Thursday, 5 April 2012
The rewards of digital marketing are clearly becoming more apparent to businesses, as according to the Marketing Budgets 2012 Report compiled by Econsultancy, two-thirds of client-side respondents are intending to increase their digital marketing budgets for 2012, despite only 45% planning to increase overall marketing budgets.
On which types of digital marketing technology
will you be increasing investment in 2012?
As can be seen in the graph, with regard to the budgeted digital marketing spend, social media ranks very highly as a priority for many firms.
The Marketing Budgets 2012 Report states that companies are increasingly factoring their allocated marketing budget around social media, with 69% of companies planning to increase their social media budgets particularly for the purpose of off-site social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin).
Although companies are reporting difficulties in pinpointing exact ROI figures relating to social media, there is a consensus that social media undoubtedly has the power to generate leads and if used correctly has the potential to act as both a direct and indirect marketing technique. With the use of links, these social media platforms can generate traffic to your webpage, ultimately accelerating business growth.
According to Econsultancy, 75% of agencies are reporting that their clients plan to increase their spending on off-site social media and 62% are increasing their budgets for on-site social media.
Additionally, using platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to engage customers provides businesses with the opportunity to utilise these channels as listening platforms, providing unexpurgated intelligence on products and services, delivered by potential, current, and past consumers.
This form of two way communication allows customers to converse with the organisation and gives an insight in to what’s of real importance to them and current subjects of interest.
What best describes your company’s budget plans for the following digital marketing channels or disciplines in 2012?
As can be seen in the graph, both off-site and on-site social media have seen the greatest increase in company digital marketing budget plans for 2012.
Econsultancy report that “over half (56%) of companies surveyed are planning to recruit more people to their digital marketing teams in 2012, up from 52% in 2011”.
If companies are serious about incorporating social media in to their bottom line, I would suggest that they develop a sound social media strategy. Furthermore, within this social media strategy it is important to embed a social media use policy. The purpose of having a social media policy is that its primary role is to protect both the business itself and its employees.
Econsultancy’s Social Media Statistics 2012 Report shows that as little as one third of UK based small businesses have a social media policy, and less than 2% of microbusinesses (businesses with less than 10 employees).
When compiling a social media policy, I would suggest that the following points are considered:
1. There needs to be a distinction between business and private use of social media.
2. Remind staff of confidentiality agreements and ensure company sensitive information is not leaked online.
3. Ensure that web entries are responsible. No one wants to be “dooced”- to loose ones job due to the publishing of irresponsible web entries.
4. Be inclusive of all possible readers. When deliberating over social media entries, try not to estrange certain consumers.
5. Safeguard against possible copyright infringements. Always credit the rightful authors of everything published.
To conclude, the Marketing Budgets 2012 Report is an important indicator as to how social media is becoming increasingly prominent in the digital marketing arena. It is likely that investments in social media will continue to surge. I think that if you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to begin composing a social media policy. Don’t panic if at first your policy is fairly vague, you can always add to it as obstacles arise.