Many marketers think of Facebook marketing as a brand activity – not one that can drive conversion directly. However, it doesn’t have to be an either-or proposition. By combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers can drive both amplification and conversion.
Companies are growing their social media budgets and with more money comes increased expectations (and scrutiny). The need to prove ROI of efforts and social media’s role to the bottom line is becoming essential. This still isn’t down to a science, however. As Social Media Examiner points out in its 2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 88 percent of marketers still want to know how best to measure social media ROI.
This makes Facebook ripe for a convergence of brand marketing and direct marketing. Why? Because by combining brand marketing and direct marketing actions, social media marketers contribute to specific data and revenue objectives, allowing them to show ROI and measurable business impact. In the process, they prove the value of the social media investment and the social marketer’s value as well.
This is already starting to happen, and there are several things we can learn from early adopters. They are combining brand and direct response marketing by:
1) Using Facebook as a ‘point of conversion’ for their other marketing activities. That is, they give customers a way to respond via social channels to what they see on TV, billboards or even email.
2) Creating conversation opportunities linked to premium brand content. Engaged customers appreciate “VIP access” and are often willing to share their data and insight in return for exclusive content.
3) Creating programs that incorporate Facebook actions and behaviors into a brand’s broader, cross-channel “Customer Journey” – in measurable way.
Early adopters who have successfully blended brand and direct response marketing in this way consistently see added benefits from their existing social media strategies. It’s also worth noting that these benefits play off of one another, creating a positive ROI cycle. Specifically, early adopters are:
1) Identifying more qualified consumers and in the processgetting products directly in the hands of their best customers.
2) Achieving higher amplification, allowing consumers to amplify a brand’s message, boosting their organic Facebook reach.
3) Gaining greater efficiency. New, automated social response solutions allow brands to convert consumers at scale.
4) Increasing campaign effectiveness with new insights analytics that go beyond engagement and tap into social conversation rates, sales and consumer profile data.
It should come as no shock that Gartner Research found that “42 percent of respondents see analytics as a top future investment for Social Marketing.” With greater budget comes greater responsibility to drive concrete outcomes. And while many marketers are focused today on how best to measure social marketing efforts, they should also explore new opportunities to combine brand marketing and direct marketing activities within social to drive additional ROI.