Hello, let me introduce myself with a few facts.
I’m mid-30s, grew up watching TV and listening to local radio affiliates and spent many years working in a newspaper that made money through advertising dollars.
Now, I have Sirius satellite in my car, my DVR makes sure I never sit through a commercial and I get all my news on Social Media. Most importantly, when I’m deciding how and where to spend my money, I’m not passively doing research by watching TV commercials; I’m going directly to Facebook pages, Pinterest boards and websites to see products and reviews.
So what’s the point exactly? The point is while I did not grow up in the digital/social media age, it’s made everything in my life more convenient and easier. So when I hear of people preaching old-school or mainstream marketing tactics, it makes me scratch my head.
I’m not saying TV ads are a complete waste of time, but when you’re debating where you should be investing your limited marketing budget, let’s consider a few things:
First, some stats:
- 86 percent of TV watchers skip commercials (Newscred.com).
- The fastest-growing age group on Twitter is 55-64 year olds, up 79 percent since 2012 (Fast Company).
- 89 percent of Internet users 18-29 are active on social media (business2community.com).
- Facebook is close to 1.2 billion users (Digital Buzz).
- Every month there are 10.3 billion Google searches (B2B marketing).
Let’s break this down even further, shall we?
This is where it all starts, right? How much money you have to invest into your marketing is a big concern no matter what size business you have, but especially if you’re a small business with a small budget.
A TV commercial, even in local markets, can cost $1,200 to $10,000 depending on production and packages. Radio and newspaper ads can go for $500-$1,000 per ad.
Meanwhile, social media marketing has virtually no cost if self-managed and is still vastly more affordable when working with a company.
TV and radio commercial if not ignored or fast-forwarded through, last 30 seconds and are gone. Social media content always is up and available across your platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) 24/7, 365, always there to drive fans back to your website – your virtual storefront.
While TV/radio are often limited by demographics, social media is open to everyone at anytime. While you can obviously target your voice and content toward a certain group if you like, social media doesn’t limit who is seeing a post or blog at a given time.
Advertising, as a whole, has begun to pick on the importance of relationships and has reacted by emphasizing customer engagement. TV and radio advertising still adhere to the idea of creating a splash with a passive but memorable message that might (or might not) push buying. Social media, meanwhile, allows companies and their audience constant, two-way conversations and personal connects. Feedback is always available, allowing for transparency and lasting relationships.
5) Measuring success
Let’s bring it back full-circle by looking at money again. How much did your investment pay off? TV and radio return on investment is hard to gauge. Sales may spike and word-of-mouth may be an indication but long-term it’s hard to gauge how that one commercial package worked. Are you going to have to drop down more money to keep the success going? Probably. Social media and websites allow users to directly see numbers of actual people and gauge how efforts are working daily, monthly, annually. It gives you exactly the information you need to know to see your ROI at any time.
Social media marketing can work with mainstream or old-school tactics like TV and radio ads in many positive ways. However, if you are choosing to go in one direction solely, it’s important you and your company really look at where you audience is, and will, consistently be spending its time. Are they able to tune you out? Or can they not only tune you in but actively participate in the conversations you want them to?
How you spend your investment dollars is a big decision, choose wisely.