Mobile Acquisitions and Ads to Shape the Future of Social Media

If content creation is a digital marketing trend for 2015, then Tumblr is ahead of the game. Last week the blogging platform announced that it will launch an ad network called the Creatrs Network. Through partnerships with Tumblr-based social influencers, brands will be able to gain access to curated and original content for use in their Tumblr campaigns. If they so choose, they’ll also have the ability to distribute the content in ad-form to audiences on Yahoo, Facebook, and Instagram.

We’ve seen a lot of changes in the social media ecosystem over the past few years. A newfound interest in social influencers that spans YouTube, Instagram, and personal blogs is leading the industry’s resolute evolution. A greater commitment to video, as evidenced by Twitter’s newly introduced native video service, is proving influential as well. But what else can we expect from social sites? How will platform enhancements and ad product redesigns affect campaign integration?

Let’s take a look.

Mobile Dictates Marketing Decisions

As of last summer, 399 million of Facebook’s users – or about 30 percent – were logging in on mobile devices alone. Twitter’s 2014 data shows 78 percent of its users access the service through mobile media as well, and Instagram’s mobile user base is even higher at 35 million. Marketers are reacting accordingly, to the point where mobile social media ads are expected to surpass non-mobile ads, and will likely represent a $9.1 billion market by 2018. And with Yahoo’s recent launch of app install ads across Yahoo mobile sites, Yahoo apps, and Tumblr, there are myriad ways to spend.

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Mergers and Acquisitions

Consider Facebook’s 2012 acquisition of Instagram, or Yahoo’s purchase of both Tumblr and mobile analytics firm Flurry, and it’s obvious that M&A has become par for the course for digital media properties of all kinds. Reports outlining 2014 M&A activity in the digital media and commerce sectors show 1,073 transactions totaling billions.

“Digital is expected to reach massive growth in the next few years, so it comes as no surprise that these big household-name companies are looking to acquire next-generation ad-tech offered by digital advertising startups,” says Diaz Nesamoney, chief executive (CEO) of ad platform Jivox. For marketers, that means staying ahead of industry news and the enhanced capabilities resulting from acquisition deals.

Ads Become More Accessible

Many a marketer has been bewildered by social network advertising; as recently as 2013 32 percent of agency executives thought they were running video ads on Facebook, even though the ads wouldn’t be available until the next year. But the recent emergence of Tumblr’s ad network, Pinterest’s promoted pins, and Instagram’s video ads ushers in a new era of social advertising that will help media buyers make sense of the sties. With more traditional ad units at their disposal, and the measurement and reporting capabilities to track engagement, marketers will have a better grasp of how and where to use the ads that stand to connect them with active consumers.

Connecting With Consumers in Real-Time

Real-time marketing is widely believed to be a growth area for 2015, and social sites like Twitter and Snapchat are making it easier for brands to take part. General Electric’s #EmojiScience Snapchat campaign and Evian’s #Evianbottleservice product sample program leverage custom hashtags to engage consumers on the spot. Twitter offers advice on how to create real-time data visualizations, and just added search engine Bing’s translator tool to its site so that users can translate tweets in real-time to stay on top of news of all kinds.

Social networks have always been sites to watch, largely because they’re apt to transform into something new before your eyes. Keep them in your sights: this industry’s about to pull a chameleon quick-change again.

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