The advertising world is as crowded as ever. “The average person scrolls through 300 feet, or one Statue of Liberty, of mobile content every day” (Andrew Keller, Global Creative Director, Facebook)
Competition is increasing and users’ attention spans are decreasing (8 seconds). It’s becoming harder for brands to engage online. There is so much clutter. So many channels and platforms to choose from. And social media has grown so much that your fans need applications just to “digest” the content from the people they follow. You can imagine how difficult it is to get their interest as an outsider. Brands are not just competing with each other, but the whole digital world. We have hit a new form of marketing saturation.
With all of this in mind, where should you invest your digital advertising dollars?
What Is Your Core Business?
Brands spend on average between $200 to $350/per day ($4,000-$7,000/per month) on social media paid advertising. Every brand has a specific audience to impress and your social media budget would depend on the platforms your audience lives on.
If you are not sure which channel to invest in, ask us for advice or opt for diversification across all networks. Once you accumulate analytics for 2-3 months, you will be able to narrow down what is effective for your particular story and whatnot.
Networks like Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Medium, Snapchat, and even Reddit, each offer unique ways to target your audience and can be a wonderful way to build a following for a fraction of the cost of Facebook and Google. Let’s examine below what a diversified social media budget could look like for a consumer goods brand:
Facebook Ads – (15% of annual budget)
Understanding how to leverage Facebook Ads has become the base of almost every social media strategy. To ensure your posts are seen by your audience, it’s almost mandatory to pay for reach with Facebook Ads. That said, at eDesign, we believe in the power of inspiration and creative ideas. Depending on your overall marketing budget for the year, you can invest in Facebook ads, or you can try to boost your content organically. Being successful here is all about beautiful visuals and knowing your audience. This is why we typically allocate to Facebook 15% of a paid annual budget.
Pinterest – (10% of annual budget)
Promoted pins are over 75% of all the pins saved to pinboards according to Pinterest. This is an impressive return on investment. Promoted pins work better than organic pins. With promoted pins, like in any advertising campaign, the main element is a correct audience targeting (ex: visitors to your site, a client list you have uploaded, users who have previously engaged with one of your pins). Ask us for advice or test the waters by allocating 10% of your annual budget.
Influencer Promotions - (20% of annual budget)
Traditional advertising is not working as good to promote branded content. There is an alternative way to connect with new audiences and improve overall fan engagement: influencer marketing. On Snapchat, Instagram or YouTube, influencer marketing is becoming the new mainstream advertising with 94% of marketers finding this strategy to be effective. Finding the right influencer (not a top celebrity) is not only a cheaper, but can bring a high ROI for brands since 82% of consumers follow recommendations made by a micro-influencer.
If you're looking to partner with influencers, there are platforms like Klear, Delmondo, or Speakr Out that can help you connect with the right network personality. Alternatively, you can create your own influencers. Ask us for advice, our team can guide you through the process.
Instagram - (10% of annual budget)
According to AdWeek’s report, Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform when it comes to advertising dollars. The number of advertisers using Instagram has doubled in less than a year - this is massive growth. The highly visual platform is well suited for most B2C brands. Influencers can easily feature a product in a fun way and provide the backing and authenticity consumers crave for. Building meaningful relationships with popular Instagram accounts will be key in 2018.
There is something else very exciting about spending money with Instagram: “Instagram Stories” now allow brands to link a URL, creating a “see more” option below the post. Even though your post vanishes in 24 hours from the feed, it has the potential to reach over 250 million people who check their Instagram Stories daily.
AR/VR Engagement - (10% of annual budget)
Since Apple announced the launch of iPhone 8 and X (with augmented reality functions), the social media world is looking to integrate AR as part of users' daily lives. Snapchat is already on it with a three-dimensional Bitmoji avatar. With Bitmoji users can project a 3D cartoon of yourself into the real world. While Facebook is working on “Spaces” designed to allow friends to connect in VR.
Brands like Ikea, Lowe’s, and Pottery Barn have their own AR apps. Powered by iOS 11, Ikea’s Places is expected to reach lots of users, allowing them to place VR furniture in their homes before buying it. Imagine the potential of projecting your products into the homes of social media users? Very exciting stuff coming up this year!
Video Madness - (30% of annual budget)
Have you advertised with YouTube pre-roll ads? If not, this may be the year you should look into it. Besides paid advertising on YouTube, does your company have its own channel and video content? If your answer is “no”, you’re doing yourself a disservice! As Kat Hahn, Facebook's Creative Strategist quoted 'not doing short videos is not an option'.
Video is the biggest advertising market online right now and will only continue to grow. Video and live video streaming are a strategy you should integrate into your plans. We have seen Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter all investing in video to help generate engagement and build followers.
Use vlogging, Facebook Live, and Instagram Live to create exciting content. Your audience is looking for that casual and authentic storytelling that vlogging offers. Finding the right vloggers and influencers on YouTube has proven to be a great marketing strategy.
Bloggers and Medium Writers - (5% of annual budget)
Even though video is king, people will still read a good story, in particular content featured on Medium. If your brand is not familiar with Medium or does not have an account, now is the time to sign up (for free).
Called the "YouTube for writers", Medium is a fast-growing social media network. Here you can get in touch with popular writers and evaluate a potential partnership.
How do you compete with the wave of entertainment online? How do you make your message stand out? Call us for advice or say firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would love to boost your digital strategy to new levels of engagement. Let’s make 2018 about exploring outside your brand’s comfort zone. Comfort has never produced greatness.