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How Social Advertising is Becoming Huge in LatAm

Paid Social or Social Advertising is becoming a key media type for marketers to use to engage Latin American audiences. An in-depth feature about the high rate the Paid Social market is growing and why. The new Entrants into the sector and the wide array of Social Ad Types, and more...


Paid Social or Social Advertising is becoming a key media type for marketers to engage Latin American audiences. Below, an in-depth analysis on Paid Social market’s high rate, its growth and reasons of that growth. The new key actors of this sector, the wide array of Social Ad types and more…

Social Advertising, or Paid Social, is the fastest growing Ad-Category in Latin America. ” Social advertising has a much larger share in our Latin American budgets compared to our U.S. advertising budgets,” Agustin Chacon, VP Marketing Americas, at Epson tells Portada.

redes.sociales-285x200Social Advertising typically involves investments in Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Instagram as well as in technologies for reorienting and refining messages to this social networks users and other social media properties. MagnaGlobal, IPG’s forecasting unit, expects Social Advertising to be the fastest growing category in Latin American advertising until 2019, with an annual growth of 34,4% between 2012 and 2019 and with a total value of more than US $4.8 billion.

A Force to be Taken into Account

Total Social Advertising1,1041,5842,1052,7793,6584,844
• Annual Growth / Decline67.3%43.4%32.9%32.1%31.6%32.4%
• Share of Total Internet18.3%21.9%23.5%25.0%26.4%27.7%
• Share of Total Media2.5%3.2%3.7%4.3%4.9%5.5%

Source: Magna Global
Note: In million US $

“By ‘social’ we are referring to any format carried by social media networks like Facebook,Twitter, and LinkedIn. We do not include peer-to-peer video networks,” says Shaffia Sanchez, President, MAGNA Global, World Markets.

One of the reasons why Social Advertising is such an important marketing tool in Latin America is the fact that Latin Americans are much heavier Social Network users compared to U.S. users. Another reason, according to Maria Jose Ezquerra, SVP Head of Media at Havas,  is that  there have been improvements in the establishment and measurement of KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) of Social Media Campaigns. Xavier Mantilla, Global CRO at Gravity4, agrees:  “I believe that growth could be attributted to “the moment” that social media is going through. Better Facebook audience data in its DPA platform allows better messages to serve users.”

New Players…

Relatively new Social Media platforms and Ad-Tech players are entering the region. These include Versy, the former Myriad which has a particularly strong presence in Mexico, as well as San Francisco headquartered start-up Gravity4. A Versy spokesperson tells Portada that they are operating a “social media platform which is growing fast.  With billions of impressions everyday we are introducing a new Chat Promotion,  our own proprietary format for brands to reach audiences in a conversational manner.” According to the spokesperson, “brands and content partners can use Versy to create content channels and start engaging their audience with content that is relevant to them. This content can then be shared and discussed with their groups of friends on Versy, or shared on other social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook or What’sapp.”

Paid Social Media Development in Latin America will be one of the key themes to be discussed by major brand marketers and agency executives at Portada’s Foro Mexico on October 13 in Mexico City. (#PortadaMex)

…and Ad Formats

According to the Versy spokesperson, currently the company carries out marketing packages to sponsor channels and promote chat messages. Sponsorships are similar to a TV format whereby specific channels will be ‘brought to you by [brand X]’ and the brand secures exposure through integrated branding within the channel and any content later shared. Promoted Chat Posts are specifically targeted promotional messages which are inserted at specific times into specific Channels.Specific conversations ,with specific CTA, are designed to share internally within Versy and externally to other communication platforms.”

According to Gravity4’s Xavier Mantilla,  there is no doubt that “mobile’s massive consumption in Latin America is bringing a strong growth to the mobile formats, where video and apps formats are powerful and are growing a lot.” Mantilla notes that in Brazil, more than 60% of those who use Facebook do so through mobile applications. “So, in the Brazilian Market, if you don’t consider Facebook you are missing the largest and most defined audience in the digital space. ”

An executive at a major Latin American newspaper tells Portada  that his team creates brand talks “with our fan pages and communities. These talks include two posts a day, during the campaign period (day, week or two weeks). This is an organic solution, and the talks are being developed on Facebook wall.” He adds that they are introducing the possibility of selling the campaign to boost posts and Facebook ads. So, we are trying to mix between organic conversations and pay ads, to increase the customer’s results.”
According to Santiago Duran, Media Strategy Lead – Spanish LATAM, at  Google, “The ad-unit that will grow the most is mainly Video. Video in all formats will be the privileged ad-unit in the next 5 Years. This is true for Social Media as well as for other digital channels.”


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