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Talk Social: 28/07/20: How digital advertising and brand-sponsored content is helping businesses thrive during Covid


Global ad spend is down – accelerating a shift into digital 

The pandemic has had a huge impact on spending habits, in particular advertising. As the world entered lockdown, more and more brands greatly reduced advertising spend. The result? Global ad spend has fallen by 9.1% in 2020 according to Zenith’s advertising expenditure forecast. Putting that into context, global ad spend dropped to 9.5% during the 2009 recession. 

While it may be some time before we see a return to traditional advertising – with a 5.8% recovery forecast in 2021 – it’s clear that the crisis has accelerated a shift towards digital marketing. Digital market share now exceeds 50% for the first time, and is expected to rise to 55% in 2022. With the growth of platforms including Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat, there has never been a better time to invest in digital marketing, especially brand-sponsored partnerships

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How brand-sponsored content is driving connections and boosting conversions 

Brand sponsorships may not be a new thing, but as we see spend move away from traditional media titles and towards digital platforms, it’s important brands consider new ways to promote products and services and expand audience engagement. 

Brand-sponsored content is booming right now, with partnerships proving incredibly popular on streaming services, podcasts and social media via influencer marketing. 

And as entertainment continues to evolve and platforms respond to emerging trends, brands will have never-ending possibilities to reach broader audiences, diversify their advertising mix and enhance brand perception, while creating a phenomenal social buzz. 

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Brands continue to boycott against Facebook 

The head of one of the world’s third-biggest advertising groups, Publicis, predicted that brands will continue to pause Facebook ad spend throughout August in response to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign. 

Civil rights groups have asked Facebook to enforce policies about hate speech fueled by mass anger at systemic injustices and racism in the US. While Facebook has been slow to respond and take action, the boycott has continued to gather momentum, with the likes of Unilever, Danone and Microsoft making a stance to root out hate speech. 

But will the boycott last throughout the summer? A survey conducted by Digiday found that 56% of buyers said that their clients had paused Facebook ad spend in July, 41% were expected to resume spend, and 17% said it wouldn’t resume until Facebook makes ‘meaningful changes’.

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Would you pay for a Twitter subscription? 

As businesses continue to pull back their spending in light of the changing marketing landscape caused by Covid, platforms have been forced to diversify and make up for lost revenue. While Twitter remains in a strong position, with a 34% year-on-year increase in user growth, advertising revenue still dropped by 23%. 

While twitter is hopeful that the return of sport will make an impact on its advertising revenue, it is also considering launching a subscription service. Chief exec Jack Dorsey says: “We have focused our attention on increasing revenue durability so that we have multiple lines of revenue to pull from. We want to make sure any new line of revenue is complementary to our advertising business. So we do think there is a world where subscription can be complimentary.”

But will people be willing to pay for twitter? Time will tell.

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Instagram is transforming the way Gen Z and Millennials consume news 

With more than 2 billion users, Instagram is set to overtake Twitter as the primary news source for Gen Z and Millennial audiences. 

While Instagram remains a lifestyle destination, users are becoming progressively politically-engaged, and a report from Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University has found that smart journalism is also happening on the platform. 

Pages such as AJ+ (494K followers) and NowThis (2.5 million followers) are delivering hard-hitting, honest news and it’s having a huge impact on followers and how they connect with – and consume – news. 

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