21 years ago the first social media site, Six Degrees, was created allowing users to upload an online profile and find friends. Fast forward to Snap’s recent launch of augmented reality Lenses and the scale of the transformation becomes truly stark.
When social first came on the scene, advertisers excluded it from media plans because so much of the content was questionable. However it has now become the bedrock of most advertising campaigns to the tune of €50 billion in 2018. In many ways, social platforms have taken the place of today’s mainstream media sources showing original programming and live sport.
The time has come to cast the lens forward and consider how social will adapt over the next 21 years – especially as consumer behaviour continues to change. Here are three trends to watch now that social has come of age.
Audience first omnichannel buying
Media disruption is behind us, and multi-screen viewing is the new reality. Think of your own behavior as you watch football on the TV. You probably have another device in your hands splitting your attention whether it’s commenting on the match with friends or just multi-tasking.
While marketers have started to adopt cross-channel campaigns, to truly market the way that consumers consume, they must master an audience-centric approach. Recent research from 4C found that 89% agreed that advertisers who build their strategies around audiences rather than individual media platforms create more impactful campaigns.
To achieve an audience-based approach, new technologies are required. The research also found that 85% believe a new marketing structure is required that enables advertisers to operate between publishers and all platforms. As marketers adopt new technologies, they’ll be able to fully embrace a multiplatform audience-based marketing strategy.
4C has plugged its planning and buying tech into a who’s who of advertising giants, including Amazon, Apple News, Facebook, Instagram, NBCUniversal, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter.
Key to the multi-screen reality is the development of new video experiences, with augmented, virtual, and mixed reality soon set to take social to an entirely new level of immersiveness and interactivity. Take Instagram Stories attracting 400 million daily active users or Pinterest’s Max Width Video changing the way people find inspiration.
These new video experiences will be fundamental for brands looking to transform offline events to active online engagement experiences. Take what live sports, concerts, and social gaming brands are already doing. The PGA Tour has introduced an AR app that enables fans to experience the action from home, with the hole easily superimposed onto any flat surface.
Social and the marketplace
WeChat in Asia Pacific has set the trend in the merging of social and marketplace platforms. It has successfully combined social and commerce through mini programmes giving shops new ways of selling products, such as group-buying deals.
Similarly, Amazon not only has great assets from e-commerce to entertainment, but brands can’t get any closer to the point of purchase than Amazon. Connecting their various e-commerce and entertainment businesses through social will provide a tremendous opportunity to create a rich source of purchase and behavioral data.
With the new availability of Amazon’s Sponsored Product ads through the Scope platform, 4C’s self-serve UI enables advertisers to have all their ad-buying data in one place at a time when the industry is hungry to unify media buying.
Over the next 21 years, successful brands will follow the footsteps of these new media platforms, stitching the whole online ecosystem together. And most importantly, audience intelligence will separate the best executions from the best intentions.
With a heritage in TV, social media, and premium video, our commitment is to empower marketers to market the way consumers consume across the most valuable channels at the most powerful moments. Cheers to a bright future!