Social Ads Vs. Paid Content: Which Ads Drive Consumers To Buy?

Numerous studies have analyzed consumer awareness and response to paid advertising vs. organic and sponsored content, but a recent study looked at the same challenges in social.

The Blue Fountain Media study of more than 1,000 U.S. consumers between the ages of 18 and 55 set out to determine the role that organic and paid social advertising play when it comes to consumer perception, and the role of both in the purchasing cycle.

Most people see paid ads on Facebook at 38%, followed by Instagram at 37%, YouTube at 14%, Twitter at 5%, Pinterest at 4% and LinkedIn at 2%.

Some 65% admit they like that social media ads show them products they have an interest in and wouldn’t have found otherwise, while 31% like the presence of ads that mean they won’t have to pay for using the social channels.      

On the other hand, 75% of consumers polled think social ads are taking over their feeds, yet 70% will click on the ad and purchase the product.

When it comes to buying behavior, only 10% will just click and buy a product they see, while 70% want to visit a company’s website before buying a product from their social feed. About 21% say they will never buy through a social media ad.

Making a purchase means discounts. Some 36% say discounts are the biggest motivation to buy a product they see in a social media ad, while 33% say the actual product is what moves them to make a purchase.

Some 61% don’t mind advertisements that target them by demographic, but 39% say they don’t like that practice at all and about 24% say it is downright creepy.

Some 28% say being pitched products for which they have no interest whatsoever is the biggest issue. Most will run from the brand altogether. About 27% don’t like the ads that interrupt their browsing with loud audio, and 23% don’t like the barrage of similar ads that keep following them once they click on an ad once.

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