Digital Marketing

What is Social Advertising?

As I read through a few articles this week, the influence of social advertising seems even more clear to me than when I wrote my recent post: Is Social Media Really Changing Online Advertising? This week, I wanted to write a post about how social advertising will change all advertising.

Social Advertising

Today the internet and social advertising are mostly thought of together, but the television broadcasters need to start integrating social advertising. We're already seeing advertisers work around this by complementing their TV efforts with online efforts. Using Facebook and other social networks lets advertisers react to events that happen in real time. Oreo was a prime example of this immediate feedback during the Super Bowl, which I wrote about last week.

But what is social advertising? And in what ways do you expect TV and other mediums to change (if at all) because of social advertising? Will networks and content providers change? Will the advertisers themselves change?

Picture this scenario: A family sits down after dinner to watch a 30 minute sitcom. In reality, that might not be a very common anymore, but assuming it is, that's a social scenario based around a shared experience. Further, now assume you watch the show live when it airs and not on DVR. You'll likely talk with your family about the show, and even about how great or terrible the commercials are.

When you see an ad or commercial with a bunch of your friends or family it's different than when you see an ad or post alone looking through your Facebook or Twitter feeds. That's not what we traditionally think of as social advertising, but is that not social?

I think time will tell which form of "social" advertising is more effective. If you're watching television alone at home, being able to interact with and see your circle of friends also experiencing the same event is certainly social. But if you're actually at home with friends in person, does that make the experience more important or memorable?

Discovery itself is another huge change that will occur as TV becomes more social. Imagine navigating a list what your friends are watching, and finding a group of them watching a particular show or event you've never heard of. There's a good chance you'll stop in for a minute and see what they are watching.

So we have the ads themselves, which can target a single individual or a group, and we have the ads placement, based on the context of an individual's interests and their circle of friends.

Successful advertising

Think about the value added to a user and the opportunity presented to advertisers. As a user, you can find something you wouldn't find without a friend's suggestion; as an advertiser, you can now track what environment your ads will be seen in and optimize for specific cases.

I think there will always be a place for unconnected experiences and you'll come across products, services, and entertainment that your friends have no interest in or knowledge of.  But if the broadcasters and content providers don't get to it soon, I expect smart entrepreneurs (or even big companies like Google or Apple) to figure out how to successfully integrate social into television and take the huge opportunity from them.

Here is the AdAge article by Jason Del Rey that got me thinking about social advertising again this week. Thanks for reading.

AdStage Team