In 2015 social media marketing is very big business. Big business and SMEs alike now understand the potential exposure good content published across a number of social media platforms can generate.
Facebook now has over 13.6 million Australian users, YouTube has another 13 million Australian viewers and Instagram has 4 million. Twitter has about 2.8 million active users and the figures across the board are rising. It’s been established that the audience is there, the potential for getting advertising messages seen and brands better known and established is huge. This has all been proven—millions of Australians are using social media and the figures back it up.
But the BIG question is: are you getting value for money?
Content marketing and social media marketing goes hand-in-hand. Marketing budgets for social grew substantially in 2014 and for all intents and purposes it’s set to skyrocket again. The B2B 2014 Content Marketing Benchmarks report noted that 58% of content marketers were planning to increase their budgets throughout 2015. Of this number, the report showed that 10% were planning to increase budgets significantly—reflecting the growing effectiveness of carefully considered and expertly crafted content.
Budgets are increasing, not only because the effectiveness of social media marketing content has been proven, but because the best ways to get content seen is to pay for it to be prioritised.
Let’s explain the concept further.
It’s no longer good enough to produce engaging content and publish it on your website and across one or two social media channels. While creating unique, informative, relevant and entertaining content is indeed fundamental to success, in order to boost and enhance the reach of your content, paid sponsorship or influencer partnerships will deliver the best results.
There are two types of content—one type is payed for and the other won’t cost you a thing. Let’s have a closer look.
Organic content: this is the Facebook post or LinkedIn update that pops up in the feeds of your followers, friends and anyone else who will have a direct connection or inherent link to the subject of your content. Organic content doesn’t cost anything as you’re publishing it on an owned media channel but at the same time, unless you have a large established audience, your content will have limited impressions and generate little engagement.
Sponsored content: this type includes sponsored posts, boosted posts, etc. Sponsored content must be paid for and works just like an advertising campaign. The social media channel you choose to promote your content will ask you to define your target audience and from there will prioritise your content so that it appears more often and in more users’ update feeds.
You can sponsor tweets with Twitter, boost posts with Facebook or sponsor updates with LinkedIn. In 2015, social media marketers are finding that the most effective way of driving content engagement is to sponsor that content.
Sponsored vs. organic social media—which one works best?
While there’s a growing trend towards paid promotion in social media marketing circles, that’s not to say that there isn’t a place for the organic approach. Organic marketing costs you nothing outside of content generation—once you’ve got that hot piece of engaging content, you can do anything you like with it. What is important to keep in mind is that paid or ‘sponsored’ content requires a different approach.
While your sponsored content will generate a lot more impressions, it’s your click-through rate, your interactions you’ll want to be noting. Sales language is a big no-no in 2015—consumers are far more unlikely to engage with content that uses ‘sales speak’ like 70% OFF or FREE trial for 1 MONTH. The cornerstone of content marketing is to offer relevant, informative and engaging information. Sure, include ads for deals and offers on your website but that content should always be promising and delivering the consumer a small payoff for clicking-through.
Remember that not every update or post will be appropriate for sponsorship and may be better off as an organic post. An in-depth social media strategy that sponsors the right post for generating positive traction is key.
Is it possible to break through the clutter without paying?
Once in a while you’ll come across videos on YouTube that have gone viral or Facebook posts showcasing the ‘it’ meme. These posts go viral, often organically, because they’ve reached online influencers who have endorsed the content by sharing it with their audience, engaging with it by commenting, or by blogging a response to it in some way.
Identifying your industry’s influencers and building a relationship is a great way to build organic exposure. On the other hand, simply publishing organic post after post and hoping to generate an audience just doesn’t cut it anymore. Social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube rely heavily on the revenue they generate from sponsored content. As such, organic content is now finding it harder to rise above the noise as paid content is fighting it out for dominance. As stated above, a mix of paid and organic content is the best approach. You will always get impressions for your content from your established audiences, yet sponsored content is the best way to expand the reach of your message.
Finally, an integrated approach will get you value for money.
In research provided by Wyzowl earlier this year, 70% of marketers said social media is the most effective marketing tool. It’s surprising then that 80% said that they failed to publish content across multiple social media platforms.
Good, engaging content takes a lot of research and consideration. In short, it costs money to produce. It’s essential that all content developed is published across as many platforms as possible, enhancing reach and impressions upon consumers. This year will see content marketers publishing messages across many more platforms, including a variety of social media channels, influencer blogs and websites.
Remember, effective social media marketing is about sparking conversations about a brand. It’s all about engagement—increasing consumer interaction. In 2015 the name of the game is more content, better stimuli and greater reach. It’s about making the greatest impact at the smallest price.
Lost for words?
The marketing professionals at Infodec Communications are experts in social media marketing strategy. We’re an innovative group of communications experts, results-driven and determined to deliver high-quality social content, tailor-made to your brand.
Contact us today to discover what an affordable social media marketing plan can do to promote your business. In 2015 it’s no longer good enough to rely on a website or organic posts alone—a highly proactive and integrated social media marketing plan is the key.