Friday, March 06, 2015

Digital Marketing Guidance for 2015

Christian Lowe Blog Entry - 03/06/2105 Prior to Facebook's IPO there were significant concerns amongst the banking analysts about Facebook's ability to make the leap to mobile. At the time, there was some justification regarding being concerned about Facebook's ability to compete for the digital marketing dollars being poured into the mobile advertising. That said, Facebook has overcome its initial position of weakness in the mobile marketing field and is now a dominant force; a player who offers significant benefits to marketers in this environment. When a marketing team is evaluating its most cost-effective options to generate the most significant sales lift, brand recognition, etc. (i.e. generates the highest ROI), platforms like Facebook are relatively much more affordable than PPC advertising is. Furthermore, Facebook is fairly user-friendly to advertising seeking to target narrow population segments for their marketing campaigns. With around 1.4 Bn active users worldwide, who spend a considerable amount of their time actively using Facebook (i.e. could be browsing through Facebook while watching live TV advertisers and thus missing the TV ads and/or any product placements). Therefore, marketers have the opportunity to actively engage consumers through vehicles like Facebook, target the particular segment of consumers they desire and direct them seamlessly to their website to potentially make a purchase almost in real-time. Thus, TV ad spend is much more inefficient compared to marketing through Facebook, which is even potentially far more cost-effective than buying ad space through Google. Below is an excerpt from an article details more guidance for digital marketing in 2015: 1. It's affordable: Advertising on platforms such as Facebook is a bargain. Compared to pay-per-click marketing, you're paying relatively low costs for massive reach. But it won't always be that way. As more companies figure out how to make Facebook and other social media advertising work for them, the costs will rise. For example, when I started investing in online marketing in 1999, PPC rates were 1 cent per click. Now, they're $1 per click, which can put a huge dent in your marketing budget. There's likely a two- to three-year window on Facebook's ad affordability and effectiveness. Right now, you have the ability to reach millions of consumers, but they may soon find ways to avoid ads altogether. Go after online opportunities that are cost-effective and achievable and have the potential for major ROI right now. 2. There are low barriers to entry: If you learn something while it's new, it's usually fairly inexpensive to execute. If you sleep on the opportunity, however, you'll find yourself playing catch-up with more aggressive competitors. Early adopters will have already optimized their conversions, which allows them to spend more time creating barriers for their competitors. Books on digital strategies and professional development conferences on social media are great (and you should definitely invest in them), but there's nothing stopping you from jumping into creating social media ad campaigns and iterating from there. You may waste some money as you learn through live wiring, but that's the price of knowledge. And keep in mind that the price of waiting is much steeper. Two-Pronged Marketing in 2015 With an increased digital marketing budget, it's crucial that you allocate it smartly so you can reap the full benefits. You'll need to consider both your customers and your competitors when developing your online strategy. You need to know the best way to deliver content to consumers, along with how to edge out your competition. My company is betting on video this year because there's been a progression in the online space from text to images. Our customers don't want to read 1,500-word articles; they want content that's easy to consume. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a good video is worth millions. You need to look at the complete picture when it comes to digital marketing. Don't allocate a flat rate for marketing and let all costs fall under that. Instead, know exactly where to spend, whether that's PPC, social media, or a PR company. Invest in social media advertising first because there's more opportunity there, and carve out 20 percent of your budget for staff development. Your 2015 marketing plan should emphasize digital media and staying ahead of the curve. Knowing about new technology and opportunities will give you a competitive edge and help you meet consumers where they are. Smart strategies mean big ROI, and that means a happy 2015.

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