What happened?

Digital media quality leader Integral Ad Science has published a report looking into how Australian consumers are responding to social media in-feed ads. The report, ‘2022 Social Ads and Consumer Perception (Australia Edition Study)’, reviews findings from a survey of over 500 Australian consumers’ engagements with ads on social platforms.

 

What was found?

The report found that social media continues to be an effective channel for advertisers to reach their target consumers online in Australia. 91 percent of online consumers use at least one social media account, and nearly 80% of these users have engaged with a paid social ad in the last year. The top platforms that users engaged with paid ads across were Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, which continue to maintain the greatest volume of reach within Australia.

 

What is influencing consumer perceptions?

Australians are becoming more digitally educated, and weary of what they consume across social media. As a result, 40 percent of online consumers agree that the growth of fake news on platforms such as Facebook has increased their distrust in both organic and paid content. Users are willing to look past their newfound digital literacy and heightened awareness to engage with ads, but only if relevant to the user’s behaviour and current context.

 

What can we do to encourage a positive response?

In order to build a strong relationship with our audiences across social media, advertisers need to ensure that ad placements are both appropriate, and contextually relevant. 44 percent of Australians will have an unfavourable view of a brand whose ad appears next to content that does not align with the brand image. It is crucial for advertisers to consider the contextual relevance of their ad placements across social media. For example, advertising a set of golf clubs across Instagram will not be reaching the correct audience, and certainly not in the correct contextual environment. Brand safety is also a key consideration, with 66 percent of users being unlikely to convert to purchase a product or service advertised alongside unsafe content on social media.

 

What next?

How can we ensure we are making the most of our social investment and nurturing the user to put their trust in our brand? Social media has found itself at the heart of the individuals’ public sphere, connecting users’ personal and social time in a flurry of fast-paced digital gratification. While the user breaks down barriers to relax behind their screen, their increased digital literacy is putting up walls just as quickly. In the age of privacy, there also seems to be a disconnect between what the user wants and expects (contextually relevant ad experiences) and what they are willing to exchange in return (such as accepting app tracking).

 

As advertisers, we can only continue to follow the user and provide the most relevant and brand safe experience possible. We need to continue to inform users on the reality of what is needed to deliver a personalised experience, and educate digital populations on the dynamics of the digital ecosystem (i.e. advertising = free platform experiences).

 

Contextually relevant advertising is proven to improve memorability and intent to purchase. For more information on how this can be leveraged across your brand’s social media ads, get in touch with your ADMATICian.