As social networks grow and mature it has become inevitable that revenue streams such as advertising have become a key aspect of their long-term viability.
It is now predicted that social media ad revenues will to grow to $11 billion dollars by the year 2017 and so social advertising has become a huge topic of interest amongst marketers. In fact, Facebook alone is expected to make close to $1 billion from its mobile ad revenue in 2013, according to the latest estimates.
As Salesforce Marketing Cloud VP Peter Goodman notes, “Social ads reach the audience in which you’ve invested a lot of money and time into nurturing. You can see which audiences are engaging the most, so you can ensure that your ads are being bought correctly and you’re actually growing your fan base based on true data.”
This new infographic from Salesforce looks at the current state of the social ads ecosystem, including why you should consider using social ads.
I’m very proud to announce the launch of the DiG Festival. Its an idea that has been several years in the planning but is now officially underway.
For over two years I have been proposing a festival for Newcastle along the lines of SXSW Interactive in Austin,Texas. We’ve had some really good discussions about it at The Lunaticks Society events and Newcastle Coffee Mornings, as well as a “toe-in-the-water” event last year with Hunter DiGiT.
Now The DiG Festival (Design + Interactive + Green-tech) is becoming a reality and you’re invited to be an important part of it.
DiG will be held in Newcastle in the historic City Hall from 2-5 October 2013.
DiG will feature a series of Keynote Presentations, Panels, Performances and Workshops lead by international, national and local industry leaders. There will be a strong emphasis on innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and ethical business.
DiG has also partnered with local tech accelerator Slingshot to conduct a Start-up Awards program during the event, with one company to receive up to $50,000 investment plus mentoring and professional advice by industry leaders.
We have already attracted several major speakers to anchor the event and ensure that it is seen as a truly national or international event and have many more on the way. Our aim is to create a vibrant social activity and fun with a Welcome Function, Awards Evening and Cocktail Evening as well as sponsor events that extend well beyond the conference venue.
How can you get involved?
A major event like DiG is only as good as the people and organisations involved. We’re looking for:
- Speakers and panel discussions with exciting ideas to present
- Sponsors and Exhibitors looking to reach thought leaders and motivated customers
- Attendees looking for inspiration ideas and great time
- Start-ups to demo their ideas and compete for $50,000 in seed funding
The DiG Festival is designed to help the whole industry, not just in Newcastle, but around Australasia. Its success will require a major team effort. You’re invited to be part of that team. Get involved and lets create an amazing event.
Who’s behind the DiG Festival?
DiG will be run by Steph Hinds from Growthwise, Tracy McKelligott from Eclipse Media and Events and me and my team at Sticky. The event has the support of Newcastle City Council, Hunter DiGiT and Slingshot.
Social influencers are possibly digital marketing’s most underutilised resource.
Let’s face it, we’ve always been influenced by people we admire or know. But online influence takes it to a whole other level. Buyers are listening to what their key online influencers are saying and sellers need to start paying attention.
I’m as guilty of this as anyone. When Tim Ferriss talks about a new product, book or brand I usually check it out and often buy it. Same for Chris Brogan, Chris Guillebeau or Gary Vaynerchuk. These guys know their stuff and I (and many others) tend to trust their opinions.
Technorati’s 2013 Digital Marketing Report revealed that brands spend the least on the outlets consumers trust the most: the word of mouth of their friends and those they follow.
The Word of Mouth Marketing Association defines a social media influencer as a person or group of people who possess greater than average potential to influence due to attributes such as frequency of communication, personal persuasiveness or size of and centrality to a social network, among others.
Yet fewer than half of social media influencers follow brands on Facebook (47%) or Twitter (38%) while well over half of the social media marketing budget goes toward those outlets. Why? Because they are being ignored by brands who would be better off engaging with them.
Here’s the bottom line:
- 74% of consumers rely on social media to influence their purchasing decisions.
- 81% of consumers are influenced by their friends’ posts on social media when making purchasing decisions.
- Facebook and Twitter are the top platforms used by bloggers and the top platforms for generating blog revenue.
- Facebook is the number one platform for mobilizing consumers to be brand advocates.
Marketers must start to invest in influencing the feeds of key influencers and bloggers.
Who do consumers trust when it comes to their purchasing decisions? This great infographic from MBA in Marketing explains all.
Expect a growing wave of complaints and resentment on social networks over the next few years as the likes of Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn increase their efforts to generate revenue through advertising.
You see, since the launch of these hugely popular social networks many of were under the misguided impression that we were the customer. We enjoyed using these amazing free services, connecting with family, friends, colleagues and new people around the world. Its been wonderful and it has revolutionised the way we communicate.
And its free!!! How good is that?
Hold on, didn’t your parents always tell you “nothing in life is free”?
Well, they were right. You pay one way or another for most “free” services. Payment doesn’t always have to be financial. Sometimes we pay in time or attention. That’s how traditional “free” media like TV and radio works. It interrupts our attention and asks for 30 seconds of our time in return for free entertainment.
And so it will be with social networks like Facebook and Twitter. These are big expensive beasts to run. Free memberships don’t pay for staff, servers, large buildings, Segways and funky cafeterias.
Up until recently Venture Capital was funding the growth of these services and the focus was on attracting users who in turn shared their life, loves and information. Eventually these networks had to start delivering a return to the VCs and shareholders and inevitably advertising would be the solution.
The good news is that the services are still free…. BUT you are now the product. All that information you have shared, all those like buttons you have clicked, all those groups you have joined have helped the networks understand more about you so they can attempt to deliver more valuable solutions to their real customers; the advertisers.
Ask most people what they think Facebook is for and they’ll say ‘it’s there to help me make friends’. Guess what? Facebook’s boardroom isn’t talking about how to make you more friends. It’s talking about how to monetise your social graph.” Increasingly that will be via a range of “targeted” products like Graph Search, Suggested Apps, Sponsored Posts and Sidebar Ads.
Facebook has been doing advertising for a while but its only recently that users have really started to complain about it. That’s because initially the ads were focused on the sidebar and we’d grown accustomed to that style of advertising on other sites and Google search results.
But the shift to mobile forced Facebook, and others, to rethink how they serve up advertising. There’s now room for sidebar ads on the mobile site so now the ads are steadily being seeded into your stream or newsfeed. And that’s not kosher according to some users.
Now Twitter is evolving from it’s Promoted Posts product to unveil its newest ad product, which enables “keyword targeting in timelines” allowing brands to serve up ads to users based on the content they’re actually tweeting. (Read more about it here)
The bottom line is you need to get used to it or unsubscribe. These networks need to make money in order to continue providing you with a “free” service. They will push the limits of your loyalty to their service over time, but as long as they aren’t losing more users than they’re gaining they won’t desist.
Whether you like it or not…you are now the product.
Social media has become an invaluable marketing and communications asset for many organisations over the last few years but it also represents yet another task for marketers and business owners to cram into their already busy schedule. And there are now quite a few social networks that can’t be ignored, so it can been seen as quite a burden.
The most common question I receive when recommending a social media plan to clients is “but how much time must I dedicate to it?” The good news is that, with a bit of planning, organisation and automation, you don’t need to become a slave to social networks. In fact, you can manage 6 popular social networks in just half an hour a day.
The team at Pardot have assembled this great guide to demonstrate how you can rock social media in just 30 minutes a day. It covers, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram and also has some excellent automation tips.
Follow this plan, fine-tune it for your business and social networks and then be consistent and you will have gone a long way to really optimising the benefits of social media.
Social media has become ubiquitous and naturally the world’s advertisers and marketers are following the trend and allocating an increasingly larger share of their budgets to the leading social networks.
If the future of advertising is to start participating in the stream that people want to use and around 80% of active internet users are visiting social networks and blogs, then its only natural that the marketing dollars will follow. In fact, in the USA over 75% of brands have already incorporated social advertising into their integrated marketing budget.
So what does the social advertising landscape look like? The team at Uberflip have compiled this infographic to illustrate the increasing adoption of social ads among marketers, the amount of dollars allocated on these channels, and the effectiveness of these paid social media campaigns.
It is hardly breaking news to hear that there has been a massive shift in advertising spending in the last decade. Many traditional media outlets, especially directories, newspapers and magazines were affected early by the rise of online. Others, such as free-to-air TV, subscription TV and radio have seen more gradual erosion of their bases, but erosion nonetheless.
The problem for most traditional media is that the shift is far from over. In fact, its still only early days and the social networks are just getting warmed up in the advertising market.
The following chart is compiled by Borrell Associates and displays the ongoing migration to online advertising in the USA at the expense of many traditional media. There are some sizable falls in ad spend for some media here…and that’s just from last year to this year.
The initial growth of online advertising was in the areas of display (basically replicating magazine and press advertising) and the early online classifieds.
The launch of Google’s Adwords service saw search engines become major players in the advertising market. And they were different, a lot different. Suddenly advertising could be more contextual, more relevant, more cost-effective and much more measurable. And they were self-serve. Anyone could suddenly build and launch their own online advertising campaign in minutes. As a result, Google now owns 44% of the global online adverting market.
But now the social networks are ready to stake their claims.
Last year Facebook had 3.1% of the global online advertising market, despite never having been in a hurry to build their advertising business. Now they’re starting to take it seriously. Anyone who has used the Facebook Ads Manager tool will know it is very easy and intuitive compared to Google Adwords. Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature is even easier and can deliver great micro campaigns in the click of a button. Their new Graph Search feature is a clear signal that Facebook is about to step up even more in the advertising market.
Then there is Linkedin, quietly bubbling along with another easy-to-use advertising product aimed squarely at the employment market. Last year advertising on Linkedin accounted for 25% of their revenue, and that’s before they opened their API to marketers at the end of 2012. That will grow substantially in the next few years.
Now Twitter is muscling in on the action. The new Twitter Advertising API is a way for companies to automate more of their ad spending. The initial list of advertising partners isn’t very long, but is expected to grow quickly. The API, combined with Twitter’s self-serve ad platform, will allow advertisers to promote tweets based on what is trending and where the activity is.
In effect Twitter is heading in a very similar direction to Facebook. Google+ is presumably not far behind.
For social networks, in which the content generated by users is almost indistinguishable from the advertising offering tools that let advertisers automate their spending based on hard data will be far more lucrative than another generic banner ad.
The rapid rise of mobile usage is also another reason the social networks will grab even greater slices of the advertising pie. Their “integrated” advertising solutions are well suited to mobile display, whereas the display advertising of other media are not.
The shift away from traditional to online advertising will only continue to grow in the next few years as the social networks refine their offerings and mobile becomes our main screen.
The future of advertising27Feb13
The future of advertising is to stop trying to advertise to people, and instead start participating in the stream that people want to use. People will follow your brands if you contribute to whatever it is the people are up to.
This is a modified version of a statement Stowe Boyd made recently in a post. He was talking about the future of advertising on mobile but I feel it applies everywhere now.
In fact it nails it.
Stop advertising. Start participating and contributing.
One of the biggest fears we hear daily from organisations expanding their online presence is how do they protect their online reputation? Its a valid question.
Here are some great tips from the team at Trackur in the form of a very nice infographic. To summarise:
- Identify your reputations – monitor names brand names, company names, product names and variations.
- Quantify your audience – who has a stake in your online reputation?
- Understand your goals – how are you going to measure the whether your reputation is improving?
- Specify your needs – what tools do you require and what sources do you need to monitor?
- How will you monitor? – what processes are in place to be alerted and respond to issues?
- Who will monitor the conversations? – who are you entrusting with managing and responding to online reputation issues?