As 2014 is approaching closer, marketers are busy conducting overall analysis of 2013 performances of their marketing efforts. Most of the marketers are conducting detailed analysis and piling up necessary data points, DOs and DON’Ts and important observations are being made, which need to be considered while framing strategies for the next quarter. It is vital for marketers to plan smartly by avoiding hiccups faced earlier, frame result oriented plans and gain upper hand right from the beginning of the upcoming year. Couple of possible concerns which are likely to arise in the marketing arena (in 2014) are pictured below.
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Major Areas Of Concern For Marketers In 2014!
According to a report, based upon a survey conducted by Google Wildfire and Ad Age on 500 executives from large companies, more than 78% of marketers expressed concern over maintaining high levels of engagement over social audiences. Problems related to effective measurement of social initiatives and brand consistency were upheld by 76% and 75% of respondents respectively. Social media marketing is voted as topmost area for marketers for next 3 years and it continues to become an integral part of companies’ success stories.
Interestingly, only about 16.5% of respondents believed that their company has done exceedingly well in social media activities while 48.6% say that they are yet to reach the desired mark. Brand damage due to negative postings was the lowest ranked concern and supported by 64% of respondents. Although 85% of marketers learn latest marketing techniques with on-job experience, still basic Ad campaign strategies to create the initial buzz and gather millions of impressions is well-known to most of the marketers.
But, the major concern of marketers lies in sustaining the high levels of audience engagement, creating an initial buzz by gathering fans and followers via Ad-campaigns is important but if they are unable to sustain the initial buzz created by various conversion rate optimization techniques, then the revenue is likely to degrade. It is vital for firms to follow various strategies to drive sales continuously through initial website visitors.
Although social media sites are providing more detailed analysis of Ad initiatives by brands on its platform, still marketers are concerned as the engagement rate depicted by social media sites for Ad-campaigns is not reflecting well in terms of driving sales. Brands should focus on opting for specific campaign strategies based on target audiences like location-based campaigns, gender specific Ad campaigns and product promotion to niche audience group.
Focus must be laid on posting contents with rich media as posts with visual effect drive more engagement from audience. 75% of respondents who expressed concern over maintaining brand consistency should focus on adopting latest techniques which drive an engagement from users from Infographic, videos and SlideShare. Emphasis must be laid on customer satisfaction to inculcate a sense of loyalty amongst customers towards the brand. Customers prefer engaging with brands which has served them well in the past and has entertained all their queries without much of FRT (First reply time) delay.
Issues like social media content guidelines and Road map to future social initiatives can be resolved by following various content marketing tactics, social media marketing guidelines and keeping oneself updated with the latest trends in the digital marketing world.
How To Measure Social Media Success ?
Marketers across the world invest heavily in various social marketing initiatives to drive engagement in various forms such as Likes, Tweets, Shares and Comments. Nearly 58.4% of respondents favoured content shares as a major factor for measuring the success of social media marketing. About 55.8% concluded gaining a social follower as a more important metric, followed by Impressions supported by 54.7%.
Comments and Click-through rates (CTR) were next in line with a weight-age of 48% and 46.8% respectively. Marketers realize the importance of investing in social media marketing but it is also important to have a well-defined metric to measure success rate. Although social media sites have introduced numerous metrics to prove Ad success but the opinion of marketers as to which metric is vital for measuring success of Ad campaigns varies widely. Marketers generally consider content shares as vital for the success of an Ad-campaign.
If we consider Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), every user on an average has 130 friends and if that particular user shares content posted on brand pages, the number of impressions or views scales up massively as all the friends tend to engage with the post shared by their friends. Nearly 80% of users prefer connecting with brands on social media sites like Facebook.
Marketers who wish to publicize brands which are new or lesser known in the market opt for Ad campaigns or Ad initiatives on social media sites which can gather maximum impressions. Even if there is no significant amount of engagement (purchase, clicks or shares) impressions help in creating a know-how about the brand amongst the social media users. Followers or number of fans generally decide the outreach of any comments, posts or update of a brand. Hence driving more followers is vital to amplify brand visibility. Comments (in a positive sense) is yet another metric for the measurement of success, generally more than 56% of Facebook fans recommend the brand to their friends via comments/suggestions.
A higher CTR rate is the most important metric. Driving impressions is undoubtedly important but unless users click-through the Ad, the desired success rate cannot be achieved. On an average $102.5 is spent by a Facebook user who follows retail sites on Facebook. Hence it is important to have higher CTRs for social media posts to drive robust revenues.
It is vital for marketers of various brands to work on different issues likely to arise, and drive better results in 2014. Although, 42.2% of respondents agree that social media increases engagement but very few of them are able to convert the invested efforts or money into desired success.
Source : Social Strategies For 2014 Report