Global Social Advertising Trends in 2021

The annual report by the Worldwide Business Research (WBR) Insights team & Smartly.IO has dropped; Global Social Advertising Trends in 2021: ​How Brands Are Adapting to Disruption and Changing Consumer Habits.

Read on for our recap on the key insights and important social advertising trends from this years report.

“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers shifted rapidly to digital channels as brick and mortar stores closed their doors for safety purposes. This signaled a massive deployment of digital assets by retail companies, including spending on advertising.”

It’s not a new concept, we already know that the movement to online for retailers has been growing rapidly over the last 10 years, especially in the world of social advertising – also known as social media marketing (SMM).

From a world where online shopping was generally non-existent – to 2021 – where companies like Amazon have had their largest year of revenue growth in history.

Key Findings:

  • 66% of companies have an annual marketing budget of USD $20 million or more.
  • Most companies are buying social media ads on Facebook (93%), Instagram (90%), Twitter (83%), and LinkedIn (63%).
  • Majority companies will increase social advertising spend on Facebook (76%), nearly half (44%) will increase spend on Twitter, and over one-third (38%) will increase spend on Instagram in 2021
  • Instagram yields the best return-on-ad-spend (ROAS) among the platforms for 42% of companies. 
  • Similarly, 81% of brands in the study do not use automation technology for their social media advertising creation and delivery, but they are interested in automating at least part of this process.
  • Among the platforms, over one-third of companies in the study (36%) spend more on Facebook than other platforms; over one-quarter (29%) spend more on Instagram, the two highest-grossing platforms in the study.

 

Facebook Ads still remains King.

Though we must say, with the recent release of Apple’s iOS 14 and it’s new privacy and tracking conundrum, we’re wondering how much longer Facebook is going to be able to hold their reign.

Still, like all platforms and channels, Facebook will still have an incredibly important role in a businesses overall online digital ecosystem. And we also don’t see the drop from 93% of businesses currently using social media ads coming any time soon.

The report states however that though only slightly, company advertising budgets for social media marketing (SMM) are still increasing year by year. It was found that 62% of organisations still spend between 31% and 50% of their total marketing budget on social media advertising like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This is up from 53% of organisations spending between 26% and 50% on SMM.

Graph A: WBR Graph on which platforms respondents are currently utilising for their social advertising and marketing.

But Instagram took the win for Best ROAS.

Almost half of the respondents to this year’s survey (42%) say they see the best return on ad spend (ROAS) from Instagram. That’s compared to just 21% in 2019.

Although only 56% of last year’s respondents said they buy ads on the platform, 90% of the retailers surveyed this year use it. 

Graph A: WBR Graph on which platform respondents are seeing the best ROAS from their social media advertising and marketing.

So, how do I allocate my Ad Spend?

76% of the respondents say their organizations will increase their ad spending on Facebook. Though identified as the best for ROAS, only 38% of organizations plan to increase spending on Instagram while 24% plan to decrease spending, despite its title.

The difference though is that the majority of e-commerce or online retailers are looking to increase on Instagram. 

“Retail Brands Still Struggle with Manual Processes and Lack of Automation”

Now THIS is concerning! At Sydney Digital Marketing, we PREACH and SCREAM automations! It’s the ‘way of the future’ but it doesn’t have to be so much future, it can be now!

Platforms like HubSpot and HootSuite have paved the way for marketing-specific automations for B2B and B2C customers, and all of our clients have benefited from their automations to save them time and money AND provide their customers with an incredible customer experience, or as we like to call it at SDM; Digital Customer Experience.

Between 2019 and 2020, researchers asked whether organisations were still struggling with manual processes in the creation and delivery of advertising campaigns. This number increased dramatically from 61% to 72%. This is indicative of the increasing complexity of digital marketing.

Though brands are more open to automations (67% of them to be exact), currently only 87% of respondents don’t currently use automation technology.

 

2021 says bring on marketing automation!

Businesses have a huge opportunity to be able to free up their resources with the use of automating their marketing and social advertising. The benefits of automation include:

  • Improving ROAS by delivering hand-tailored messages to key customer segments.
  • Allocate more time to strategic work
  • Enabling teams to create more personalised marketing experiences.
  • Use this time to pursue creative testing.

 

Success is still all about Team Collaboration.

Though we preach automations (as they’re all the rage in our field!), the 2021 Worldwide Business Research Insights report speaks about fostering collaboration between creative teams is going to be essential for their business and marketing strategy moving forward.

By bringing teams together, organisations have the potential to generate marketing tactics and strategies that speak to their individual customer segments on a personal level, therefore increasing ROAS and generating more sales.

The report stated; “At 56%, most organizations plan to encourage their social media advertising and creative teams to work together more closely in the future. This is the only plan that a majority of respondents are dedicated to.” Last year, only 51% said they were prioritising this!

Some more team-building stats from the report;

  • Fewer respondents plan to expand their marketing teams (40%), manage social media advertising in-house (39%), change their marketing KPIs (33%), or invest in more robust social media advertising tools (30%).
  • It appears that static images are still a powerful advertising tool on most platforms. Given most of the respondents’ affinity for photo-heavy Instagram’s return on investment. 54% of organisations will increase their use of static creative assets, such as photos and images.
  • 44% will increase their use of dynamic creative assets, including animations and videos.

 

2021/21 Goals Include:

  • Prioritising or pursuing team collaboration.
  • Increasing media budgets for social media marketing.
  • Dabbling into some marketing automations and workflows (exciting!).
  • Continuing to evolve with the changing market and impacts of COVID-19

 

Our 3 Top Tips For You.

  1. Get into the habit of bringing your team together for collaboration and discussion when implementing new tactics or strategies. You would be surprised by the insights that can come when brains are powered together – I mean after all, the more brains the better! 
  2. View and assess your marketing efforts holistically. Graph it, draw it out, add it up, divide it. Do what you need to do to drill down your current marketing efforts and identify areas that you can improve. I.e. do you have room to decrease your bounce rate? How is your CTR looking? Are you A/B testing to understand what YOUR audience likes? Digital Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach!
  3. Do your research on Marketing Automations. Speak to an agency that can support you with your goals who has the experience and expertise to be able to build your business from the floor up. DO you have a CRM? Do you post organically? Where can you cut precious and invaluable time off your day-to-day tasks? Trust us when we say there’s A LOT more than you think!

 

Thanks for reading our recap, you can read the full report here. And in the meantime, keep your eye out for the next Worldwide Business Research Insights report on Global Social Advertising Trends in the coming years.

And if you’re looking to partner with an agency who lives and breathes Social Media Marketing and Marketing Automations, reach out

We’d love to hear from you!

 

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