The desire for authentic, genuine connection and content online is growing everyday. As more and more of a spotlight is put on the inauthenticity of people’s online personas, the general public is putting more value on seeing reality versus an edited and polished highlight reel of people’s lives. And the same goes for brands and online advertising – a departure from how the advertising industry used to operate.
Katherine McKee, CEO of Morphology Consulting, a digital commerce consultancy, shares her top advertising strategies for the future.
“The shift from low lift, always on, hyper tested ads, into ‘authenticity’ will continue to ramp up into 2023,” says McKee. “Customers are more aware of corporations than ever, and heavily branded, even beautifully shot, cleverly designed ads can feel fake.”
Authentic media is the way to go. The aim is to essentially create ads that don’t come across as a paid strategy, but rather foster genuine connections.
90% of millennials say that brand authenticity is key when making purchasing decisions, and of that group, 52% would recommend the brand to friends, according to a Social Media Today survey.
White Labeled Content On The Rise
McKee projects that we will see a meteoric rise in white-labeled content.
“White-labeled content, a process by which a brand, rather than giving an influencer or creator a brief and using the content on the brand page, now pays to boost organic content, favorable to the brand, on the creators page. It is a shift to letting creators be who they are and talk from their own experience about a product or service. It is already getting heavy traction on platforms like TikTok and Instagram reels where information moves so fast that by the time you find a trend and request content, it is already over.”
A Decline In Meta Advertising
“Meta as the key place for traffic buying will continue to decline, post iOS14 and other privacy updates, it is no longer seen as an open field. This is positive, as weak attribution made it seem like it drove their lions share and kept advertisers very close to their dashboards instead of out looking for new entrants to the brand,” says McKee.
Meta shared its 2022 Q3 earnings which showed that advertising revenue was down about 4% year-over-year.
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Instagram users are spending 17.6 million hours a day watching Reels, versus the197.8 million hours TikTok users spend each day on the platform – with Instagram users spending less than one-tenth of the time.
The Next Generation Of Analytics
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is the next generation of analytics which collects both website and app data to better understand the customer journey. It uses event-based data rather than session-based data, and makes cross-device tracking easier with more precise data points. This means rather than focusing on the time that someone spent on your site, it now looks more at which pages customers visited, how far they scrolled, whether they filled out a form or watched a video, and any other events that took place during their visit.
“GA4 will come to full use in 2023 and with it the ability to see beyond last touch attribution. This should herald a change in strategy for brands and advertisers as they will now have a better and deeper understanding of how traffic is formed and where it comes from. And will also have better attribution models. Look for more nimble agencies and likely consultants to be picking up the slack and making faster moving ads decisions on the ground. Brands should be ready with many forms of creative. And should also be ready for a dose of self awareness – this better, cleaner data will tell a more robust picture about both where your clients come from and what they truly care about. Target grouping, personas, and personalization are likely to look very different,” adds McKee.
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