74% of people are tired of social media ads (but they’re effective)

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74% of people are tired of social media ads (but they’re effective)

Digital advertisers around the world are enthusiastically embracing social media ads in the digital age. With the changes in behavior and the increase in the use of the internet that the pandemic has meant even more.

For example, in the United States market, a benchmark for behavioral analysis regarding the use of technologies in marketing, during the COVID-19 pandemic, companies redirected almost half of marketing budgets (46%) towards social media and mobile activities, according to the latest edition of Deloitte’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Survey, twice as many as before the pandemic. The study also emphasizes that marketers anticipate continued growth in mobile spending over the next 12 months, while spending on social media will remain near the new high.

In the same survey but from the year 2017, specialists predicted that spending on social networks would increase by 89% by 2022 (from the historical value for the date), which represented 18.5% of their total marketing budget. By far the pandemic boosted investment in online advertising, where by 2020 it already more than doubled the estimate made in 2017.

Why the shift towards spending on social media? Is it a better way to reach customers than traditional methods? To find out, we used data from Hootsuite’s Digital 2021 report, where statistics show a global average 13% increase in social media use (490 million new users), and a 7.3% increase in Internet use ( 4,660 million people).

The significant growth in the use of the Internet is justified for the most part by the increase in education and work online and by the mobility restrictions that still affect a large part of the world population.

Why marketers love advertising on social media

Social media is where the people are. More than half of those surveyed in the cited studies said that each week, they log into all of the following apps: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Twitter. In Spain, for example, according to the aforementioned study, almost 43 million citizens are Internet users and spend a daily average of 6 hours and 11 minutes browsing the web.

All platforms have increased their penetration, their usage time, and their user base; e-commerce has gained users on a recurring basis; audio as a platform has exploded and the use of online entertainment has increased substantially.

Heavy use of social media by consumers can help explain the high level of engagement with advertisers. On Facebook, for example, up to 51% of users admit to having clicked on an ad. They even influence consumer purchasing decisions. Almost half of social media users (48%) have bought something after seeing an ad. A number that increases to 53% and 56% for millennials and women, respectively.

So what does this all mean? That companies often experience a high click-through rate and ROI on their investment in social advertising, with many stories of prominent companies going public.

But….consumers dislike the ads—for many reasons

While ads often perform well, they don’t necessarily give users a good experience.

Users often say that they are overwhelming, repetitive and irrelevant (this is the worst, we still do not understand the power of micro-segmentation). For a more detailed picture of user reviews, see the breakdown below:

  • Almost 3 in 4 users (74%) think there are too many ads. The number grows to 78% for adults over 35 years of age.
  • 63% of users say they only see a few things advertised, over and over again.
  • 44% of users consider that ads are irrelevant to their wants and needs. For those 35 and older, the number goes up to 51%.

Is there anything advertisers can do in their advertising design to improve the consumer experience?

How marketers can improve their social ads

Here are some things brands can do to improve their social media ads:

  • THE RELEVANCE. The best advertisement is one that has such useful information for the target audience that it ceases to be advertising and becomes relevant information to meet a specific need.
  • Present diversity. Our suggestion is that the ads should feature diverse people, Latino, European, Asian, with people of color and of different sexual orientations (obviously depending on what you want to communicate and to whom). For 56% of users, diversity in ads is important.
  • Deliver honest and accurate messages. People trust TV ads more than social ads (by 17 percentage points). If a brand offers a message consistent with the user experience, its social media ads will stand out.
  • Take into account the user experience. As mentioned above, users want to improve the frequency, relevance (as we said above) and diversity of ads on social media. Improvements that account for user experience will not only improve ad performance, but will also benefit the long-term reputation of the brand.

Increasing consumer use of social media, as well as the influence of ads on buying behavior, is driving advertisers’ enthusiasm for investing in social ads. So whether ads are viewed as an everyday nuisance or as a meaningful source to help consumers find what they need, your presence is here to stay.