The Association of National Advertisers partnered up with BtoB Magazine and 'mktg' to conduct an online survey entitled "Harnessing the Power of Newer Media Platforms for More Effective Marketing" in June of 2009. 172 client-side marketers responded to the survey, and the results are really interesting. The survey illustrates that Social Media Marketing is truly becoming a mainstream marketing method. This information is important for brands that are hesitant about allocating budgets toward Social Media Marketing. With so many businesses making the shift, are you going to be found online, or will Social Media users connect with your competition instead?
The results of the ANA survey indicate that marketers are quickly adopting social media marketing tactics. In fact, the study released states that social media marketing, including video sharing services has enjoyed the highest increase in popularity among those surveyed this year.
Social Media is fast becoming a conventional form of marketing. According to the survey, 66% of the marketers surveyed used social media marketing this year. In 2007 only 20% of marketers used social media. That's a big jump in just two years. Where is the money for Social Media Marketing budgets coming from? Over 50% of the marketers surveyed reported that Social Media Marketing funding has come from their previous media budgets. Just under 50% of the respondents reallocated funds from their marketing communications budgets.
Though some marketers are anxious about the "new" social media trend, the majority recognize it as an important and successful marketing opportunity. The top Web sites used by those surveyed for the ANA study can be found in the chart below.
B-to-B? B-to-C? Do the results differ?
You bet they do. Just as E-Power Marketing has said all along, not every Social Media outlet is good for every company. To effectively utilize social media marketing, one must know their company’s target and the SMM opportunities available. For example, from the survey: "LinkedIn rates first among b-to-b marketers while Facebook is top among b-to-c. Interestingly, Twitter is used more by b-to-b marketers (70%) than b-to-c marketers (46%)." Knowing where your audience is online is major part of making Social Media Marketing work for your brand.
Into the Future...
So far, 2009 has proven to be a good year for Social Media Marketing. Social networks and video sharing Web sites have been the most popular, but what will happen next? According to the ANA survey, blogs will be the next social media format to rise on the list for all marketers, followed by mobile marketing. Many b-to-b marketers are also interested in beginning to use podcasts.
The ANA survey illustrates how important Social Media Marketing is becoming to brands today. More and more companies are embracing this form of marketing, making it more important than ever for you to take a step back, look at your own marketing campaign, and find a way to work Social Media Marketing in. The gap will continue to increase between those brands that utilize Social Media Marketing, and those that don't. Where will your company fall?