This month, numerous brands—both large and small—are joining together in pausing their paid media investments on Facebook and Instagram. The reasoning behind the pause is to pressure Facebook to address and counteract hate speech and misinformation that it has allowed on its platforms in the form of posts, comments, and ads.

Why Strategy is the Key in Marketing Your Brand

The campaign known as #StopHateForProfit quickly gained momentum when top brands like The North Face, Patagonia, REI, and Ben & Jerry’s committed to participating. Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen Verizon, Unilever, Coca-Cola, and countless others join the movement, and, in some cases, expand it beyond these platforms and the month of July. And the list of participating brands continues to grow.

Why brands should consider speaking up

While we recognize taking a stand can be a polarizing move, we’re seeing data showing people are looking for brands to take action. According to a recent Dentsu Navigator survey, an overwhelming majority (75%) of consumers feel brands have a responsibility to put pressure on media platforms to reduce misinformation and hate speech.

Additionally, more than half of consumers would be more likely to consider a brand that actively combats misinformation and hate speech. Conversely, 40% of consumers would stop purchasing from their favorite brand if it continually advertised on a platform that promotes misinformation and hate speech.

Why some brands aren’t joining in

While we firmly believe the economic leverage of pausing paid advertising on Facebook and Instagram is an effective way to influence systemic change, we recognize the unprecedented economic challenges brands are facing right now. COVID-19 has hit businesses hard these past few months, which makes it tough to pull ads from a platform that has helped many brands drive business growth and direct customer acquisition.

The good news, Facebook and Instagram aren’t the only platforms brands can be investing in during this time.

Alternative media investment opportunities

If your brand is participating in the #StopHateforProfit campaign, this is a great time to test new platforms or re-invest in other efforts that could drive profitable returns.

Adjusting Media and Search Strategies in Response to COVID-19

A few alternative media options to consider this month include:

  • Purchasing ads on other social platforms like Snapchat, Pinterest, Twitter, and TikTok
  • Investing in Google Ads products, such as search, shopping, YouTube, or new ad units that more closely mimic social experiences (Google Discovery Ads or Google Showcase Shopping Ads)
  • Leaning into other high-ROI tactics like dynamic remarketing (Criteo), CRM retargeting, and lookalike modeling
  • Leveraging native ad experiences that lend themselves to social-like ads, but are purchased programmatically
  • Testing programmatic efforts which span a wide range of ad types, including video, connected TV, banners, native, and rich media

What about #BlackoutDay2020 on July 7?

If you choose not to pause advertising on Facebook and Instagram in July, there is another full-day ad blackout to consider. Unlike last month’s #BlackoutTuesday, which saw many brands post a black box to their social media profiles, #BlackoutDay2020 is a day for consumers to refrain from spending money unless purchasing from Black-owned businesses.

If your brand advertising does remain active on July 7, your click-through rates (CTRs) and conversion rates may see a decline. This movement will have broader implications beyond social media but should be kept in mind when planning your current paid and organic social media content schedule for next week. It’s also likely all promotions may see a dip in performance as a result.

Actively helping clients grow

The Current COVID-19 State of Commerce

DEG, along with other agencies in the Dentsu Aegis Network, stands firmly against the spread of misinformation and hate on platforms such as Facebook. Our Media + Search, Social Media, and Strategy teams are actively collaborating with clients to ensure they are aware of all media trends and movements focused on equity and the amplification of Black voices.

We’re also working with clients to reallocate funds that may have otherwise been spent on Facebook and Instagram this month to activate several profit-generating tactics such as those mentioned above to ensure they test new channels and continue to grow their businesses.

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