Good news! B2B marketing budgets and Social Media budgets are on the up and up!
Are these two important facts related or not? What does this information really tell us?
Does this mean that the recession may be coming to an end, at least for some countries? Companies anywhere in the world tend not to increase marketing expenditure unless customers are likely to spend more, right? Or perhaps this just means that people are finally realizing that Social Media, used properly, can show a better ROI than some traditional marketing. Maybe the overall marketing spend is going up and a good percentage of that will be on Social Media?
There is no doubt that traditional marketing is still very much alive, however, as I recently mentioned, Social Media direct marketing via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook etc. can prove significantly cheaper and at least as effective as some traditional direct marketing. The Social Media cost is just a question of time and resources: no stamps, no printing, no envelopes, no flyers, no letters, no trips to the post office. This all amounts to some big savings and you don’t need to be a technical wizard to send Tweets or add Facebook comments, right? But that’s just with some direct mail campaigns and sometimes as we know, traditional direct mail can still be very effective.
To me, as a marketing professional with a lot of traditional marketing experience and a strong belief that Social Media is definitely the way of the future, this is all good news! The fact that the recession may be grinding to a halt is icing on the cake!
The news may be good for Social Media marketers, but where do company’s who are completely new to Social Media begin? The Social Media landscape is vast and new opportunities are presenting themselves on a daily basis and for someone totally new to Web 2.0 it must be completely mind boggling! As a Social Media ‘newbie’ do you start with Facebook and it’s 500,000,000 + members or is the answer LinkedIn and its 100,000,000 professional members? What about Twitter with its 150,000,000 + users or StumbleUpon with its 1,000,000,000 ‘stumbles’ per month? The huge numbers alone should convince people that something special is going on with digital marketing and that although they’ve far from missed the Social Media boat, it is definitely time to get on board.
As a Social Media consultant I have experienced varying degrees of success with all the above, but as a Social Media novice where do you actually begin? Once again, I must stress that Social Media marketing is NOT a one size fits all, it is not a quick fix or a ‘get rich quick’ concept and if your company’s services or products are not of a high standard, it will not help you! In fact, if your products or services are NOT good, Social Media could have an adverse effect on your company. Good news and bad, travels pretty fast on the Social Media highway!
Frankly, if I had a company, with a traditional ‘static’ website and no Social Media connectivity whatsoever, I would probably join the 500,000,000 Bloggers out there and begin with a Blog and there are more than a few good reasons why!
But first, let’s look at what people are saying about the increase in Social Media and marketing spending!
Danielle Leitch from Social Media today recently announced:
“If you are one of those people who (mistakenly) thinks Social Media is just a fad that will soon start to lose its luster, you are in for a (BIG) surprise. Social Media continues to play an integral role in our everyday lives, both from a personal and professional standpoint.”
“According to a recent poll from Effie Worldwide and Mashable, 70% of marketers plan to increase their social media budget by more than 10% in 2011. So what does that mean for businesses? In my opinion, you better get on the fast track if you haven’t already factored social media into your marketing budget this year.”
As predicted by Construction Marketing UK at the end of 2010, recent reports make it clear that 2011 is looking to be a pivotal year for Social Media marketing investment.
Apparently, overall marketing growth is being led by Technology service companies and their expected increase in marketing spend is likely to be in excess of 15%. Forrester reports that small companies are more likely to increase their marketing spend than their larger competitors. The marketing-to-revenue ratio at small companies (those with between 100 and 499 employees) is expected to be 4.6% this year, compared with a marketing-to-revenue ratio of 2.8% at companies with between 1,000 and 4,999 employees, Forrester found.
Full story from BtoB online at http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110404/STRATEGY01/304049997#
So there we are, marketing spend up and Social Media spend up, this must be a positive sign that both Social Media connectivity is on the increase and the prospect of the recession’s end are looming. To me, that’s all good!
The BtoB report also said: “The report found that the greatest increases will be in website content and development (with 69.0% of marketers planning increases); followed by social networks (60.0%); marketing support and sales tools (56.0%); advertising (47.0%); and direct marketing (42.0%).”
To me, this can only point to Blogging and Blogs because I feel that Blogs are continuing to take over where websites left off. 1990′s style websites lack traffic simply because they are NOT generally connected adequately to Social Media and don’t have fresh content. Social Media has created new rules of engagement with customers, they are demanding current news and up to date information, not just the same old same old!
Blogging, to me, is probably 60-70% writing Blog posts and the rest is connecting to other people in the Blogosphere via various Social Media platforms. I have mentioned this before, but for new visitors to this site (and GETCLICKY tells me there’s quite a few) you must remember to share what you produce. As I always say, ‘Communication adds value’ and ‘Blog posts without an audience are just pictures and words.’
Write your post, produce quality content, (because people expect it) create a good heading to attract people and get it out there via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, BizSugar, Blokube, Posterous, Digg and all the other best Social Media places for content. Be original, be daring. Put your original photographs and pictures on Twitpic and Flickr, make a short video with your best photographs and put it on YouTube and connect, connect, connect!
Engage with people and discuss posts on other people’s sites: don’t just say ‘great post!’ That’s not enough, explain why it’s great to you, engage with people and if you don’t agree, don’t agree! Not everyone agrees with everything in the real world, do they?
My Twitter followers have doubled recently, thanks to a ‘little help’ from my good friend Cherry Rahtu from Singapore’s Cherry Solution and I am finding that by using Buffer on a daily basis, I am getting lots of traffic to my various Blog posts, this is a very good result! Sometimes it’s hard work saying thanks to everyone, but it is a crucial part of Social Media engagement and if it wasn’t for PostRank I wouldn’t even know who did half the Re Tweets and if it wasn’t for Follow Friday Helper, it would take me hours to show my gratitude instead of minutes! Deciding who to #FF alone would take ages and doing #FF may seem pointless to some people, but it does help with your Klout score and your PeerIndex Social Capital.
CONCLUSION: Social Media and marketing spend are on the rise and it could be a very good sign for us all! If you are new to Social Media and Social Media marketing, do NOT just jump on the bandwagon. Random acts of marketing will not work with Social Media! Sit with a professional and look at your company and see what best suits your needs, everyone is different.
Even the best Social Media consultant in the world will need your assistance if you decide to take the Social Media route to success.
If you have a decent website it may be useful to your consultant, but do be prepared to make a little effort, you will be expected to provide your Social Media advisor with information, perhaps a company history or biography, maybe your CV will be needed for your LinkedIn profile and some great photographs for Blog and video content. Your Social Media guide can only work with what you provide for them or what you tell them, do NOT tie their hands professionally, help him or her to do a great job for you! Work as team with your Social Media consultant and you will see excellent results!
For FREE information about Blogging, Social Media and any aspect of Social Media marketing, call Peter on 01473 435308 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you find this information interesting, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, or whichever Social Media platform you prefer. Please use the Wibiya toolbar or the sharebar to vote on BizSugar, Serpd, StumbleUpon and Blokube. Social Media is all about sharing quality information, so spread the good news!
If you want to get started with a Social Media marketing campaign, or you really need a Blog and you need one NOW!! Call Peter on 01473 435308 or email email@example.com and we’ll explain just how cost effective a Blog can be or we’ll tell you about our Social Media starter system, which is very cost effective!
- Study: 93% of B2B Marketers Use Social Media Marketing (socialmediab2b.com)
- 5 Reports on B2B Social Media Marketing & New Media Trends (toprankblog.com)
- Social Media satire & how Social Media is changing our world! (constructionmarketinguk.co.uk)