As we prepare to say goodbye to 2017, it is a good time to take a look back and see how it changed the social media advertising landscape. New trends emerged this year and they will continue to grow strong. And in looking closer at how marketers and brands responded to these changes, we can predict what to do in the near future to stay successful.
The year 2017 was a year dominated by the mobile phone – the clearest domination compared to the previous years. Mobile internet became faster and more affordable, and mobile phones have become more powerful and with larger screens (5.5-6 inches). These two aspects together have created the perfect conditions for people to prefer mobile internet browsing not only on the go, but also at home.
For marketers, the all-powerful rule of the smartphone over any other devices meant learning a new skill: how to create content and ads for mobiles. But let us really take a good look at what 2017 meant for social media advertising.
- The Rise of the Snap
Snapchat has evolved beyond a social media for instant and disappearing messages and videos between people. So it rebranded itself as Snap. Marketers learned to embrace the concept of perishable content: stories and videos that stay live online for 24 hours and then are automatically removed.
What brands found is that the ever-changing environment is ideal for last-minute promotions and special offers. It works really well in line with people’s inclination towards micro-moments: short and on-the-spot interactions through the mobile phone with websites and social media platforms.
- Ad Spending Is on the Rise
A study conducted by Net Imperative showed that ad spending on social media networks such as Facebook™, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest has increased by 61.5% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the previous year. And this trend is here to stay, given the fact that organic reach has taken its final breath for businesses.
As social media platforms mature, they adapt their post reach algorithm to favour private accounts. And they do their best to monetise their platforms by pushing business accounts towards paid reach. We can safely say that from now on, paid media and advertising is the only way for your brand to connect with followers and have your posts appear on their timelines.
- Ad Content – Native, Authentic and Inspiring Urgency
The anatomy of social media ads has also changed during 2017. Ad blockers can now remove ads from platforms like Twitter, Facebook™, Instagram and Pinterest. The only way brands can get their ads to pass through the filters of ad blocking software is by making them look and read like native content.
Actually, this impediment has worked in marvelous ways for marketers: they have learned to create ads with an authentic tone of voice, imbibed with the sense of urgency to find out more and take advantage of the offer. This surge in creativity has led to more meaningful, effective ads, which people actually enjoy seeing and clicking on.
- One-on-One Interactions on the Rise
Business accounts have now the access to direct messaging apps built by social media platforms, such as Facebook™ Messenger. This interaction needs to be carefully approached, but many brands have learned to use the advantage of one-on-one interactions to send out promotions and special offers which look and feel custom made for each specific user. People love to feel special, to believe a brand is taking into account their unique, particular needs.
- Go Live or Go Home
Live videos are now the mainstream format of sharing videos on the social media. A soft type of advertising, live videos of product launches, promotional or business events help brands connect to more prospects and create hype around their new products and services.
This is one of the strongest trends which will be carried forward to the next year – so make sure that your social media advertising strategy includes live videos among other types of content or ads you wish to create.