2014 The Continued Growth of Social Media and Content Marketing

What the Exodus of Youngsters on Facebook Means to Social Media and Content Marketing in 2014

Happy 2014! As we have now finished 2013 and the reviews of everything that has occurred in the past, it is a good a time as any to look ahead to where the advertising industry is going not only in 2014 but  beyond as well. The growth of social media advertising has really blossomed, with Twitter and Facebook leading the pack (not to mention LinkedIn, which is a subject for another day).  New tools and targeting capabilities are being added almost weekly, while YouTube is also adding new features faster than users can adopt them. It is also interesting to view the continued disdain of online banner advertisement (read banner blindness), and where the industry seems to be going.

First social, it seems that everyone has adopted Facebook, my parents, my siblings, my younger cousins, and even teachers and professors. You would think that Facebook would have it all for targeting capabilities, the young tech enthusiastic crowd, the older generation, and everything in between. However, what is quite interesting is that the younger generation is using Facebook less and less. Does that make a difference to advertisers though? 18+ audiences are usually the ones that will convert online and pay for different goods, since they have credit/debit cards. So with the recent influx of the older demographic it would seem Facebook has gotten even stronger in terms of audience targeting.

However, when you look at the younger demographic, they are the ones with the most connections; the older generations are not likely to “friend” as many random encounters. Why is this important? Because ads are tailored to certain audiences, and the more connections you have, the easier it is to figure out what you might be interested in. Thus, Facebook can target you with multiple specific ads, and you are more likely to click or convert because they “have you figured out”. The older generation views Facebook as a more intimate setting where they can share their family photos and connect with their close friends. They are also less likely to choose interests and like as many pages; when talking to my mother she was put off with all the “possibilities” on Facebook. She told me she thought it was a site to post pictures and keep track of your kids…

What Facebook seems to be losing, with what seems like the eventual exodus of the younger generation, is a more targeted audience profile. The younger generation is the one that is most likely to put every detail of their life on Facebook, every city they lived in, every school they went to, every movie they enjoyed, the list goes on. When perusing some friends Facebook pages I am amazed by the amount of information they voluntarily give out. No wonder advertisers love Facebook advertising. If a sequel to a movie ever decides to do advertising on Facebook they can literally hand pick users that have seen that movie and send them a teaser trailer in their news feed. However, with the younger generation migrating to other social outlets such as Twitter and Snapchat it seems like Facebook needs to make some adjustments or risk to lose out on what once seemed like an abundance of very valuable information.

In my opinion, Twitter seems to be in the perfect position to now take over as the leader in social media advertising. Their ads, promoted tweets, are not as obtrusive as those in Facebook or online banners. They seem like regular tweets that you regularly follow, and the targeting capabilities are as well defined as Facebook. Twitter has been upgrading its potential targeting options in the past months with adding retargeting capabilities and TV retargeting, which with the growing marriage between twitter and TV watchers will likely lead to great opportunities.

Finally, the growth of content is likely to lead to the slow death of online banners. Content is surfacing into the forefront of companies marketing tactics. Users no longer respond to ads as they used to (if they ever truly did, in the linear fashion anyway). Users are looking to be informed or learn something, and this is where content comes in.

There are multiple marketing companies that will take your content and promote it in a user friendly manner, and not distract from the true intent of why the user is coming to that website. With Yahoo! currently testing out a new webpage design, one with no ads whatsoever (yahoo.com/tech), you visit the page and all you see is content. No more side banners. No overlays that force you to click out to read what you want. And no more video ads that automatically turn on at inopportune times. Content is being pushed left and right, and companies that embrace this fact and start to push their own content will only benefit.

Become a leader in your industry by promoting new important content, and then use that content as advertisement across the web. Keep the public engaged with your brand, and with new trends in the industry, or just some fun content.

For more on what’s to come in 2014, read our CEO Dick Reed’s predictions for this year:
7 Can’t Miss Media Predictions for 2014.

2014 is going to be an exciting time for all of us!

Sebastien Damas
Just Media, Inc. 


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