Did you know South Africa is the foremost mobile-first nation not just in Africa but the world? Their smartphone penetration today stands at a whopping 84% (doubling in just two years from 2017). This penetration of smartphones in South Africa has also increased the reach of the internet with over 94.6% of the population now having access to the world wide web (emarketer 2019).
This has made it possible for brands to expand their reach and get in front of their consumers like never before. However, despite viewers spending more than 5 hours on the Internet everyday, brands are noticing a steady decline in the performance of their banner ads - the average CTR barely reached 0.15% in early 2020.
To understand this rapid decline in the effectiveness of banner ads and how Social Display could be the answer digital marketers in South Africa are looking for, we spoke to Danny Greeff, RebelRebel Managing Director.
What do you think is the reason behind the decreasing effectiveness of banner advertising in South Africa?
Danny: Over the past couple of years we’ve seen that while brands are putting more effort into their social content with content that’s timely, relevant and resonates with the audience, they aren’t really doing any creative things when it comes to banner advertising. The creative design hasn’t evolved much and most brands are not taking advantage of all the new rich media opportunities, or Google’s best practices when it comes to designing the banners. This when presented to the consumer doesn’t excite them and hence, the performance of the campaign suffers.
What makes you think social media is working for these brands?
Danny: We’ve seen in the past that social media has worked better than display banners - the engagement is always higher. The main reason for this is that South Africans spend a lot of their time on social media and engage with this content. For the brands, they get real-time feedback on how their content is performing based on how the audience reacted to it.
How do you think Social Display could be the answer to the lowering performance of display banners?
Danny: What brands are doing on social media is working, the numbers are a proof. However, the content is confined to the walls of the social networking site. Display banners are not as effective as they used to be 10 years ago. In today’s day and age, they generate a highly negative, disruptive feeling which renders them ineffective, increasing the belief that online advertising doesn’t work anymore. This is where Social Display comes in. It takes your best performing social content and puts it out on the web. It reduces your go to market time, minimizes production cost and provides a better user experience for the person browsing the net. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
How do you think the experience with Social Display is different for viewers?
Danny: The audience is already viewing this content on social networks. They are willingly engaging with it. When you take the same content and provide it to the viewers outside of the social networks, it gives them a very unique experience and leads to a better brand perception. It makes the viewers feel that the brand is not constantly trying to sell them something but instead is investing in content that resonates with them.
Being a fairly new concept, what is the main challenge you are facing while presenting it to the key decision makers of the brands you are approaching?
Danny: We created RebelRebel to help people understand what Social Display is and how it can help their brand reach out to their consumers through content that works. However, there is a lot of education involved. Brands want to see it in action. We show them how the UI works and how easy it is to lift social content and drop it on the world wide web. Another challenge is the fact that most brand marketing teams work in silos. There is a social media team, a media buying team, a creative team and so on. Social Display really brings all these together and that’s what we are focusing on.
From a brand’s perspective, when do you think investing in Social Display becomes an obvious step for them?
Danny: Over the last two years, we’ve worked with a number of brands and seen some terrific results. With a 5.8X better performance when compared to standard display banners, we know Social Display works better than standard banners. For me, Social Display is a huge awareness driver. Social display, being such a new concept is something that consumers would pay more attention to and hence it can help brands get the recognition they want and are not getting through standard media.
Why do you think the time is now for brands to adopt Social Display?
Danny: This concept can easily be explained through Spaceback’s tagline “it’s so advanced, it’s easy.” Till date, social media and standard media have worked parallel to each other. While companies pay attention to content on social channels, they don’t leverage social trends to reach out to audiences outside of social realms even when these trends/current topics are relevant to this audience. Social display brings the two together and brands are opening up to this benefit. It has become inevitable for brands to include the consumers into current conversations outside of social media. And, this is not true just for the brands in South Africa. Effectiveness of standard banners is decreasing the world over and this is the time to make the move.
If you are a brand looking to get the most out of your advertising investments, take advantage of Social Display. Get in touch with us today to get started.