Social Media & Your Small Business: The Cost-Effective Marketing Solution
Social media promotion will become one of the pillars of content marketing in 2015, predicts Jayson DeMers, who has been tracking digital marketing trends in Forbes for the past three years. DeMers sees this as a natural development of the current emphasis on content-oriented strategy, as marketers shift their focus from content creation to distribution. The significance of DeMers’ prediction is underscored by eMarketer’s projection that content spending on native advertising will increase 34 percent to $4.3 billion in 2015. Companies are willing to spend more on content marketing and social media promotion because the combination of these strategies represents one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your business, provided you follow a sound approach.
The cost-effectiveness of social media marketing stems from the growing power of analytics tools, which today enable much more targeted demographic outreach than was previously possible. For example, analytics provider Networked Insights brought technology to bear on holiday shopping this year by analyzing social trends related to top toy retailers to predict which toys would be hottest this season.
Today’s tools are powerful enough that even smaller companies can enjoy an analytics advantage. For companies on a budget, Brandwatch identifies the best free and low-cost analytics tools, including Sprout Social, Google Analytics and Cyfe.
Due to social media’s ability to target precise audiences, advertising on platforms such as Facebook and YouTube has grown in significance. Target’s vice president of PR and social media Dustee Jenkins recently told Business Insider that she would be hard-pressed to choose whether Facebook or television is more vital to the company’s advertising efforts.
Target has a billion-dollar budget to put toward its marketing efforts; you, most likely, do not. Visit Facebook for Business, a section on the main site that features small business advertising success stories. Also check out The Next Web’s guide to advertising on Facebook without breaking your budget. Some keys include defining your ad’s objective, deciding where to place your ad, targeting the right demographic and setting your budget.
Solopreneurs might try allocating a percentage of their monthly profits to social media advertising or supplementing their advertising budget with financing from additional sources. For those receiving periodic payments from a structured settlement or annuity, J.G. Wentworth may be able to buy all or some of your future payments for a lump sum of cash. Visit Small Business Trends for additional sources of funding.
Another reason social media promotion is so cost-efficient is because of its increasing integration with other marketing channels such as mobile phones, television and even brick-and-mortar selling. Ninety-one percent of adult Americans owns a cell phone, according to Pew Research, and more than two-thirds of those own a smartphone, reports Nielsen. Social media represents one of the most efficient ways to reach this audience. A third of Facebook’s 1.32 billion users, or about 399 million people, only log in with their phones. Sixty-nine percent of American smartphone and tablet owners watch short video clips on their mobile device at least once a week, according to AdWeek, and 28 percent of American mobile owners watch full-length TV shows on their devices at least once a week.
Social media gives enterprises of all sizes and budgets an opportunity to reach these huge audiences at a significantly lower cost than TV advertising.