As social media platforms get better at monetising, what should marketers expect?

Cedric Peillet
Snapchat's unique format and youthful audience is likely to divert spend from TV once its new application programming interface is confirmed (Source: Getty)

Monetising is a top priority for the world’s leading social platforms like Twitter and Periscope, and recent figures suggest they’re getting better at it. According to the Internet Advertising Bureau, the UK’s social media ad spend rose 51 per cent last year to £574m, so what developments should marketers expect from these firms over the coming months?

Live streaming and video

The live streaming of video content via social media is a huge growth area and a way to communicate with targeted audiences in real time. Twitter’s video app Periscope and Facebook’s Live service are already up and running, and the likes of Land Rover are using both platforms to broadcast live driving demonstrations. Twitter’s overall advertising model is becoming increasingly video-centric and the platform credits its auto-play video ads for its 48 per cent year-on-year growth in ad revenue.

Read more: Why 2016 is the year of “moment marketing”

Sharing branded content

Facebook recently agreed to the sharing of sponsored content on its pages so long as it is clearly marked as such. This is in response to the growing role of native advertising in the form of branded content, which product manager Clare Rubin describes as “a growing and evolving part of the media landscape.”

Although this development doesn’t directly increase Facebook revenue, brands sharing sponsored content will increase Facebook ad spend to maximise exposure.

Emerging platforms

Ad budgets are shifting to emerging platforms such as Pinterest to reach distinctive user groups. John Lewis and Tesco have already used promoted pins, which were recently opened up to UK advertisers.

Read more: No IPO for Snapchat yet with new funding instead

Like many other networks, Pinterest is exploring social shopping through its buyable pins – currently being trialled by Asos – and these are likely to be available in the UK soon. Snapchat is also becoming an influential ad platform. Its unique format and youthful audience is likely to divert spend from TV once its new application programming interface is confirmed – which should be any day now.

Keyword-based search

Facebook is developing a proprietary search product and indexing all content. While the objective is to improve the search experience, Facebook is unlikely to pass up the opportunity to monetise the 1.5bn daily searches carried out on its platform, and the launch of an advanced keyword-based advertising solution is predicted.

Audience targeting using first-party data

The potential for using first-party data to reach target audiences across social media is immense and prominent networks are developing solutions to allow brands to do just that. Starcom MediaVest Group recently leveraged Facebook’s demographic targeting to promote Yahoo content in real time, resulting in a significant increase in traffic at a low cost per visit.

Social media plays an ever-increasing role in brand marketing strategies with networks providing access to highly engaged and precisely targeted audiences. The development of social audience monetisation strategies is only just beginning.

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