According to a study done at Carnegie Mellon University, interruptive advertising can have a negative impact on a consumer’s impression of a brand as well as their willingness to pay for the brands products. This is an important factor to consider in social media marketing. With the growth in mobile and the expansion of social media networks, consumers have more and more outlets and opportunities to consume information.This is good and bad for brands and retailers. They need to focus on thoughtful social media strategy to continue to attract and engage consumers.
In one respect it gives brands and retailers more mediums through which to reach their customers. However, the flip side of it is customers have more ways to ignore advertising which is commonly known as “banner blindness”.
For many marketers, native advertising on social media appears to be a good solution to the issue of banner blindness. However, the study by Carnegie Mellon raises the question; can blanket native advertising backfire?
In the Carnegie Mellon study; “Do Interruptions Pay Off? Effects of Interruptive Ads on Consumers’ Willingness to Pay”, one group of participants were shown ads while playing an online game, and then asked to give a price they would be willing to pay for a coffee mug with the branding of the ad they were shown. The control group was allowed to play the game un-interrupted and then asked the same question. The results showed, the price participants were willing to pay for the mug dropped when they were interrupted during the game. The study went further, demonstrating interruption can also negatively impact overall brand image. Open ended questions showed participants had more overwhelmingly negative feelings towards the brand responsible for interrupting their game, than the control brand that did not interrupt their game.
This study shows us the importance of thoughtful advertising. Social networks provide a great opportunity to reach your target market and tailor your ads to their needs. However, you have to make the ads seamless within the user experience in order to avoid interrupting your customers. The consumer’s use of a social media network should drive the kind of advertising your brand displays.
Consider; Facebook is used to connect and stay in touch with friends, Pinterest is used for inspiration, and Twitter is for staying up to date with news and events.
Let each social media’s strength, content style and usage drive your advertising strategy to avoid interruption and potentially damaging your brand’s image.