2017 Will Be The Year Of Measurement

Few things are as hard to forecast as the fast-changing social media landscape, but as we look forward to 2017, a number of big trends stand out. Take a look at three key predictions to make sure you’re prepared for what promises to be another whirlwind year.

1. Brands taking paid social in-house, and reinvigoration of managed service. As brand marketers increase their own level of understanding of paid social media strategy, and as paid social continues to represent a larger percentage of total media dollars in 2017, we’ll see a shift towards brands becoming more autonomous and partnering directly with Ads API partners.

There will also be a reinvigoration of managed service in 2017. Years ago there was a rush towards pure software providers, and now brands have realized that they’ve underestimated what it takes to do paid social effectively. Software is only one piece of the puzzle, and now it is understood that the strategy, planning, execution, and analysis that managed service partners provide is crucial to success.

2. Omnichannel marketing and measurement. Measurement will be huge in 2017. Right now there is ambiguity around how things like viewability are being measured. It will become even more important for platform partners to have advertisers hone in and focus on the metrics that really matter.

Additionally, In 2017, we can expect to see the social landscape mature as a core marketing channel and also become increasingly complex as a result of the constantly evolving "measurement mix," with heightened industry focus on value, verification, and viewability. It should come as no surprise that value has been, and will remain, the primary deliverable within digital. However, with the development of insights tools such as in-store measurement and offline conversion APIs, we are given a greater variation of ways to really understand paid social efforts past value alone.

3. Vertical video. 2017 will usher in a new era of video that’s focused on improving the video experience. Vertical video will lead the charge, inspiring advertisers to use creative assets in formats that drive actions lower down the funnel. Since vertical video maximizes the impact on a mobile screen--100% share of screen real estate--advertisers will be able to deliver a fully immersive video experience.

Snapchat introducing vertical video to the marketplace solved a problem that many consumers didn’t even know they had. Having to flip your phone to watch a video was a pain point that nobody paid much attention to until Snapchat offered an alternative.

That "aha moment," combined with the rise of video and the growing consumption of media on mobile (by millennials, in particular), led to greater shifts in the market. When you put those factors together, it becomes obvious that the vertical video trend will continue in a really drastic fashion. Snapchat made a big splash as being the first to do it, but Facebook and others are now following suit.

There will be short-term hurdles with the creation of that asset type, but it’s going to become much easier very quickly ---out of necessity. If you fast-forward to the end of 2017, people won’t be talking about the difficulties of doing vertical video, because it will just be the norm.

Since vertical video provides more real estate for advertisers, advertisers will most likely start to see better CPMs. The vertical format is naturally more engaging because it’s taking up the full screen, and that in and of itself will attract more eyeballs and retain them longer. You’ll see longer video views, higher video completion rates, and happy advertisers.

Sean O'Neal is president of Adaptly.

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