26 Jul Major Findings of the 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report
The team over at Social Media Examiner has done us all a service by creating a 2016 industry report. Let’s investigate some of their findings!
Video has become essential: A significant 60% of marketers use video in their marketing and 73% plan on increasing their use of video.
What does this mean? Textual, image and audio content are on the downswing, so it might be time for you and/or your team to invest in filming equipment or a good photographer.
Don’t have the budget? Go to your local university and hire a college kid! If you ask around, there are probably some good photographic artists who definitely need some cash. A fair wage is $1-3 for a single raw picture and a few dollars more for editing. If you do decide to go this route, getting two people is usually better than one. Competition does breed greatness.
Live video is hot: A significant 50% of marketers plan on using live video services such as Facebook Live and Periscope, and 50% want to learn more about live video.
What does this mean? You are going to have to be camera-ready at all times, and recognize that every single moment is another chance for content. This is not to say that content creators should be filming grass grow, but taking advantage of a significant event live in real time.
Don’t have the budget? Just because there is infinite opportunity doesn’t mean that there has to be constant production. You can usually find live content to share when you are traveling during the day.
Facebook and YouTube hold the top spots for future plans: At least 63% of marketers plan on increasing their use of these social networks.
What does this mean? If you are NOT on these sites, you might want to consider them!
Don’t have the budget? Facebook and YouTube are free to use, but timely to make a difference. There is no secret formula to finding success on these platforms, but (shameless self promotion incoming) you can always hire us if you are in need of account growth.
Snapchat is on a growth trajectory: Only 5% of marketers are using Snapchat, yet 16% plan on increasing their Snapchat activities and 28% of marketers want to learn more about Snapchat.
What does this mean? If you have any sort of interest in capturing a young, mostly untapped market, you better do it soon! As marketers are noticing the power and growth of Snapchat, it is only a matter of time before the platform becomes saturated. Get in and get comfortable now, if you have the means.
Don’t have the budget? Parallel to my comments about live content, a lot of people pass up tons of great, usable content. When you are walking from your car to the office (and vice versa), take a picture! When you are at a restaurant for lunch, take a video! Use your time wisely, and you can discover that content generation doesn’t have to be a struggle.
Facebook is the most important social network for marketers by a long shot! When asked to select their most important platform, 55% of marketers chose Facebook, followed by LinkedIn at 18%. Plus, 67% of marketers plan on increasing their Facebook marketing activities.
What does this mean? It could mean a few things. One approach could be to look at market saturation. Do you want to compete with so many other marketers? Does the preference of brands to be on Facebook diminish the returns you are going to see? Would it make sense to try and be a big fish in a small pond on a smaller platform? There is no end-all be-all answer, it is up to you. I challenge you to master a single platform first, regardless of which one, before you try to dominate others. The reason, in my humble opinion, is that a lot of these platforms are similar in user prowess, meaning if you understand one, you can pretty easily figure out the others.
Don’t have the budget? Find the platform where your budget fits you! How? Much to the chagrin of short-term thinkers, extensive trial and error coupled with market research over a long period of time is the best way to save money. Interestingly enough, the better your ads perform, the cheaper they are. Why? Facebook wants users to be engaged on their platform. When you have a lot of buzz around your posts and ads, you are making people more interested in something on Facebook. Therefore, the more attention you attract yourself, the more Facebook will prioritize you in their internal search engine (the rich get richer).
Many marketers are unsure about their Facebook marketing: A significant 40% of marketers don’t know if Facebook traffic has declined in the last 12 months and 35% aren’t sure if their Facebook marketing is effective.
What does this mean? Facebook has over 1 billion daily active users. Facebook traffic is not going anywhere soon, so it is up to you to figure out how to utilize this resource most effectively.
Don’t have the budget? Again, Facebook is free! The price is paid in time, so if you are a DIY kind of entrepreneur, develop a system to minimize your time spent on Facebook. For example, if you take 1 hour every Sunday morning to plan out your posts for the week using Facebook’s internal publishing tool, you don’t have to worry about finding, editing or publishing content during the week! Instead, you can spend time engaging with your community, generating business and making more sales.
Facebook ads dominate: A surprising 86% of social marketers regularly use Facebook ads, while only 18% use Twitter ads.
What does this mean? Facebook ads are getting saturated! You need to make a decision: are my current ads making me money or do I need to make a change? I would suggest making sure every single ad is optimized by checking Facebook’s native insights and adjusting your ads EVERY SINGLE DAY until you have achieved the ROI that you are looking for.
Don’t have the budget? If you aren’t good at optimizing your ads or don’t have the time/resources, there are two short-term solutions that I can offer you. First, you can try to save money by advertising inside Facebook groups. A lot of groups are highly engaged and can get you the visibility you need to make some sales. Just make sure to tread lightly. I personally manage a Facebook group, and my first rule is “No Solicitation of Any Kind,” so you might want to establish a relationship with the group before pushing product on them. A second option could be to reach out to thought leaders in your industry for a shoutout. Obviously your direct competition won’t do this, but a non-competitor in a similar market might be interested in giving you 5 minutes of fame if you return the favor. Be creative, be respectful, and ask! The worst they can say is no.
Tactics and engagement are top areas marketers want to master: At least 90% of marketers want to know the most effective social tactics and the best ways to engage their audience with social media.
What does this mean? If you can master effective social & audience engagement tactics, you are a very valuable marketer.
Don’t have the budget? If you peruse the free content on the web and acquire information strategically, your learning journey doesn’t have to cost a penny.
Author: Ben Gothard, @BenPGothard
Published by: Gothard Enterprises LLC, @GothardELLC
Date Published: July 26, 2016