- Gartner's 2016 Digital Marketing Channel survey found that 38% of respondents currently have a social media advertising program in place, and that will more than double to 80% within the next twelve months, meaning 42% of social media marketers will launch social advertising for the first time.
- Almost two thirds of respondents expect to have employee and/or customer advocacy programs in place within the next year.
- Advocacy programs extend the reach of social media programs by using employees and customers to operate similar to influencer campaigns in order to build trust along with extending the reach of social media efforts.
The responses about the increase in social media advertising indicate the channel has matured to the point that marketers feel they need to be spending ad dollars on social media platforms to remain effective. The maturation includes large, long-term user bases, and better tools for targeting and measuring campaigns based on user data.
“Declining organic reach of social posts may have kick-started marketing investments in social advertising, but the benefits, such as improved targeting and measurement, have sustained and increased those investments,” said Jay Wilson, research director at Gartner, in a release.
About influencer marketing, Wilson said 35% of marketers are engaged in the tactic with another 28% planning on starting influencer marketing programs in the next year. He added influencer programs are “on the rise as a hedge against declining reach of brand posts.”
While social media platforms increasingly offer measurement and targeting tools, their move in this direction has not been without mishap. Recently, Facebook revealed that it inadvertently inflated video ad metrics for the past two years, a revelation that resulted in the Association for National Advertisers publicly calling on Facebook to have its metrics audited and accredited by a third party.