many new and established social media options, it can be hard to know where to position your advertising efforts to get the best ROI for your brand. As a digital leader, you understand that platform audiences vary. To get the most from your campaigns, it’s crucial to target the right audiences.

To help, earlier this year, Forbes highlighted research by influencer marketing agency Markerly. This study investigated whether TikTok or Reels is a better medium for targeting audiences.

The findings were split between influencers/celebrities and brands. It showed TikTok is better for influencer and celebrity content, while Instagram Reels is successful for brands.

For example, the NBA posted the same content on both platforms as an experiment. On TikTok it received over 63,000 likes, while on Reels it amassed 425,000!

Influencers and celebrities, meanwhile, experienced the opposite, with around double the engagement on TikTok as opposed to Reels.

Putting in the extra work to use your audience research and understand which platforms will work best for your content and advertising methods will help you outshine competitors.

2. Automating social ad production

By using a next-level ad creator to automate the production of your full complement of campaign creatives. Do this, and to put it simply, you can target more people in less time. With the functionality of the Bannerflow ad creator you can design and animate amazing master creative for social media ads. Then, by automating their production, it’s simple to scale these masters across a range of ad sizes and formats in minutes.

With such powerful technology at your fingertips, you can replace boring, generic content with personalised, dynamic imagery and copy using HTML5 ad placements. Plus, using automatic and live data feeds, you can repurpose existing information to enhance the impact of your brand’s campaign creative.

Offering your customers different messages and creative across different platforms shows you’re a dynamic brand that keeps things fresh.

The options available are certainly exciting – and you can save your budget, too. If your ad spend possibilities have reduced due to Covid-19 constraints, then automation could be key. With an ad creator, your creative team can produce all your social media advertising and e-commerce display ads simultaneously in one place.

Intuitive creators such as Creative Studio are also incredibly simple to use. This case study from e-book and audiobook streaming service Nextory shows what can be achieved for a fun and successful campaign. Your team can quickly and easily create jaw-dropping social ads at scale to generate engagement and increase ROI in 2023.

3. Influencers remain popular – but authenticity is demanded

As highlighted in the GWI report, several UK influencers flew out to Dubai for a photoshoot in January 2021 in the midst of pandemic restrictions citing ‘essential work’. This created a backlash, a loss of followers for some, and a shift in follower demands.

Social media stars and influencers have been a prominent component of many brand advertising strategies for years. Although this remains a strong tactic, incidents such as the Dubai trip have prompted followers to demand something different.

Trust in influencers and the platforms themselves has dwindled as consumers have become wiser to the world of social media. Therefore, social media followers are looking for influencers they can relate to, along with content and ads they can trust.

While the demand for authenticity has risen, the power of the influencer remains. 90% of respondents to an Influencer Marketing Hub survey say they believe influencer marketing is effective. So how can both needs be met?

Can micro-influencers play a further role?

Last year we urged brands to consider using micro-influencers for campaigns. This could provide a bridge between satisfying both the fresh need for authentic, trustworthy sources and the established utilisation of influencers.

During 2021, micro-influencers have had better engagement rates than mega-influencers. According to the Influencer Marketing Hub, Rico-influencers had an average of 3.86% compared to 1.21% for mega-influencers. In fact, on TikTok alone, it’s reported that micro-influencers get engagement rates of 18%. Their mega counterparts on the other hand get just 5%.

4. In-stream shopping and shoppable post growth

Shopping via social media has become increasingly popular, likely due to the impact of the pandemic restrictions. Though many consumers can now go to physical stores, shopping on social media continues to gain ground.

Vox highlights research from Insider Intelligence showing that social commerce shoppers grew from 64 million in 2019 to 80 million in 2020. That figure is expected to rise to over 100 million by 2023.

Therefore, one of the biggest trends for social media moving into 2023 is in-stream shopping. And your brand advertising must keep pace!

The connection between social media and ecommerce is ever-increasing. There are now more shoppable posts landing on Facebook and Instagram as the features evolve. The GWI report shows those engaged in social content would be keen to buy on the platforms they use. And that includes via both stories and livestreams.

What is in-stream or livestream shopping?

Often used in collaboration with brand influencers, in-stream or livestream shopping is when a brand ‘goes live’ on their social channels to showcase and sell their products.

Social media apps such as Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram have all focused on enhancing their shopping live stream offering and YouTube is now following suit.

A McKinsey report also states that this method has been key in China, with a 280% annual compound growth rate between 2017 and 2020. It shows no sign of slowing either, as Chinese live-commerce sales are expected to hit $423 billion by 2023.

Engaging, interactive and immersive, this type of advertising tactic can harness the power of your following. As well as use the same following of your brand influencer to create effective outcomes.

The GWI data shows 13% of all those on social networks say they would be driven to purchase by a ‘buy’ button. Meanwhile, 22% of social live streamers say they would be inspired to buy. The percentage difference showing the impact of in-the-moment marketing is significant.

Key takeaways for social media advertising trends in 2023

Having a robust and varied strategy for your social media advertising and following big trends can help your brand to outsprint the competition.

Video, influencers and in-stream shopping are all hot topics for 2023. What’s more they will cross over and work in harmony with one another. For example, using micro-influencers to showcase your products during an in-stream shopping event could help with consumer trust and reward you with great ROI.

Combining these trends with the use of a powerful ad creator, plus the dynamism of automation means you’ll have incredible cross-platform creative.

You can experience all the features of our platform for yourself, too – simply request a demo and one of our specialists will reach out to help you get started.

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