Adaptly Executives Talk Trends and Predictions for 2018

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With 2018 underway, the Adaptly exec team is looking ahead to what the year will bring for social advertising. In 2017, we saw video rise to be the dominant medium on social media, and augmented and virtual reality adoption fall short of expectations. Evolving user behavior and new ad formats changed the way advertisers think about and produce creative. All of last year’s advances have set the stage for a promising new year. I sat down with several of Adaptly’s leaders to talk about the trends on the horizon for 2018.

What’s next for video in 2018?

Kyle Benedetti, VP of Partnerships: “I’m looking forward to the continued rise of video. Video is going to continue to take massive leaps towards becoming the dominant medium for advertising, even outside of social. In 2017, 90% of all content shared by users on social was video. By 2020, 80% of all internet traffic will be video. This past year we’ve seen the platforms doubling and tripling down on how they think about video, and that is setting the stage for 2018 to be a more massive step for video domination.”

Montse Guasch, VP of Marketing: “I think video content creation will evolve in 2018. There is a difference between repurposing a TV spot on social and utilizing a platform to communicate a message. When a brand uses a platform to communicate a message, they create assets specifically for that platform. Brands need to think about how to become more relevant within the platforms rather than repurposing content for them.

Lisa Cucinotta, VP of Accounts: “Along those same lines, advertisers will start to realize that they need to stop posting video just for video’s sake on social. Video on social has to serve a purpose and it has to feel authentic to the platform. If you’re not going to shoot your video to be appropriate for the channel, you’re going to miss the mark and waste your spend with poor results.”

How do marketers need to adapt their strategies to make an impact this year?

Guasch: “Brands and agencies will no longer be able to get away with having a basic understanding of social. Social isn’t some small part of marketing that advertisers can make work with a little general knowledge; it has become a main digital channel that drives business goals at efficient scale. Successful social campaigns start with unique strategies crafted specifically for a platform with a particular user experience in mind. Repurposing elements from traditional marketing strategies won’t cut it. Advertisers need help understanding how to craft social-first, thumb-stopping content, and next year we’ll see more and more big brands and agencies looking for solutions that provide the social expertise needed to drive innovation.”

Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO: “I think we’ll also see the merger of media and creative this year. You can’t do one well without the other anymore. We’ll see more organizations coming together, and more platforms and companies start offering creative solutions. This will allow advertisers to streamline things through working with fewer partners.”

Danielle Shamos, VP of Revenue: “I want to see advertisers dig deeper into Facebook’s Offline Conversions API. The data that tool provides helps brands and agencies understand how social advertising contributes to overall business objectives, and that understanding will truly impact budgets. The biggest thing we’ve gleaned from the Offline Conversions API is how to speak to someone based on whether we want them to convert online or in-store. That differentiation opens up a whole new level of personalization and will have a real impact on marketing budgets moving forward.”

What do you see in store for our platform partners in 2018?

Cucinotta: “I see Pinterest continuing to evolve into a major platform for retailers. Newer features like Lens and visual search will help fuel user discovery of new brands. One of our retail clients found when testing the Pinterest shopping alpha that 90+% of the traffic coming from Pinterest is new visitors. Since it’s a discovery platform, brands with lower brand awareness or market penetration are able to find users who are much more apt to be open to new brands.”

Shamos: “I think Snapchat will continue to make big strides in 2018. We’ve seen some pretty efficient results from the platform, which tells me that people using the app are ripe to convert. The key is speaking to Snapchat users in the way they want to be spoken to, and that’s something marketers are starting to figure out. I see Snapchat honing in on areas that make an impact for businesses like the Snapchat pixel, which will help advertisers meet their objectives and optimize for them across the funnel in 2018.”

Will 2018 be the year that AR and VR finally take off?

Benedetti: “AR is going to be big in 2018. We teased it a little in 2017, but the adoption wasn’t there because people just didn’t know how to use it. Now that Apple has released the iPhone 8 and iPhone X with AR built into the software, we will see people get more comfortable with it. Once Apple does something, it gets picked up a lot quicker. And as soon as people understand AR, advertisers will get on board.”

Matt Burgoon, SVP of Media Operations: “I think that virtual reality will hit its stride, too. VR will become more accessible to more people through the platforms and apps we already use every day. Currently, access to VR content involves a hefty investment in special equipment or downloading a specific app; that cost and exclusivity have been barriers to entry for most people. As soon as we see our’ favorite apps and social platforms incorporating VR features, VR use will take off.”

Start your 2018 marketing strategy off right with Adaptly’s guides to The Best Ad Types for Every Stage of the Funnel, Multi-Platform Entertainment Campaign Planning, and Super Bowl 2018.