A brand that doesn’t invest in social advertising is now an anomaly.
According to our new industry survey, most companies (74%) already allocate one-third or more of their marketing budget to social media advertising. 12% allocate at least half or more.
These figures will rocket this year. Most of the companies we surveyed (76%) will increase social advertising spend on Facebook, nearly half (44%) will increase spend on Twitter, and over one-third (38%) will increase spend on Instagram in 2021.
Marketers now realize that social advertising delivers real, demonstrable results – and that it will continue to do so well into the future. Social is now where brands capture attention, build more meaningful relationships with shoppers, and ultimately drive home the sale.
1. People are distracted. But they pay attention to social.
In the past, big advertising campaigns used to be TV-centric. One TV spot could easily carry an entire global campaign. The reason that approach worked was because people were glued to their TV screens. But now, there are many more screens to look at: people scroll on their phones and tablets even when they’re watching TV. Distractions are everywhere.
The sharpest marketers understand this. What matters now is capturing users’ time and attention. Metrics show that there’s no better funnel for that than social media, which can entertain, inform, and engross even the most distracted user. The average daily time spent with digital media in the U.S. is expected to reach a new record high of almost eight hours next year – nearly two hours more than the average daily time spent with traditional media.
2. Social lets you meet your customers where they are.
As societies reopen, many have predicted a return to the in-person “normal”. Yet the data tells us otherwise. Of the respondents who took part in our consumer survey, saying they already shop online, 87% said they plan to continue doing so, even as coronavirus restrictions ease further and physical retailers open up. The shopping landscape has changed for good.
Data estimates from Bloomberg note that U.S. consumers now have roughly $1.5 trillion in savings coming out of the lockdowns of last year – and they’re ready to burn it.
The brands that will reap the biggest rewards in this environment are the ones that master social advertising. With social platforms, brands can re-create the traditional in-store experience online and engage in the type of interactive, persuasive dialogue that helps close the sale.
3. Social gets your message across.
Social media has come a long way in the last decade, especially in terms of its features and advertising power. Social platforms have risen to meet brands’ needs and now offer robust, 360-degree ways of connecting with consumers. Whereas one TV ad usually serves millions of viewers, on social, millions of ads can serve just one consumer. This new, unprecedented level of advertising personalization and volume – made possible through automation – means that customers also listen.
Marketers can now do everything they need to do with a brand, all on social. Social media is where shoppers go to connect with brands, discover and buy new products, and reach out to merchants for support, long after a purchase.
Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) respondents from our consumer survey reported making an online purchase based on a digital ad they saw on social media in the past 30 days alone. 44% said they discovered a new product or brand over the past 30 days based on a digital ad they saw on social media.
The route to a sale, nowadays, is much more complex, but social media allows brands to have meaningful interactions with shoppers every step of the way, thereby cementing the purchase.
4. Social helps you expand your audience.
Social media is particularly powerful in how it is both hyper local and global at the same time. Organized by interests and niches, social media allows brands to target very specific audiences, and then leverage those audiences globally. That means that businesses that are otherwise niche in a specific market can become considerable players when operating in their category globally. Social advertising drives business expansion.
The variety of different social media platforms – and targeting tools therein – also allows for further broadening of audience in terms of demographics, and real-time analytics on social ads help brands adjust their offerings accordingly. The insights gleaned from social media advertising are often so valuable they inform other parts of the business too, from innovation to PR.
Social is no longer an afterthought for marketers; it's now where they build meaningful relationships and connect with their customers. The brands that get social are the ones that will thrive offline too.