Running Out of Space: 3 Ways Social Platforms Are Making Room For Your Brand’s Ads
August 22, 2017
Over the past few years, social channels have piqued the interest of advertisers large and small. More than 5 million businesses are advertising on Facebook each month, Instagram doubled its advertiser base to 1 million in less than six months, and Recode reports that Snap plans to grow its average revenue per user this year by serving more ads on Snapchat in key markets such as the U.S. and U.K. But where will all of these ads go?
As demand for ad space grows, digital channels are faced with two options: add more users or show more ads to the same users. While the aforementioned tech giants have consistently attracted new users each month, they’re also making a significant push for more inventory. To create more space and drive down the cost of digital ads, digital platforms have adopted a number of strategies. Here are some of the most innovative ways social platforms are expanding their inventory:
Facebook Audience Network
Audience Network lets you extend your ad campaigns beyond Facebook’s walls to reach a larger audience on mobile apps, websites and videos, using the same Facebook targeting and measurement.
Over one billion people see an ad through Audience Network every month. Advertisers who opt into Audience Network are reaching 16% more people than they could by advertising on Facebook and Instagram alone.
Instagram Stories is a secondary feed of photo and video content that lives above people’s Instagram mobile feed for 24 hours. Two hundred and fifty million Instagrammers use the feature daily.
Facebook recently launched ads in Instagram Stories to all advertisers globally, which provides Instagram advertisers with yet another destination for their ads. Brands can use ads in Stories to showcase limited-time opportunities and promotions, product inspiration, how-tos, exclusive experiences and behind the scenes footage.
Snapchat Original Content
Snapchat parent company Snap has captured the best qualities of TV ads and mobile ads by making ads on Snapchat entertaining, creative, vertical (and full-screen) and viewed by choice. While some Snap Ads appear within User Stories (created by a user’s friends on Snapchat), many ads appear alongside publisher content in Snapchat Discover and Live Stories from major events such as the Olympics.
It should come as no surprise that Snap is making room for more Snap Ads by expanding existing partnerships and forging new ones, with the likes of MGM Television, Comedy Central, BBC and NBC. You may have noticed a Snapchat adaptation of The Voice or The Bachelor in your Snapchat homepage. The mobile-only app has also featured exclusive footage from major sports events such as March Madness, the Super Bowl and the PGA Tour. Snap is going all in on premium content, forging strong relationships with entertainment and sports brands. With more content drawing users to Snapchat, brands have access to more inventory to deliver compelling Snap Ads, at a potentially more efficient price tag.
Ultimately, digital media platforms need to balance monetization with user experience. Similarly, advertisers seeking to create more personalized experiences and more profitable relationships with their customers, need to carefully gauge the reach and frequency with their messaging. To do so, they both need to develop capabilities for more holistic views of their customers and audiences across different devices, platforms and contexts.
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