One major advantage with online marketing is that it can be done in a way that takes away the prejudice of sample groups of one, I think this or that. By analysing data from campaigns, understanding what has happened is black and white and helps further develop your marketing, what to do next.
Having worked in media for nearly three decades, magazines, events and exhibitions and technology marketing, the greatest change in that time is in how the results of marketing can be understood.
For those who have never worked with magazines yes there are ways of tracking and evaluating results, but they are time consuming, expensive and offer only a glimpse of what online does when asked the same question.
Over the past twenty years or so, the analytics available from online marketing has developed in a way that like many other technologies is hard to quantify.
Even basic systems like Google’s website analytics can tell a person familiar with the software exactly where their readers come from, what they are reading and for how long they are reading the page/pages visited. Plug that into a good email analytics system and you immediately add who to that equation, their name, job title, job role, the company they work for, their phone number and much more. Over time you can build a vivid picture of your readership and adjust the content proposition accordingly. You can now provide more of what you know your readership find engaging and justifies their decision to spend time reading your content.
The question, is marketing more of an art or more of a science? Is age old, and we are not about to try and provide an answer, if there is one.
Both are dependent on application and we all know that creative and analysis resources added to marketing will create better outcomes.
What we all don’t know is how much analytics is applied to the smartphones we have and how the big social media companies like Facebook, twitter and YouTube are using it.
The purpose of this statement is not to try and trigger another big brother type conspiracy theory but to consider just how ‘intelligent’ current analytics available to big companies are.
Back to the sample group on one. I like watching Ted Talks on YouTube on a pretty narrow range of subjects. YouTube didn’t take long to understand what I like to watch and then it previews recommendations of what it thinks I would like to watch more of. Not dissimilar to what we try and do ourselves with content.
For a while now YouTube has been making recommendations that suggest to me that my smartphone YouTube viewing history is not all that is being accessed. Recent recommendations would seem to be based on Facebook, email and possibly phone call data. All channels are accessed and used through the one device, my smart phone, so technically easily done.
If I am correct, I am not outraged by this, some might say I should be and a subject for another day, the conclusion if correct takes me to paid for social media advertising.
For quite some time the results I have been getting through social media advertising, predominantly Facebook, outperforms organic activity. This may be my lack of creativity, but this article is not an exercise in humility either, it is designed to ask the question has paid for social media marketing overtaken organic in its effectiveness.
You need to have some creative basics to start any campaign, or if you like some collateral. Facebook will now offer you an automated creative option at the point of creating your campaign, they think they can do it better than you can, and maybe they can.
Once you get to the point of activation, with your creative or the automated option, the question is are you actually getting more than you think you are buying?
What I mean by this is, does the reach of your message adopt and apply analytics, a la YouTube referred to earlier, that are invisible to you?
If this is a question you would like to debate, it is one that is being considered for the next H&C News Social Media Roundtable. If you would like to see – Social Media Marketing: now more of a science than an art? – on the agenda, let us know by using comments in these posts on – twitter – and/or – Facebook, if you would like to attend let us know too.
H&C News Social Media Roundtable events take place annually since 2014 and a summary of previous events can be seen here.
H&C News Social Media Roundtable events have since 2014 always been sponsored and supported by Armourcoat, more information about Armourcoat can be seen here.
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