Advertising in Social Media has evolved quite a bit since its inception. It has gone from being a tool for just a few companies, to a mainstream way of promoting your business. Learning about the customer’s interests and triggers is the key to maximise the advertising capabilities of platforms like Facebook or Instagram. However, this is a never-ending process, which means new ways of leveraging all that relevant information keep being discovered.

A relentless evolution

Facebook is a prime example of Social Media advertising and its evolution. In the beginning it was a network to connect campuses and it transformed into a marketplace for companies and customers. Such an enormous economic potential, was bound to be exploited, boosting advertisers’ creativity in the process. This article from Hubspot shows the evolution of Facebook’s advertising solutions since it started and its economic impact.

So how did we go from this primitive banner to this user-generated content interface?

A primitive Facebook banner to the left and Adsmurai’s tool to the right

Information is key

Digital advertising evolves at every second by learning from all the information it gathers. Its main goal is to refine the content it shows potential customers, in order to increase the chances of generating a sale. Before that  though, there’s a few elements that must be in place before finding the perfect customer.

The first thing is to know your target group. However, this is just the start. We keep learning how different the results on advertising campaigns are, compared to what our customer thought they would be. Pre-established ideas may not work in your case.

Tracking tools like the Facebook pixel allow the user to obtain more information on the customer’s behaviour. By adding this script to your website, you can start building up audiences, measure online conversions and eventually knowing your return on investment. At the end of the day a platform is only as good as the information it can get.

In the past companies may have known their return on investment by doing a simple calculation: how much did I invest and how much did I obtain? Now the paradigm is different, as you can specifically know what product or service is working so that you can boost it, ignoring the one that does not.

So rather than investing more, you’re investing smart!

One trend, many ways

Digital advertising is now reaching limits that are both amazing and challenging. As any other thing in life, there are pros, cons and some uncertainties. When we talk about user-generated advertising, one of the first things that come to our minds is inevitably influencer marketing. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The principle behind influencer marketing lies in the trust you – as a customer – have on who endorses a product.

Let’s say you follow a Youtuber and they’re endorsing an accounting software for entrepreneurs. In this example the Youtuber’s sponsor is quite clear: the software company. For the most part this is a valid approach, since influencers normally have an invested audience and anything they promote becomes relevant at once. However, the recent boom in these last years is changing the users’ perception. Nowadays influencer marketing feels artificial and less unique -many Youtubers endorsing the same products- which is putting off some users. Being constantly sponsored can have a bad effect in the influencer since the content stops feeling fresh and at the end of the day you owe your allegiance to a brand.

So what’s the next step?

With all that information in our brains, we arrive at user-generated advertising as it is becoming nowadays. The direction this is taking is definitely interesting but also poses ethical doubts that we will try to explain now.

The idea behind this is simple: use the content users upload to their social media as an ad. Unlike influencer marketing, the ads don’t feel fake because they showcase people very similar to the target audience. Let’s say you upload a selfie rocking your sunglasses to your Instagram. The sunglasses brand is quite popular and they use your selfie to advertise their products. 

This is taking advertising to the next level, since it is the customer who creates the content. From an advertiser’s point of view this is quite cool, since you don’t have to invest that much in content creation. However, doing this poses a few difficult-to-answer questions. What happens when the sales skyrocket as a result of your content? Aren’t you entitled to receive a compensation? How are you compensated? When is it decided the compensation ends?

How to deal with it?

Companies like Adsmurai are deep into these marketing tools and their software also evolved to become what it is today. One of Singlot’s founders, Miguel, worked for them in Barcelona when the company’s vision was to just make a more complete advertising tool for Facebook. However, they have kept innovating to the point where they launched their User generated content tool. You can see how it works in this video:

As the video states, they ask the customer for permission before using their content and they also offer a reward. This seems like the way to go, but where’s the limit for that compensation? What if the customer feels they deserve more for their content? The legal and ethical implications can be quite complex and difficult to resolve, but we firmly believe this is the future for social media advertising.

We live in an amazing day and age! Concepts like these were not even a dream in 2004 when Facebook was created. We’re going through all the stages at such a high speed, that even before mastering all the advertising solutions, someone comes up with new and interesting ways.

At Singlot we’re always on the cutting edge to offer our customers all the best services and make our relationships more profitable for everybody!

Please reach out and we’ll chat about all the possibilities there are!