The state of creative content in a changing digital world

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A lot has happened lately and when it comes to creating good creative content, it is important to keep track of everything new. In this post, we have gathered some of the most important and biggest changes broken down by platform from the past year. This is important key information for you to know about when creating creative content and want to be effective in a constantly changing digital world.

Now more than ever before, we are seeing a clear change and a shift in the expected result of both paid advertising and organic content in our digital channels. Facebook admits that tighter ad tracking policies linked to data integrity makes it more expensive to reach the right person. Big creators on YouTube are questioning and discussing declining numbers as TikTok is overtaking the biggest platforms in terms of video consumption. What worked a year ago may no longer work today. In this article, we highlight the most important things to keep in mind when creating and creating new creative content moving forward.

The state of the platforms

To provide a better overview and help highlight new information, below we present some of the most important and largest changes for each social media platform from the past year. This is important and key for you to know about, for how you should think about creative content, and the pitfalls that are important to avoid.

Facebook och Instagram

With iOS 14.5, Apple took a firmer grip on ad tracking between applications and websites for both Safari and iOS users, something that now also affects marketing via email and newsletters with newly released iOS 15. What effects this has had for you as a marketer and individual is something you probably already have a good understanding about today. And for the first time, Facebook has now issued a press release that touches on how you should navigate the situation when 2021 is now coming to an end if you work with paid advertising. What is most interesting to note is that; Facebook estimates that they underreport web conversions for iOS by as much as 15% in their advertising tools.

From a content perspective, they say that marketers should only analyze the campaign and not the content when reporting — but as before, continue to test different versions of content.

YouTube

TikTok users now spend more time per month watching video content compared to YouTube in both the US and the UK, this is what the headlines now say. This year Google launched YouTube Shorts around the world to keep up with the trend — although YouTube still retains number one in terms of general video viewing worldwide for the first half of 2021. Whether YouTube Shorts will work as expected for Google remains to be seen, but you don’t need a high IQ to understand that shorter and vertical YouTube Shorts will be ranked higher by YouTube, and rewarded by the algorithm the rest of the year and coming months. For creators who currently only upload classic and regular videos on the platform, the format will be extremely important to start using to continue to grow and get more subscribers and continue to build a community.

TikTok

The platform has grown explosively and moved up the charts as one of the largest platforms in just a few years (in terms of time spent in the app). Millions of people have now migrated and moved their behavior to a whole new platform. So if you have not started using TikTok in any form to create content, it’s now the time to start an account and explore the video features that are available. To help you better understand the platform, TikTok has developed a content guide, creator portal and TikTok Video Editor that should be the next thing you read after this article.

The advantage of TikTok as a content platform is that you do not have to spend a lot of time or resources on the creation and production of new videos. The content that works best is easily created with your phone. All you need is an idea and with small funds you can reach a lot of people in a personal and more organic way. Remember that “imperfect” content can still be professional and that above all, the human factor is more important than what you try to communicate when you want to reach out!

As TikTok themselves say: Don’t Make Ads. Make TikToks. 

LinkedIn

Companies that use LinkedIn as a marketing platform have an extremely big and tough challenge; 95% of all B2B buyers are not in the market for the products offered. Companies change their suppliers every five years, which means that 20% are in the market for a new solution every year, and only 5% per quarter. The remaining 95% is not in the market at all. LinkedIn believes that most B2B brands do not play and think about the long-term game, which they should. To find a balance between the long-term and the short-term, LinkedIn recommends following the 60/40 method, which means that 60% of all content you create for LinkedIn should only focus on brand as well as value and not talking about any offer or need at all. The conclusion is to create more Awareness content on LinkedIn, and if you know us on DigiView well, you know that Awareness always means video / moving material!

For more inspiration and B2B content, you can read our case and how we did this for Epicenter.

Pinterest

If you feel overwhelmed with video, live streaming and more time- and resource-consuming formats, Pinterest is a very interesting alternative. New figures from the platform show that slow shopping, i.e. long buying cycles in e-commerce lead to people buying for a sum that is 50% higher than usual. Here at DigiView, we have seen that most companies already have a lot of existing material and specifically very appealing product images that are ready to be uploaded to Pinterest. The best practice is to set up a product catalog and link it to the website. If you only have product images with a white background, or if a brand new product is about to be launched. Well yes, then it’s high time to place them in an attractive environment and show them off at their best, with color and shape and photograph new product images! Especially since their launch of “Snap and Shop”. 

Snapchat

This summer, Snapchat launched a welcome update for companies, namely public profile pages. This means that just as Instagram gathers Lenses, Highlights and Shop in one place, it allows us to discover them anytime. Each profile has a dedicated URL that you can link to. This means that you can now drive traffic to Snapchat your Snaphcat profile from sources other than the platform’s own advertising tools.

Furthermore, Snapchat has continued to work on continuing to integrate AR lenses better in the app and has now added a function to be able to scan the environment you are in. Based on what the camera sees, you can now get suggestions for different lenses to use. In addition to suggestions for lenses, you can identify breeds of different dogs, plants as well as music (which has been available before) and products. It remains to be seen if, and whether this may be used as an ad placement in the future.

Streaming is growing explosively

One category that is easily forgotten in paid marketing is live streaming. When we at DigiView organize and broadcast our own webinars, we see the effect clearly and how this medium affects the customer journey positively. Doug Scott, Chief Marketing Officer at Twitch, which is one of the largest and most popular platforms, says himself that

The two cornerstones are Real-time interaction and A common community is what drives success — something that has been especially important for all of us during the pandemic. Since 2018, streaming has passed both Photo & Video and Chat, where the annual growth has grown by 25% versus 15%.

Streaming can and should be used as a method to prepare a target audience for conversion, from a long-term perspective — and to build a strong brand relationship, individuals and companies among themselves.

The importance of video

The world is full of content ranging from articles, infographics, webinars, podcasts and posts. Content can mean a million different things to a million different people. All content has its pros and cons, but the data and numbers show time and time again why video is one of the best formats. The main strengths of video are:

  • It’s memorable
  • It grabs the attention and inspires people
  • It build brand awareness
  • Consumers love it
  • It trumps banner blindness (subconsciously we can ignore the format)

According to Wyzowl’s seventh annual State of Video Marketing survey report, the statistics about video marketing also tells us that: 

  • 94% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 84% of people say that they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.
  • People watch an average of 18 hours of online video per week. (This is an increase of 2 hours per week compared to 12 months ago, and a staggering 7.5 hour increase per week across the past 3 years.)
  • When asked how they’d most like to learn about a product or service, 69% said they’d prefer to watch a short video. This compares to 18% who’d rather read a text-based article, website or post, 4% who’d like to view an infographic, 3% who’d rather download an ebook or manual, 3% who’d rather attend a webinar or pitch, and 2% who’d like a sales call or demo.

Here at DigiView, we always make sure to work with video as much as we can throughout the marketing funnel, from awareness, consideration and conversion to maintain and then expand. In case we use photos, we still always try to make them into videos where we animate or add some part that is moving. This is necessary to create the best conditions for gathering valuable data as well as insights and further on good results when advertising today.

Here’s some awesome content that we have created for our fantastic clients.
Explore more about our Creative Services here.

The trend for search, display and programmatic

For the players who really want to continue working in the best way with their digital content, there are more areas and platforms to think about. Namely Search, Display & Programmatic. This of course includes even more types of different formats and even more placements, which means that the creative team needs even more knowledge about the methodology and how this process should be made more efficient. One trend we are seeing is that it is becoming increasingly popular to reshape and adapt social media content for these mentioned placements — and to treat everything as a campaign with the same communication. Previously, these placements have been separated, or that you would begin from the other direction (Search, Display & Programmatic) first, before the Social Media content is produced. This approach becomes even more difficult if several agencies are involved or if you work in different departments — therefore we see that more and more people are starting to build up stronger in-house departments.

A tip for customizing Social Media content (paid ads) easier for Search, Display & Programmatic is to set and work with a specific hierarchy. This is to be able to determine the order in which elements are removed for certain formats that have limited space and based on the parameters of the technical possibilities. Example; The logo can perhaps be prioritized lower by quite a bit in the Conversion phase, where the price of a product is probably more important. At the same time, the logo is super important in the Awareness phase where it should be ranked higher in the hierarchy than the price. This is an important step to decide early in the strategy to have a plan you can follow and then develop forward.

Summary — How you are creative and effective

All these news and features on the various platforms are important to know about, but even more important is to keep track of all the small details that can take your content to the next level. We have gathered a few simple tips below for what to think about and not do when it’s time to be creative!

Do the following

  • Think about how to grab the attention visually and get the target audience to actually stay with relevant messages and communication
  • Use a split-screen layout and design in the ad if existing material is in landscape 16:9 format to adapt them to other formats such as e.g. Stories (9:16)
  • Use vertical motions to subconsciously signal for Swipe Ups, as well as pulsing effects for the new link stickers on Instagram Stories if it is an organic post
  • Guide people to the profile picture by using arrows and other animated gestures so that they can then click on it
  • Think of the 10-second rule and first frame (thumbnail). The first second, some video effect or sound is needed to capture the attention. Somewhere after 2-3 seconds, something else must happen for us to be able to maintain our interest
  • Always develop a hypothesis for split tests
  • Make sure the marketing is connected, from Social Media and the websites to outdoor campaigns

Don’t do this

  • Do not place logos and other graphics in places where they are obscured by the ad format’s own buttons and icons. This is mainly important for Instagram Stories, Snapchat, TikTok and YouTube Shorts that cover the entire mobile screen. Always double check!
  • Do not leave large areas empty or black. Fill in and customize the content for specific formats in a smart way with color, shape or designed text.
  • Do not test multiple things in one ad when doing a split test. If you both test two different colors and e.g. several different messages, you can not determine what it was that gave the better result nor made the better impact

It is the active audience and target group and where they are that controls the medium for where you should advertise and publish your content. Since this can change quite quickly, it is important not to pursue perfection, but rather to test different ideas and follow the trends. Content on Social Media lives for a short period of time, and what works well today may not work as well tomorrow. It is important to understand that your idea is not always the best, be sure to rely on several different ideas with different measurement points. As you learn over time what works best, you can then develop the creative content even more.

Do you want to take part in more insights and explore inspiring examples of how to create effective and engaging content adapted for a digital world? Feel free to watch our webinar “Engaging content adapted for a digital world” (Swedish) on demand here.

Hope you enjoyed this article. Do not forget to subscribe to our newsletter down below to take part of more insights like this!

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