Marketers have diverted more resources into social media marketing in 2015 than ever before, with particular emphasis on using the social networks as ad platforms.
By 2016, almost 90% of marketers in the US with at least 100 employees will use social networks to extend their clients’ reach. Facebook and Twitter will remain the favorite platforms for marketers and businesses, but Instagram can expect a significant boost as well, this according to a new eMarketer study.
Facebook’s advertising option generated an estimated $8.4 billion in revenue in 2015, just 10 years after its first launch. This just shows online advertising is a (if not the next) logical choice for your clients. Social media continues to grow and it only follows that advertising on these platforms is an option worth considering, if not offering outright.
The months ahead have a lot in store for us, but here’s what we can expect when it comes to social media advertisements:
A Programmatic Approach
Facebook currently leads the race in ad spending, and from the look of things, that won’t change anytime soon. Marketers apparently experience better ROI for their ad spend on Facebook, which dominates with 53% of total digital ad spending.
Spending on FBX (Facebook Exchange), the social network’s programmatic platform, went up 150% year-over-year globally during the second half of 2014, according to reports. All the tools and data from social programmatic ad platforms also make it easy for our clients to reach their target audience.
Ad performance and targeting will only improve in the coming months, especially as Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks strengthen their tools to get more people onboard FBX. The market will also continue to expand as Pinterest and Instagram are also expected to launch their own paid ad units.
A Continued Focus on Mobile
About 60% of digital media spent in the US is carried out using smartphones and tablets, which only adds to the fact that mobile is the next big wave in advertising, with social media advertising as the most promising channel for marketers to tap.
Mobile users are already spending hours every day on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. Advertising to users as they actively use an app is looking to be the best way to reach them without being annoying or disruptive.
Mobile advertising made up about 68% of Facebook’s revenue in 2014, while it was 84% for Twitter. By 2018, around 60% of social media ad spend will go towards mobile ads, creating a $9.1 billion market. Also, more than half of mobile phone users across the globe will have smartphones come 2018.
All these point to social media advertising on mobile as a huge growth driver for our clients in the coming years.
A Persistent Strive to be More Personal
We discussed in a previous blog that Facebook Paid Ads makes it easy for us to better target our client’s audience, track performance, and extend their reach. These and other features will be further improved in the coming months.
Because social networks collect huge amounts of user data, social media ads will be more targeted to your client’s audience in more ways than one. More than the general demographic and location data, marketers get access to certain data about the users’ ‘likes’, interests, behavior, and connections.
Advanced targeting options include:
- Interest targeting—Reach users by looking at the pages they liked, or the interests, skills, profiles they follow. This is available on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
- Behavioral/Connection targeting—This takes into account the purchase behaviors of users, their intents, and/or device preference. This allows you to target people based on a specific type of connection to your client’s profile, page, app, group, or event. This is available on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
- Custom targeting—This feature lets you target users based on email addresses, phone numbers, usernames, or user IDs. Facebook offers this as Custom Audiences and Twitter calls its version Tailored Audiences.
- Lookalike targeting—This helps businesses grow their custom audiences by targeting people who are similar to the audience they look for. This is available on Facebook and LinkedIn.
Achieving Social Media Ad Success
Social media is constantly evolving, but unlike other marketing channels, there is no theory of everything that can define it. However, there are data-backed strategies that can help steer your strategies in the right direction.
Social media advertising is on the rise and will continue to rise in the coming years. Based on the endless social media data and statistics to back it up, this one is too big to ignore. Make the most of it by talking to your account manager today and seeing if your current strategies are adaptable to these and other upcoming trends.