As you go about planning your digital marketing strategy for 2019, it's worth considering the latest trends and shifts in social media budgets – which platforms businesses are spending the most money on, where they're seeing the best returns and how the lessons they’ve learned have changed their approach in each respect.
To help with this, we recently conducted a survey within the Social Media Today community to get some perspective on the latest key trends, and the experiences of digital marketers within our ever-shifting online landscape. Over 500 social media marketers responded to our survey, providing relevant insight and perspective into a range of different factors.
You can download a full overview of the report here, but over the next week, we’re going to break down each element and look at what the results mean, where future opportunities lie, and how you can, and should, be building this into your strategy.
We’ll break the results down into four sections:
- The key social media channels of focus for marketers in 2018
- Where brands are planning allocate their ad budgets in 2019
- What are the key goals digital marketers are now focused on
- What organizational challenges marketers face in achieving success
There are some key insights here for any businesses looking to improve its digital marketing performance – in this post, we cover the second part of our analysis of our survey results, which will hopefully help you chart a course for improved performance moving forward.
Part 2: Where to Allocate Your Social Media Marketing Budget
For the second element of our Social Spending Report, we asked our audience: ‘Where do you currently spend most of your social media budget?’
Here are their responses:
Responses also indicated that the amount being spent on social ads is also up this year:
And those trends look set to continue, with 68% of respondents saying that they plan to spend even more in 2019.
It’s little surprise that ads are where most of digital marketing budgets are spent, however there is evidence to suggest that this may not be the right approach.
According to Orbit Media’s 2018 Blogging Statistics Survey, marketers who spend more time on original research, publish longer content pieces, and work with professional writers and editors all report generating significantly better response from their efforts.
As per Orbit:
“The world is not waiting for another medium-quality blog post. To me, this data is a call to action to strive and produce better content with better results. It’s the ultimate reminder that that lesson we all learned as kids: greater effort leads to greater rewards.”
As noted by Orbit, advertising is easier – and given Facebook’s ongoing reach reductions, it makes sense that we're seeing more brands spending more money on ads. And that may well generate the best results, but research also suggests that investing the time to create better, more substantive work can also be just as, if not more, significant.
Social advertising offers the most advanced targeting options ever made available - you now have more ways than ever to reach your target audience and attract them with offers. But the brands that stand out are the ones who are in-tune with what those offers need to be, and how to maximize appeal to their target market. The above stats don’t necessarily say that’s not happening, but they do serve as a good prompt to remind marketers that it’s not all about pouring everything into ads – content is equally relevant, as are the professionals you hire to create it.
In 2019, one particular key area where you can expect social ad spend to increase is in influencer marketing and creator utilization.
Increasingly, platform tools are becoming more advanced – Stories, for example, has become a key element of digital communication, but it’s also not as easy as a basic written-word format to master, particularly from an advertising perspective.
Given this, more brands are turning to users who’ve already proven that they know how to maximize such formats to help create better, more resonant content on each platform - while UGC, which is also more influential than direct brand messaging, is being published at a massive scale without brand input. It makes sense to utilize such material, and its creators, where possible
The platforms themselves are looking to facilitate such – Instagram’s cracking down on fake followers and engagement, Facebook’s expanded its Branded Content Tags and introduced its Brand Collabs Manager tool, while Twitter is also looking to squeeze out bots and inauthentic users. All of these will have impacts for influencer marketing, and properly selecting the right influencer, then measuring their actual reach and performance.
This would still come under ad spend, but it’s worth also noting that the ways in which you can, and should, allocate those ad dollars are expanding too. Don’t be confined to just one aspect of social marketing.
You can download the full Social Media Today State of Social Spending Report here.