Consumers' views of social advertising has either remained flat or declined in the past year. According to a recent study released by Sprout, 27% of consumers said their opinion of social ads has declined and they tend to scroll right past this media on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
The reason for this decline in perception is often attributed to uninteresting content, 31%, and irrelevant content, 26%.
But there are still ways for retailers to capture the attention of consumers, as 41% of respondents said that entertaining content makes them more likely to engage with a social ad. The next most popular reason for reading an ad is an offer or discount, 37%, followed by something educational, 33%.
Of course, the percentages skew according to generation, as entertainment topped the reasons millennials and Gen Xers tune into these ads, discounts were the top reason for baby boomers. The second most popular motivator for baby boomers was education, with entertainment not coming into play until third place.
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So what kind of entertainment is the most compelling? The research shows that a majority, 83%, of respondents want to see videos. And more than half, 58%, enjoy watching GIFs, and that number is as high as 70% for millennials. And consumers are most likely to remember videos and GIFs that offer content that inspires emotion.
Social influencers may not have the pull that they appear to on consumers, as 43% of respondents said they prefer seeing ads from social influencers over brands, versus 57% prefers seeing the brand's ad.
As one-third of people are more likely to engage with a social ad that teaches them something, retailers are challenged to craft educational content. Sixty-five percent of consumers in the study said they would click through an ad to learn more, even if they are not looking to buy directly.