Facebook Marketing has become an integral part of any digital marketing strategy and it has revolutionized the way we look at the online marketing industry. Over the last 12 years, Facebook has seen a 360-degree shift, transforming from a simple social networking site to the face of a multi-billion dollar company allowing brands to find new customers, increase their sales, create brand awareness and much more. When we ran an industry survey amongst CMOs and Brand Heads across India we found that close to 90% Brands in India are already leveraging Facebook. Advertisers are spending more money than ever before on Facebook as it has emerged as one of the biggest platforms to engage with their target audience. Keeping this in mind, new features are being regularly added to Facebook and marketers have to constantly make alterations to their strategies to ensure their content is still reaching its target audience. Below are a few points that have been gathered keeping in mind the recent changes which may give us clues as to what 2017 will hold for both consumers and businesses.
Less Is More – Page Posts & Organic Reach
Following the decrease in the organic reach of Facebook page posts last year, Locowise conducted a small study to analyze how page posting frequency impacts reach, engagement and negative feedback.
The study reveals that pages that posted once a week or less on their official page reached an average of 15% of the audience who liked their page per post. Interestingly, pages that posted two to four times a week reached only 10% of the page audience and pages that posted once a day reached a lower average of 8.42% per post. This means that organic reach drops with an increase in the number of posts, and over posting content is a common mistake marketers tend to make on FB. This also means that the quality of content and FB posts needs to be extremely high and we are likely to see many brands evolving into fewer but highly engaging posts.
Another study by [email protected] reveals that for large pages with more than 5,00,000 Likes, the organic reach has seen a remarkable decline when compared to other smaller pages. It is believed that marketing managers can expect the organic reach to further approach zero in the future. The detailed analysis and data interpretations along with the recommendations are available to read here in the full white paper.
The number of users on Facebook has doubled from 845 million to 1654 million over the last five years. There are more brands than ever who are joining the bandwagon of Facebook marketing and these brands are posting multiple posts every day. All of this creates more noise and unimaginable amounts of content that will simply be filtered out and never reach the news feed of a specific user. With so much information to be filtered, Facebook uses complex algorithms to pick and show content to users they are most relevant to them and those that they are most likely to engage with.So it can be assumed that increased brand post frequency is aiding in the drop of organic reach.
However, the only exception to this organic reach debate was seen in the news & media industry. The organic reach of news publishers seems to remain steady, even with a higher posting frequency. Here’s the result of analysis of 3,318 profiles, by Sotrender.
Videos – Future of Marketing For Brands
Videos are the next step in the social media evolution and will most likely dominate the online advertising and marketing industry. As per the stats by Facebook, users watch an average of 100 million hours of video every day and most of these are on their mobile devices. Daily views have increased from 1 billion to 8 billion in the last one year. These stats are proof that users have started consuming more of video content and it is essential that brands leverage this in their favor to engage with the potential customers. Video content is the best medium for storytelling and is a great opportunity for brands to connect with their audience.
Live videos were one of the major updates announced earlier this year by Facebook. This gave live videos prime placement in the Facebook app and also adds new ways to find, create, share, and react to them. This move efficiently makes live videos one of the central features of Facebook. Live videos offer a new way to interact on a platform that can feel so familiar that it risks feeling stale. Broadcasting live to your social circle gives you a certain thrill or even just watching a friend’s live broadcast, can bring in a fresh feeling of excitement and make you want to interact on the same old platform in a new way. On an average, Facebook says people are commenting 10 times more on live videos than they do on regular videos. This clearly means that brands must explore Live videos over recorded videos as this would help drive higher engagement levels with the audience. Facebook also rolled out an update where advertisers could add a video element for FB Carousel Ads. The shift towards video as a tool for marketing is evident and is definitely here to stay.
The fact that a business needs to have a mobile-friendly website is much talked about and is not a new concept. Last year, Google announced that, for the first time mobile searches surpassed desktop searches. This eventually led to a new situation where Google’s algorithm started to penalize sites that were not optimized for mobile devices. For the last few years, marketing experts have been stressing on the fact that there is an obvious need for businesses to optimize the sites for the ever-increasing number of mobile users. Facebook Inc announced that it has over 142 million users in India, of which about 133 million access the social network via their mobile devices. This means that a staggering 90% of users are using facebook on their phones in India. It is essential that marketers who are trying to engage with and attract potential customers in order to redirect them to their website, ensure that their website is mobile optimized and are able to leverage every micro moment of Indian consumers. In today’s Smartphone era, mobile-optimization is the norm and an essential item that can no longer be placed on the back burner to address later.
Ads are Inevitable
A few years ago, advertising on social media platforms was a very niche concept with not too many players in the market. In this new age of online marketing, many brands have become aware of the importance of ads across various social media channels, especially Facebook. Today, with the various targeting and advertising options on Facebook, we can reach out to millions of potential customers in any part of the world. Facebook advertising is a strong tool that can be used by brands to meet their marketing objectives.
Facebook ads allow you to choose from a wide range of possible adverts including but not restricted to Page Post Engagement, Clicks to a website, Conversions on Website, App Installs, Video Views, Lead Ads etc. Over the last few years, Facebook has evolved into a paid marketing platform more than an organic one so it is essential for marketers to leverage the power of the various adverts available. You can read our detailed guide on measuring ROI from social media.
Shop On Facebook
In an attempt to make it easier for brands to reach out to potential customers and drive sales on mobile devices Facebook has started rolling out the Shop section in phases. This section allows a brand to list out their products and let consumers browse through the catalog and purchase products that they like from within Facebook. The social network does not charge you to add a shop section to your Page nor does it take any percentage of the money you make through it. In the upcoming year, more businesses will start selling stuff directly from Facebook as this new section is set to change the way we look at e-commerce and social selling. Ofcourse it also has had Product Ads for E-commerce companies for a long time now – these can be also be leveraged parallely.
We have left out Instagram Marketing from this conversation, as it warrants its own blog. We are also seeing some interesting developments around Instagram analytics and Instagram targeting going forward.
Do let us know what other features you expect FB to evolve in the coming months.
While this happened, Instagram again made heads turn for yet another new launch – ‘Business Profiles’. This tool is truly an advantage for small businesses, which can enjoy the ease of mobile marketing on Instagram which will also help reduce the gap between the consumers and the brands. While Instagram’s carousal ad sets and videos have already been helpful for easy marketing, introducing mobile ad-buying and Analytics, which will help view the most viewed and liked posts, post engagement rate, website clicks, impressions, reach and a lot more is definitely a big step for Instagram that has been appreciated by 500 million users who see 95 million posts amongst which a minimum of 48 million posts are ads by marketers every day. If you are still deciding whether to use Instagram for your brand – here is a guide on how startups can use Instagram.
Key Features of Instagram Analytics
Instagram Analytics dominantly focuses on Follower Demographics and Post Analytics. Below, you can view your top posts segregated by Instagram based on its impressions for a 7 day or a 30 day period. This will help you understand how many people viewed your posts other than just liking it, giving you an accurate engagement rate, thereby helping you understand if there is a need to improve your marketing.
Amongst all the information that is available, Follower Demographics is a very useful tool, especially for the small time marketers. It helps them discover where their audiences are coming from. Apart from exact locations, it also helps determine the right time to market to them from different time zones.
Again, similar to any other analytics tool, Instagram also lets you break your audience by gender and age to quickly analyze if men or women have contributed to the most number of views, likes and engagement rate.
The ‘Followers’ module is yet another major advantage for marketers to keep a track of the time and the number of hours their consumers are on Instagram on a selected day. This will again help them understand the right day and time to advertise which will surely be beneficial to grow the brand.
Apart from hardcore analytics tools, Instagram has also been experimenting with a few other profile features that seem to be quite useful for businesses to lead traffic to their websites and increase their sales. One of these features is the new ‘Contact’ button besides the usual ‘Following’ button.
The ‘Contact’ button is a linkable location tag which when clicked will show two things – ‘Email’ the user or ‘Get Directions’ on your maps to their store.Since finding the location of Instagram brands has been a major pain point for both marketers and users alike, this new feature will be of some aid.
The second feature is a direct plus-point for brands/products that have been looked around or searched a lot in social media. While hashtags are used on Facebook and Twitter to quickly spot these products, Instagram has introduced an extra line underneath the name in the profile.
While these features are not yet open to all users, they have been introduced for marketers in the US, Australia and New Zealand and in the following months, will be accessible on a global level, including India. Boasting over 300,000 marketers leveraging on Instagram, it has become an ideal platform for small businesses to resort to a much easier and visually appealing mode of marketing that will be directly benefited by this new Analytics tool amongst the others and other special features for brand building.
We will have a more detailed analysis once we are able to use the tool for more brands.
The fifth edition of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha was held at our office on 9th July 2016. It received a wonderful response with about 25 participants including entrepreneurs, professionals, digital marketers and social media influencers taking an active part. The topic of discussion was Measuring ROI from Digital Marketing.
Here’s a quick summary of the key takeaways from the session:
Types of Returns from Digital Marketing
There are two types of returns from digital marketing:
1. Tangible Returns:
These are metrics that translate into immediate business results such as Leads, Sales, Registrations and Traffic
2. Intangible Returns :
These are metrics that do not measure immediate business results such as brand awareness, customer engagement, customer satisfaction and brand reputation.
Which Metrics Should You Measure?
Metrics you measure will depend on your business goals and objectives.
For example, if your objective is lead generation, then you would measure metrics such as Leads/Enquiries Generated, Revenue from Sales, App Installs and Website Traffic.
On the other hand, if your objective is brand awareness, then you would measure metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, social engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts.
Tools to Measure Results
There are a number of tools available to measure the metrics mentioned above. They could be categorised as web, mobile, and social media analytics tools.
Web Analytics tools:
There are a number of web analytics tools that you could use. You could use Google Analytics to understand details about the volume and quality of your website traffic. Tools like Kissmetrics, help determine advanced analytics on the behaviour of your users.
Mobile App Analytics Tool
For those of you have the mobile app for your business, tools like Mixpanel and Appsflyer help you learn how people use your app. It also helps draw insights from this data to optimize and improve your marketing for better ROI.
Social Media Analytics Tools:
These tools help you analyze the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts by measuring metrics like likes/fans/followers, reach, impressions, mentions, engagement, likes/comments/shares and retweets/reposts. Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn have inbuilt analytics tools for marketers to analyze the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. Other advanced analytics tools for social media intelligence include Radian6 and Simply Measured.
With the growth in mobile use globally, the number of leads coming through phone calls is increasing rapidly as compared to leads through web forms. In this scenario, it is important to use tools like Knowlarity and Exotel to track call leads effectively and attribute them to the right source.
Measuring ROI from a Digital Marketing Channel
The simplest way to measure if ROI from a channel would be positive, is by checking if the Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) is greater than the cost of acquiring a customer through that channel.
Participants then did this analysis of LTV and cost of acquisition to calculate channel ROI for their businesses. They shared their learnings with the rest of the group. This was followed by an interactive discussion and Q&A session.
Those of you who missed the first four editions of the Digital Chai Pe Charcha can check them out below:
Often when we track results via digital marketing, we tend to track website traffic along with goals (transactions or leads generated). One element we have seen many bushinesses miss out on is tracking how many phone calls were generated via the online medium. If you do not track and calculate the calls generated, it is a significant number of leads that are missed out or rather not counted into the digital metrics.
The power of pushing a phone number on your landing page, social page, or website is dynamic. Depending on the nature of the business and the product/service type, placing a phone number makes it easier for a customer to engage with your business. Call tracking via Google Analytics, Google AdWords & Google Plus allows you to monitor which visitors from your website, social ads, and other digital promotions who have conversed with you via phone. While the three methods do not encompass or track all calls but its a huge step from not tracking the calls.
So lets look at each of these tracking methods in a bit more detail. Once you have implemented all these three methods, you can add these numbers to your existing results metrics to understand the true impact of your digital marketing efforts.
On Google Analytics When users click your phone number (on a mobile device) to call your business, Google Analytics is able to track these via what they call “Event Tracking“. Events in this scenario could mean phone calls or even downloads, video plays etc. Configuring the Google Analytics event tracking code while easy, requires some technical know how. So do involve your technology or web team to help you get this done. This google analytics event tracking code is used to record a user’s interaction with the website elements and in this use case we tracking the number of people who clicked on the phone number to call the business.
Specifications to call the_trackEvent()methodin the UI element of a page:
category (mandatory field) – The common name given for the phone numbers you want to track.
action (mandatory field) – A string that is uniquely paired with each category, to define the type of user interaction for the web object.
label (optional field) – An optional string to provide additional dimensions to the event data.
value (optional field) – An integer that you can use to provide numerical data about the user event.
non-interaction (optional field) – A boolean that when set to true, indicates that the event hit will not be used in bounce-rate calculation.
As a result, all user activity on the on-site contact numbers provided is calculated and displayed as Events in Google Analytics (under the Behaviour tab)
On Google AdWords Customers can call your business after clicking on a Google ad and learning about the products and services that you offer on your website. The AdWords click-to-call ads help you connect with these customers. These ads encourage calls to your business by showing the phone number on the ad. On smartphones and other high-end mobile devices, these phone numbers are often clickable and cost the same as a standard CPC would demand.
Click-to-call ads also help you to gain insights about the calls. These stats help you understand which keywords and ads are driving the most phone calls, which results in the optimization of these ads to make the graphs better. To activate these you will need to go to the Ad Extensions Tab.
On Google+ Google+ provides the easiest steps towards gauging the call metrics. One has to simply make sure that his/her business page furnishes all contact coordinates clearly. Furnishing all information makes your contacts visible in the search engine, where customers are given the power to call your business by a single touch of the button.
The metrics towards these calls can be viewed in the ‘Insight’ tab of you the business’s Google+ page.
Focussed not just on social media metrics, but on business results
Till 2013 social media analytics was focussed on social media metrics like reach, impressions, page likes, post likes, number of retweets. It was only in 2014, that there was a focus on measuring business results (online orders, lead generation, sign ups etc). This trend is likely to get more entrenched in 2015, with even small businesses focussing on achieving their business goals via the digital medium. With free tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, brands can now track how many leads or online sales or signups they had and as to which digital medium helped them get these results.
For example, for some of our ecommerce companies close to 30% of revenue comes from Facebook and upto 5% from emailer campaigns. Moreover, we are able to identify which ads contributed to the revenue and leads. While it’s important to engage with the audience within Facebook, we have found it to be more effective to drive traffic via Facebook Ads directly to the website or landing page and track results there.
So it’s no longer going to be just about acquiring fans or engaging with the community, but about how the brand is being built and what results are achieved.
Using CRM to build a single view of the customer
Retailers, E-commerce sites and larger enterprises have started initiatives to integrate offline data with data from multiple online channels including website, emailer campaigns, Facebook, Instagram and other social media channels. Powerful CRM tools are going to enable brands to build a single view of the customer and to see what kind of targeting communication can be given to them. Around the world, tools like Marketo, Act-On & Sailthru have been doing this at an enterprise level but in 2015 such tools will become more accessible to small and medium enterprises even in India.
Focus on consumer insights to serve the right ads to the right people
Machine Learning Analytics & Automation will help brands focus on granular consumer insights and allow for right ads reach the right people. Tools like FanPlayr & Gigya already have powerful & intelligent tools to enable this and these are going to get more sophisticated over time.
Social media listening tools and content analysis is starting to happen where brands can predict what kind of content will help in engaging with their audience. Brands like Red Bull have kept content at the core of the digital strategy and that’s the approach many brands are starting to take.