Is Advertising on Social Media Worth It?

Social media advertising has become a multi-billion dollar industry over the past couple of years. According to recent reports, social media ad spending came in at around $2.9 billion in 2014, representing about 58% growth over 2013. Clearly, many companies believe that advertising on social media is, in fact, worth it and there are a number of reasons why this is the case. The following are four of the most prominent reasons why social media advertising is growing in popularity:

Great ROI Compared to Traditional Advertising Platforms

Most industry experts agree that social media advertising offers a fantastic return on investment. The real challenge is determining how one wants to quantify that return. For example, obviously clicks and sales conversions are important metrics, but what about brand awareness? Brand awareness is sometimes the primary reason for an advertising campaign, yet there aren’t any reliable metrics to determine how much brand awareness an advertising campaign produced. That being said, most consider the cost per thousand impressions, or “CPM”, to be a reliable metric of cost-effectiveness, particularly with regard to brand awareness.

Globally, the cost to reach one thousand impressions is around $0.75, according to Facebook. However, that number varies wildly depending on the region, industry, and a number of other factors. That being said, this cost is a dramatic reduction compared to other advertising platforms, which could typically be as much as one hundred times more expensive! However you look at it, social media advertising provides an almost unparalleled return on investment when utilized properly.

Highly-Targeted Advertisements

In addition to being more cost-effective, social media advertising can be much more highly targeted to the right audience. Thanks to the wealth of personal information contained on social media platforms such as Facebook, advertisers are able to target as narrow of an audience as they’d like. Everything from geographic location, age, marital status, interests, diets, and income can be filtered for in an advertising campaign. Advertisers can even choose distinct campaigns for different targeted groups, further increasing the potential ROI of a social media advertising campaign.

Real-Time Analytics

Unlike traditional advertising platforms, such as television or newspapers, social media advertising provides real-time information on the effectiveness of a campaign. Advertisers can see precisely how many impressions, clicks, and conversions each ad has generated and can adjust strategies accordingly. This also means that the number of dollars invested in a campaign can be increased or decreased on a minute-by-minute basis.

Ability to Change the Campaign at Any Time

Along with the ability to gauge the effectiveness of an advertising campaign in real-time, social media advertising can be changed mid-campaign. In fact, one of the best ways to conduct a social media advertising campaign is to have small “experimental” campaigns running, designed to test the effectiveness of each campaign. Experimental campaigns that prove to be effective can then receive the most significant percentage of the overall advertising budget.

At the same time, the effectiveness of each social media campaign can (and should) be constantly monitored for effectiveness. Advertisements that prove to be less effective can then be replaced by “experimental” ads that have proven to be effective in their smaller trials. This is just one example of how real-time information, in conjunction with the ability to change a social media advertising campaign at any time, can facilitate a more robust and effective advertising strategy.

Without a doubt, social media advertising is an effective way to reach a highly-targeted audience. Whether or not it is right for your company depends on your marketing and advertising goals.

Sources:
http://www.convinceandconvert.com/social-media-research/15-new-facebook-advertising-statistics/
http://marketingland.com/first-half-digital-revs-23b-mobile-social-grew-104542

Categories OperationsTags , , ,

Integrated Marketing from Concept to Measurement

Integrated marketing requires that businesses align their marketing processes in a way that continuously improves the customer experience. Understanding the how your processes feed into each other as part of an overall plan is a crucial first step. Successfully integrating these processes along with establishing KPIs ties together the goals of each department into a single unified strategy to enable supporting larger goals.

There is a way to create order out of chaos. The growing complexity of marketing makes it crucial that companies document, define, and automate their marketing processes. In order to be effective, processes within the following categories, which overlap to some extent, must be defined and integrated:

  • The execution process is often referred to as campaign management. This is the communication arm of marketing, and often deals with both outbound and inbound marketing as well as analyzing leads and customer value.
  • The operations of a marketing department include budgeting and resource allocation. Processes include marketing performance measurement, campaign planning, strategic planning, marketing systems and data capture.
  • Analytical processes are used to create predictive models and to analyze the data gathered to measure the results of a marketing program.

While implementing a marketing automation solution can more than double the output that a marketing team can produce, one must do her homework before implementation.  The success of marketing automation implementation does not primarily depend on the selected software, and it is not only about automation. Cross-functional coordination must be formalized by integrating the processes above and setting KPIs that focus teams on achieving corporate goals.

Process alignment creates truly integrated marketing programs.

Integrated marketing is powerful and effective. Each customer or prospect interaction reinforces your brand, increases awareness, and builds trust over time. By coordinating the customer journey across marketing channels, marketing investments become more efficient and effective.

You can integrate your marketing programs by following a few simple steps:

  1. Customer Experience.
    Integrated marketing aligns campaign management, marketing operations, and analytical processes to create a closed-loop around the customer. Create processes that focus on improving the customer experience in ways that will increase satisfaction (thus loyalty), drive revenue for the company and reduce marketing costs.
  2. Conceptualize.
    Set objectives and brainstorm ideas, keeping an overall focus so that everything aligns. Analytical and operational factors carry more weight at this point, while execution processes focus on understanding the target segment and the needs of the customer.
  3. Create a plan.
    Use analytics to understand your audience and competition and to optimize your marketing campaigns. Ensure that you address all three process categories in mind as you plan.
  4. Budget.
    Create a budget and allocate it among the various marketing programs that have been prioritized. There is no hard and fast rule for setting your marketing budget, which should be set on a based on a number of factors.  I have seen budgets in as little as 1% to as much as 35% of projected revenue.
  5. Campaign creation.
    Define and create the marketing campaigns that you have prioritized based on improving customer satisfaction.
  6. Test the waters.
    Test messaging, target segments and creative and make changes as needed. Always test, even if you think something is a no-brainer.  Human behavior is difficult to predict.  I have been surprised many times by test results of both “horrible” and “great” ideas.
  7. Analysis.
    Measure the success of the various parts of your campaign and analyze the results.
  8. Closure.
    Use the information from your results to develop the next marketing strategy.

If you follow the steps above, you can create a revenue generation loop that improves the efficiency of your marketing spend. If you need help, feel free to contact us.

Categories Branding, Digital, MarketingTags , , , , , , , ,