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Social Media Marketing PSA: Know Your Ad Environment

Written by: Juliana Casale, Director of Marketing

Digital marketers are constantly on the alert for the Next Big Thing. Each time a social media channel gains rapid membership or a new iPhone rolls out, it’s evaluation time. Is the audience there to justify migrating paid advertising costs? Recently, there’s been a lot of buzz around the new Apple Watch; specifically, which brands have launched inaugural apps and how marketers can make use of the tiny real estate this wearable will offer up. According to GlobalWebIndex, only 11% of Internet users report owning a smartwatch, but a quarter of online adults in the US and UK say they are interested in using the Apple Watch — so, not a massive user base off the bat, but there’s some potential for brands with customers who don’t mind shelling out $349 or being the first to test pilot new consumer tech.

Apple Watch advertising

As brands like American Airlines, Pandora and eBay analyze and adapt their apps for a tiny screen and a new audience, the launch of the Apple Watch is also an excellent time for digital marketers to consider how native ads are interacting with their environments and shed preconceptions that may have carried over from other channels. Scott Curtis, mobile development director at Starcom MediaVest Group UK explains in AdExchanger, “Mobile has adopted a lot of bad practices from digital, which in turn had previously adopted a lot of bad practices from print and other media streams.” Social media advertisers who understand how desktop and mobile campaign placements appear in relation to news updates, family posts and other ads are in a great place to gain a competitive edge.

Desktop Ad Placements

When it comes to desktop advertising on Facebook, smaller right column ads compete with newsfeed ads for attention. Is your text big enough to read on the right column? Do your images draw attention to your product? How are you maximizing white space? The ad placements below are examples of how brands can still attract eyeballs in this crowded environment.

Facebook desktop placement

Mobile Ad Placements

iPhone 6 and 6 Plus aside, most smartphones still have fairly small screens, while tablets allow for much more surface area. When advertising on mobile, carefully consider which devices you’re targeting as well as how your ads appear in the newsfeed. As you can see from these two examples, cartoons and bright colors stand out in a sea of text.

Mobile ad placement

With digital advertising making up nearly one-third of all ad spend in 2015 (a whopping $52.8 billion), competition for customers will only get more intense on social media. Iterating on creative, keeping track of campaign responses and taking note of what works well in different advertising environments is one way to ensure you’re ahead of the pack.

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