Adaptly Predicts: A Look at Social Media’s Advertising Universe in 2018


Adaptly enables advertisers to scale campaigns across Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and Pinterest through tech and services. An inaugural member of Ads API programs, the New York-based company gives its clients first-mover advantage through the latest offerings from today’s most relevant social channels. Naturally they have some interesting predictions about how the social media landscape will change in the next year.

Facebook, Pinterest, Amazon

“I see Pinterest continuing to evolve into a major platform for retailers, stealing share of spend from other placements including non-brand search. Newer features like Lens that help power visual search fuel user discovery of new brands. One of our retail clients found when testing the Pinterest shopping alpha that 90+% of the traffic coming from Pinterest is new visitors. Since it’s a discovery platform, brands with lower brand awareness or market penetration are able to find users who are much more apt to be open to new brands.” – Lisa Cucinotta, VP of Accounts

“I expect Facebook’s Offline Conversions API to see increased adoption in 2018. While it’s not something that’s brand new, the impact of the data it provides is really too exciting to ignore for brands who have not tapped into it yet. Knowing which type of creative influences an online shopper to shop in-store and vice versa opens up opportunities for better targeting, promotions and budget distribution.” – Lisa Cucinotta, VP of Accounts

“2018 will be the year of Amazon as an advertising platform. They’re the ones to watch because they have the potential to disrupt the space given their incredible scale and purchase data. Their platform is built to follow the same general walled garden API blueprint and the fact that they own the actual transaction data puts them in a unique position. Being able to advertise and sell products on the same platform creates a fully-closed loop for advertisers, and that’s something they can’t find anywhere else. Amazon joining our ecosystem creates more options for marketers and is exciting for us at Adaptly because we always want to support the newest and biggest places people are spending their time.” – Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO

General social advertising

“Starting in 2018, brands and agencies will no longer be able to get away with having a basic understanding of social. Social isn’t some small part of marketing that advertisers can make work with a little general knowledge; it has become a main digital channel that drives business goals at efficient scale. Successful social campaigns start with unique strategies crafted specifically for a platform with a particular user experience in mind. Repurposing elements from traditional marketing strategies won’t cut it. Advertisers need help understanding how to craft social-first, thumb-stopping content, and next year we’ll see more and more big brands and agencies looking for solutions that provide the social expertise needed to drive innovation.” – Montse Guasch, VP of Marketing


“Social platforms will become centralized hubs for all of our needs. Social started out as this medium for connecting with people in a fun and easy way, but I don’t think we’ve really appreciated the full extent to which these platforms have changed over the years. They are no longer just communications tools, or even what we would deem as “social” platforms anymore. They have morphed beyond that to service our everyday needs. Now, we’re so used to getting our news updates from these platforms, enjoying augmented reality on a regular basis, connecting with brands; I foresee that we’ll soon be doing everything on social. Ordering cabs, booking hotels, making payments, watching live sports, ordering food… I think it’s really going to encapsulate every aspect of our daily lives in the next few years.” – Rob Kabrovski, VP of Accounts


“Walled gardens will continue to dominate the scene. They control everything from consumer attention to where advertisers are shifting spend. A walled garden is any kind of platform that has unique customer/user data, sufficient scale, and is focused on driving business objectives for advertisers. These platforms continue to occupy the top spots in terms of media mix, and the rate of change in terms of new products and offerings is only getting faster. We’re no where near saturation point or ceiling for walled gardens’ potential.” – Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO


“In 2018 I think we’ll see the death of organic reach. In 2017 we saw the algorithms update to give us more and more sponsored content in our feeds and less organic content from the brands we follow, and I think 2018 could be the year that organic reach goes away completely. As it is, brands are only reaching less than 2% of their audiences organically, so brands will have to start putting paid media behind all of their content to reach anyone. And if you think about it, we don’t do fan acquisition campaigns anymore because that’s no longer a best practice. So, if you’re not actively cultivating an audience, who are you even hoping to reach organically? In 2018, that trifecta of paid, earned, and organic will become just paid and earned and organic will cease to exist.” – Kyle Benedetti, VP of Partnerships


“In 2017 we saw the consolidation of many trends. Several social media platforms honed in on the same three themes: ephemeral content, vertical video, and personalization. These three trends present not only a great opportunity for advertisers, but also a great challenge, because they represent a change in the way we think about media. Because users are consuming content at a rapid rate, marketers will need to generate multiple pieces of content quickly and cost-effectively. To do that well, they really need to understand the platforms they are advertising on and cater to their unique user experiences. My question is: How are marketers going to adapt their strategies?” – Montse Guasch, VP of Marketing


“Ephemeral content is going to continue to be a huge thing in 2018. People originally thought it was just a fad in the beginning, but in this day and age, people want data, and they want everything at their fingertips in such a quick way. They don’t save all their pictures anymore, they don’t have time to go back and reminisce on the past because there is so much going on in the here and now. This kind of instant, fleeting content makes sense.” – Rob Kabrovski, VP of Accounts

“The merger of media and creative is another big trend that we’ll continue to see next year. You can’t do one well without the other anymore. I think you’ll see more organizations coming together, and more platforms and companies start offering creative solutions. This will allow advertisers to streamline things through working with less partners.” – Nikhil Sethi, Co-Founder and CEO


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