The business of advertising has changed significantly since the days of Mad Men. Lucky Strikes are no longer smoked inside and whiskey is no longer guzzled by executives who are on the clock. But larger than the behavioural change that took place is the change we are all witness to today. A shift that is shaking the very roots of advertising. Television spots, radio advertisements and ads in a multitude of print sources are all feeling the effects of the new kid in town — social media. Though the numbers don’t reflect it just yet, I am here to tell you why social advertising is set to topple giants of advertising past.
Until now much of traditional advertising has made its bank on expensive tv spots, pricy radio commercials and glossy print ads that appealed to the most basic emotions of why people buy. But that audience is decreasing. With the advent of digital recorders and services like Youtube, Hulu Netflix, and Aereo (just to name a few) users can skip or avoid tv ads all together. Radio is suffering a similar fate. What was once the only electronic device in many homes is now being replaced by podcasts, iTunes or services like Sirius XM. As for print, well its demise has been closely documented, and the guys left standing are scrambling to maximize their online revenues. Anyway you slice it traditional audience and mediums are declining while social options only continue to multiply.
Besides a declining audience traditional advertising is also seeing a decline in spend. While on the other hand social spend is increasing. It is increase because social involved content users actually want to read. If someone is reading something on the internet its because they chose to be there. Whether they liked a page, followed a company on twitter or just did a general search, they made a conscious decision to interact with that content and thus they won’t be as bothered by advertisements (provided its not an annoying banner ad). Moreover, in many cases social advertisements are tailored to an individual user’s interests so they can be more impactful thus have a better chance of being considered. The alternative is an interruptive ad which is usually used as an opportunity to do something else until their show comes back on.
Lastly and probably the biggest reason why social is a better use of budget is because it has authority. As I mentioned above when users see advertisements through social outlets, they’ve chosen to view it. But what happens a lot of times is that they’ve chosen to view it because someone they know has viewed it or recommended it to them. Think about how much more likely you are to watch or read something someone has recommended, liked, tweeted or posted. Conversely traditional media has an underlying sense of bias and persuasion leading us to believe that they are only out for themselves.
The increasing number of social media options available allow us to go through the customer buying options as we choose — without interruption, alongside validation, recommendations and insight from the people and companies that we respect. All of these things are paving the way for social advertising to be the way of the future.
About the Author
Steve Noone O’Connor is an marketing professional with over a decade of experience in Sales and Marketing.