Chief Marketing Officers, entrepreneurs and business owners are doing everything in their power to interface social media into the super-fast evolution of technology, and how they impact marketing. They already know that social media connects them with their audiences, but the information gap on the true costs involved in a social media campaign is widening faster than the learning curve. The time and resources invested in a campaign must be understood and evaluated in order to realize some level of return on that investment.
Three things to consider when contemplating a social media campaign:
1. Content Costs
The creation of engaging content is measured in several ways. Having a creative person on staff that has the time dedicated to writing content is an investment in both labor costs and the time allotment of a minimum of two hours a day. Blog posts, Facebook pages and Tweets, among other social media sites, will consume 20% to 30% of an employee’s time; $15,000 to $25,000 per year in labor burden. Content providers (blog post and article ghostwriters) and virtual assistants can be utilized to front load the campaign, and range in price from $6,000 to $15,000 annually, depending on the workload contracted. Like on-staff content creation, these costs are merely to create and place content. Inbound marketing software and a marketing agency to assist is becoming the standard, whereby everything is interfaced and a coordinated campaign is developed, placed and analyzed, and is constantly monitored and analyzed for management decision making. Traditional marketing agencies are racing to catch up with the digital agencies of today, providing a combination of technology and creativity, with bleeding edge analytics. The price range is broad for a full service marketing effort, but social media and blog posting can be $2500 a month to $25,000 a month.
2. Analytics Costs
Understanding the impact of your social media and blogging efforts adds to the cost of campaigns. Data must not only be gathered, but analyzed. Facebook provides some level of metrics, as well as Google analytics for your web activity. Which data streams to monitor and what to follow are the questions to ask yourself, as well as how much will it cost. The most valuable information to glean from social media interactions are the “Like” responses or comments, as well as those that ask for additional information. Whether analytics and metrics are evaluated in house or through the hiring of a third party, understanding the reports, trends and what it costs to manage these effectively is crucial.
Third party sources that utilize technology platforms such as Hubspot, Eloqua or some other software firm not only provide the analytics, they also provide complete solutions. Costs vary depending on what portions of a complete solution you are willing to utilize. The cost for analytics range from $500 to $1500 a month, but combining them with additional services from a third party may be more cost effective.
3. Like, Fan or Follower Acquisition Costs
It’s not only about the number of fans or followers you collect. The investment in social media platforms guarantees nothing. Wise use of time and talent (in-house or third party), combined with effective and well understood analytics may improve the ROI, but the key is knowledge and experience of the placement personnel of your content. In-house costs include indirect costs that may not be initially considered, such as health and welfare, space and technology allocation, etc. Outsourcing part or all of the campaign may be more cost effective, but management must fully evaluate these types of decisions.
Like everything else in business, social media investment is a risk and return decision. There is no magic formula for determining the true cost of a social media campaign, as each one is different. There is no cookie-cutter program, and your budget should encompass some of the hidden or ancillary costs highlighted above. Continue reading →
It takes much more than providing the type of content our customers might be looking for, but identifying what customers want to hear about your particular operating niche. Continue reading →
Today’s experts in the field have learned the truth that it is all about making a connection with an individual, rather than shot-gunning they are rifling their messages to consumers. Marketers and advertisers know exactly where the eyes are, and they are on their mobile devices. No longer, is the mobile phone a luxury or “for emergency use only” device, it is the extension of our communications abilities, our vehicle to connect. Continue reading →
With U.S. business marketplace feverishly working toward incorporating mobile into their marketing and communications mix, it is estimated that by the end of 2012, 30% of all business will have mobile technology as part of their routine operating plan. Continue reading →
Time is a cost that most marketers seem to take
little notice of, unless they are using direct mail. The fact of the matter is,
all forms of communications take time to prepare, deliver, monitor and analyze
results for their success or failure. Time is the great equalizer, and therefore
is something that must be taken into account. While there are virtual assistants
that can Tweet, Post on Facebook or send out mass emails, there are costs
involved. Continue reading →
There will be a long list of ideas, strategies, concepts and statements that come from the process, and need to be documented for possible later use. Who knows, you may identify a product life extension idea that can be used down the road. Continue reading →
Sending video emails with full color custom templates to highlight them is as easy as pie, and you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg for the ability to either. Continue reading →
It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3. From email marketing, newsletters and couponing, an effective campaign can develop quickly. Even if you are new to the email campaign concept, you can accomplish a formidable marketing weapon that will positively influence your brand, customer satisfaction and revenue stream. Continue reading →
• More than 6 Billion text messages are sent and received every month.
• Eighty-five percent are opened within 3 minutes, and a whopping 94% of them are opened and read within the first hour of receiving them.
• The consumer always has the option to opt-in or opt-out of your message delivery.
• Marketing in this way is Permission-Based. The Consumer is in Control.