Recently I provided commentary about social ad targeting for both the print and online version of Adweek. The article reviews the advancement of targeting abilities within some social platform providers as well as outlining those that take the approach of a contextual opt-in.
Here was my full commentary regarding social targeting:
“There are definitely two schools of thought when it comes to the targeting abilities of social networks. Those who are constantly refining their offerings and enhancing their targeting capabilities and those who rely on their readers to choose their own path.
Facebook has always placed value on leveraging social affinity to refine it’s advertising offerings. They have enhanced their capabilities when it comes to geo-targeting, allowed brands to experiment with sponsored dark posts and now they are adding predictive capabilities to further align social affinity with ad interactions.
Facebook also launched programmatic commerce capabilities with dynamic product ads. By supporting dynamically optimizing, cross-device ad types, Facebook is focusing on delivering highly contextual advertising at scale. By creating “smarter” segments based on affinity and now predictive elements Facebook can further enhance their approach to programmatic media and show the ability to create 1:1 advertising at scale.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you have the contextual opt-in approach to advertising that is favored by Snapchat, Buzzfeed and Reddit. This approach is not dependent on highly targeted algorithms it is enabled by contextually relevant content as the core driver into the experience.
The challenge with this approach at times is to ensure the ads themselves are as contextually relevant as the native content that is driving the original experience. There is also growing demand from brand marketers for additional insight and personalization of experiences that rule out certain platforms that favor contextual opt-in vs. highly targeted.
There are benefits to both approaches depending on the core objectives and goals of the brand marketer and whether the goal is impressions or creating a deeper association with the brand.
Here is a link to a PDF version of the print article: Adweek_Social Targeting_Tom Edwards