Social Media Ad Spending Shift Means Opportunity for Other Formats

BY Kathy Crosett
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Is the social media ad spending shift going to mean opportunity for other formats? Possibly. Seb Joseph at Digiday reported earlier this month that major marketers on Facebook have cut their social media ad spending significantly. Several other analysts have reported on this trend. Here's what this shift means for media sales in general.

Why Marketers Are Wary of Social Media

First, advertisers may not have been especially happy about Facebook’s pivot to promoting messages from friends and family members instead of marketers’ content. Now, marketers want to show their sensitivity to the cultural changes rippling across the country. Simply put, Facebook has allowed offensive content to exist on its site. Consumers are demanding social justice and they expect to see change immediately.

Marketers are responding by applying financial pressure to sites like Facebook. They’re taking their ad dollars elsewhere. Specifically, the top 1,000 advertisers on Facebook spent $28 million a day in early July 2019, but only $22.7 million a day in early July 2020.

Other factors contributing to the pullback in ad spending include the general economic environment and the upcoming elections which are expected to be particularly divisive and negative – another emotion that marketers want to disassociate from their brands. Brand managers know the damage that can be done when their ads appear next to offensive content.

Opportunity for Other Formats

This can be a busy time of year for marketers who spend on the back-​to-​school crowd. Uncertainty looms about how and when students will get back to the classroom or on campus. But, some families will spend on supplies. To reach them, marketers who are boycotting Facebook and Instagram will increase paid search advertising. They’ll also set up more email campaigns. Another beneficiary of shifted ad spending has been YouTube, say Pathmatics analysts.

Advertising on Facebook has allowed marketers to easily and effectively target the audiences they want to reach. Your clients might even tell you that it’s been an affordable tool for them. However, they may want to take a stand on Facebook’s reticence to change the way that it does business. That stand might buy them goodwill in the local community. 

As the opportunity for other formats increases during the general social media boycott, you can help clients change their media mix to stay top of mind with consumers. Show them the ad formats that consumers are most likely to respond to by sharing the details of AudienceSCAN profiles with them. The profiles are available on AdMall by SalesFuel.