59% of consumers hold social platforms responsible for ads next to unsafe content
Integral Ad Science, a global leader in digital media quality, released new research showing that consumers have become even more aware of ads on social platforms and what they consider appropriate. Surveying over 1,100 U.S. consumers, IAS explored how the use of social media and receptivity to in-feed ads has changed; 59% of consumers now say they hold social platforms responsible for ads appearing next to unsafe content.
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“As the future of walled gardens evolves, our latest research will help marketers think differently about their ads and the importance of context in dynamic social media environments,” said Tony Marlow, CMO, IAS. “Consumers have developed more critical eyes for ads on social platforms, so brands need to adapt as well by tapping into the latest technology to align with what’s relevant and avoid unsuitable content.”
eMarketer projects that U.S. ad spend on social platforms will hit $82 billion by 2023, making it more important than ever to focus on media quality and maximize these budgets. This new research revealed the following about consumers’ social media behavior and how brands can adapt this year:
- Growing Awareness of Ads, Plus Trust Issues Keep Consumers On Their Toes: With 96% of U.S. consumers having at least one social media account, respondents ranked Facebook as the platform they use most, followed by YouTube, and Instagram. The vast majority (85%) of consumers have engaged with a social ad in the last year, spelling big opportunity for brands. Yet, consumers have grown more aware of inappropriate ads on social platforms; in fact, 38% of consumers say the growth of fake news means they’re less trusting of ads in their social feeds. Importantly, most consumers (59%) hold social media sites responsible for ads appearing next to unsafe content, compared to 36% who hold advertisers accountable.
- Context Directly Impacts Favorability and Memorability of Social Ads: Almost half (47%) of consumers report having an unfavorable view of brands whose ads appear next to unsuitable content, proving the significant impact this can have on social campaigns. Yet, 46% of consumers are likely to remember a social ad if the message relates to surrounding content, while 41% would feel favorable towards these brands.
- Social Shopping Booms, but Context Drives Purchase Intent Up and Down: With consumers turning to social shopping during the pandemic, ads influence this behavior. In fact, 32% of respondents are likely to purchase a product or service if the ad in their social feed is contextually relevant. Meanwhile, 60% of consumers are unlikely to purchase a product or service advertised next to unsafe content.
This new study, Social Media Ad Receptivity: Driving engagement with in-feed advertising, from IAS demonstrates how the quality and context of in-feed ads across social media impacts consumer perception, engagement, and even purchase intent. The study is based on responses from U.S. social media users in December 2021.
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