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8 Data-Backed Recommendations for Social Media Marketers in 2022 [Insights from 300+ Professionals]

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8 Data-Backed Recommendations for Social Media Marketers in 2022 [Insights from 300+ Professionals]

The start of the new year is an exciting time for marketers to re-evaluate their social media marketing strategies and take advantage of new opportunities as social platforms evolve.

From new features to algorithm updates and disruptive social apps, keeping up with these changes can be challenging, but also allows you to tap into exciting new possibilities to help your company grow better in 2022.

To help you get the most of your social media strategy in the new year, I recently published findings from the HubSpot Blog’s Social Media Trends Survey, where I collected data from more than 300 B2B and B2C marketers to answer questions like:

  • Which social media platforms are marketers currently leveraging?
  • What type of content are marketers posting and which formats do they use most?
  • Which platforms, content types, and formats have the best ROI?
  • When is the best time and day of the week to post on social media?
  • What challenges do social media marketers anticipate in 2022?
  • What are marketers’ plans and expectations going into 2022?”

I’ve taken a deep dive through our survey data and made a list of some of the key recommendations social media marketers should consider in 2022. Here are just a few suggestions, based on our data.

8 Data-Backed Social Media Marketing Recommendations for 2022

1. Champion your company values

Content that reflects your brand’s values is the most popular type of content among social

media marketers right now and has the 3rd highest ROI of any content type

This will continue growing in 2022 as 95% of those who leverage this type of content plan on increasing or maintaining their investment, and 21% plan to use it for the first time

This aligns with our previous marketing trends survey, where we found that social responsibility will be a top trend in 2022

Additionally, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 21% more likely to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year

which content has the biggest ROI chart

2. Embrace funny, interactive, and relatable content.

Funny content has the highest ROI of any content type and is also rated the most effective by social media marketers

The use of funny content will continue to grow in 2022, with 33% planning to invest more in funny content than any other format.

Additionally, 56% of those who don’t use funny content plan to leverage it for the first time in 2022, while 95% of those who already use it will increase or maintain their investment this year

Interactive content is No. 2 when it comes to usage, ROI, and effectiveness, and will also grow significantly in 2022.

49% of those who don’t leverage interactive content plan to use it for the first time in 2022, while 97% of those who already use it plan to invest more or maintain their investment this year

On top of all that, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 25% more likely to leverage interactive content than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year.

which content do marketers leverage chart

Relatable content will see increased investment among current users as well as first-time users.

54% of social media marketers who don’t leverage relatable content are planning to for the first time this year, while 93% of marketers who already leverage it plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022

what social media content do marketers plan to invest in chart

3. Don’t choose influencers based on follower count.

Followers aren’t everything. Influencer marketers are placing an emphasis on quality of content first, then engagement rates, alignment with values, and aesthetic, followed by follower count at #5 on that list.

influencer vetting criteria graph

Social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 26% more likely to consider the quality of influencers’ content when determining which influencers to partner with on social media than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year

Micro-influencers (10k-100k followers) are the most popular type of influencer marketers work with, but it isn’t necessarily because they are cheaper. The graph below shows that the amount companies pay influencers can vary greatly, even when we account for the size of their following. This supports our finding that follower count is not what marketers are prioritizing when looking to partner with influencers.

how much do companies pay social media influencers chart

The quality of the influencer’s content, the rate at which their followers engage, and their alignment with your brand can be much more impactful metrics of how much an influencer partnership is worth.

Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are the most popular platforms marketers leverage when working with influencers.

Facebook has the best ROI for influencer marketing, followed by Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.

4. Explore new or emerging social media platforms and features.

Social media marketers search for new or emerging social platforms to leverage often, with 86% searching at least once a quarter and many searching monthly (29%), weekly (22%) and 20% searching multiple times a week. Just 1% say they never search for new platforms.

The top new or emerging platforms social media marketers are investing in are Twitter Spaces, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Shops

At the same time, they are pulling their investment in lesser-known live audio platforms (Spoon, Riffr, Discord Stage Channels, Spotify Green Room) as more established ones like Twitter begin to incorporate live audio features.

which new and emerging platforms are marketers leveraging

5. Invest in building social media communities.

64% of marketers are leveraging social media communities, and this number will only keep growing, as 30% of those who don’t use social media communities plan to start in 2022.

Additionally, 96% of those who already leverage social media communities plan to invest more or continue investing the same amount this year.

Facebook, TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr are the platforms marketers build communities on most.

1643688970 215 8 Data Backed Recommendations for Social Media Marketers in 2022 Insights

6. Leverage research and data to reach their target audience.

In our survey, we asked marketers how effective or ineffective their social media strategy has been this year. I then examined our data through these two separate groups, the first being those who said their social media strategy was effective, compared to the second which rated their social media strategy as ineffective.

When trying to find their audience on social media, the effective group is:

  • 21% more likely to use social listening
  • 17% more likely to research the demographics of social media platforms
  • 17% more likely to research relevant online communities
  • 14% more likely to analyze demographic data their company already has

ineffective vs effective social media marketers

7. To reach younger audiences, create short-form video content that’s funny, trendy, and reflects your brand’s values.

Younger audiences like Gen Z (6-24) and Millennials (25-40) prefer shorter video content that is funny, trendy, and reflects a brand’s values, making platforms with short-form video features like TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram ideal for reaching them.

8. To reach older audiences, leverage interactive/educational content on Facebook.

Gen X (41-56) and Baby Boomers (57-75) prefer interactive/educational content, such as interviews/podcasts/expert discussions and live videos, and Facebook is their platform of choice.

More Data-Backed Marketing Insights

Want even more marketing and social media data? Many of the results from the Social Media Trends survey overlapped with the Blog’s recent Marketing Trends survey, including the dominance of short-form video, the power of influencer marketing, the opportunity presented in “Live” video and audio chat rooms, and the top social media platforms.

Check out our detailed Social Media Marketing Report here or our Marketing Trends recommendations post here for more recommendations on these topics.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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