- June 8, 2020

Consumers Are Trying New Brands; Time to Double Down on Branded Conte

Tania Yuki
Tania Yuki
Chief Marketing Officer and EVP of Digital

The face of advertising is changing and 2020 is accelerating these changes in ways that I believe are not a fad but a true, significant shift in the way you, the advertisers, should be thinking about your go to market plans – and why social should be the centerpiece of your efforts.

I love data. Thank gosh, I work with it all day; every day. But I love it because it puts things in context for me, for my clients…and for you. And in 2020, Branded Content is performing stronger than it did last year – even despite an emptied economy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. On a per post basis, the engagement on these posts are up triple digits. Yes, you read that right. It’s up 124%. Where else can you get that sort of annual growth these days? I wish my savings account came with those yields.

I am often times confronted by conversations where brands and agencies considering social data providers are laser focused on CPMs. What’s a good CPM? How do I get a cheaper CPM? But I feel these are all the wrong questions to be asking, particularly right now when consumers are so sensitive to the kinds of content and messaging that they are receiving.

Don’t misunderstand me. In some situations, I can see the value in massive impressions for low prices. But what is the goal? What’s the desired outcome? So often those questions yield the same answers…we want to raise visibility of our product amongst likely purchasers, to increase relevancy/authenticity amongst our existing fringe customer base and build loyalty with them so they have more brand consideration in our favor… and ultimately sell more of our product, make more money. If these are your goals, the CPM approach is not the best way. So why don’t more advertisers shift this thinking? Because this is the way it’s always been. Decades of the same approach. But 2020 has taught us that the same ole’ can’t continue. Change is here. Creativity. New strategies. New ideas. 

In an industry where billions are spent, qualifying the data behind much of the advertising industry is – squishy. Take billboards for instance. They’re not cheap. But how do you measure the impact downstream? It’s…squishy. Are eyeballs equal? Why is social valued so much less than linear? Isn’t the entire goal to reach people, connect with people? Social provides the most measurable data behind changed behavioral patterns and yet – despite the data there seems to be a disconnect.

According to a new Vox Media study, 9 out of 10 consumers have tried new brands during the pandemic. Let’s pause for a second and let that percolate for a moment.

Everything from snack foods, streaming services, computers and clothes, the fact is every brand’s market share is up for grabs in 2020 – social included. The study found almost a quarter of people tried a new brand merely for variety, exploration. This means your social strategy, organic and paid, are more important now than ever before. 

Now, consider that Publishing, Sports and Media & Entertainment command the majority of the engagement on social. They have premium content and scale. They are seeking to partner with brands to monetize this premium content. This is your chance to pick the perfect partners to raise your social footprint, connect with new audiences and ensure you’re a party of their world in the days, weeks and months ahead – because it’s all changed.

Why does all this matter? Back in February, Technavio reported that global content marketing was expected to surge by $269 billion between 2020-2024. The report explicitly named the rising number of users on social media as one of the key drivers. 

And if you need one last fact to back this up – consider this Shareablee data point: 9 of the top 10 Instagram advertisers so far in 2020 were not anywhere in the top spots in 2019.

So, what are brands/advertisers we’re talking to asking of us as a social analytics solution? They want to understand how to attribute the dollars spent to the engagers on social.

On June 10th at Noon, please join my incredible colleague Kaitlyn Harrison and I as we share new research on the following:

  • The new survey data behind what people really think about branded content in 2020, how it has evolved over time – and why you will want to get your hands on this data before your competitors.
  • Behind the numbers, who is driving the branded content growth in 2020?
  • The advertisers seizing the moment for social success through integrations
  • Which publishers have the engagement behind their strategies worthy of your consideration?
  • Lastly, we’ll explain how some of the best advertisers, agencies (and even publishers) are putting data to work to de-risk partnerships, pick the perfect publishers to work with for their brands and then prove out the power of that campaign/partnership.

If this post has inspired you, got you thinking or you just want to chat about ways the data can unpack audiences and make a difference in your marketing efforts, please – let’s connect.

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