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Top 3 Digital Trends for your 2014 Marketing: Part 2/3

Top 3 Digital Trends for your 2014 Marketing: Part 2/3

The ROI of Paid Social Advertising.

In our last blog post we saw that content marketing is going to be a critical focus for your business in the coming year, but there are many ways to create and distribute compelling content to your audience and paid social advertising is definitely one of them.

In 2013, we saw social ads continue to conquer the online advertising space and with a recent publication from ZenithOptimedia - predicting that total media advertising expenditure will increase by 5.3% in 2014, it’s safe to say that it’s a good time to be a social media marketer and that we can expect to see social media advertising to own an even greater share of businesses’ overall media spend during the year ahead.

So why are we seeing such a strong increase in the adoption of social advertising? Firstly, Social ads are targeted to reach a highly relevant audience at scale and by placing targeted ads placed in a user’s news feed, you are effectively ensuring that your brand is visible in a place where users are in the mind-set of discovery, actively looking to interact with connections about topics they are interested in. This makes it far easier for your business’s advertising to stand out and make an impact than it would be on a website’s sidebar or with banner advertisement.

Secondly, Social Ads are also less obtrusive and more suited for consumption by the increasingly mobile focused consumer, which helps drive greater visibility and makes your content more accessible to relevant mobile focused users. Over the past year we have also seen social advertising evolve to become more targeted than ever before and as Ritu Trivedi, Managing Director of Starcom MediaVest points out in a recent interview with eMarketer, “it’s where the audience is.” We know that social ads are efficient and as Ritu Trivedi aptly pointed out- one of the reasons social advertising continues to hold an ever-growing share of advertising investment, is that increasingly it can be seen to be contextually, much more relevant and engaging to the everyday consumer.

So you've decided to invest in Promoted Content - Now what?

Once you decided to invest in pushing out promoted content, it's important to bear in mind that like with standard content marketing, context really does matter. We already know that the cornerstone in any successful content marketing strategy lies in creating the perfect marriage between great content and the appropriate context, and the same is true for your social advertising.

Investing in Promoted Content can help give your messaging huge reach - a reach which it may never achieved organically and which we can see exemplified when we look at the success of initiatives like the recent Facebook campaign run by a small Swiss town called Obermutten.

However, most social networks differ hugely in terms of user base, activity and content curation. Investing in creating great social content will encourage audiences to engage, convert, distribute your message and advocate your brand. These are fantastic monetization opportunities, but it’s only half the battle. In order to create these opportunities and get long term ROI from your social advertising, the channel(s) which you ultimately decide to invest advertising spend into, should be those you feel are most appropriate for communicating your message to your target audience.

As we can see with this example of literal “toilet humour” – Charmin has found a unique and effective way of communicating with their audience via Twitter and as Harsh Ajmera from Digital Insights points out: “Charmin’s direct and playful approach with the toilet humour is witty, smart and has sparked conversation. They have had a little fun with their branding with the #tweetfromtheseat campaign and have done a fantastic job by means of humour to incorporate their hashtag with current events."

Charmin

Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat content is definitely witty and appealing, but they have also been very strategic about their choice of distribution channel. This kind of content is particularly suited to the conversational nature of the Twitter platform - which is perhaps why this campaign has been so effective and it's this kind of strategic thinking about not just content but also the context, that can either make or break the success of a paid social media campaign.

We’ve all heard the phrase “Content is King” at some point or another, but context is definitely queen - especially when it comes to your advertising spend.