The report, based on a survey of over 500 Australian consumers, provides an overview of social media usage and insights into user perceptions of social media in-feed ads. In-feed ads are a format inside a user’s social feed.
The new study revealed the following about consumers’ social media behaviour and how brands can adapt this year:
- Social media is an effective channel for advertisers to reach online consumers in Australia: 91 per cent of online Australian consumers currently use at least one social media account. The study reveals that nearly eight in 10 (79 per cent) of online Australian consumers have engaged with an ad on social media in the past year, the highest engagement being on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
- Australian consumers are discerning of inappropriate ads on social media environments: 40 per cent of online Australian consumers agree that the growth of fake news has made them less trusting of the ads they see on their social feeds. While 51 per cent of consumers believe that the personal content of social media makes them more aware of inappropriate ads on social platforms.
- Inappropriate ad placements negatively impact consumer perceptions and buying behaviours: 44 per cent of Australian consumers will have an unfavourable view of a brand whose ad appears next to content that does not align with the brand’s image. While almost seven out of 10 consumers (66 per cent) are unlikely to purchase a product or service advertised on social feeds next to unsafe content.
- Contextually relevant advertising improves memorability and intent to purchase: Almost five out of 10 Australian consumers (48 per cent) are likely to remember an in-feed ad if its message relates to the adjacent social content. While 40 per cent of consumers are likely to purchase a product or service advertised on their social feed if it is related to the content being viewed.
There’s no denying that Social Media is an intricate part of our everyday lives making it an essential platform for advertisers to reach consumers, with ad spend projected to hit $2.7B by 2024, according to Genroe (Australia).
Brands need to be hyper-aware of the impact of their advertising when investing in Social Media as they are communicating on a one-to-one basis within a private and personal environment. This environment means that inappropriate ad placements can have a significant impact on consumer perceptions and buying behaviours, with almost seven out of 10 consumers unlikely to make a purchase if advertising is next to unsafe content.
Jessica Miles, country manager, ANZ at IAS said: “Contextually relevant advertising is a tool that advertisers can leverage to improve the ad experience and generate brand favourability. Advertisers also need to consider implementing media quality tools to ensure ad efficiency and brand safety. While the study shows that 67 per cent of consumers hold social media platforms responsible for ads appearing near unsafe content, it is equally important that brands take the onus and direct their agency partners to help them align with what’s relevant and avoid unsuitable content.”
The Social Ads and Consumer Perception study aims to shed light on the consumer’s overall social media usage and understand their receptivity to in-feed advertising in this dynamic content environment. The results are based on the responses of 514 Australian social media users in January 2021.