Just when marketing professionals thought they had a handle on using social media to build brand recognition and sales, social advertising gets thrown into the mix and adds both optimism and confusion. While social media has been an effective way for individuals to learn about new products, brands and services, more and more marketers are accepting the shift in advertising strategy it presents. With the opportunity for hyper-focused segmentation and visual interaction that social ads offer, the percentage of overall marketing budgets spent on social will jump from 10.7 percent in 2015 to 14 percent in 2016. Consider the following stats when making decisions on the best social ad platforms for your product or service.
1. Digital media and technology activity increased by 24% from 2015 to 2016.
You may be asking yourself, “How is that even possible - most people and businesses are already using digital media, right?” I was surprised by how large the percentage was too. And it just shows the overall importance of having a strong brand presence across multiple digital platforms.
2. In 2015, global analysts predicted a 33% increase in spending for social media ads.
The growth of social media use is not isolated to the United States. North Americans are heavy users (62% of adults in the U.S. use Facebook), but so are many people across the world. Social platforms are used everywhere and as a result, social advertising is growing at profound rates. Marketers are learning that their advertising dollars go much farther on social platforms and their ability to reach a specific persona by demographic / interests is also greater.
3. 25% of people who see a social ad, will then respond by visiting the store or website.
Although viewers may have the option to “turn-off” or hide certain advertisements, seeing ads on social channels is one of the top ways users learn about new products, brands and services. Considering the stat that 62% of U.S. adults use Facebook alone, social advertising can have a huge impact. According to eMarketer, in addition to the 25% who see a social ad and visit a store or website, between 14 – 17% will ultimately convert by purchasing a product or service.
4. 2016 will be a cluttered year on social media due to the summer Olympic Games in Brazil, UEFA Euro 2016 in France and the U.S. presidential election.
It’s going to be a noisy year indeed. Savvy marketers who leverage current events and popular stories in the media to help create their own exciting content calendar will be one step ahead. Otherwise known as newsjacking, using trending news allows a content producer the opportunity to capitalize on the momentum of a current story or event.
5. The use of Instagram is projected to jump 49 percent in 2016.
In 2015, 32% of U.S. companies with 100 employees or more used Instagram for marketing activities. According to eMarketer, this number will jump to 49% in 2016 as the platform opens up advertising opportunities to all businesses. Similar to Facebook, Instagram now offers advertisers the opportunity to run photo ads, video ads or carousel ads to promote views, clicks to websites and conversions.
6. Over 50% of B2B marketers rank social media as a “very” or “somewhat” low cost ad option.
As a marketer, you’re probably looking for ways to maximize your budget and be smart about dollars spent. Social media advertising is generally very affordable and one of the best advertising methods available to connect with a specific persona, a target audience or a competitor’s audience. In a B2B survey, marketers rated social media as a low cost ad option over search and display ads.
7. The demand for native advertising will continue to increase.
If you haven’t tried native advertising, it’s likely you’ve recognized it on various online platforms and publication sites. Native ads are presented in the same format as the content a reader is on a page to consume, and has proven to be a less disruptive advertising method. Additionally, native ads draw a higher click rate than traditional banner ads – especially on mobile devices. If you’re considering adding native advertising in the coming year, take a look at some of these great examples.
8. 60% of all time spent on digital media is performed on a mobile device.
Although social advertising is growing substantially, cookie-based technology has presented a challenge for marketers to connect with customers in a mobile environment. Marketers will continue to explore technology solutions to designed to work across all devices and it is predicted that mobile ad spending will reach $42 billion, which equates to two-thirds of all digital ad spending.
9. Visual social platforms will see an increase in mobile ad spend.
With the launch of Periscope in 2015, one big thing marketers are learning is that live broadcast offers authenticity for buyers. By using the right platform in a non-salesy way a business can offer honest information for a prospective buyer that lets them become informed and make a purchase decision on their own. Particularly for retail, fashion brands and other companies with strong product visuals, image and video social platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat will continue to see an increase in advertising revenue as they incorporate e-commerce opportunities.
10. Over 90% of advertisers and agencies plan to run Facebook video ads this year.
Most marketers understand the power of Facebook advertising, but over the past year it has become the predominant choice for video advertising – surpassing YouTube in regard to advertising interest. It is recommended that Facebook video advertising not be used to just push out content, but to create genuinely informative and inspirational content to influence your buyer’s decision making process.
Regardless of what social channels a marketer focuses their resources and efforts, building meaningful and lasting relationships should be at the core of the business’ objectives. Social media advertising is an outlet for companies and organizations to establish trust and build credibility with their prospective buyers. When people connect with a brand through a well thought out and executed social advertising campaign, it opens the doors for a marketer to tell their brand’s story.