3 Paid Social Innovations That Are Here To Stay
In the advertising world, the only state that is constant is change. At Rise, the fun part of change is identifying patterns and strategizing what steps we can take to stay on our toes and evolve. We’ve been watching and listening, and we are ready to share three innovations in the social space that we believe will have long term impact for eCommerce marketers.
Innovation #1: Augmented Reality & Meeting Customers Where They Are
Augmented Reality (AR) ads are a compelling way for brands to give customers the power to personalize their ad experience, especially on social media. Snapchat has been a leader in creating organic and paid AR experiences, recently expanding to shoppable lenses, an already very effective ad type for driving sales directly from the AR try-on experience. Plus, as the leader in AR advertising, Snapchat made it incredibly easy to build the actual AR lenses, a barrier that holds many companies back from adding AR to their ad portfolio.
While Snapchat blazed the AR trail, other social platforms are quickly catching up and adding their own creative flair to AR advertising. TikTok recently launched “Branded Effects”, which enable brands to get creative with how they virtually bring their brand experience to audiences. Brands can place customers in a virtual store experience or let them transform their hair style by jumping up and down on screen. Beyond testing the look and feel of an item in your home or trying on a makeup product, these effects span from filters to foregrounds and backgrounds, with a wide potential of use cases. Check out the examples below!
Meta is also leaning heavily into AR and recommending it as a stepping stone for brands to prepare for the metaverse. What excites us about seeing players like Meta make bigger moves with AR is the opportunity for brands to interact with customers in creative ways while reaching audiences that may not frequent apps like Snapchat or TikTok.
Innovation #2: Expansion of Shoppable Media
Shoppable media — ads that easily facilitate product purchase directly from the ad — are growing in popularity across social platforms. Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) feature individual products along with pricing and other product-specific information, pulled directly from your catalog or product feed. First launched on Facebook in 2015, these ad types have proven highly successful in driving direct response sales. Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest have all created similar capabilities, and recently both TikTok and Reddit announced shoppable media product enhancements of their own. TikTok “Product Discovery” is in Alpha and will allow users to explore and buy specific products directly in the TikTok app. Reddit shared that DPAs will soon be in Alpha on their platform as well.
Shoppable media can also take the form of “tagged” imagery that shows products in a lifestyle format with the ability to then click and purchase, as in this Pinterest example:
Shoppable ad units are a large opportunity for eCommerce marketers to drive sales and get creative with how they present their products in more organic feeling imagery. These ads are fueled by product feeds – so prioritizing high quality data feeds is a must.
Innovation #3: Creators Authentically Reaching More Brand Audiences
For an even more non-traditional “advertisement” feel, brands are leveraging the explosion of influencers and creators to evangelize their products through demos, explanations, and tying items to trends. According to Oracle and CRM Essentials, 37 percent of consumers trust social media influencers over brands. Creators have the influence to more expressively communicate your product or brand value and capitalize on real-time trends to expand reach and relevance. For beauty and apparel brands, we have consistently achieved higher ad ROI with high quality creators that teach audiences how to use or style products compared to more traditional ads that show the products on models.
The Bottom Line
Apple’s new ATT and other privacy-based measures have accelerated brands’ appetite for testing across social platforms and fast-tracked platform innovation to continue supporting marketers. With CPMs on the rise, it’s time to get creative and diversify social ad activations to stand out from the competition.