There’s a significant shift occurring in brand digital ad spending – and direct response companies need to take heed.
Brands are refining their performance driven strategies to expand beyond direct response and create a brand presence. As a result, social ads have become the focus of many successful direct response campaigns.
Are you taking advantage of social ads and direct response trends? If not, you could be missing out on the real ROI potential that social offers. It has expanded far beyond “likes,” comments and shares that were chased in previous eras of social media usage by brands.
Part of the shift is due to Facebook’s pressure – and with 757 million daily users, the social media giant shouldn’t be ignored. Facebook shifted its algorithm last year to make it encourage brands to pay to reach their fans directly. As a result, more brands shifted their advertising dollars to first test out and then come to rely on Facebook’s advertising channel.
Social media advertising is up, up, up. According to a recent study from Kenshoo, 6,000 clients reported that there was growth in their social media spending. Social media advertising spending went up 32% quarter on quarter, and 33% between this year and last overall. In comparison, search advertising spending grew by just 15% quarter on quarter and 14% between this year and last.
What’s even better is that that spending for social is performing well. Social media clickthrough rates improved 70% between the last two quarters, while paid search clickthrough rates lifted merely 2%.
Search and social media are complementary. In a statement regarding the company’s survey results, Kenshoo’s chief marketing officer Aaron Goldman commented that there was a “complementary nature” between search and social media. In light of this, many brands may eventually opt out of search advertising entirely and focus their impression spend on social ads. Social advertising has proven to be much more targeted, and much more likely to convert.
In addition, he noted that “advanced marketers” are streamlining their budgets by using tracking technology that paints a bigger picture of results. Armed with this, direct response companies can move away from the keyword-stuffed paid search ads and toward more engaging, human focused content.
Search engines remain valuable and relevant. However, this doesn’t mean that search is riding off into the sunset. David Parkinson, head of digital for Nissan in Africa, Middle East and India, pointed out that search engines are still valuable because they remain where consumers go first to look for information.
“What social has done,” he stated, “in the main, is allow people to ask for opinions more easily, from us, or from their friends and start having conversations. We plan to increase the amount we spend on paid social. Across the board, we are looking at where customers are likely to need to see us and rebalance our spend across platforms. We do not need to generally increase our budgets for this because our media spend is mapped to consumer behavior – we are just constantly rebalancing to where they are now.”
However, Quorn’s Peter Harrison stated that he saw potential for a combined strategy – but was concerned about where the funds would come from for a smaller company.
“In a perfect world I would love to be able to continue to do both because I think the paid social is interesting, however it depends on your objectives and budget. The opportunity for us at the moment is using SEO and PPC to talk to people through things like recipe and healthy eating tagging so that we’re reaching those we wouldn’t necessarily have got in other avenues,” Harrison stated.
Social media advertising is a go-to for direct response marketers. Even for companies like this, social media advertising is becoming a relied-upon direct response marketing technique. In the coming months, Facebook will begin letting advertisers bid on a highly targeted ad inventory.
So, what is your direct response company’s strategy?