Apple unveiled its newest iPhone models recently. (You may have heard a word or two about this.) The event, as these tend to be, was a big spectacle, full of pomp and circumstance. While they somewhat pioneered the practice, Apple is far from alone these days in turning product launches into news events themselves, thanks to their grandeur and scale. These events look to make a big splash for each product they launch and generate as much buzz among consumers as possible.
But they also point to a larger, underlying truth about our society – we really, really like our smartphones. Indeed, many of us couldn’t imagine living without them. As our smartphones and tablets become more and more important in our daily lives, so too are they becoming more important as a point of engagement for brands. How important? A couple of studies out recently show that social marketing – especially mobile marketing and mobile advertising – is growing like crazy, and doesn’t show signs of slowing down any time soon.
- Social media ad spend will continue to grow over the next several years. It’s already up 40 percent this year, according to this report, and will reach $14 billion as an industry by 2018.
- Social media ad spend continues its rapid shift to mobile. In fact, mobile social-media advertising is expected to surpass non-mobile by the end of this year. By 2018, it will be two-thirds.
- Social media ad opportunities are exploding with the addition of paid platforms on sites like Pinterest and Instagram. This study shows that 73 percent of marketers think Instagram is the breakout social network of 2014, and that trend is expected to continue into 2015 and beyond. With both Instagram and Pinterest rolling out ad opportunities, marketers are better positioned to take advantage of that growth.
- The next big mobile ad platform? Apps. The use of app-install ads are growing faster than mobile advertising overall.
- Ad placement and targeting is becoming much more sophisticated and advanced. Networks are continuing to roll out tools that ensure social ads are getting to the right audiences – and no one else. This helps drive better engagement and increased cost-effectiveness.
Bottom line: Social as a marketing tool is a big deal, as it has been for several years. Now, advertising via social – and especially mobile social – is becoming a big deal as well. This new reality brings with it its own challenges – and opportunities for those brands that are aware and prepared to take advantage.
What does this mean for you? At a time when many marketers are laying out their plans for 2015, it’s important to ask – and answer – the question of just how important mobile is becoming to your audiences – and, as a result, how big a part it plays in your marketing efforts.