A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Kenshoo SocialThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingHow ...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 1Table Of ContentsExecutive Summary.........................
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 2US marketers spend morethan $2 billion a year on avariet...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 3Social Advertisers Use Pages More Than Ads — But Pages A...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 4Figure 1Social Advertisers Use A Wide Range Of Social Si...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 5Figure 3But You Can’t Just Post Content; You Need To Pro...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 6Figure 4Social Advertisers Focus On Ad Rotation, But It’...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 7Marketers Say That Promoted Content Drives Brand Awarene...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 8Figure 7Paid Social Ads Are Working Best For Response-Fo...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 9KEY RECOMMENDATIONSAfter years of experimenting with org...
Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 10Appendix A: MethodologyIn this study, Forrester intervi...
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Forrester: The Key to Successful Social Advertising

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Report by Forrester on what works in social advertising. While promoted content creates awareness, ads help with conversion.

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Forrester: The Key to Successful Social Advertising

  1. 1. A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By Kenshoo SocialThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingHow To Choose The Right Tactics To Achieve Your Social Advertising ObjectivesMay 2013
  2. 2. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 1Table Of ContentsExecutive Summary.................................................................................................................................................................................2Social Advertisers Use Pages More Than Ads — But Pages Aren’t Enough................................................................................3Social Advertisers Should Prioritize Ad Targeting Over Ad Rotation ..........................................................................................5Marketers Say That Promoted Content Drives Brand Awareness And Ads Drive Sales...........................................................7Key Recommendations...........................................................................................................................................................................9Appendix A: Methodology...................................................................................................................................................................10© 2013, Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources.Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester®, Technographics®, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and TotalEconomic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additionalinformation, go to www.forrester.com. [1-LPT9U9]About Forrester ConsultingForrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging inscope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester’s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who applyexpert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit www.forrester.com/consulting.
  3. 3. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 2US marketers spend morethan $2 billion a year on avariety of social tactics toreach more than 1 billionsocial network users.Executive SummaryWith more than 1 billion users tapping into social networks, marketers have eagerly turned to social advertising tacticsin order to reach their audiences. In Q1 2013, Kenshoo Social commissionedForrester Consulting to evaluate how marketers are using social media advertising,with the goal of educating marketers on how to choose the most effective socialmedia advertising objectives and tactics.For the purposes of this research, we define two types of social advertising tactics:• Organic social media marketing. This includes tactics that social sites don’tcharge for, such as branded pages, branded applications, and branded posts on social networks.• Paid social media advertising. This includes paid tactics such as ads and promoted content on social networks,promoted content on microblogs, and ads on business-focused social networks.In conducting an in-depth survey with 105 large social advertisers (i.e., social media and advertising professionalswhose companies spend more than $100,000 per year on social media ads), Forrester found that while social advertisersuse a wide range of organic and paid tactics across a variety of social sites, more than one-third are not satisfied withtheir efforts. Considering how many large social advertisers are missing the mark, it’s time for marketers to use moresophisticated social advertising tactics and to better match their tactics to their objectives.Key FindingsForrester’s study yielded three key findings:• Organic posting is the most popular social tactic — but paid advertising is the most successful tactic. Socialadvertisers we surveyed use a wide range of social sites and strategies. The most popular tactic? Maintainingbranded pages on general social networks, business networks, and microblogs. But branded pages alone do notmake an effective social marketing strategy — marketers must use paid social advertising as well.• Social advertisers still aren’t using advanced optimization tactics. More than half of social advertisers use adrotation. But only one-third use granular targeting to reach the right audiences; most of those who do targetprimarily use basic criteria like demographic targeting. This leaves a lot of room for improvement for marketerswho seek better results.• Social advertisers should pay for promoted content to drive awareness and buy ads to drive sales. Wemeasured the tactics of 69 satisfied social advertisers and found that different paid social strategies drove differentkinds of success. Social advertisers who paid to promote their branded content were most satisfied with theawareness they created, while those who bought paid ads were happiest with their ability to drive purchases.Brand-focused social advertisers and response-focused social advertisers must deploy the tactics proven to be bestfor meeting their specific objectives.
  4. 4. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 3Social Advertisers Use Pages More Than Ads — But Pages Aren’t EnoughToday, most marketers include some type of social advertising tactic in their toolbox. But which tactics do they mostcommonly use? We asked 105 social advertisers a variety of questions in order to gather insight on which tactics theyare using and which of their efforts are most effective. We found that:• Social advertisers use a broad range of sites and strategies. Social advertisers use a variety of social sites to reachtheir audiences (see Figure 1). A majority of our survey respondents market on general social networks, and morethan half use microblogs and business-focused social networks for marketing. By casting a wide net, socialadvertisers increase the chance that individuals will find and connect with their brand on noisy social mediachannels.• They prefer organic tactics. All of the advertisers in our survey use paid social advertising tactics, but overall theywere more likely to implement organic tactics like branded pages and content than to use paid ads — no matterwhat type of social site they were targeting (see Figure 2). Close to three-quarters of respondents indicated that ongeneral social networks, they create branded pages and post messages on those pages, and more than half createbranded accounts and post messages to those accounts on microblogs. By comparison, significantly fewer socialadvertisers run paid social ads or pay to promote content on each type of social site.• But paid promotion offers them the best results. We asked 69 respondents who indicated that they are satisfiedwith their paid social media advertising what tactics they use. The tactic that satisfied social advertisers used morethan other survey respondents was paying to promote content on general social networks — followed by payingto promote trends on microblogs and buying ads on general social networks (see Figure 3). The lesson?Generally, social advertisers get what they pay for. They are more satisfied with the results they achieve from paidadvertising than the results they achieve with less costly organic tactics like branded pages, groups, or accountsalone.
  5. 5. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 4Figure 1Social Advertisers Use A Wide Range Of Social Sites And StrategiesBase: 105 US social media/advertising professionalsSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013Figure 2Social Advertisers Use Branded Pages More Than Paid PromotionBase: 105 US social media/advertising professionalsSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013“Which of the following types of social media properties do you use for marketing?”“Which of the following marketing tactics do you use on social networks ormicroblogs or business-focused social networks?”
  6. 6. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 5Figure 3But You Can’t Just Post Content; You Need To Promote ItBase: 69 US social media/advertising professionals who said that they were “satisfied” with paid social media advertisingSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013Note: Top five responses and bottom five responses are shown.Social Advertisers Should Prioritize Ad Targeting Over Ad RotationAll of the social advertisers in our survey sample spend at least $100,000 per year on paid social ads—and most spendmuch more. In fact, the majority of the companies we surveyed spend more than $500,000 per year on paid socialadvertising. What strategies do social advertisers use to get more value from all that spending?• Ad rotation is the most popular strategy for improving performance. More than half of social advertisersindicated that they rotate ads on social media properties, but only a third said that they use granular ad targeting(see Figure 4). Likewise, most social advertisers don’t use advanced testing to compare the performance ofdifferent advertising tactics — and fewer than one-quarter use tools to either manage their bids or manage theircreative.• But ad targeting remains too basic to drive real success. In addition to ad rotation, social advertisers usetargeting tactics across all social sites to improve their paid advertising strategies (see Figure 5). But despite thebenefits of the advanced targeting methods that social sites offer (e.g., targeting users’ interests, targeting friendsof a brand’s existing fans, targeting workplace seniority), social advertisers are most likely to turn to the simplestform of targeting: basic demographics.“Which of the following marketing tactics do you use on social networks or microblogs orbusiness-focused social networks?”
  7. 7. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 6Figure 4Social Advertisers Focus On Ad Rotation, But It’s Not The Key To Successful Social AdvertisingBase: 105 US social media/advertising professionalsSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013Figure 5Most Social Advertisers Target, But They Use Basic CriteriaBase: 105 US social media/advertising professionalsSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013“Which of the following practices do you use when buying ads or paying to promotecontent on social media properties?”“What types of targeting do you regularly use when buying ads or paying to promote content onsocial networks or microblogs or business-focused social networks?”
  8. 8. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 7Marketers Say That Promoted Content Drives Brand Awareness And AdsDrive SalesOne of the greatest challenges that social advertisers currently face is trying to determine where and when to dial uptheir investment in paid tactics. Social advertisers are starting to realize that a one-size-fits-all strategy is not the bestway to deliver a positive return on investment (ROI). Today, marketers are finding that different paid social advertisingtactics are effective for achieving different objectives:• Paid promoted content is working best for brand-focused social advertisers. Satisfied social advertisers whoused promoted content said that they were more satisfied with their campaigns’ ability to create brand awarenessthan to achieve any other marketing objective (see Figure 6). The reason is simple: Paying to promote contenthelps social advertisers get more exposure for the organic content they create, increasing their brand footprint onfans’ and followers’ feeds.• Paid social ads are working best for response-focused social advertisers. By contrast, satisfied social advertiserswho used paid advertising said that they were more satisfied with their campaigns’ ability to drive purchases thanto achieve any other marketing objective (see Figure 7). Why? Social advertisers tell us that they feel freer to usestrong calls-to-action in social ads than in posts that appear in the streams of their existing users — and that canlead to better conversion rates.Figure 6Paying To Promote Content Is Working Best For Brand-Focused Social AdvertisersBase: 69 US social media/advertising professionals who said that they were “satisfied” with paid social media advertisingSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013“What is the primary objective of each tactic you use when marketing on socialmedia properties?”(Answers shown for promoted content)
  9. 9. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 8Figure 7Paid Social Ads Are Working Best For Response-Focused Social AdvertisersBase: 69 US social media/advertising professionals who said that they were “satisfied” with paid social media advertisingSource: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Kenshoo Social, Q1 2013“What is the primary objective of each tactic you use when marketing on social media properties?”(Answers shown for ads)
  10. 10. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 9KEY RECOMMENDATIONSAfter years of experimenting with organic and paid advertising tactics on social media channels, it’s time for socialadvertisers to focus on the strategies and tactics that drive success. Our survey shows that marketers can immediatelyimprove their results with these four simple steps:• Start with clear marketing objectives. Marketers must define their most important priorities and objectivesbefore they choose social advertising tactics and then focus on the tactics that will help them reach their objectives.For brand-focused marketers whose primary goal is to drive awareness, promoted content is the easiest way tocreate success. For response-focused marketers whose primary goal is to drive purchases, paid advertisementsrepresent the surest way to meet your objectives.• Promote your brand and your content. Many marketers still think of social media as a free channel. But the data isclear: Marketers who used paid social tactics — be it paying for social advertising or paying to promote socialcontent — say that they’re more successful than those who don’t. The lesson? Social marketing can be free — but ifyou want it to deliver results, it shouldn’t be free.• Take advantage of robust targeting. One of the greatest benefits of advertising on social networks is thatmarketers can set very specific targeting criteria — reaching users based on their interests, activities, friends, andmore. This type of granular social targeting enables brands to increase the ROI of their advertising efforts on socialnetworks.• Develop a holistic approach for greater success. Successful marketing programs accomplish a range ofmarketing objectives — for instance, creating brand impact to drive discovery, offering deep product informationto convert prospects, and building relationships with existing customers after the point of purchase. While differentpaid and organic social advertising tactics play different roles, smart marketers will consider how all of their socialopportunities fit into the customer journey and into their broader marketing initiatives — and then take a holisticapproach to managing and measuring those programs.
  11. 11. Forrester ConsultingThe Key To Successful Social AdvertisingPage 10Appendix A: MethodologyIn this study, Forrester interviewed 105 large social advertisers (e.g., social media and advertising professionals whosecompanies spend more than $100,000 per year on social media ads) in the US to evaluate how marketers are usingsocial media advertising, with the goal of educating marketers on how to choose the most effective social mediaadvertising objectives and tactics. Respondents were offered a cash incentive as a thank you for time spent on thesurvey. The study began in February 2013 and was completed in that same month.

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