Digital marketing is a moving target, as are the audiences you seek to reach and influence. Social Media are the locus of some of the fastest and most significant changes. A seemingly simple and small change on one platform can have powerful effects on marketing results. Fortunately, you have access to the findings of numerous studies and surveys to inform and guide best practices and innovative use of all digital channels. As a new year begins, it makes sense to evaluate some of the latest data and insights to improve your social media marketing.
Here are ten of the latest data and recent changes to help you fine-tune your social media marketing.
- A recent study of Facebook (funded by Facebook but conducted independently by Datalicious) concluded that Facebook and display advertising should be credited for 830 percent more revenue than previously believed. Other insights from the study: Facebook advertising should be credited for 911 percent more revenue; the more ad impressions consumers are exposed to the more likely they are to convert (7 times more likely); display ads lead to nine times more search responses than clicks alone.
- Understanding customer conversion in terms of multi-touch attribution rather than last touch attribution might result in a major realignment of marketing spending. Commenting on the Facebook study, the CEO of Datalicious, Christian Bartens, said “This is the largest study of its kind and shows that a better understanding of what prompts people to buy is vital in driving improved return on advertising spend (ROAS) and can even create a long-term advantage over competitors. For many brands, taking a better look at their ROAS by embracing a multi-touch attribution method will see a radical shift in the way they spend their money.”
- Video has emerged in recent months as the preferred format for content. The platform of choice has shifted (at least among desktop users) from YouTube to Facebook, with nearly 30 times more views per day since July 2014. The upshot of this shift is important for marketers because videos posted on Facebook are shared far more than videos on YouTube – after all, Facebook is about sharing and engagement. This does not mean you should stop posting a video to YouTube because YouTube continues to drive more trackable sales than any other social media platform (AOL Convertro research).
- Facebook’s recent steps to reduce selling and “bribing or buying” more Likes, as well as the sheer volume of content on the platform, have negatively affected the visibility of businesses on Facebook. As a result, a number of businesses are shifting their strategies away from Facebook. Those firms that see a need to continue to focus on the Facebook platform are discovering a new playing field that is rapidly moving toward a “pay to play” model. This shift is likely to price participation beyond the reach of small businesses.
- A number of industry insiders expect Instagram to become to Facebook what SlideShare is to LinkedIn among businesses and professionals, providing a platform for sharing quick, brief content pieces of value to their industry and their customers and prospects.
- Small businesses need to monitor and take advantage of new technologies and options that will abbreviate the traditional customer journey. These include the recent growth of live chat, call tracking, click to call, tweet to purchase, etc. Any technology or process that eliminates steps in the journey can be expected to improve conversion rates and increase ROI.
- Marketing and advertising budgets and plans will need ongoing adjustment as social media platforms act to monetize. Facebook’s gradual shift to paid advertising is being replicated by other social platforms, a trend that is likely to grow and spread. Small businesses and professionals will need to identify the most cost-efficient advertising models in order to remain visible to prospects via social media. This will require monitoring of new studies and best practices, testing options, and experimentation, as well as the flexibility to adapt to changes quickly.
- Native advertising and customer expectation of personal interaction with brands and companies will continue to favor marketers and businesses that can demonstrate personality, earn trust, and build stronger relationships with customers and prospects.
- If you have not demolished silos in your marketing strategy and structure, now is the time to do so. Your social media marketing strategy needs to be integrated with your content plan and your advertising plan. The misguided assumption that people (or businesses) become customers based on a single interaction or engagement is dead. Cross-channel impressions and campaigns are essential. Marketers may need to lead the way, but analytics will eventually catch up and provide the proof demanded by owners and executives.
- Segmentation of lists remains a priority because consumers (and business customers) have come to expect ever-increasing levels of direct personal contact with businesses. Segmentation should be applied to social media contacts in new ways. Just as you often use list segments in some email marketing, you can now use segment lists to create more personalized communication and sharing with key contacts, influencers, and customers via social media. This ability offers an array of new opportunities to share with social contacts on a more intimate and appealing level.
Understanding these ten insights for social media marketing can help you create better SEO strategy. Finding creative ways to build them into your strategy will help you keep up with some of the more important and recent practices and opportunities available to improve your social media marketing. If we can be of help, please contact us.