With more than 25-million consumers utilising social media in South Africa, it is a golden opportunity for marketers and companies to reach customers, build reputations and increase sales.
The latest South African Social Media Landscape Report 2021, issued against the backdrop of a three-million surge in usage since the pandemic, mentions privacy concerns highlighted by the WhatsApp controversy and the commencement of the Protection of Personal Information Act.
It also provides valuable insights on social media demographics and what brands are planning to do on various platforms over the coming year. [Source: The SA Social Media Landscape Report 2021 » Ornico Media Monitoring]
Not only have digital media platforms become an essential part of consumers’ everyday lives, but they are also essential support channels for traditional media. For example, digital technology can sync an advertiser’s TV and digital messages, allowing brands to amplify their TV message to a targeted digital audience, or to stream audio platforms that combine with traditional radio to provided targeted messages to the people that matter.
Programmatic OOH uses digital targeting technologies such as DMPs to allow advertisers to serve up more targeted and relevant OOH messaging than ever before. Social media enables broader reach, increased brand awareness, and most importantly, allows advertisers to follow the consumer journey to provide targeted remarketing tactics designed to resonate with their customers.
As much as social media audiences and their interests change, so too do the advertising opportunities that allow brands to speak to them.
A question of choice
Social media and other digital platforms have grown and are now able to genuinely provide numbers that compete with the likes of TV and radio. So it is becoming increasingly important for brands to harness the targeting capabilities of these platforms and form the customer experience, in order to get the most out of their advertising investment.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to creating and sending the right message, to the right people, at the right time, efficiently and effectively. Used correctly, digital media allows brands to have these interactions with their consumers, at scale.
Technology is even changing traditional media platforms and giving brands the opportunity to harness the targeting capabilities that were previously only available on digital media platforms. Ordinary TV is evolving into Smart TV. Online streaming enables viewers to follow their favourite programme on social media and multi-screen while engaging with it.
Soon ads will be able to be dynamically inserted into traditional TV, allowing advertisers to use data and only show adverts to relevant audiences e.g. dog food advertisers will be able to show ads only to households that have dogs.
The radio landscape has seen the introduction of subscription bouquets, enabling listeners to access audio content anywhere and everywhere, including live radio broadcasts. Consumers now choose what they want to listen to, when they want to listen, and podcasting lets consumers listen to content that is specifically aligned to their interests.
OOH has evolved from static billboards to become digital that can be bought programmatically, and through technology can even be synced to radio advertising messages so that when someone hears an ad on the radio, the digital billboard they are driving past will display the same product message, providing the advertiser with a visual to their audio message.
As physical printed publications have declined, publishers have evolved to produce digital content that resonates with their readers while providing advertising opportunities for brands that target readers with precision through programmatic buying, native advertising opportunities, or by taking ownership and creating a big impact through home page take overs.
Media is changing fast, and while digital is leading the charge, traditional media channels are learning from their digital counterparts and applying new targeting metrics that all lead to advertising becoming more impactful and relevant. These moves allow brands to reach their audiences on a more personal level, better understanding their needs and wants.
Xhanti Lungu is a media planner at Meta Media.
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