Video Ads, Metrically Speaking

For marketers, social videos work best for creating engagement, according to a report by Magisto. Customer testimonials and product overviews were most popular social video content, with 51 percent of respondents favoring each.

On mobile devices, however, marketers are looking to add more interactivity option to their video ads. A survey by AdColony finds that 69 percent of app developers have tested have tested playable ads this year, up from 33 percent in 2016. Despite full-screen video’s dominance in the market, 46 percent of app developers claim that playable ads are the opportunity that excites them most going into 2018.

Despite marketers’ focus on digital video as the future of ads, bad apples have somewhat spoiled the barrel. A survey by Clutch found that consumers trust ads they see online and on social media the least, with only 41 and 38 percent putting faith into the medium, respectively. Unsurprisingly, the established formats of broadcast video and print fared best, with around 60 percent of consumers trusting content in both formats.

Brands Pull In On Programmatic

A new report by the Association of National Advertisers has found that in response to growing transparency concerns, more than 35 percent of national brands have expanded their internal programmatic media buying structures. Last year, only 16 percent had shifted their programmatic in-house.

This shift reflects major brand concerns about the state of programmatic media buying—78 percent of marketers are concerned about brand safety and programmatic, and just 40 percent are comfortable with the current levels of transparency with their programmatic strategy.

2018 Projections

In the coming year, consumers want brands to improve their existing offerings more than new innovations, according to a poll by Code Computerlove. Just 18 percent of consumers claim to be looking for “something they haven’t experienced before” from digital experiences in 2018.

Marketing and advertising executives are predicting an increasing difficulty in finding creative talent next year, according to research by The Creative Group. Few executives (just 5 percent) expect to expand their creative times in the first six months of 2018. Instead, 78 percent of marketing executives plan to maintain the size of their existing teams, only hiring to fill vacant positions. Fortunately, no executives reported plans to downsize their creative staff, at least in the next six months.

Part of this lack of growth may come from a talent shortage—53 percent of executives reported difficulty in finding skilled creative professionals. Marketers report finding the most difficulty in finding employees in the fields of web design, research, brand management and digital marketing.

Rather than expanding their creative teams, marketers are investing in marketing technology, a survey by Conductor indicates. Of the marketers surveyed, 68 percent plan on spending more on martech in 2018, and 30 percent reported plans to increase their spending by as high as 25 percent. Over a quarter responded that they’re already spending more than $100,000 on martech platforms annually, and 4 percent spend more than $1 million.

Kids These Days

Gone are the days of children playing outside, a survey by eMarketer finds. Among US children up to the age of 11, the digital video viewing penetration is 47.5 percent. Between 12 and 17, that figure jumps up to 92.6 percent. Digital video viewership peaks between 18 and 24, at 94.7 percent.

Increasingly, a generational divide is appearing on the platforms used by influencers. Research by RBC Capital has placed Snapchat as the frontrunner among US teenagers, with 79 percent of those ages 13-to-18 having a Snapchat account, compared to 73 percent for Instagram and 57 percent for Facebook.

When asked which social network was most important to them, US teenagers further widened the gap between platforms. Forty-four percent responded that Snapchat was most important to them, compared to 24 percent for Instagram and just 14 percent for Facebook. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not Snapchat’s Stories or Discover features that drive the most use: 68 percent claim that messaging is the app’s most important feature.

Despite its unpopularity among American teenagers, Instagram’s user base is expected to balloon in the coming years. A new forecast by eMarketer projects Instagram’s worldwide monthly active users will reach 928 million by 2021, largely swallowing adopters in emerging markets. As a result, Instagram’s ad revenues are slated to reach $10.87 billion in 2019.

“We see no signs of this slowing down in the near future, and the company’s strategic push toward international markets—in particular, Southeast Asia—will continue to fuel growth in the years to come,” said Cindy Liu, a forecasting analyst at eMarketer.

Authentic Influencers Drive Sales

A new survey by CITE Research gives more insight into the impressions and effects of influencers on the general public. When it comes to brand awareness and purchase consideration, social media influencers are a powerful tool—31 percent of US and European consumers have reported purchasing a product or service because of an influencer post. The majority consider someone to qualify as a social influencer once they reach the 10,000 follower threshold, while only 21 percent claim that being famous is a requirement. Additionally, less than half of the survey’s respondents considered promoting brands as a requirement to be an influencer.

“Through our extensive work with brands, we’ve found that influencer content is most resonant and powerful when influencers apply their own expertise, style and creativity—without heavy brand influence,” said Pau Sabria, co-founder of Olapic.

When it comes to influencer behavior, just 39 percent claim that on average, influencers post higher-quality content and just 31 percent think that influencers use ads in their posts more frequently. Authenticity is a major factor for consumer trust in influencers, with 43 percent claiming it was their top reason and 39 percent finding it important for endorsers to actually use the products they promote.