By 2020, marketers to invest $50 billion in social
Social media marketing will continue to grow by leaps and bounds, according to the latest Jack Meyers Business Report.
Digital couponing -- social couponing, in particular -- continues to be the e-commerce sector to watch. Jack Meyers' latest Business Report forecasts that print coupons -- through mail and newspaper free standing inserts -- will continue yielding relevance to its digital equivalent. At the expense of traditional print coupons and retail trade promotion, the report forecasts that by 2020, marketers will reach out to consumers directly, investing almost $50 billion annually in social marketing and commerce.
Facebook, hyperlocals to benefit
Facebook, according to the report, stands to benefit the most among the social networks. "Seventy-five percent of retailers report they plan to use Facebook to drive their social commerce business and nearly 50 percent plan to use Facebook in place of their own websites for product launches and promotions," writes Myers. "Hyper-local sites and apps are positioned to be the connecting commercial link between national marketers, local merchants and consumers." Reason #1,566, ladies and gentlement of the jury, why neighborhood newspaper publishers should double down on the digital hyperlocal side of the business.
Advertising on social media can be tricky
All conventional advertising is not equally viable. Arnie Gullov-Singh, the present CEO of Ad.ly, once ran product management for Yahoo’s contextual advertising program. He argues, interestingly enough, that social media is actually too engaging for its own good. "As a result, conventional online advertising -- the publishing model with ads placed adjacent to the content -- feels invasive in social-sharing settings," writes Singh in AdAge. "And consumers do their best to ignore it. In fact, the more engaging the content, the more consumers ignore the ads."
So while coupons in their digital form with a little tweaking for mobile and group buying translate organically in the social space, conventional online advertising does not. Conventional online advertising appears -- there's no other way to put it -- awkward in social sharing settings. Gullov-Singh concludes that on television, product placement partnerships are the way of the future, an inobtrusive way to advertise a product without interfering with content (and bypassing commercial-skipping DVRs).
The key to social marketing is to be an organic part of the conversation in the same way that product placement partnerships are organic parts of the televised content. The tone of social media is fundamentally anti-corporate, so the learning curve for mid-size to large organizations is going to be that much steeper. But the benefits of engaging in social media marketing -- generating exposure, improved search engine rankings, increasing traffic and, of course, building new partnerships -- are well worth the effort.