The 2012 Digital and Social Media Survey, which was conducted by the Association of National Advertisers, suggests companies are being more aggressive in their use of different new media marketing channels. Also, as many have been actively using social, search and other new media for some time now, they have entered more advanced levels of their adoption, including improved measurement.
Seventy percent of marketers said they are employing different new media channels, but 62 percent reported they are struggling to measure the effectiveness of these efforts. Typical barriers to understanding the true value of different new media include lack of internal buy-in and alignment. Fifty-two percent of respondents said key members of their organizations have misunderstood the ways these channels contribute to their companies. Many of the problems these brands face are due to their inability to use analytics software that is needed to assess a campaign’s contribution to the business. With just 52 percent of companies actively measuring ROI, it’s difficult for many to find real benefits.
Social media marketing is one of the channels most have integrated into their mix, with 90 percent of respondents saying social is part of their strategies. In terms of each major social platform’s popularity, 96 percent maintain a Facebook presence, 89 percent use Twitter, 49 percent are on LinkedIn and 33 percent have implemented Pinterest.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said key members of their organizations have misunderstood the ways these channels contribute to their companies.
Developing presences across several different social networks helps organizations target different prospects. Additionally, sharing content on these platforms helps drive relevant traffic to a website, which is among the chief goals of social marketing. For organizations struggling to demonstrate the value of their social strategies, analytics tools that measure the traffic these sites contribute and the role they play in conversions can help prove their value.
Other popular new media channels companies are using include a dynamic website (95 percent) and email marketing (91 percent). Like social, finding the benefits of these efforts requires a focus on tracking prospects’ movements through conversion funnels. While an email recipient or website visitor may not convert the first time they land on the page, guiding them through the process with content across a number of channels means each kind of content should be considered a part of that sale.
Additionally, implementing an analytics tool that makes it clear how valuable each channel is will only grow more important. Eliminating a channel, such as social, email, content marketing or any other part of a campaign, before learning to measure it properly could undo progress a company has made without realizing it.
For organizations struggling to demonstrate the value of their social strategies, analytics tools that measure the traffic these sites contribute and the role they play in conversions can help prove their value.
“Marketers are rapidly learning what works best for their brands, and they look to remain nimble and move to adopt new opportunities,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, said in a release. “Platforms offering the most tangible ROI will be favored by marketers moving forward.”
In terms of delivered traffic, Facebook was recently found to be one of the best social networks for attracting qualified website visitors. Brafton highlighted a report from Exact Target that found 66 percent of consumers have made a purchase after being influenced by a brand’s Facebook content. According to the ANA, conversions and time on site have become the most influential stats for most. Additionally, explicit social metrics, such as Likes and Retweets, are becoming less influential to marketers and companies’ decision-makers. The traffic these platforms drive back to websites is likely contributing to increased time on site and more web conversions, so tracking social traffic and moving away from judging campaigns based solely on engagement could help marketers make more informed decisions.