Do you want your brain to do a backflip?
If so, consider this: 94% of the Internet-using population uses social media.
That means that about 4.7b people use at least one of the major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Let that sink in.
Say what you want about social media, its harm to society or the “supposed” downfall of significant players, but saying it’s anything less than a dominating force is foolish.
Advertisers know that, which is why ad spending on these platforms will rise in perpetuity.
Between 2020 and 2021—at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic—social ad spending increased by more than 10% in the United States.
So, is social advertising the pillar everyone makes it out to be?
Absolutely—and as social commerce gains mainstream appeal and Gen Z makes it clear that TikTok is their answer for everything, it’ll only grow stronger.
Social media ads aren’t the only ones in town, and advertisers who are seemingly locked into social media only aren’t off limits. Omnichannel advertising and diversifying ad spend is, after all, also on the rise.
Here’s what you need to know to sway them away from social media’s hallowed walls.
Fish Where the Fish Are
If you’re steering away from social media advertisers for any reason—it’s time to rethink your mindset. Social media giants are targeting your advertisers and they’re quite compelling.
According to our data sample, thousands of advertisers have collectively invested almost $12b on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter through June— 37% of the overall digital spend in H1.
There are 3,000 advertisers who each spent more than $150k in H1.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the social media entities only compete with other social media firms. They’re after your advertisers, and it’s important to be equipped to understand how they’re being wooed.
More importantly, it’s time to call attention to the opportunities and performance gains advertisers are missing by crowning social media their “ride or die.”
Fish where the fish are. With 4+ million U.S. advertisers on Facebook and Instagram alone, social media is a good place to start.
Know Their Media Mix
Digital advertising is like a puzzle.
For social advertisers, you know a few of the pieces: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Those corner pieces are only the start.
To convince social advertisers there’s more outside of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (or to get them to venture out even farther), you need to know what else is in play.
- Are they buying OTT and CTV ads?
- Are they giving Twitter another shot now that Elon Musk owns the platform?
- Are they riding the waves of podcast advertising?
What you’ll find is every advertiser’s puzzle is different—and understanding the media mix is key to your pitch.
For example, within the technology advertising space, website advertisers invested over $2.2b in social media advertising and another $1.2b in other ad formats.
Software advertisers spending on social media ($495m) also invested $1.3b in other formats.
Most advertisers aren’t in a monogamous relationship with social media. Understanding their media mix is step one to knowing how to pitch them properly.
Do they lack the resources needed to handle the native ad tools? Are they operating under the assumption that social isn’t “cool” anymore?
By understanding an advertiser’s media mix, you can get squarely inside their head and craft a pitch that gets them thinking outside the box.
Social Media’s Your Friend (and Foe)
On the surface, social media advertising’s dominance is bad news.
While social media is firmly entrenched in the ad strategies of millions and will continue to dig deeper, the good news is that you can use its greatest selling point to your advantage.
Regardless of maturity, every social media platform survives by forging bonds between people (and businesses).
Over time, these communities have grown exponentially, and new ones are forming daily.
For example, 870 communities revolve around Type 2 diabetes on Facebook, making the platform a goldmine for companies like Medtronic, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and others that rely on this patient population.
These audiences position social media as the go-to choice for advertisers looking to zero in on a specific subset of social’s addressable audience.
Many advertisers are already seeing this opportunity and investing big bucks in getting in front of audiences that align with their ideal customer persona (ICP).
Within the technology advertising space, website advertisers spent more than $2.2b on social media advertising in H1, while software advertisers spent nearly $500mm.
Use Tools to Sift Through the Social World
These strategies are great in theory, but they’re all for naught if you don’t know how many of your existing advertisers are already investing in social.
To put your best foot forward, it’s imperative that you truly understand the overlap between ecosystems and where advertisers are spending.
For better or worse, identifying this overlap is easier said than done; the term “walled garden” follows social media platforms for a reason.
Luckily, advertising intelligence tools are tailor-made to uncover insights, spend distribution, cross-media trends and competitive opportunities to help you see the full programmatic landscape and craft pitches that strike a chord with advertisers.
You’re Not Going to Win Em All—But You Could Win Some
Fighting any of the social media giants, even the ones struggling to stay afloat, is a losing battle.
Their reach and mature ad tech are too good for advertisers to shrug off because other ad-supported ecosystems exist.
With all advertisers trying their darndest to drive efficiencies and milk every last penny out of their budgets, the advertising mainstays—think Facebook, Instagram and Twitter—will remain just that.
Yet while it’ll be impossible to convince advertisers to ditch social media entirely, there’s no padlock keeping them inside. Some advertisers just need convincing and to see the opportunities before them.
In fact, of the nearly 66k companies advertising on social media in H1, only 25% spent a penny outside of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
That means that 50k companies that collectively spent millions on social advertising in H1 didn’t spread their love elsewhere.
To sway them away, it’s up to you to read their minds—or use an advertising intelligence tool— to understand their strategies, their competitors and the opportunities with the biggest impact on their bottom line.
Even a few steps outside the social world can be the tipping point needed to woo advertisers away, especially as newer ecosystems gain footing and prove their worth.
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