August 13, 2014

Digital Spend Increasing in 2014, Marketers Still Unsure About Social Media ROI

Today, digital content is being consumed at a rapid pace by information-hungry consumers. Companies are responding by investing heavily in digital marketing to feed the masses, while growing their own businesses. As a matter of fact, 80 percent of B2B marketers are allocating more funds this year to digital spend (including investments in social media) than they did in 2013, according to a study by Advertising Age.

Below are three key findings of the digital spending study:

  • Nearly 24 percent of B2B marketers, up from 17 percent in 2013, expect to spend between 50 percent and 74 percent of their budgets on digital this year.
  • There is a corresponding discernable decrease in traditional media spend such as print (down 24 percent), TV (reduced by 7.2 percent) and radio (off by 6.9 percent).
  • Investing in social media is high on the digital priority list. This year, companies will allocate 58.2 percent more to social media spending.

By spending marketing budget funds on digitized content (text, graphics, audio and video), businesses have seen related increases in ROI, as content enables businesses of any size to improve brand awareness and increase consumer engagement at a very low cost.

On the other hand, measurements for social media ROI are imprecise, and, therefore, contentious within the marketing space. However, according to data aggregated from an infographic by MDG Advertising, 96 percent of CMOs are starting to look beyond sales goals and Web metrics to identify the value of social marketing efforts.

According to Forrester, identifying the value of social media marketing efforts comes down to looking at four factors, as follows:

  1. Financial: Have costs decreased or sales increased?
  2. Brand: Have perceptions of the brand improved?
  3. Risk management: Are you better prepared to respond to issues that affect brand reputation?
  4. Digital: Has the brand enhanced its digital assets?

Even though social media ROI currently seems like a hard nut to crack, data from the infographic indicates that 74 percent of CMOs believe they’ll tie social media efforts to hard ROI this year. This confidence bodes well for marketers hoping to soon be able to prove ROI for social media.

Does your organization have a digital strategy that will give you a leg up on the competition when new opportunities arise? How are you planning to measure social media ROI?

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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