A major shift has been taking place for a few years on the web with the rise of user generated content, and businesses now have hard evidence that the “social web” has become undeniably what constitutes their quintessential source of traffic, leads and sales, alongside with traffic referred through SEO and SEM. See how the main sources of traffic for some of these major sites have turned to become social-web driven:
Forward-thinking marketers have started to engage in social media and this has become part of their overall marketing strategy. New approaches to online marketing are emerging constantly and require a quick adaptation to concepts such as “earned media” (the additional unpaid exposure a brand gets when consumers engage in conversations around brands online), local social advertising, social search or social ad networks.
If you’re in charge of marketing your business, there is no doubt that you have already heard about the new marketing gold rush that is taking place in social media. The low cost to entry of generating marketing content through the social media scene has created an opportunity for marketers to expand their brand reach by encouraging and monitoring engagement in social communities. Although the marketing means in social media are more subtle and require more context understanding than in online advertising, the prospects are great for marketers to increase brand exposure and generate leads and sales. For those still in doubt that social media and real time marketing are worth the time spent, here are 8 good reasons why you should start to take it seriously.
1 – Reaches a better targeted audience
Social media networks require user authentication and as such, provide ways (called APIs) for marketers tapping in those social ecosystems to better target their audience. By leveraging behavioral targeting, marketers can pinpoint their targeted audiences and engage in conversations or advertise on pages that are more likely to be contextually relevant to the nature of the product being advertised. This has obvious repercussions on the resulting engagement and consequently on the likelihood that users will have a positive interaction with the product or brand being marketed.
2 – Reaches a connected audience in real time
The Web 2.0 revolution has mainly been the revolution of user generated content. The consequence of this for marketers is that content is created non-stop, and so are opportunities for brand exposure and user engagement. This requires marketers to get the proper tools for
- Monitoring and assessing online conversations and plugging into each opportunity to leverage the ongoing stream
- Defining a business workflow allowing them to manage the process of handling those branding and conversion opportunities (and automating what can be)
- Measuring the success of those actions, allowing for repeatable cycles of successful marketing opportunities
- Amplifying the positive brand exposure by spreading it across all possible channels
3 – Generates exposure for you business
Marketers have a great opportunity to generate exposure by providing information about their company and product updates. This can start as simply as creating a Twitter account and Facebook Fan Page, and linking those pages from their web site. Most marketers report a positive outcome from marketing their business on social media.
4 – Generates qualified leads
Although requiring a high level of engagement, social media can help generating qualified leads given the highly targeted nature of the possible interactions with prospective clients. That is becoming a major potential source of savings for businesses, as it drastically reduces customer acquisition costs.
5 – Creates new opportunities for business partnerships
By engaging with people similar industries and having complementary business goals, social media can help businesses get new partnership opportunities and grow their business reach as a result. This particularly applies to sole proprietors tending to engage in social media under their own name (realtors, lawyers etc)
6 – Increases site traffic and subscribers
Well conducted social media campaign will leverage link building strategies in order to drive traffic to their site and increase conversion if coupled with targeted and optimized landing pages. This part should be coupled with A-B testing and can be easily automated and measured for optimization.
7- Helps your Search Engine Optimization
Since content of many of the social networks, social discovery and social bookmarking sites are indexed by search engines, having a presence on those networks will positively help with your SEO efforts. Automation is again is key, as spreading every piece of positive content can help amplify the effects of re-posting/re-blogging and provide opportunities for viral content distribution.
8 – Reduces overall expenses in web marketing and advertising
Social Media Marketing is projected to grow to a $3.1 billion market by 2014 (Forrester),
the highest area of growth in all marketing areas, ahead of mobile (+27%):
As stated by Sequoia partner Mark Kvamme (GigaOM, 03/17/10), “if you can harness social media marketing, you don’t have to pay for advertising any more”. The Social Web still is in its early phases but has the enabling characteristics of a transforming phenomenon for the
marketing industry, and Infinigraph is ideally positioned to become a leader and innovator in that disrupting phase of evolution, the era of Social Media Optimization.