Social ads are about to get a serious makeover in 2020, but many marketers are still leaning on outdated habits, according to Bonzai founder and chief executive Rahul Pandey.
In this collaborative and informative post written by Rahul Pandey, the Bonzai CEO takes a look at what’s next in store for social advertising, and how marketers can scale and strengthen creative capability in new and exciting ways.
The rise of social storytelling
It’s no big surprise to brand leaders that social ‘stories’ are the next big thing for consumer engagement. In fact, stories are where consumer attention and brand investment is growing. According to eMarketer and Instagram, in 2021 stories will receive 32 per cent of total social media spend, up from 28 per cent and 22 per cent in 2020 and 2019 respectively.
In 2019, an eMarketer survey found 66 per cent of US companies surveyed planned to invest in Instagram stories over other video and social media ad methods.
There are a number of reasons for this. Stories create engaging, short-form content which only appear for a limited period of time, giving it an ‘exclusive or rare’ feel. Brands create a feed of sequential, or linked, content either static photos or video, which tell a particular story which then disappears (although it can be saved in some cases).
Ultimately, it is a way for customers to engage with authentic content in a short period of time. While this method of consumption started on Instagram, it is now popular on Facebook and even on LinkedIn. How popular? This popular: A recent survey conducted showed 76 per cent of Facebook users access stories, 83 per cent of Instagram, 87 per cent of Snapchat and 76 per cent of YouTube.
Like all social content, stories are more conversational and immersive, leading to higher engagement than other methods of advertising or marketing. Stories, therefore, lend themselves to tutorials, sharing user-generated content, authentic ‘behind the scenes’ content, announcements, and of course time-sensitive deals, and are great for brand awareness.
Are you integrating social and display seamlessly?
Though social media penetration is high across the globe, there is still a large audience outside of these ‘walled-gardens’. In order to tap into this audience, marketers have to invest time, resource and creative production costs into various channels, as well as social, and programmatic.
With stories on top of this, brands are finding themselves in the position of having to rebuild creative for different channels from scratch—a costly and time-consuming exercise simply to cover all the possible bases.
This is leading to the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ of creative. Those bigger brands with the associated bigger budgets and creatives on staff can easily rebuild creative for different channels, although it generally takes a bit of time to do this, making agility difficult.
However, those smaller brands or SMBs are having to make ‘either/or’ decisions because they can’t afford to build and rebuild creatives for different channels.
The good news is technology is aiming to address this disparity and ‘even the creative playing field’ moving into 2021.
Platforms, such as Bonzai, address the frustration of having to build the same creative again and again for different channels by aiming to repurpose social posts for digital display. In fact, we’re excited to share that Bonzai is the first and only Creative Management Platform to offer Social Display along with rich media, high impact formats, Apple News formats, and standard banners for the display channel.
What this means is the traditional ‘have nots’ can compete with the ‘haves’ across social display quickly and cost-effectively by repurposing the creative which already exists in their social posts and stories. This cuts out the need to have in-house creatives and gives everyone the agility to respond to trends immediately. The creative playing field becomes levelled.
Is your campaign delivering results?
For many brands, particularly the smaller ones, social ads are yet another marketing channel they have to invest in. Marketing budgets were already tight before 2020. Now, marketing budgets are so tight as to be prohibitive to success, or even non-existent in some cases.
There are a multitude of channels brands can now invest their marketing budget into, but due to a lack of attribution or proper metrics, proof of ROI is difficult, which leads to even further budget shrinkage.
As an example, brands can benefit from Bonzai Social Display, as their production time and cost will be significantly reduced, which results in a faster campaign go-to-market. The platforms retain the look of the social post or story, which leads to a familiar and non-intrusive user experience resulting in higher engagement.
With advertisers having to deal with banner blindness, social display allows for beautiful creatives to be built quickly which translates into more time spent on the ad as compared to a standard banner. It also enables brands to increase their reach as their display campaign is an extension of the social content.
Checklist—questions to ask to get your social storytelling ready for 2021:
- Do your social posts and stories easily integrate with display in just a few clicks?
- Are you integrating high impact formats with your social storytelling for better engagement?
- Can you roll out social display/storytelling quickly across channels, at scale?
- Can you repurpose your social creatives quickly and cheaply in-house?
- How much is your social CPM currently costing? Can it be better?
- Is your creative in a high impact format, and more engaging, to beat banner blindness?
CMPs like Bonzai integrate social display with high impact ad formats such as ScrollX, allowing brands to bring their stories to life in new and exciting ways. Blending the ease of creating a Social Display campaign, with the viewability and large real estate of a high impact ad format, it gives advertisers the ‘best of both worlds’.
In effect, these CMPs represent a marriage between social posts and stories with social display, allowing marketers to quickly and easily repurpose existing creative across other channels, which can also be integrated with most publishers, as well as programmatic.
With brands having to address so many channels with shrinking budgets, and consumers more willing to engage with stories, integrated social display will be the creative method more brands use to rescue costs and up engagement in 2021.