LONDON/CHICAGO: Performance marketing is moving into social media as new ad formats and the increasing ability to tie social investment to bottom-line results encourage advertisers to use this channel to drive revenue.

According to Michael Kahn, CEO of Performics Worldwide, the global performance marketing agency inside Publicis, social media's role is no longer relegated solely to branding.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, he argues that "social media's value now lies in a combination of branding and deeper-funnel performance objectives, aligned to consumers based on stage in the purchase path".

In Get retail sales via social media, Kahn highlights the range of new ad products and formats that are now available, from "Buy now" ads to shoppable product cards.

The latter "are especially powerful in engaging shoppers in the moment, shortening the path to conversion when they see a product they like within a YouTube video".

Kohl's, the US multichannel retailer, took this approach when it launched a new fashion line via a live fashion show during New York City Fashion Week.

Shoppable call-to-action overlays on the YouTube video of the show enabled consumers to shop the new collection in One-Click, at the moment they saw something they liked on a model walking down the catwalk.

As well as ad products, social networks have also improved their measurement abilities, meaning that advertisers are able to track which content drives most shares, sales or leads on both desktop and the mobile app - for example, on Pinterest.

"Like paid search, advertisers can now set and manage to specific social performance goals, including conversions," Kahn notes.

Given these developments, he asserts that now is the time for advertisers to take advantage of the performance evolution of social media marketing.

And it's an ongoing process, since, "as new technologies, applications and ad formats become available, shopper behaviour is changing at an exponential rate".

He also suggests advertisers will have to learn to move faster and adopt new strategies and to have a greater appetite for testing than ever before.

Data sourced from Admap