It has now been over a year since Apple implemented its App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy. The policy requires users to grant permission for apps to track their activities using an Apple device’s unique Identification for Advertisers (IDFA) tracking number. As expected, the change has had a significant impact on consumer research and advertising, as companies relied on data from apps to create targeted advertising. In this new consumer research climate, it is essential that companies get the most out of the data they do have access to.
Companies need to rely on robust social listening tools to continue to gain consumer insights from social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat.
This is where sentiment analysis enters the picture. Rather than rely on tracking which external sites users on social media apps visit, sentiment analysis analyzes the emotional content of social media posts themselves. Advertisers who want to continue to gain consumer insights from social media activity can use sentiment analysis to learn about consumers preferences and brand opinions without relying on apps to track any activities outside of what is already on the platform.
Read on to learn more about how sentiment analysis is helping consumer research adjust to ATT.
How Does Consumer Research Use Sentiment Analysis?
Sentiment analysis uses powerful AI to analyze the emotional content of texts and images. The technology can analyze large data sets and identify trends in opinion and sentiment related to a brand or product.
This technology is an asset to consumer research because it can identify trends based on data sets that would be impossible to analyze manually. In addition, it can group that data according to useful characteristics such as age, race, location, and shared interests.
In short, sentiment analysis fuels consumer research by enabling companies to understand how various audience segments, whether current customers or target customers, feel about their brand and specific products and strategies.
Consumer Research After ATT
Importantly, sentiment analysis does not need to rely on external tracking of a social media user’s activity. Rather, it analyzes the content of posts available on a given platform such as Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
In terms of ATT, this means that companies can still utilize social listening in their consumer research strategies without relying on consumers to opt into social media apps tracking which sites they visit.
For example, an apparel compoany using sentiment analysis may discover that consumers who post positive content about their brand tend to also post positive content about environmental causes and sustainability. This sort of consumer research doesn’t need to rely on knowing that consumers visit environmentalist websites; it just needs to analyze the emotional content of posts that are already on platforms such as Twitter or Facebook.
This sort of information can inform future brand strategies at a broad level. If consumers who tend to love a company’s brand also care deeply about an issue such as sustainability, then that is an issue the company should emphasize moving forward, both in advertising campaigns and product development strategies.
But there is also a more general way that sentiment analysis can be a key to adapting consumer research strategies to ATT. The main issue with ATT is that it makes it more difficult for companies to see who their customers are and send them ads that connect with their interests. Sentiment analysis is an ideal tool for understanding which users of a social media platform care about a brand. Using sentiment analysis, companies can identify their most passionate customers based on positive posts. They can then send ads to the users who are more likely to care about the brand and its products.
While ATT has had a dramatic impact on consumer research and the advertising industry, it does not have to be the “adpocalypse” that some claim it to be. Using sentiment analysis, companies can adapt their consumer research strategies to ATT and continue to gain valuable consumer insights from social media platforms.