What Marketers Can Learn from Paid Social and the Super Bowl

How to Use Audience Data

Would you believe us if we told you that your brand can lift conversions by nearly 500 percent? A recent study conducted by Simulmedia and Facebook deduced that a TV ad served alongside a Facebook ad can influence conversions. Applying the learnings of the ‘halo effect,’ we can explain the aforementioned phenomenon as a result of cognitive bias; when brands advertise cross-device on premium networks and platforms, consumers may perceive a brand in a certain way due to the contextual environment in which ads are served. Social platforms have released better distribution channels, like live-streaming and native ads, that can dramatically impact the way your brand reaches and engages consumers when served in proximity to the same brand’s TV ads. This begs the question – have you prepared your paid social Super Bowl strategy?

In 2016, brands allocated 65 percent more of their ad budgets to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest than they did in 2015, with Instagram procuring the largest growth. A study conducted by 4C, ‘The State of Social Advertising,” explored the various social avenues that enjoyed explosive growth in 2016, and their research found that advertisers spent 138 percent more on Instagram ads – a platform that recently scaled to 600 million users.

Instagram offers several innovative options for advertisers to reach and engage with users, including posting their own branded content to their feed, paying for Sponsored Ads or advertising in Stories. The report divulged that home and garden brands and other adjacent verticals increased paid social ad spend on Instagram the most during the third and fourth quarters of 2016. In 2015, Facebook launched Facebook Live, and in the final months of 2016, Facebook introduced Live360, following the steps of live-stream incumbents, YouTube and Twitter. With the influx of paid social ad spend and the introduction of new features to each platform, advertisers have more opportunities than ever to interact with users with intimate, engaging candor.

In less than a month, the Super Bowl will air on February 5, 2017, and brands will flock to pay the inflated asking price of $5 million for a 30-second TV spot. The above analysis and data around paid social ads contests the validity of paying the exclusive Super Bowl price tag when brands can leverage paid social video on platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat or Twitter for much less.

In 2016, the Super Bowl garnered 60 million Facebook users and 38 million Instagram users to produce posts and engage with content through likes and comments. In order to combat the social newsfeed noise, your brand should post high-impact video ads with a special focus on mobile placements, since 89 percent of posts are uploaded via mobile devices. Your video posts should be cognizant of a responsive feed, avoiding overly distracting content (like clickables) that divert users’ attention from your brand’s content.

Snapchat, with its 150 million daily active users, offers Snap Ads with full vertical orientation and automatic audio and sound. The added dimensions of both full-screen video PLUS sound gives brands the upper hand in reaching their target audience. A Snap Ad is even capable of redirecting to an in-app mobile site to view extended content and can host a video up to 10 minutes long.

In order to better serve video experiences to your audience, leverage the structure of the Super Bowl, taking into account scheduled events such as the national anthem, coin toss, kickoff or the halftime show. Having content already pre-outlined ensures immediate implementation during the game. Remember Oreo’s opportune tweet about the 2013 Super Bowl power outage that racked 16,000 retweets? Well, strategize content that is applicable to any mishap or scenario that could happen during Super Bowl.

Paid social video ads can take advantage of hyper-targeted audience targeting, cross-device reach and optimize campaigns in real-time.