Social Media Spending Trends for 2012

A recent report by Borrell Associates shows that small business spending for social media marketing is growing. But you don’t need a fancy study to tell you that. The interesting part of this article is that more small businesses feel that social media is a more important marketing channel than paid ads. Some experts have put these two findings together to predict that small businesses are going to be willing to spend more on social media marketing than paid search in 2012.

Why Spend More?
As some comments in the article suggest, the findings do not break down what “spend” really means. Does this consist of training, set up, consulting and other fees? And what do you plan to do with these assets after your accounts are created? As social networks become more popular, it’s also important for small business owners to have a good idea of the ROI on their investment for social media. Putting money into a marketing strategy without proper research or followup doesn’t guarantee success. In fact, investing the same amount into a paid search campaign may be even more productive for your business. There is no “right” answer and you can even choose a mix of both.

Choose an Effective Strategy
A growing demand and interest in social media can be overwhelming as you try and decide what is best for your small business. The answer isn’t easy, which is why an experienced marketing firm can help you evaluate all your options with a budget and resources that will fit your need. There is no set guideline for an effective social media plan, which is why experience and industry insight can give you a better idea of what to expect in your specific case. Contact us for a free consultation on how a social media campaign can help your business today.

Cyber Monday and Your Ecommerce Site

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is over but some retailers, like Walmart, have extended the event into something even bigger…Cyber Week! Sales for Cyber Monday have continuously grown over the years, so expect online retailers and shoppers to take advantage of all the online buzz.
Online sales for Cyber Monday 2011 are expected to break records yet again, the total for 2010 was $1.03 billion in sales.

Here are some more interesting statistics via Get Elastic:

– 64% of adults shop online for holiday gifts because they believe they will get the best prices and deals
– 52% of online shoppers will spend more than one hour researching the best price for each holiday purchase
– 49% of online shoppers use social sources to find gift ideas
– 92% of online retailers are offering deals over Thanksgiving weekend (80% linked to Cyber Monday)

Are you a part of this growing holiday shopping phenomenon? If not, it’s time to take a look at why your online store isn’t using this word of mouth advertising to your advantage. Do you need help with e commerce design or social media? These are all great ways to start building a foundation for the busy season, long before it starts. Remember, there is still time to prepare for Christmas, and even the beginning of the year in 2012. Check out our free site analysis to see how we can help your ecommerce store live up to it’s great potential.

Recap of 2011 Google Agency Summit

Here’s the recap of our visit to the Google Agency Summit that we’ve been promising!

We’ll take a quick overview of marketing spending, display ads, mobile ads, and video in terms of small business use. The overall focus throughout the day was on small business (SMB) growth. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The small business segment is a promising category with big opportunities. Here are some key points that we learned:

SMB Spending and Growth

  • Total SMB digital ad spend is growing at 25% YoY (year on year)
  • Growth is happening within Google local services and beyond on platforms like: Facebook, Groupon and LivingSocial
  • According to Google’s (see graph), total US SMB marketing spending is expected to almost double by 2015. This is a self-proclaimed “conservative” forecast, so we could see numbers even higher than that!

Display Ads

With over 2 million sites, Google now has the largest ad network . What does this mean for the potential of display ads? The emphasis here was on the concept of remarketing. Remarketing allows you to target and show ads to users who have already visited your website. This is helpful to help them recall your products and services, something that they’ve obviously been interested in since they have already been to your site. This is an innovative new way to match the right customers to your message.

Mobile Ads and Video

Mobile ads are evolving and should be a different and more helpful experience for mobile users. There is less space on a mobile screen, which means that functions like “Store Locator” take priority over plain old text. People searching on their phone aren’t going to have the time or space to read text. Learn how you can build a basic mobile site with this free Google tool.

As for video, the big push is for small businesses to come on board, given the massive potential and size of YouTube. Small businesses could utilize video marketing by using banners, pre-roll commercials and even encourage user created content. With so much up and coming news, you can always stay updated with Google’s latest ad products here.

Marketing Goals

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Google is trying to make things easier for everyone – small business owners and their customers. This is why Google is so intent on integration and working closely with with agencies like Emarketed… so that we can help our customers!

It looks like there’s a lot in store in the future for small businesses. As a small business owner, it’s important to stay informed so that you don’t get left behind. Here’s a list of some helpful information on topics related to what we just talked about:

Mobile Web Sites
Video Marketing
Website Marketing
Landing Page Optimization

You can also comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions!