North American marketers spent over $10.45 billion on social platforms this year, allocating 20% of their digital ad spending to social media. In 2016 social ad dollars are projected to generate $13.43 billion, which is a huge leap from 2014 budgets that came in at around $7.32 billion. Having a social presence is huge, that’s a given. Money and budgets aside, these are the top three trends you should be on top of in 2016.
Social Media Advertising
Facebook and Twitter have dominated Social Advertising in the past few years, but Instagram is quickly catching up. Instagram recently surpassed Twitter with a reported 400 million users, and are expected to surpass them again with percentage of business users by 2017. They also opened their API (application program interface) to all advertisers, introducing the use of carousel ads, targeting options and buy buttons. Take note, there’s more to social ad buying for business than banner ads on Facebook.
Messaging Apps will dominate moving forward. Currently 49% of North American mobile users are using messaging apps, which has grown from 30% in 2014. This is attributed to the growing popularity of apps like Snapchat, Kik and Facebook Messenger. The messaging app movement has been relatively slow in North America compared to its unparalleled use in countries like China, Germany, and India. China’s WeChat has over 650 million monthly users around the world and while we’re nowhere near that kind of followership, messaging apps will experience a huge growth spurt in the coming year, and will be looking to monetize their platforms.
Live streaming will gain serious traction in 2016. Based on eMarketers predictions, live streaming will take over the traditional video space as a means of reaching their younger target demographic (ages 18-29). Periscope, YouTube and Snap Chat Live Stories are leading the way, but no one has truly dominated yet, giving brands the opportunity to take charge and lead the way with real time video advertising.