The Future of Digital Advertising Platforms 2021

Maya Odeh
6 min readMay 24, 2021

Maya Odeh Growth Marketing & User acquisition Leader

Digital Marketing

Is the digital marketing industry hitting a saturation point? This has become a common question nowadays. Remove “The” and replace “of” with “is” from the headline and you will get the answer to the above question. Yes, “Future is Digital Marketing”. Let’s discuss how this future is going to shape up and what are the major changes are coming in the platforms that expected to play a pivotal role here.

  • Facebook Ads

When it comes to Facebook Ads, we saw in past years how the social media giant cracked down the businesses that are not providing a good customer experience. This is expected to continue. Facebook is relying on customer feedback in judging the credibility of a business like never before. This is good as it protects the viability of the platform and for Facebook advertisers as well. Messenger Ads are going to play an important role in the near future. Facebook has already expanded its Messenger home screen allowing the advertisers to deliver sponsored messages and brand offers. The TV-shaped “Watch” button should not be something new for you by now. Facebook allows you to monetize from the mid-roll video ads after watching a video for 20 seconds on the platform. This is Facebook’s answer to YouTube and it is yet to be seen how effective these features are in driving more sales and traffic to the businesses.

Let’s address the elephant in the room. How iOS 14 update is affecting Facebook Ads? Well, before this, apps have not had to, ask for your permission to track you and gather your details. It just tracked you by default. But with this update, apps have to ask for your permission first to track you. This is hugely important for E-commerce advertisers because they rely on the Facebook algorithm of tracking the data and the conversions. After this update, the cost per lead and the cost per sale have spiked up dramatically.

Facebook themselves quoted that this update is going to affect the areas such as conversion tracking, Ad objectives, remarketing, conversion windows, offline conversions, and the audience network. At the same time, the advertising opportunities including geographic targeting, lookalike audiences, and demographic targeting based on interests won’t be affected by this change.

As a response to address the decrease in conversion data, Facebook has already launched the Aggregated Event Measurement. Here the advertisers can rank their conversion events based on priority. Not only that, the Zuckerberg-led company has made some changes in Pixel’s way of collecting data as well. But there are certain changes the advertisers have to make in their Ad accounts to gain access to this Aggregated Event Measurement. Verifying the business domain, prioritizing the events, utilizing reach-based optimization, and verifying the pixel implementation for the dynamic ads are among those. As advertisers now you will have to focus on creating outstanding ads which are relevant. Also, the sooner we get adapted to the new normal the better it is.

This will have a negative impact in the short run but is positive when looking at the bigger picture. We do not want our trusted advertising platforms to have a bad reputation in society, do we? Facebook has hinted that they are going to let the advertisers place the ads on WhatsApp soon. But, they are currently facing a lawsuit that has accused them of monopoly. The objective of the lawsuit is to split Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp ass three different companies. But Facebook is fighting against this lawsuit and it is destined to be dragged on for years and years. Therefore we cannot expect them to decide to go forward with their decision of placing ads on WhatsApp as of now.

  • Google Ads

Yes, we have to admit that 2020 was an unpredictable year for Google advertisers. The circumstances caused by COVID-19 forced the brands to make changes in their planned strategies and most of the advertisers even pulled back from Google ad auctions. But, isn’t it remarkable how Google bounced back and established its dominance yet again? As per the reports, the advertisers increased spend on Google search ads from 19% in Q3 of 2020 when compared with Q2 of the same year.

Soon Google Discovery Ads is expected to open up new opportunities to reach out the potential customers. The Discovery Ads are appearing on many Google platforms including YouTube, Gmail Promotions, etc., and are appreciated by many for being engaging. Machine Learning and Smart Campaigns are the future. Meeting your goals would be made effective and efficient with these. We can expect Google to limit human intervention in the whole process letting AI do the hard work.

Google Analysis

During the past few years, Google has invested immensely in AI. Smart bidding is an outcome of those processes. This strategy is perfect if you do not have enough time to manage your Ad campaigns.

Just as the Discovery Ads, one cannot ignore the effect of Gallery Ads which resemble Facebook’s Carousel Ads is going to have in the future of digital marketing. The brands can provide more visual information about their products through these.

Currently, the voice searches which are using screens such as Google voice search on a mobile or a desktop are displaying the ads and it isn’t the same for smart speakers including Alexa and Google Home. We can expect this to change pretty soon.

  • YouTube Ads

Video marketing is gradually becoming the most preferred medium to market. A picture could be worth a thousand words, but a video is worth millions of words. Therefore the impact which could be created in a person’s mind through a video is very high. The most famous video viewing platform in the world is none other than the world’s second-largest search engine, YouTube. The future of YouTube marketing seems so bright. As of now, 51% of marketers are actively using YouTube for their marketing purposes, and the percentage of marketers who are planning to increase the ad spend each year is about 65%. The click-through rate is high with YouTube Ads when considered with other marketing platforms and it is expected to grow more in the future.

YouTube Ads will show a significant rise in the upcoming times. A major reason behind this other is their updated terms. Earlier, the Ads were running on videos by the creators who are a part of the Partner Program of YouTube (Once your channel gets 1000 subscribers and 4000 watch-hours, you can apply to the Partner Program). But now, ads are allowed on all the YouTube videos. This policy has started to draw many marketers to the platform.

If you are a digital marketer, stay alert and study more on the above platforms and technologies and get fluent in utilizing them. If you are an organization attempting to grow on the digital front, keep the above trends in mind and identify what platforms are the nest for your niche.

  • Artificial Intelligence

AI has already started to take over certain jobs and there is no doubt about the fact that it is going to be the future. It is going to be the biggest commercial opportunity for businesses and companies in the upcoming few decades and will most probably increase the global GDP by a significant number within the upcoming 10 years.

You can adapt AI to your organization to have a competitive advantage, reduce costs, in the long run, develop AI-driven products and services, etc. Chatbots are an AI-based technology and they are going to play an important role in the future by powering customer service.

Conclusion: The year 2021 is going to change a lot of things we have been used to for years but from all this we need to look at the changes as an opportunity that will benefit us in the long run future.

Maya Odeh