According to a pair of recent surveys, marketers say that social media and a wider variety of content options are driving their digital marketing strategies – but gauging the success of their efforts is still a challenge.
According to the latest Association of National Advertisers survey, 70% of marketers said they are employing different new media channels, but 62% reported they are struggling to measure the effectiveness of these efforts.
The ANA survey, released last week, reported that typical barriers to understanding the true value of different digital media include lack of internal buy-in and alignment. More than half of respondents said key members of their organizations misunderstand the ways these channels contribute to their companies’ business results.
Many of the problems these brands face are due to their inability to use analytics software that is needed to assess a campaign’s contribution to the business. With just 52% of companies actively measuring ROI, it’s difficult for many to find real benefits.
The ANA survey also illustrated the exploding influence of social media on digital marketing strategies: Nine out of 10 respondents are using social media as a digital marketing channel. In terms of delivered traffic, Facebook was found to be the best at delivering leads, with 66% of customers having made a purchase after being influenced by a brand’s Facebook content.
According to the ANA, conversions and time on site have become the most influential stats for marketers. At the same time, explicit social metrics, such as Likes and Retweets, are becoming less influential to marketers and companies’ decision-makers.
In another report, Burson-Marsteller checked in with its Global Social Media Check-Up 2012 last week and found that content creation was the key to the Fortune Global 100’s use of popular social networking platforms, including Twitter, Facebook andYouTube -- and, for the first time, Google Plus and Pinterest.
In 2012, the vast majority of companies (87%) reported using at least one of the major social platforms to communicate with online stakeholders. The largest growth in corporate usage, by far, occurred on YouTube: The study found a 39% jump in the number of companies with a branded YouTube channel. Seventy-nine percent of companies in the study are now using a branded YouTube channel, compared to 57% in 2011. These channels each average more than two million views and 1,669 subscribers.
The study also found that Twitter is the most popular platform for companies’ branded social media efforts, as well as for online discussions involving these companies. Indeed, 82% of Fortune Global 100 companies have at least one Twitter account, while each company was mentioned an average of 55,970 times on Twitter.