Growth in social media ad spend is expected to rocket 40% (+£1.3bn) over the next two years and, by 2020, will surpass traditional TV advertising.
So when 60% of marketers see ‘measuring ROI’ as one of their top three social media marketing challenges and 50% believe ‘tying social media activities to business outcomes’ is critical why are so many marketers simply not paying this enough attention ?
Lack of accountability
The simple answer is that like all media milestones before it, the rush to join the herd has meant that accountability is lagging implementation due to both the sheer pace of change but also the lack of sophistication of the agency model that delivers it. Indeed it is ironic that the most accountable of mediums has the least sophistication associated with measurement, as Econsultancy recently reported: 80% of marketers use engagement as their primary success metric whilst 56% focus on site traffic.
We believe it is time for a change
We all know that social is the place where brands can genuinely reach their audiences at the right time with the right message and what’s more they can elicit a trackable response that can lead to accountable outcomes. Our recent work with our clients has led to creating over 18,000 actionable leads for a car brand in the first five months of this year, and over 130k web leads for a FS Client over a three month period.
‘End to end’ approach
The key to making social media spend count and achieve a transparent and accountable result is an ‘end to end’ approach that controls content throughout the process connecting strategy, ideas, execution and distribution seamlessly holding social media activity accountable and delivering far improved results. The key to this for us was forming a dedicated social team that not only plan the content and consider how, when and where to connect with consumers in social channels but also hiring media buyers that can plan and place the distribution of content across social channels and manage it in an agile manner maximising results.
Social Media and the Funnel
Social media can now achieve the scale of broad reach media such as TV and be as quantifiable as CRM, it has also evolved to enable us to reach the holy grail that has eluded mainstream channels - sales attribution. Social has come of age as the only channel that can track an audience from broad reach awareness to sale seamlessly.
This funnel thinking and re-targeting is nothing new however it is surprising how many brands are not thinking strategically and holistically about the whole purchase journey and the role different content plays in driving an audience from awareness, to familiarity, to purchase and onto advocacy.
So how do you find out more to unlock these missing millions ?
We have developed a Social Media Accountability Funnel which provides a simple framework for planning and executing activity effectively in order to maximise business impact. The inner workings are complex however the principles are simple, in short accountability for every pound spent. This approach passes audiences through the funnel in an efficient way in order to drive the most cost effective leads. It means a brand is able to measure and optimise (targeting, messaging, timing) at each stage focussing on the most relevant metrics for that specific stage.
It even means you can overlay digital display and search activity to identify how the combination of different messages at different times through different online channels can push people through the funnel and understand the pace of that journey and ‘last touch’ leading them to purchase.
The impact is significant with full accountability for every pound spent and evidence that social media can go toe to toe with every other channel in terms of reach and conversion. The proof is in the pudding.
Anyone interested in optimising your social ad spend should download our exclusive paper showing how the funnel works and outlining how it could drive success for your business.
Andrew Roberts is managing partner at Gravity Thinking