Go live and you will thrive!
This rhyme seems to be the motto of all social media platforms, and it’s changing the advertising scenario tremendously.
It’s not breaking news that social media is getting into the live sports arena, but Facebook’s recent broadcast deal with FOX TV for UEFA Champions signifies one thing—advertisers should seriously consider shifting from TV ads to social media live streams.
Speaking of Facebook, which is planning to make itself a one-stop shop for all social media/TV needs, this isn’t the first time it’s dipped its toes in the live sports pool. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have all had their share of live broadcasts—Twitter with Thursday night football, Facebook with MLB and YouTubeTV, for example. In fact, Facebook is also developing a TV app to really integrate television and social media.
How does this help advertisers from a procurement perspective?
Traditional ad spots on TV are deeply expensive, especially in live sports. For example, a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl costs almost $5 million, per Business Insider. Of course, television has massive viewership; but social media applications are attempting to swoop in and capture a share of this huge audience. As per Morning Consultant, 47% of adults would be more inclined to watch NFL live, an encouraging sign for advertisers to think about regarding live stream advertisements. Since live stream broadcasts are still in their infancy, ad spots would be cheaper as well.
Will live streaming ads be different from standard television ads?
Yes, because of targeted ads.
With the massive amount of data these platforms hold, they trump TV ads. Television still doesn’t offer targeted ads, but social media platforms open a new door to personalized advertisements. These ads generate good ROI because advertisers can spend intelligently to the specific market who tend to buy their product/service, and save the costs of mass advertising to the wrong target audience. Targeted ads also provide a better analysis of viewership, primarily because social media analytics like Facebook Insights, YouTube Analytics and Twitter Analytics. In fact, Google conducted a study that concluded that, in most cases, YouTube video ads had a better ROI than TV!
With the advent of dynamic creative ads, small businesses can opt for those, and reduce the huge ad production costs that TV demands. Instead, they can have targeted ads and a medium to reach out to audiences with a comparatively smaller budget. Other ad formats like slideshows or overlay ads also open a huge possibility for budget adjustments compared to just video.
Posting the ad is important, but ensuring that it is viewed is crucial
An older ad model, pre-rolled ads (ads before a video starts) has a flaw—people skip them. However, live streams enable platforms to add mid-roll ads, which enable full viewership because the content is longer and they fit nicely into the live sports broadcast model.
Also, people tend to use multiple screens during broadcasts, so when television ads are running, viewers simply switch their focus to their mobile devices for the same applications. If the platform itself is broadcasting, however, then users can enjoy both, socializing and viewing together, like the mega-hit gaming site Twitch. Thus, advertisers can expect a more focused viewership on their ads.
To add some more statistics, Facebook has 1.6 billion users, with 650 million users stating sports as a preference. Live videos tend to have 10 times more comments and user involvement than video uploads. These statistics are encouraging for advertisers, and it would make a great investment to funnel this huge user pool into sports.
The dynamics of broadcasting are witnessing an imminent transition. Millennials and Generation Z (birth years ranging from mid-1990s to mid-2000s) seem to be the correct horses to back, and it looks promising for advertisers to consider this incredible shift in broadcasting.