Social Media Marketing

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1 Social Media Marketing Research Benchmarks The most challenging obstacles to social media marketing success in the year ahead and how marketers plan to overcome them. Client Connection Research conducted by Ascend2 and Research Partners Client Connection Research conducted by Ascend2 and [Research Partner]

2 Social Media Marketing Research Benchmarks Client Connection Research conducted by Ascend2 and Research Partners. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License. You may adapt, copy, distribute and transmit this work. However, you must attribute the work as produced by Ascend2 and its Research Partners but not in any way that suggests that they endorse you or your use of the work. You may not use this work for commercial purposes. 2

3 Table of Contents Social media as a marketing channel continues to grow 4 Social media marketing success is defined by effectiveness 5 Most important social marketing objectives in the year ahead 7 Most challenging obstacles to social marketing success 8 Most effective tactics used and the most difficult to execute 9 How marketers are integrating social media into the mix 12 How marketers are using analytics to attribute success to social 14 Resources marketers are using to implement social campaigns 16 Research methodologies and demographics 17 About Ascend2 19 3

4 Social media as a marketing channel continues to grow. The use of social media as a marketing channel continues to grow and so do the challenges to achieving success. What are the most challenging obstacles to social media marketing success in the year ahead and how do marketers plan to overcome them? To find out, Ascend2 and our Research Partners fielded the Social Media Marketing Survey and completed interviews with 523 business leaders and marketing professionals from around the world. We thank these busy professionals for sharing their valuable insights with you. The charts in this edition of our study, titled Social Media Marketing Research Benchmarks, represent the average of all market segments responding to the survey. Other research segments are available exclusively from our Research Partners. This Client Connection Research has been produced for your use. Put it to work in your own marketing strategy planning and presentation materials. Clip the charts and write about them in your blog or post them on social media. Use this research however you like, credited as published. Sergio Balegno Chief Strategy Officer 4

5 Social media marketing success is defined by the ability to achieve important marketing objectives. Only 15% of companies are very effective accomplishing this. 5

6 Of those surveyed, 85% are currently using social media as a marketing channel and an additional 13% are planning to do so. 6

7 Soft objectives such as increasing awareness still dominate social marketing. Measureable objectives like lead generation and web traffic are gaining importance. 7

8 Budget and staff limitations are financial challenges, while the inability to measure social marketing ROI is an obstacle overcome as analytics and skills improve. 8

9 Creating and posting various forms of content are the most effective tactics used, followed by the use of to engage your social media audiences. 9

10 Videos for social marketing purposes have advanced from homemade to studio quality, increasing the technical difficulty of producing multi-media content. 10

11 Posting content on social networks, microblogs and blogs are the top tactics based on effectiveness, and some of the least difficult tactics to execute. 11

12 16% of marketers found integrating social media with other types of marketing a challenging obstacle, yet only 25% of marketers extensively integrate social media. 12

13 While social media is primarily considered an inbound marketing channel, it is most often integrated with a predominantly outbound channel . 13

14 Attributing social media to marketing performance is the first step to measuring social marketing ROI, and 75% use social analytics to some extent for this reason. 14

15 Tracking the click-through rate from a social media post to a web page or content is also a measure of referrals, engagement and other social media metrics. 15

16 About one-third of companies outsource all or part of their social marketing campaigns, gaining access to higher levels of specialized expertise and performance. 16

17 Research methodologies Client Connection Research surveys are conducted online from Ascend2 s panel of more than 50,000 US and international business leaders, marketing decision-makers and practitioners representing a range of contact roles, company types, sizes and geographic regions. The questionnaire used is standardized to incorporate these methodologies across all studies while maintaining our proven 3-Minute Survey format. Survey findings are examined in a quantitative context by experienced analysts and reported objectively. 17

18 Survey respondent and company demographics 18

19 About Ascend2 Connecting Agencies to Prospective Clients with the Power of Research Marketing agencies and marketing technology firms partner with Ascend2 to generate new business opportunities. Our integrated research, content creation and demand generation process delivers richly qualified leads while positioning your marketing firm as a thought-leader for solving client marketing challenges. Learn more at 19

20 Ascend2 publishes customizable, white label research reports on key marketing topics exclusively for our Research Partners. White label research reports contain pages of research to position your agency as a thought leader on a specific marketing topic and segment. Your choice of key marketing topics: Social Media Marketing Lead Generation Content Marketing Marketing Search Engine Optimization Website Optimization Inbound Marketing Paid Search Marketing, and more Your choice of an exclusive research segment for each topic: Unlike sponsored research, we publish white label reports in the name of your agency, branded with your logo and color scheme throughout. Research Benchmarks [Average of all market segments responding to the survey] Benchmarks for Success [A comparison by Very Successful and Not Successful segments] Benchmarks by Channel [A comparison by or targeting of B2B and/or B2C segments] Benchmarks by Company Size [A comparison by or targeting of SMB and/or Large Enterprises] Benchmarks by Resource [A comparison by Outsourced and In-House resources used] Agency Benchmarks [Agency perspective based on wide-ranging client experience], and more 20

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