9 in 10 Marketers Use/Plan to Use Social Media

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unica marketing channels planned usage may11.thumbnail 9 in 10 Marketers Use/Plan to Use Social MediaA combined 89% of marketers use (53%) or plan to use (36%) social media marketing, according to [pdf] a study conducted in Q4 2010 by Unica. Data from “The State of Marketing 2011? indicates of those planning to use social media, 26% plan to use it in the next 12 months and 10% plan to use it more than 12 months out.

Rich media marketing, with 87% combined usage/planned usage, and mobile marketing, with 85% combined usage/planned usage, have similar statistics to social media marketing. The numbers on rich media marketing in particular (50% current usage, 23% expected usage in 12 months, 14% expected usage in more than 12 months) are almost identical.

For mobile marketing, however, the numbers skew more toward planned usage, with a 43% current usage rate. Twenty-five percent of marketers expect to employ mobile in the next 12 months, and 16% plan to use it in more than 12 months.

 9 in 10 Marketers Use/Plan to Use Social MediaOverall, 67% of North American and European marketers currently use email software. However, this figure rises to 80% of North American marketers and drops to only 47% among European marketers. On a combined basis, only 10% of marketers have no plans to use email.

 9 in 10 Marketers Use/Plan to Use Social MediaWhile European marketers are less likely than North American marketers to adopt email, 40% of European marketers report mostly automated integration of email data with customer data, compared to just 30% of North American marketers. The overall automated integration rate is 34%, and 27% do not integrate email data at all.

 9 in 10 Marketers Use/Plan to Use Social MediaRespondents exposed a lackluster record of search engine marketing integration with other marketing campaigns and programs. Less than half said it was “somewhat integrated” and almost as many indicated that it wasn’t integrated. Only 10% claimed “very integrated” search engine marketing for their company’s efforts.

About two-thirds (68%) of marketers see web data as very important to customer analytics and 63% see it as very important to making decisions about marketing offers and campaigns, according to other study results. A majority of remaining respondents consider both uses of web data somewhat important.

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7 in 10 Social Marketers Plan Increased SEO

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socialmediaexaminer planned email marketing apr11.thumbnail 7 in 10 Social Marketers Plan Increased SEONearly two in three social marketers (64%) plan on increasing their email marketing efforts in the near future. While the percentage planning to decrease email usage (3%) is slightly higher than that who plan to decrease SEO usage, fewer have no plans for email (5%) and more plan to keep email usage the same (27%).

socialmediaexaminer planned event marketing apr11.thumbnail 7 in 10 Social Marketers Plan Increased SEOA significant 60% of social marketers plan on increasing their event marketing and speaking engagements. Another 26% will keep the level of these activities the same, with 13% having no plans to utilize them and 2% planning a decrease.

In addition, SocialMedia Examiner analysis shows B2B marketers are significantly more likely (67%) to increase event marketing than B2C marketers (53%), and the self-employed (70%) and small business owners (65%) are significantly more likely to use event marketing than large corporations (43% to 38% range, depending on number of employees).

socialmediaexaminer planned online advertising apr11.thumbnail 7 in 10 Social Marketers Plan Increased SEOSlightly less than half (46%) of social marketers plan on increasing their online advertising efforts, with 27% having no plans to utilize online advertising. Twenty-four percent will keep online advertising levels the same and 3% will decrease them.

Other SocialMedia Examiner data shows large businesses (1,000 or more employees) were most likely to
increase online advertising (53%), and B2C companies were more likely (50%) than B2B companies (42%) to increase their use of online ads.

socialmediaexaminer planned webinars apr11.thumbnail 7 in 10 Social Marketers Plan Increased SEOFour in 10 (42%) of social marketers have no plans to use webinars or teleseminars, with another 42% planning on increasing their use of these tools and 15% keeping their usage the same. SocialMedia Examiner says when this is contrasted with the large percentage that employ physical event marketing, it would seem that many businesses are not yet sold on the idea of virtual events.

Furthermore, survey data indicates small businesses were much more likely to increase their use of this marketing tactic. For example, 49% of the self-employed are planning an increase, compared to just 27% of businesses with 500 to 1,000 employees.

B2B companies were significantly more likely (52%) than B2C companies (33%) to use webinars or teleseminars.

Looking at several forms of traditional media used in marketing, the survey finds that only press releases have a high rate of planned usage, with a combined 80% of social marketers planning on increasing their press release usage or keeping it the same. This contrasts with combined increased/sustained usage rates for media including sponsorships (58%), direct mail (47%), print ads (45%), radio ads (27%), and TV ads (21%).

The study also asked social media marketers what other types of marketing they were participating in. The top three included email marketing (81%), search engine optimization (68%) and event marketing (64%).

SocialMedia Examiner analysis indicates B2B marketers were significantly more likely to employ search engine optimization (71% B2B compared to 65% B2C) and event marketing (70% B2B compared to 58% B2C). Organizations with 1,000 or more employees were more likely to participate in event marketing (73%).

In addition, social media marketers with three or more years of experience were more likely to participate in search engine optimization (80%) and event marketing (79%) than the overall respondent group.

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9 in 10 Marketers Use Facebook

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socialmediaexaminer social media tools apr11.thumbnail 9 in 10 Marketers Use FacebookNine in 10 marketers (92%) use the Facebook social network as a marketing tool, according to a new survey from SocialMedia Examiner. Data from “2011 Social Media Marketing Report” indicates Facebook is the most popular social network among marketers by a wide margin.

The second-most-popular social network among marketers, Twitter, has an 84% adoption rate, meaning Facebook is almost 10% more popular than its closest competitor as a marketing tool. The professional networking site LinkedIn comes in third with 71% marketer adoption. Rather than a specific network, blogs follow with 68% usage, and YouTube/other video sites are used by 56% of marketers.

There is a substantial dropoff of more than 50% between the marketer adoption rates of YouTube/other video sites and their closest competitor, social bookmarking/news sites, used by only 26% of marketers. MySpace comes in last with only 6% adoption as a marketing tool.

 9 in 10 Marketers Use FacebookIn addition to being the social network used most frequently by marketers, Facebook is also the social network the highest percentage of marketers (70%) want to learn more about. There are some discrepancies between this list and the list of most popular social networks, as blogs closely follow with 69% of marketers wanting to learn more.

Social bookmarking/news sites and Twitter tie for third with 59% of marketers wanting to learn more, and 55% want to learn more about both LinkedIn and YouTube/other video sites. About 67% more marketers want to learn more about MySpace (10%) than are currently using it.

Ninety-three percent of marketers use social media to market their businesses, according to other survey findings. Data from “2011 Social Media Marketing Report” also indicates a significant 90% of marketers said that social media is important to their businesses.

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Most Marketers Keep Social Media In-house

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 Most Marketers Keep Social Media In houseAmong marketers who do outsource social media marketing efforts, the most commonly outsourced task is design/development, which 17% say they outsource. MarketingCharts observes that the other most commonly outsourced tasks, such as content creation (10%) and analytics (10%), can also be considered “behind the scenes” functions. “Real time” functions such as community management (4%) and live tweeting (3%) are less likely to be outsourced.

 Most Marketers Keep Social Media In houseThe study asked social media marketers what other types of marketing they were participating in. The top three included email marketing (81%), search engine optimization (68%) and event marketing (64%).

SocialMedia Examiner analysis indicates B2B marketers were significantly more likely to employ search engine optimization (71% B2B compared to 65% B2C) and event marketing (70% B2B compared to 58% B2C). Organizations with 1,000 or more employees were more likely to participate in event marketing (73%).

In addition, social media marketers with three or more years of experience were more likely to participate in search engine optimization (80%) and event marketing (79%) than the overall respondent group.

Nine in 10 marketers (92%) use the Facebook social network as a marketing tool, according to other study results. Data indicates Facebook is the most popular social network among marketers by a wide margin. The second-most-popular social network among marketers, Twitter, has an 84% adoption rate, meaning Facebook is almost 10% more popular than its closest competitor as a marketing tool.

The professional networking site LinkedIn comes in third with 71% marketer adoption. Rather than a specific network, blogs follow with 68% usage, and YouTube/other video sites are used by 56% of marketers.

There is a substantial dropoff of more than 50% between the marketer adoption rates of YouTube/other video sites and their closest competitor, social bookmarking/news sites, used by only 26% of marketers. MySpace comes in last with only 6% adoption as a marketing tool.

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Are Digital Marketers Ignoring Baby Boomers?

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Boomers’ lives are going in many different directions, as empty-nesters, step-parents, grandparents and caregivers. For all of these roles, the internet and digital media are absolutely essential.

eMarketer estimates 78.2% of this cohort is online, nearly 60 million adults. Even as their numbers decline, that penetration rate will remain high through 2015. And they control more than $2 trillion in annual spending.

“The baby boomers grew up being chased by marketers and advertisers that tailored products and brands to appeal to them,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, “Digital Lives of Boomers: Reaching Them Online.” “Now the median age of this cohort is 55, and many boomers feel as if they have dropped off many marketers’ radar.”

Boomers spend more time and money online than any other demographic. Younger boomers (ages 47 to 55) spent an average of 39.3 hours online per month in 2010, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Older boomers (ages 56 to 65) averaged only slightly less, at 36.5 hours. A lot of that time was spent shopping—and buying. Forrester Research reported that boomers spent an average of about $650 online over a three-month period in 2010, compared with $581 by Generation X internet users (ages 35 to 46) and $429 by millennials (ages 18 to 34).

Boomers also stay connected on the go. eMarketer estimates 86.9% will have a mobile phone this year, and 16.9 million boomers will access the internet from a mobile browser or installed app. In 2015, that number will reach 25.4 million, or nearly 40% of boomer mobile users. This is a market that content providers, game publishers and brand marketers should not pass by.

Marketers who widen their messages to include boomers would be wise to make their efforts ageless, rather than targeted at an older set.

“Boomers are immediately turned off by association with old age, infirmity and decline,” said Phillips. “Most brands do not want to ‘age’ their products with blatant appeals to older consumers. The win-win is to create an overarching brand message that gives a nod to boomers, but also includes younger adults and even grandchildren.”

This often means turning a negative—fears about failing health, for example—into a positive, such as showing the benefits of products that contribute to a healthy lifestyle.

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How Marketers Can Benefit from Video Ad Engagement

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Marketers value engagement because its presence indicates that a campaign has connected in some way with the target audience. However, while engagement is compelling, 10 marketers might define it in 10 different ways.

But engagement is more than a buzzword. As the interactive ad format that most attracts brand marketers, much is riding on internet video advertising—mainly money and audience attention. As spending on online video rises and takes a bigger slice of the display ad pie, marketers must be confident that they are spending wisely. Engagement may be difficult to quantify abstractly, but is key to the worth of video ads.

“All effective advertising today—not just video—requires some degree of audience engagement,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer principal analyst and author of the new report “7 Trends for Video Advertising Engagement.” “However, unlike some metrics that provide real-time insight into ad performance, much audience engagement does not happen in the moment with the ad. Nor can it be measured automatically. Instead, it’s a process over time.”

The most likely campaign objective for online video advertising is brand awareness, a baseline component of engagement, according to advertisers and agencies surveyed by Tremor Media and DM2PRO. Close behind brand awareness is brand engagement itself (which some define separately, as in this survey—further indication that the definition of engagement can be fuzzy).

For video ads, marketers use various concepts to identify engagement, including server- and survey-based metrics, traditional brand health metrics, social video-sharing, interaction rates and more. They can use several strategies to increase or influence engagement, like which websites to advertise on, how to target campaigns, and the length and creative of marketing videos.

“Before deciding which types of engagement to focus on, marketers first should examine what they want to achieve for their brand, who might best respond to their message and how comfortable they are with relaxing control over the ways consumers relate to their brand,” said Hallerman.

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2 in 3 Marketers Report IT Friction

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 2 in 3 Marketers Report IT FrictionNorth American and European respondents (34% each) are about 41% more likely than others (24%) to say there is no friction between IT and marketing in terms of selecting and implementing social or online marketing tools.

Respondents from all three geographical areas who report IT/marketing friction are most likely to say it revolves around implementation (23% of Europe and rest of the world, 21% of North America). North America (12%) and Europe (14%) are much less likely than the rest of the world (21%) to say friction revolves around tool selection.

All three geographic regions also report friction revolving around budget and IT not treating marketing as a priority in similar percentages.

 2 in 3 Marketers Report IT FrictionOverall, 77% of respondents see some level of risk of their brand (or client) not being as engaged with customers as it should be. Most (57%) say they are somewhat at risk but recognize the problem areas and are taking action. Another 13% say they are at risk, know they need to better engage, but have yet to take action. And 7% say they are at risk with some major concerns but don’t know where to start. Only 23% report full brand engagement with customers.

 2 in 3 Marketers Report IT FrictionEuropean marketers report being somewhat at risk at a much higher percentage (67%) than North American (56%) or other (49%) respondents. They also have the lowest rate of reporting major concerns (2%, compared to 9% of North American marketers and 8% of other marketers) and full brand engagement (14%, compared to 25% of North American marketers and 23% of other marketers).

Interestingly, North American respondents have the highest rates of reporting both major concerns and full brand engagement.

Slightly more than one third (37%) of respondents believe all marketing efforts are measured and analyzed to drive the company’s future, according to other survey results. While few (6%) admit to having no analytical competency, the remainder has limitations in the analysis done, whether they stop at a basic level (29%) or struggle to tie it back to their campaign efforts (28%). This indicates the majority lack direction on what exactly to measure and analyze, how to go about it, and how to utilize that information moving forward to continually improve on their marketing efforts.

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Why Social Media Is Top Priority for Search Marketers

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Is 2011 set to be the “year of Facebook,” even among search marketers? Based on what US advertisers told search marketing agency Covario, it’s definitely the year of social.

Search marketers have discovered how social media marketing can help build their search engine optimization efforts, and respondents to the Covario survey said their No. 1 priority for SEO next year was integration with social media programs. According to the report, “leveraging social media for scalable link-building efforts is a major initiative for advertisers.”

Social media will also play an important part in paid search efforts next year. Search ad campaigns on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn were top of mind for nearly half of advertisers surveyed—far ahead of priorities like local search or dealing with recent changes to major search engines (for example, Google Instant and Yahoo!-Bing integration).

The report noted that major spending increases on Facebook search advertising are planned for 2011. Covario estimated many advertisers would be spending 10% to 20% of their pay-per-click budgets on Facebook next year, giving the social networking site a major share of that market. The report also indicated that rather than pulling dollars away from other paid search spending areas, these would be additions to the search budget coming from display or offline budgets instead.

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