By 2019 spending on digital advertising surpassed print, tv, news in the United States at $108 billion annually and is projected to reach over $172 billion annually by the end of 2021. For the first time since their inception, digital ads will outspend all other forms of consumer marketing.
Facebook’s Marketing Strength
Facebook announced earlier this year that nearly 40% of its ad revenue is generated by small business, which is concerning as many small businesses, almost 50% in California alone, are preparing to close their doors permanently this year. However, even with businesses shutting their doors all over the country, Facebook boasted record earnings for Q3. This shows that while many other forms of advertising and social media are available, Facebook still holds market share that can weather. When looking at the company’s userbase that boasts a membership of nearly 80% of all internet users, the audience, and data that can be accessed is unparalleled.
However, even as trends shift towards digital advertising and email, our clients still see about a 1% response rate, while print advertising continues to average between 5 and 9% according to the Data and Marketing Association. To better understand the value of each of these mediums, and whether or not one is more important than the other we have to consider both costs and efficacy, which are difficult to compare when success of each medium is measured in different ways. For digital advertising the two main costs to consider are CPM (cost per million) and CPC (cost per click) where Facebook sits at $0.80 CPC and $5.12 CPM on average. These prices vary drastically, where something like a shoe company will be attempting to outprice businesses like Nike, a local flower shop may see little to no competition if they position themselves correctly.
These numbers might sound good, in fact any marketer loves to hear that they can reach millions of customers for the cost of a five dollar bill, but we have to monitor the response rate. After all, if we are receiving a 1% response rate, that could mean someone simply visited the site through that channel, many times bouncing off of the intended site as quickly as they appeared on it. What is perhaps most significant is how cheap it is to get your brand viewed consistently on Facebook, and when paired with a cost effective mail piece, who’s response is much more intentional, we see the best results.
Track and Scale Accordingly
Now how can we measure the success of directing customers through these two channels so we can scale up or down accordingly? Google Analytics provides unique UTM codes which can be attached to each campaign. Whereas before when we only had the analytics of how many people viewed our site or how long they stayed, UTM now allows us to track the medium in which they were brought to our page. Because each campaign is unique, and many businesses are not sure of their exact target demographic, these tools allow for AB testing on multiple pieces and a way to track what channels are most successful, and allow us to hybridize our campaigns in unique ways for our unique clientele.