Is the future of advertising going social?

Posted on 10/07/2011 by Emma Dadswell


The world of advertising is rapidly changing. Where several years ago, big brands were spending the majority of their advertising budgets on television and print, new trends have come to light recently to suggest that social media is the new place to invest advertising spend.

For example, Marketing Week recently reported the cost (per click) of advertising on Facebook has increased by 74% in the last year within four of the world’s biggest media markets. This indicates a surge in popularity and use of Facebook ads.

Where just a few short years ago, online marketing was widely dismissed as quirky but a waste of time by many, big brands are increasingly seeing the value in social advertising. In fact, the value has increased to the extent that advertising on Facebook and Google has diverted funds from traditional media.

With these trends in mind, what does the future hold for advertising? It is, of course, hugely unlikely that online spend will ever overtake television budgets, but could this type of advertising be a viable replacement for print media or e-marketing?

Quite possibly. While they won’t render these forms of advertising obsolete, many big brands are already taking a good look at where their advertising budgets are going. And many are opting to invest more heavily in social media.

The reasons for this are simple. The benefits of social advertising far outweigh those of print media and even e-marketing. This is because Facebook ads are highly targeted – and appear unprompted on screen. Think of it in terms of what might grab your interest. Where you might flick past an advert that doesn’t apply to you in a magazine, it’s harder to ignore an advert that pops up automatically on your home page, knows your age, gender, likes and dislikes and your interests. It’s also harder to ignore than an email campaign, which relies on grabbing your interest with its headline and on you clicking through to a different page.

With Twitter selling promoted Tweets, Facebook increasing the cost per click for advertising and new sites like Google+ set to take off in a big way, perhaps social advertising is where the future of the industry is going. What’s your view?