Two new articles in AdWeek that address what the best choices are for marketers when it comes to reaching an audience seem to have the same basic answer: It isn't either-or anymore, it's both.
Andreas Goeldi in "Want TV-Level Ad Reach? The Solution Isn't Facebook or YouTube. It's Both" and Marty Swant in "Why Running Ads on Both Facebook and Instagram Is Likely to Be the New Normal" both approach the same problem, figuring out where your marketing dollars should go, from different angles.
Goeldi finds two levels of choice: TV vs. online ads, and within online ads, Facebook vs. YouTube, noting that one of the biggest reasons for keeping your marketing efforts on television, guaranteed reach, no longer applies. Goeldi's own analyses, which tested "identical creative and targeting on both platforms ... prove that the two platforms serve different but very complementary roles."
Indeed, Goeldi even states that "the combination of video advertising on both YouTube and Facebook is the key to dismantling TV's media spend dominance."
His specific findings are very interesting. YouTube's TrueView ads deliver view and completion rates fourfold higher than Facebook, and targeted ads have a similar improvement. YouTube is also cheaper, due to a chargeable "view" only counting at 30 seconds, as opposed to Facebook's 3 second view count, which Goeldi notes (as have we) marketers are skeptical about.
Facebook video ads, however, drive higher clicks and clickthrough rates, which is absolutely fundamental for a brand trying to get the attention of a target audience, and have higher rates of user interaction such as liking and sharing.
There are other pros and cons for each platform but they compliment each other so well that the idea of a shotgun-blast approach with television advertising seems archaic compared to the targeting and engagement you can get from styling your marketing for both YouTube and Facebook video. As Goeldi advises, "resist the video battle hype and start looking at the online video ecosystem through a holistic campaign lens." Be smart, and use each ad channel to your advantage.
Marty Swant also thinks you should try multiple ad platforms simultaneously, but for different reasons. Looking at how both Facebook and Instagram can be used for advertising, Swant suggests advertisers "double flank consumers on social media" for the best results.
Swant focuses on the great effort Instagram has been putting into appealing to, and being an effective ad channel for, digital marketers. Instagram has promised to work with 100 advertisers globally to develop its burgeoning ad efforts, with 41 of those companies being recently announced.
The key is that Instagram now has access to Facebook ocean of user data. This makes the idea of running synced up promotional efforts on both Facebook and Instagram highly appealing. Having an ad campaign that moves smoothly from one platform to another is simply the logical conclusion when, "according to Intsagram, one in five minutes spent on mobile devices is spent on either of the two platforms." If your audience doesn't see it one place, they see it on another.
Swant also notes, via info from Hootsuite, that "the social advertising industry continues to steal budgets from traditional channels," because social channels "are able to increase their ability to measure ROI for social promos." In other words, where, say, television was more of a buy-an-ad-and-hope-for-the-best method of marketing, social advertising allows marketers to drill down into the data and actually find out if they're doing things right.
Overall, both articles add more weight to the growing pile of evidence that advertising is changing, and doing so rapidly. It's time for marketers to realize that if they're going to be effective at their jobs, they're going to need to try every channel to see which ones work. Turns out, it might be all of them.