No one can deny the power of social media any longer; it has become an integral and permanent part of your marketing mix. As the social landscape continues to grow and change, it’s natural to expect a shift in spending for 2015. According to the CMO Council, 28% of marketing professionals will reduce their traditional advertising budget in order to allocate more to digital marketing.
In light of this shift towards digital marketing, it’s natural to wonder how and where marketers will allocate their social media marketing budget. While you have undoubtedly discovered that SEO, email, social media and content marketing have become the pillars of your company’s online success, it’s never too late to take these insider tips into consideration:
Know where your Engagement is Coming From
Once your company has discovered how much they will budget for marketing – usually a percentage of revenue – you’ll need to decide where and how to best allocate it. While it may be time to test different campaigns with different parameters, it’s also important to know what worked for you in 2014. Does most of your traffic and engagement come from Facebook? Does Twitter work better for your organization when you post on weeknights? These are insights you can leverage to determine when and where to distribute funds – and get the biggest bang for your buck. You’ll also know what wasn’t a winning strategy last year and be able to ration accordingly in 2015.
Stay on top of Trends
By now businesses large and small have felt the repercussions of the dreaded Facebook algorithm. Organic reach has been stifled and we’ll begin to see an even more dramatic newsfeed filter occur throughout 2015. Paid social media is no longer a luxury – it’s a necessity. With the social space saturated with the Twitters, Facebooks, Instagrams and Pinterests of the digital world, your followers are everywhere. Your best bet is to have a clear and concise goal – say, increase engagement, and then adapt your message to each social media platform to help you achieve this goal. Pay close attention to what the up and coming trends are: Google + is on the decline, video will be playing an important role on Facebook and Twitter in 2015, and there will be an increase in popularity with Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest among the 18-25 demographic. Where will you pay for ads?
Build a Strong Content Strategy
B2B Marketers will increase spend on content marketing by 74%. In order to leverage social media and SEO, you’ll need to work at a company-wide level to achieve remarkable content to push. As expected, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will push hosted video content, as it will keep users on the platform longer. Visuals are increasingly important. Visuals dominated the social media space and the way brands interact with their customers for much of 2014 and this trend will continue to rise exponentially. That being said, it’s imperative for your organization to set aside a budget for professional content creators, photographers and graphic designer that will ensure quality, sharable content.
Mobile Social Media Marketing
Gone are the days of customers surfing the web from their desktops. According to CNN Money, 55% of Internet usage comes from mobile devices! Furthermore, apps accounted for 47% of Internet traffic and can be attributed to the rise of smartphones, tablets and their multifunctional capabilities. More than 80% of brands are using Facebook, 70% are using Twitter and 34% of them are tapping in to the power of Instagram. Reports predict the platform will continue to play a dominant role in 2015.This means that you will have to think of your content in terms of how users will be accessing it. Is your website mobile friendly? Is your content optimized for followers who wish to access it as they quickly travel to work or school?
Email marketing will increase by 61% this year. While you’ll initially pay to get set up and organically develop an email list, email marketing remains one of the few digital messages that will end up in a customer’s inbox regardless of an algorithm. Getting customers to open and click through will rely heavily on the type of content you are sending. Newsletters, for example, will need to be better crafted, as people are increasingly weary of proving their personal email addresses and quick to unsubscribe to fluff content. Newsletters also do better when there is a combination of text and photos, rather than a majority of either. For email marketing, quality over quantity is more effective.
In 2015 we’ll definitely see in increased spend in social media advertising, social media marketing, social media engagement, and mobile. As you review 2014 and map out your social media marketing plan, consider the above tips that will help foster a combination on interactive marketing techniques that will put you a head of the curve instead of trailing behind it.