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Social Advertising in 2018

2017 was a savvy year for social media advertising. What’s in store for 2018?
There’s a lot that goes on in the world of social media advertising that even advertisers aren’t privy to. When that’s the case, advertisers may use predictive modeling, like seasonal expectations, or trends gleaned from past campaign performance, while kept in the dark regarding secretive platform changes.
Sometimes the light does shine on impending or recently made changes, allowing advertisers to gain greater insight into the platforms as a whole and incorporate the latest capabilities into their strategies.
To start the New Year off right, here are some of the recent capabilities and/or upcoming changes we’re most excited about on LinkedIn and Facebook in 2018, and the capability we were most excited to welcome in 2017.
  1. Stories
While LinkedIn spent 2017 trying to catch up to social ad competitor Facebook, Facebook has been busy extending their advertising market to Instagram’s 800 million active users.
The Stories feature has been a huge success for Instagram, with an average daily user figure that surpassed Snapchat’s only months after its spring 2016 launch.
In addition to the capabilities made available by building campaigns within Instagram, Facebook advertisers can also choose to place ads built in-platform into either the main Instagram feed or the Stories crawl. This approach often yields ads that are more interactive, attract higher levels of engagement, and explore creativity in ways hampered by more traditional forms of digital advertising.
This year, Facebook launched their own version of the Stories experience, and it’s only a matter of time before advertisers are offered the opportunity to build Stories-focused campaigns.
  1. Messenger ads
Have you opened up Facebook Messenger recently to write a private note to a friend, only to find a message waiting for you from your local car dealership, or the grocery store whose Facebook page you liked last week?
Surprise! Advertisers now have the chance to reach you via private messages. According to Facebook, 53% of their users are more likely to shop with a business they can message directly and 56% would rather message then call customer service. Engaging through Messenger is a great way to nurture prospective or existing customers, and a strong placement for remarketing audience campaigns.
LinkedIn has differing resources and needs, so it’s expected that the platform capabilities differ from those of Facebook. Ad variety is one area that LinkedIn has generally lacked—only in recent months embracing full-size imagery over the use of thumbnails.
In early 2018, LinkedIn will likely extend video upload capability to advertisers and introduce carousel-style ads that feature multiple images, headlines and links in a single ad experience (something Facebook has already embraced and recommends advertisers adopt).
We Like Lead Gen
Perhaps the biggest change to advertising in 2017, and one we look forward to exploring more for current and future clients, is the introduction on both platforms of lead generation campaigns.
Lead gen campaigns transfer the landing page experience in-platform, eliminating the need for fickle pixel tracking and placement (although we do still advocate for placing pixels on all landing pages for remarketing purposes), and increasing the likelihood that a user will convert due to increased ease and mobile optimization.
We’ve employed lead gen campaigns for several of our clients and have seen a largely positive pay-off.
We can’t wait to see what else Facebook and LinkedIn has in store for social advertising in 2018!