Social Media Marketing

Facebook vs Google AdWords: Choosing the Right Platform on a Limited Budget

As a Digital-savvy business owner or executive with a limited marekting budget, you will often face a decision of choosing between Facebook or Google AdWords as your primary digital marketing platform. The two platforms share many similarities, but can serve different purposes. Google Display Campaigns and Facebook Campaigns are even more similar in that they both rely on image ads, are based on a push strategy, and can be targeted towards interests. However, when we think of Google AdWords, we tend to think of Search Campaigns. For the purposes of this article, we are going to compare Google Search Campaigns and Facebook Advertising.

 

Facebook or Google AdWords: The Battle for Digital Supremacy

 

Even though Facebook is newer to the digital advertising battle than Google, it has become quite the formidable opponent. Facebook has built a significant, and ever more crucial, database of information and analysis about its users. It has become its own self-sufficient source of news, real and fake. In addition, very recently it started rolling in the ability to apply for jobs, competing directly with LinkedIn.

 

Nevertheless, Google is no easy opponent. If Facebook is Rocky Balboa, Google is Apollo Creed – and in the end, both are probably equal, but have different styles. Not only is Google fully aware of all your search history, but also knows your video-viewing habits, and through its Google Maps has a knowledge of places you frequent, countries you visit, and even which cars you look at more often (on the internet, not real-life, but that surely is just right around the corner).

 

To determine which platform is your primary choice, just look at the battle lines and try to compare your objectives with the best platform.

 

Push (Facebook) vs. Pull (Google AdWords)

 

Facebook Ads follow a push strategy. Facebook delivers ads to its users on their timeline feeds based on their interests and past online behaviour. On the other hand, Google AdWords Search Campaigns are based on a pull strategy. Ads are delivered based on a list of pre-determined search keywords. If the user searches for a keyword, the ad is then delivered based on that keyword.

 

Choosing the right platform for your campaign will be based on your business and your objectives. Is your business better served with a push strategy or a pull strategy? Keep in mind that push strategy campaigns tend to be more expensive than a pull strategy by nature, because you need to choose the right target audience. Therefore, your target audience is narrower, which means real estate for the ads will be more valuable, and costlier.

 

Pay Per Click (Google AdWords) vs. Pay-Per-Click OR Impression OR Other (Facebook)

 

Google AdWords search campaigns are billed on a pay-per-click basis. Facebook campaigns vary widely, and as a result there are different types of billing methods. Pay-per-impression or pay-per-click are the most common.

 

If your main consideration is budget, choosing the right platform will be dependent on your objective. Is your objective to lead people to your website? Then a pay-per-click campaign is certainly the best way to go. If you are simply looking to establish your brand and increase awareness, you want to go with a pay-per-impression campaign.

 

The Real Answer Will Depend on You

 

In the end, to determine which platform is best for your campaign and budget, you will have to trade-off between sending ads to a large amount of people, that might not be exactly your target audience, but happen to be searching for it (Google AdWords), or exactly people who are your target audience, but you reach them on a different platform on a personal platform (Facebook).

 

Strictly speaking, because the real estate on Facebook is more limited than Google AdWords, a campaign is more likely to cost you more on Facebook. However, conversion rates on Facebook might be better, if you are reaching the right target audience, and your business is well-suited for that approach.

 

Contact us today and we will help you assess your objectives and determine which platform is the right one for you!

5 Reasons to Outsource Your Social Media

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in today’s digital driven world and is a tool that requires a specific skill-set. Many businesses make the mistake of trying to incorporate the role of social media into an existing position. Making the decision to outsource your company’s social media can be the most effective way to help your brand take its social media marketing to the next stage.
A recent survey done by Social Media Examiner found that 92% of brands said that social media was important to their business. However, of this group, how many of them have the time or experience necessary to deliver a solid social media presence?

Here are 5 reasons to outsource the role of social media

1. Time
Social Media is a 24/7 job and it never takes a break. This is not a job that can be added on to a current marketing position or done by the owner of the company in between running their business. Having a dedicated community manager handling your brands accounts will ensure that posts are executed and responded to in a timely and acceptable manner. The day’s of having “hours” listed on social media accounts are over. Customers simply won’t accept waiting 24 hours for a response.

2. Experience
Think of your social media accounts as your brands chance to make a good first impression. The voice and tone of your online presence will set the stage for how you are perceived and valued online by your audience and customer base. An experienced community manager understands that a strong social media presence is critical for your brand and can build a strategy that will resonate with your customers. They will also know how to handle the unexpected such as customer complaints!

3. Content
Crafting a compelling story for your brand requires time, experience and creativity. Content needs to be developed and curated specific to each platform. Social media is not a one size fits all approach and requires that each platform have content and images that will resonate with its unique audience. An experienced community manager will work with your brand to develop your social story and will know when its time to re-develop or amend that story based on its results.

4. Reliability
To build an engaged online community your brand needs to be present on social media. This means being available to respond to comments, answer questions, and be online when news hits that is relevant to your brand. Having a dedicated community manager to handle your social media accounts will ensure posts are engaged with and responded to in a timely fashion. There is nothing worse than a dormant online presence.

5. Measurability
Understanding the ROI of your social media efforts is key in continued social media success. A skilled community manager will have the tools and knowledge to present reports and key findings that will help your team build on its social media plans. Knowing which platforms resonate with your customers, what time of day your customers are online and what types of posts inspire comments and shares are all key KPI’s that your brand needs to understand.

Making the decision to outsource your social media will allow you the time to focus on building your business and ensure that your online presence is in good hands. If you are interested in learning more about how H2O Digital can help your company, please contact us.

5 Benefits of Using Instagram for your Business

5 Benefits of Instagram for Business

People go to Instagram to become inspired and to explore the content they are interested in. Instagram is the digital marketing go-to for displaying images in an easy, creative and expressive way- especially because of the application’s digital editing capabilities. In fact, 60% of people say that they discovered a new product because it appeared on their Instagram feed.

With an increase in functionality, Instagram for Business is a key component to a successful social media marketing strategy.

Here are the top 5 benefits of using Instagram for Business in your social media marketing strategy:

 

Learning the Likes & Dislikes of your Audience

 

Whether your business is located online or has a physical geographical location, your consumers could be raving about your business on Instagram without you even knowing it.

 

Instagram is a great social media marketing tool to gain consumer feedback. In most cases consumers post images of things, food, attractions they enjoyed. By simply searching your location on Instagram you will be able to see all the postings your audience have posted while interacting with your brand.

 

Increase consumer engagement

 

Instagram only continues to improve their interactive features as time goes on. New features such as Instagram stories and Instagram live allow you to communicate with audiences in real time, in addition to simply posting a single image.

 

Explore New Audiences

 

With Instagram’s new search options and location tagging, it is now easier than ever for new audiences, and customers to find you!

 

The easiest way consumers explore new content is through hashtags. Hashtags simply group together all postings that have similar content.

 

In addition to Hashtags, Instagram also has a Discovery tab that allows a user to find similar profiles and accounts that may exhibit the same interests as theirs.

 

Generate Sales

 

Instagram has added the ability for businesses to add important information such as their phone number, store hours and website to make it easier for a user to connect with them and see a full line of their products.

 

Become Digitally Connected

 

Instagram posts can be easily shared across different social media marketing channels. By enabling social sharing on your Instagram business account one is able to share postings to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Swarm with a click of a button.

 

In addition, the interconnection between digital platforms also increases the cross-channel engagement. If your Instagram feed is displayed on your website, a consumer will be able to click through the postings and be redirected to your account with a hope to gain a new follower, if they haven’t done so already.

 

So why not jump on the Instagram for business bandwagon and reap the benefits? By switching your Instagram account to an Instagram for Business account you will be able to interact with your audience in new and creative ways while also getting insight on how each of your posting is doing.

 

 

To learn more about simplifying your Instagram marketing, check out these three simple tips!

What is the ROI of Social Media?

As a marketers who deeply believes in the power of social media, we have to say that the question “What is the ROI of Social Media?” is by far the most asked question.  The answer however, is not so simple…

The truth of the matter is this…the answer to this question is not always quantitative – the answer is based on sentiment and engagement.

Ask yourself this:

What is the value for your brand to have customers engaging daily with you, sharing their feedback, spreading their excitement and organically sharing your message with their network? The answer is “priceless”. No form of traditional advertising can offer an ROI nearly as impactful or effective as building a positive sentiment for your brand on social media.

What other form of advertising provides you a platform to genuinely talk to you customers and potential customers?

Where else can you share your expertise through casual conversation?

Social Media is a forum where as a brand you can showcase your expertise and content without feeling like you are “selling” your brand. This is not to say that Social Media can or should replace traditional media, only that it can amplify your traditional marketing strategies using messaging that engages your audience and motivates an immediate response and action.

A recent study by The Business Insider revealed that 90% of customers will recommend brands who they interact with on social media. The voice you create for your brand can turn your customers into loyal brand advocates. Think about your experiences with brands – the ones you trust, value and believe in. These are ultimately the brands you buy from time and time again.  Social Media transforms a customer who “likes” you into a customer who “loves” you.  This might sound corny but a customer who loves your brand will buy from you – each and every time.

So the next time you are questioning the ROI of your social media efforts consider the following:

  • Do your Facebook posts receive likes, shares and comments?
  • Do your posts evoke an emotion with your followers?
  • Are your tweets getting retweeted?
  • Do your blog posts receive comments?
  • Do your followers initiate conversations on your social media platforms?

If the answer to any of these questions is YES then you should consider the ROI of your social media efforts to be a success!