Businesses all over the world are learning precisely how lucrative social media has become for marketing purposes. It's currently one of the most popular methods for bringing attention to brands in order to engage and retain customers - the medium's come a long way since 2005 when Facebook offered its very first advertising capabilities. Since then, the annual revenue for social media advertising has reached an astonishing $8.4 billion.
Such an incredible feat for the advertising industry couldn't have been predicted, especially since when Facebook was founded, television advertisements were considered one of the best ways to spread your brand message and gain customers. However, things are very different now - TV commercials are quickly turning into money wasters.
According to Neil Patel, a widely recognized expert marketer and entrepreneur, TV won't go away, but it's not worth the money most entrepreneurs invest.
"It's easily the industry where the most money is burned each year," Patel says.
Patel attributes the lack of success to people ignoring commercials altogether because they're more focused on other forms of marketing, including online sources.
Social media sites are where consumers are investing more and more time and energy, which is also the reason that they're one of the most profitable mediums for advertising. SalesForce has put together an infographic (below) which outlines some of the reasons why social media is taking up a leading role in modern marketing tactics.
1. It's Cheaper
This is the most obvious reason. Businesses that invest their money in social media marketing rather than television find there's a much higher ROI. The average cost of a 30-second television commercial is around $342,000.Most small businesses don't have that kind of money to spend on a single approach, and unless a commercial airs during primetime or during a popular program, not very many people will see it.
Patel points out that the only commercials that truly see a positive ROI with excellent customer retention are the Super Bowl commercials. The downside? Super Bowl ads cost $4.5 million for a 60-second time slot.
2. It's Easier to Target Your Audience
The ultimate positive aspect of social media advertising is the ability to easily target your audience. Patel believes that the main reason TV commercials don't work is because they're unspecific. "TV commercials just hit everyone across the board," he says. Because of that, businesses aren't able to target directly to their customers, and conversions are low.
Social media involves a number of tools that make targeting specific customers simple. Using analytics and data collection, businesses can display ads to consumers based on their interests, browsing and shopping behaviors, email addresses, and similar audiences.
3. Mobile Is Taking Over
Nowadays, the average consumer spends more time on their phone than they do in front of the television. And aside from texts and phone calls, most of the time spent hunched over the tiny screen is used to browse social media.
Eighty percent of customers own a smartphone, and in 2014, we reached the point where more people used their phones to browse the internet than for any other purpose. There's not much room for television when consumers are spending all their time looking at their phones.
4. Tracking Conversions Is Easy
Finally, data tracking has been made easier thanks to social media, meaning that you can find a measurable number of consumers influenced by your social ads when making a purchase. The ability to easily track performance of these ads means that companies can repeat successful strategies and tweak the ones that don't work.
Like in all things business related, there comes a point when you must recognize which marketing strategies aren't working and move on. If you're currently putting excessive money and energy into television marketing, now is the time to make a change, and put your money where the ROI is high.
This post originally appeared on Irfan Ahmad's blog.