In-Scope: Are advertisers buying their social media campaigns based on user behaviour or media efficiency?

Hannah Nickels is an Account Manager at OMD Create Melbourne, helping clients deliver on their business challenges with content led solutions.

Where was the last piece of sponsored social media content that you remember seeing?

Was it on your Facebook news feed as you scrolled through articles, funny dog videos and posts from friends you haven’t seen in years? Was it on Instagram surrounded by beautiful interiors and #foodporn? Or was it on Instagram Stories, or even in your Messenger app?

The Facebook suite of products may fall under the all-encompassing umbrella that is Facebook Inc, but when we start to think about how we as consumers use each of the platforms, it becomes apparent that they are not one and the same.

Running ads across the Facebook family of apps or by placement optimisation allows the delivery system more flexibility to achieve better results and greater efficiency. As such, this is often the way brands will buy their media. However, by solely chasing efficiency, the opportunity to truly understand how audiences are consuming and interacting with content across the different platforms, is sometimes being missed.

In 2016 Facebook IQ interviewed people aged 18-64 in Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, the UK and the US to get a better understanding of the different role each product plays in their lives. This survey found a key difference between the reason people were using Facebook and Instagram. Facebook remained the main place people went to connect with friends and family, while Instagram exists as a source of inspiration, a place of discovery and a place where users were more likely to connect with brands.

This is consistent with what we often see when dissecting client’s data from placement optimised campaigns. Users are often more likely to watch video content on their Instagram feed, whereas on Facebook they may be more likely to comment an opinion. Across Instagram stories, users are consistently swiping through content, but when they do stop to watch they watch until the end.

By utilising campaign results to analyse the way users are interacting with content across placements, brands are given the unique opportunity to better understand their key audience’s needs and behaviours. Without properly analysing and understanding these results, advertisers are painting each platform with the same brush, and are missing the opportunity for better cut-through. The learnings pulled from the data can be translated into the kinds of creative messaging that brands should utilise on each individual platform, allowing for more nuanced, relevant content and thus building stronger awareness and affinity with their brand.

At OMD Create we look to the data to inform not only our social media buying and planning, but to help us better understand our clients’ consumers. We look beyond efficiency as a sole measure of success by marrying creative insights with key business objectives. This ensures we are creating social media strategies and content that is clever, relevant and robust for our clients and their consumers.



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