In the recent months privacy has become a hot topic amongst both consumers and advertisers. Platforms like Facebook are getting rid of behavioural targeting, leaving many companies to wonder how their social media advertising efforts are going to perform – if at all.
To that, I would argue that digital advertising (including social) is still one of the best ways to reach your consumers -and if anything, this is one of the most exciting times to be doing so.
Before we get any further, let me preface this by saying that digital marketing is not a one-size-fits-all approach and social campaigns on one platform may work better for one company, but other platforms may be better suited for another company. Ok, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get into it.
Be Where Your Consumer Is
This seems like a no-brainer, but if you’re trying to reach your target audience, you want to advertise where they spend the most time. And in today’s age, that’s online. In fact, as of January 2018, Pew Research found that 69% of the US Adult population was active on at least one social media platform and spend an average of 24 hours a week online. What’s more, is that these statistics are even higher when we dive into Gen Z and Millennials – who are set to have more purchasing power than any other generations before them.
Meanwhile, “traditional” mediums are on a sharp decline – streaming has overtaken cable, and print readership has been declining since the late-90s. While great campaigns can still utilize these mediums, they’re almost always tied to a digital campaign in some way. The downside to these medium, is that they often rely on a “spray-and-pray” approach for most brands. When done right though, digital can allows you to get in front of your consumer, as opposed to relying on the possibility that your consumers come across you.
“But John, I thought you said platforms like Facebook are getting rid of some of their targeting?” Great, question, and they are. The good news is that they’re only getting rid of “behavior” targeting. This means that advertisers can still target based on interests and even similar audiences. Plus, that’s only one platform. And while, Facebook and Instagram still carry a lot of weight in the social media realm, so does YouTube and Snapchat.
YouTube not only ranks in the top 3 for favorite social platforms for Millennials and Gen Z, but it is also the third most visited site in the country. Snapchat, is a different beast all together, and it continues to be innovative.
While it’s not the preferred platform for older audiences, it is one of the most popular among Gen Z – who claim to use the platform for an average of +40 minutes a day. Most recently, the company announced that it would be partnering with Amazon to make purchasing even easier.
In terms of adverting though, Snapchat may offer the most in-depth targeting among all the social media platforms. Not only does it allow advertisers to target based on age and location, you could target an audience to new moms that use Android phones, watch shows on HBO and ABC and are fans of movies that fall into the genre of horror. Pretty crazy, huh?
An Exciting Time for Social
As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog, this really is an exciting time in digital marketing. While we already addressed that Facebook has already removed behavior-based targeting (and other platforms could eventually follow), it’s more important than ever for brands to create content that is engaging to their customers.
As we possibly step into a new chapter, where targeting becomes more of a craft than checking a few boxes, it will be the content that cuts through the noise of all of the other ads. Engaging content will also lend itself to being sought after in the event that some of your audience is missed by changes in targeting.
So with all of the concerns about privacy in the recent months, digital marketing is still a safe bet for you ad budget, and possibly the safest – so long as you have a trusted team (cough like Anvil Media cough) that understands how possible changes in platforms can affect your marketing efforts and can use them to still help meet your goals.