Posts Tagged ‘Shelly Kramer’

20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

B2B marketers today certainly live in “interesting times” (in the sense of the not-actually-Chinese curse).

While search, social media, ecommerce and content marketing have dramatically altered the roles of buyers and sellers, a number of traditional channels (that is, pre-dating millennials) remain highly effective.

B2B marketing and digital business statistics 2015

Image Credit: B2B Marketing Insider

The collection of facts and stats below shed light on this paradox, as well as other insights. Here are four key takeaways from this research for B2B marketers:

  • • Sales people won’t disappear, but their role is changing, and many are struggling to adapt. 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared; product demonstrations are among the least-valued types of information for buyers; and half of all B2B purchases may be made directly online by 2018. To succeed, B2B sales people need to focus on the three Rs—no, not reading, `riting and `rythmetic, but rather responsiveness (50% of sales go to the first salesperson to contact a prospect), relationships, and references.
  • • Social media accounts are like seat belts; they’re only effective if you actually use them. 55% of B2B buyers say they search for product/vendor information on social media. Yet while 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half are still not active on social media on a regular basis.
  • • Don’t rely too much on advertising. Ads certainly have their place in a web presence optimization (WPO) framework, as the “paid” pillar in the paid-owned-shared-earned (POSE) media model. Search ads are effective for capturing immediate demand and display ads are useful for brand awareness. But 80% of B2B decision makers prefer to get information from articles rather than advertising, and 40% of millennials don’t trust ads—so strong organic tactics need to be part of the mix as well.
  • • The classics still rock. Despite the tremendous growth in digital marketing, several basic old-school marketing channels remain highly effective. Trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads. 59% of CMOs still say print marketing is an effective channel—and 64% of buyers cite print among their trusted sources of information—while 51% still see value in direct mail.

Get more inspiration from these 20 B2B marketing and digital business stats and facts.

12 B2B Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. Death of the salesman? When purchasing online, B2B buyers rate pricing as the most useful information (though not, generally, special offers or discounts). Technical information and specifications are the next-most important topic. Product demonstrations are least valued. (V3B Blog)

2. 55% of B2B buyers search for information on social media. (Biznology)

3. Today’s sales process takes 22% longer than 5 years ago. (Biznology)

4. 91% of customer say they’d give referrals; only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals. And 82% of B2B decision makers think sales reps are unprepared. (Biznology)

5. 80% of business decision makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

6. B2B customers now expect the same range of omnichannel buying options they enjoy as consumers – which is why almost half of B2B buyers (49%) prefer to use consumer websites to make work-related purchases. (The Future of Commerce)

7. 52% of B2B buyers say they expect half of their purchases to be made online by 2018. (The Future of Commerce)

8. 78% of B2B customers (and 83% of consumers) say fulfillment options – such as next-day delivery – are important or very important. (The Future of Commerce)

9. Although 95% of B2B marketers have created corporate social media accounts, half still are not active on social media on a regular basis–and just 10% feel they are able to articulate the business value of social media efforts. (MediaPost)

10. Good old-fashioned trade shows remain the top source for B2B lead generation, with 77% of marketers saying they generate a significant quantity of leads, and 82% saying they generate high-quality leads. (MediaPost)

11. The average cost of a B2B sales lead varies widely by industry. Healthcare leads are most expensive ($60) followed by business/finance ($43). At the low end are leads for marketing products/services ($32) and technology ($31). (B2B Marketing Insider)

12. Just 34% of B2B organizations say they touch leads with lead nurturing on a monthly basis. (B2B Marketing Insider)

8 Other Digital Business Stats and Facts

13. Six of the ten busiest websites are based in the U.S. – but 86% of their visitors come from outside America. (TechCrunch)

14. 15 of the 25 largest U.S. tech companies were founded by first- or second-generation Americans. (TechCrunch)

15. Marketing is all about digital now, right? Not quite. 59% of CMOs still say print advertising is an effective marketing channel. 58% say the same for TV, 51% direct mail, and almost half radio and telemarketing. (AdWeek)

16. The larger the company, the higher the marketing expense budget as a percentage of revenue. Firms with revenue of $5 billion or more spend on average 11 percent, compared with 9.2 percent for those with revenue between $500 million and $1 billion. Marketing budgets as a percentage of revenue varied widely, with nearly half of companies (46%) spending less than 9% of revenue; 24% spending 9-13% of revenue; and 30% spending more than 13% of revenue. (Gartner)

17. 40% of millennials (aged 25-34) don’t trust advertising. Marketers trying to appeal to this group need to understand that, but also that this group is highly educated (33% have a college degree) but struggling financially: many have student loan debt, 52% don’t have enough money to cover basic living costs, and 35% are either unemployed or work part-time. (Heidi Cohen)

18. 50% of sales go the first salesperson to contact a prospect. (Biznology)

19. So much for the “death” of old media. Though the heyday of print may be over, the two most trusted sources of information remain the online versions of traditional media outlets (68%) and print (64%). Blogs come in at 21% (ugh). (Cision)

20. 14% of businesses fail due to poor marketing. (B2B PR Sense Blog)

This was the ninth and final post of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity. Hope you’ve found the series entertaining and enlightening!

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

#7: 14 Dazzling Digital Marketing Stats and Facts

#8: 35 Stupendous Social Networking Facts and Stats

#9: 20 Brilliant B2B Marketing and Digital Business Stats and Facts

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17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Even with the continual introductions of shiny new tools for marketers, email remains the workhorse for lead generation. Most CMOs view it as effective and volume continues to grow.

But its popularity has led to overstuffed email inboxes. Consumers and business buyers alike have raised expectations of what’s required for marketers to get, and keep, their attention.

email and mobile marketing statistics 2015

Image credit: AdWeek

Based on the research below, here are five key takeaways for success in email and mobile marketing.

  • • Experiment with video. Integrating video with email marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%.
  • • Opt-in only. Getting permission before emailing isn’t just the law, it’s a great idea. 90% of C-suite executive say they never respond to cold calls or email blasts.
  • Keep social media in perspective. Integrating social media with email can increase reach and impact, but prioritize email strategy. As noted below, 61% of adult workers cited email as “very important” to doing their jobs. Just 4% said the same for social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • • Open your wallet. Email accounts for 18% of digital marketing budgets on average,and 61% of marketers plan to increase spending on email this year.
  • • Mobile is untapped opportunity. Though half of B2B buyers are comfortable using smartphones for business buying, and 40% of purchases are directly influenced by smartphones, only 3% of digital marketing is allocated to mobile.

Find more insights and guidance in this collection of email and mobile marketing facts and statistics.

8 Email Marketing Stats and Facts

1. There were 191 billion emails sent every day on average in 2014. That figure is expected to increase to nearly 297 billion by 2017. (The Wonder of Tech)

2. 58% of CMOs say email marketing is effective. (AdWeek)

3. On average, email accounts for 18% of digital marketing spending. (MarketingProfs)

4. Video and e-mail marketing can increase click-through rates by more than 90%. (41 Stories)

5. U.S. spending on email marketing will reach $2.3 billion in 2015.  (MediaPost)

6. 61% of marketers plan to increase spending on email this year. About half plan to grow their social media budgets while 40% will allocate for for mobile. Print and direct mail are areas most likely to see spending cuts. (Direct Marketing News)

7. 90% of C-suite executive say they never respond to cold calls or email blasts. (Biznology)

8. 61% of adult workers cited email as “very important” to doing their jobs. Just 4% said the same for social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. (MediaPost)

9 Mobile Marketing Facts and Statistics

9. Though the total number of new Internet users is now growing at less than 10% per year, the number of new smartphone subscribers ist growing at a 20%+ rate. (TechCrunch)

10, Mobile devices (tablets and smartphones) accounted for 25% of total web use in 2014. (TechCrunch)

11. 35% of CMOs say that mobile will account for more than half of their total marketing spend within five years. (AdWeek)

12. Though 83% of respondents identify mobile as significant or highly significant, only 3% of digital marketing is allocated to mobile. (MarketingProfs)

13. Almost 400 million Facebook users are mobile-only. (Ber|Art)

14. B2B buyers are comfortable using multiple devices for work-related purchases with half saying they use smartphones. (V3B Blog)

15. In 2014, U.S. adults spent 23% more time on mobile during an average day than in 2013. (iMedia Connection)

16. 40% of purchases are directly influenced by smartphones. (iMedia Connection)

17. 22% of corporate marketers cite mobile search optimization as a top SEO challenge. Just 1% say that mobile search optimization is the “most effective SEO tactic their company uses.” (MediaPost)

This was post #6 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

#3: 21 Spectacular SEO and Search Marketing Stats and Facts

#4: Five Intriguing Inbound Marketing Stats [Infographic]

#5: 31 Sensational Social Media Marketing and PR Stats and Facts

#6: 17 Excellent Email and Mobile Marketing Stats and Facts

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34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Content marketing is now ubiquitous, with 93% of all marketers saying they do content marketing (it’s not clear what the other 7% are doing). But with so much content being produced, distributed and shared, how do you make your efforts stand out and grab the attention of your prospects?

2015 compelling content marketing stats and factsBased on the research detailed below, here are five key takeaways:

  • • Tell, don’t sell. Sales are a top goal of content marketing—but website traffic is the most common metric used to measure success. Only about half of marketers try to connect content to sales. Why? Because with the exception of direct response (a small part of content marketing), content supports sales rather than driving them directly. And trying to use content too blatantly to drive sales often backfires.
  • • Blog. Blogs are one of the most effective tools for increasing organic search traffic, and are highly influential with buyers. Yet just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog.
  • • Make email a key component. While most content sharing efforts by marketers are focused on the “big four” social networks, most (72%) content sharing done by buyers is on “dark social”–primarily email and apps.
  • And use video. Half of buyers say they are more likely to seek out more information about a product and more confident in making an online purchase after viewing related video. It’s also “sticky” (users spend, on average, 88% more time on sites with video) and attracts more inbound links than text-only content.
  • • But get out and meet people, too. In-person events are still the most effective channel for B2B marketers.

Want to know more? Check out these 34 compelling content marketing statistics and facts from a variety of expert sources.

22 Content Marketing Facts and Statistics

1. 93% of B2B marketers are using content marketing. (TopRank)

2. 42% of B2B marketers viewed themselves as successful with their content marketing efforts in 2014 – up from 36% in 2013. (TopRank)

3. The most effective content marketing tactics according to B2B marketers are:

– In-person events (70%)
– Case studies (65%)
– Videos (63%)
– Webinars (63%)
– Blogs (62%)
– eNewsletters (60%)
– White papers and research reports (59%)


4. More than 70% of B2B marketers use the “big four” social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube) to distribute content. Just 55% use Google+. And only 34% use Pinterest, 22% Instagram, 22% Vimeo, 15% StumbleUpon, and 14% Tumblr. (Digital Marketing Philippines)

5. However – only 28% of content sharing happens through the big social networks. The other 72% is shared through “Dark Social,” the private sharing that happens behind closed private communications such as emails, chats, and mobile apps. (Social Media Today)

6. Brands that use shortened URLs with a “vanity domain” experience an average increased click volume of 25% compared to long URLs or generic URL shorteners. (Social Media Today)

7. Content shared on Thursdays has the longest “link lifespan” (people still clicking on those links several days later). (Social Media Today)

8. 41% of marketers say driving sales is the No. 1 goal for their content marketing strategies; 94% put sales in their top five content marketing goals. Brand awareness was the second-most-popular goal with 88% adding it to their top five, while 21% ranked lead generation as their No. 1 goal. (MediaPost)

9. The most-trusted types of online promotional content include peer reviews, natural search results, and brand Web sites, while display advertising and push text messages are the least trusted. (MediaPost)

10. The top metrics used to measure content marketing success are website traffic (cited by 71% of marketers), revenue (57%), keyword traffic and conversions (46%), and search engine rankings (46%). (MediaPost)

11. The top content marketing goals for B2C companies are customer retention/loyalty (88%), engagement (88%), brand awareness (87%) and sales (77%). (Heidi Cohen)

12. The top metrics used by B2C marketers to measure content marketing success are website traffic (62%), sales (54%), higher conversion rates (39%), and SEO ranking (39%). (Heidi Cohen)

13. Companies spend, on average, 25% of total marketing budgets on content marketing. (Heidi Cohen)

14. The most effective B2B content marketing tactics are in-person events (cited by 69% of marketers), webinars/webcasts (64%), video (60%), and blogs (60%). (eMarketer)

15. 57% of purchase decisions are made before a customer ever talks to a supplier, and Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human. (Target Marketing)

16. The top three reasons consumers share content online are to entertain (44%); to educate (25%); and to reflect their identity (families, friendships, values, etc. – 20%). (MarketingProfs)

17. Though men share more content on average, women expect more engagement: 69% of women expect five or more comments, likes, or shares on their posts. (MarketingProfs)

18. B2B marketing is often misfocused. While B2B marketers tend to emphasize corporate social responsibility, sustainability, global reach, and shaping the direction of the market, buyers care most about open honest dialog with customers, responsibility across the suppy chain, and market leadership. The only major area of overlap is in “high level of specialist expertise.” Neither group places much priority on having the lowest price. (Barraclough & Co)

19. The most useful forms of content when making online B2B purchases are technical brochures / specification sheets (cited by 61% of buyers), followed by instruction manuals / how-to documents (46%), videos (38%) and case studies (31%). Less than a third said webinars, while a quarter value inforgraphics and social media activity. (V3B Blog)

20. 85% of corporate marketers are using buyer personas for content marketing and messaging. But only 15% say their buyer personas are very to significantly effective. (Tony Zambito)

21. And 60% of corporate marketers say they have no to very little understanding of what the best practices are for buyer persona development. (Tony Zambito)

22. 54% of corporate marketers say that quality content is among the most effective SEO tactics their company uses, while 50% also cite (closely related) frequent website updates. (MediaPost)

5 Business Blogging Statistics and Facts

23. Trailing only retail and brand sites, blogs rank as the third most influential digital resource guiding consumer purchasing decisions. (Marketing Magazine)

24. A whopping 93% of bloggers say they either “don’t mind” or enjoy being approached by brands. (Marketing Magazine)

25. 55% of bloggers say the question of whether or not to expect payment from a brand in return for blogging was dependent on the agency, brand or the blogging activity in question. 26% said that they would always expect monetary compensation in return for blogging. This varies widely by blog subject matter, however; over 90% of bloggers in fashion, lifestyle and beauty now expect to receive payment or compensation in return for blogging. (Marketing Magazine)

26. Just 31% of Fortune 500 enterprises now maintain an official blog, down from 34% in 2013. (Sword and the Script)

27. 28% of corporate marketers cite the difficulty of frequent blogging as a top SEO challenge. (MediaPost)

7 Video and Image Marketing Facts and Statistics

28. There are 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute. (The Wonder of Tech)

29. The number of photos shared online increased 50% in 2014, primarily on Snapchat and WhatsApp. (TechCrunch)

30. Marketers looking to drive more traffic to their Web content without an overhaul of programs should rethink visual images; video and images drive 13% more traffic than traditional content. (MediaPost)

31. Nearly half (46%) of people say they’d be more likely to seek out information about a product or service after seeing it in an online video. (41 Stories)

32. Video is “sticky.” The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video. (41 Stories)

33. Blog posts incorporating video attract three times as many inbound links as blog posts without video. (41 Stories)

34. 52% of consumers say watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions. (Ber|Art)

This was post #2 of Marketing Stats Summer (#statssummer) on Webbiquity.

#1: Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

#2: 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts

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Welcome to Marketing Stats Summer!

Monday, June 15th, 2015

75% of customers say they use social media as part of the buying process1, and 88% of marketing professionals believe social media is important to their companies2. Yet social media accounts for just 11% of digital marketing budgets3, on average, and 56% of marketers don’t do any paid promotion on social media4.

Marketing stats expertsCan’t get enough of stats like those? Then you’ll love the next seven sizzling summer weeks (except for the week after Independence Day in the U.S., when no one’s really paying attention), starting tomorrow, of posts containing dozens of fascinating stats and facts about digital marketing, social networks, SEO, email / mobile, content marketing and more.

Along the lines of this spring’s blogging for business series here, this series will share findings and insights from some of the top minds and voices in digital and web marketing, including Heidi Cohen, Michael Brenner, Marissa Pick, Frank Strong, Shelly Kramer, and Lee Odden.

The reporting and revelations kick off tomorrow with 34 Compelling Content Marketing Stats and Facts.


1. 37 facts on the future of Social Selling vs. Cold Calling, Biznology

2. Are Social Media Marketers Losing Confidence?, eMarketer

3. State of Search Results: Budgeting Trends [Infographic], MarketingProfs

4. The State of Social Media for PR Pros, Cision


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24 Extraordinary Facebook Guides, Tips and Rants

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Facebook remains the undisputed Goliath of social networks. It offers marketers  creative flexibility and sophisticated targeting options.

Yet with recent changes including prohibition of “like-gating” and dramatically decreased organic reach, some brands are questioning the value  of the platform.

Cost to reach 1000 people on Facebook

Image credit: Moz

How can marketers best respond to the loss of organic exposure? What Facebook marketing tactics are most effective today? Which page apps are most helpful? What are the best tools and tactics for Facebook advertising? Or is  the best course of action to focus more on other platforms?

Find the answers to those questions and more here in two dozen of the best Facebook marketing guides, tips, and rants of the past year.

Facebook Marketing Guides and Tips

8 Brilliant Facebook Marketing Tactics to Use Right Now by Social Media Today

Betsy KentBetsy Kent explains how to use some lesser-known Facebook marketing tactics such as copying and pasting a post to use elsewhere by clicking on the timestamp and getting the URL (“Now you can repost on other Social Media sites [such as LinkedIn] or shorten the URL and use it on Twitter”), and determining the best time of day to post by looking at your Facebook Insights.

The End of the Facebook Like-Gate Era: What Marketers Need To Know by V3 Integrated Marketing

Shelly KrammerShelly Kramer lists several of the most common “like-gating” tactics no longer allowed by Facebook (including offers to free access to special content in exchange for a “like,” sweepstakes or contests, giveaways, or polls where visitors have to “like” your page in order to vote), and provides guidance on what to do in place of these now-banned activities.

Essential Facebook Marketing Resources: A Complete Guide by Social Media Examiner

Lisa D.  JenkinsWant to learn how to market your brand on Facebook? Lisa D. Jenkins here collects more than three dozen categorized resources to help everyone from newbies to experienced Facebook marketers up their games. The articles are grouped into categories including getting buy-in, marketing with your personal profile, creating a Facebok business page, using Facebook’s tools, running contests, and understanding Facebook advertising.

Organic Reach on Facebook: Your Questions Answered by Facebook for Business

Brian BolandFacebook’s Brian Boland contends that organic reach is not “dropping because Facebook is trying to make more money,” but rather because 1) there is now much more content being shared on Facebook, and 2) Facebook has responded by changing the way News Feed works—using “thousands of factors relative to each person” in order to surface the most valuable and engaging content for each user.

Infographic: How to Get More Facebook Likes by leaderswest Digital Marketing Journal

Jim DoughertyyJim Dougherty shares an infographic outlining several tactics for increasing page likes, such as using email: “Invite your email subscribers via email, provide them with a description and an incentive to like your page” (being careful not to violate the rules outlined by Shelly Kramer above)…”According to HubSpot, 80% of social media users like to connect with brands via Facebook.”

How to Compare Your Facebook Page With the Competition by Social Media Examiner

Ian ClearyFrequent best-of honoree Ian Cleary reviews five tools “to help you compare your Facebook Page against competitors and identify tactics to help you improve your Facebook marketing,” including Fanpage Karma, a freemium tool that provides a wealth of competitive Facebook stats like fans, growth, ad value, response rate, post interaction, and page performance (which “is calculated using a combination of the growth of fans and engagement and is scored out of 100”).

What 11 Experts Are Saying About Facebook Marketing by Louder Online

Aaron AgiiusAaron Agius shares tips on how to get more out of your Facebook marketing efforts from top experts including JD Lasica (“To attract customers and generate sales, you first have to show customers that you aren’t just interested in selling them something. You have to build that trust”…[so, for example] “Highlight your vendors’ successes and talk about good customers. Stick with JD’s rule of thumb above-4:1 status to promo ratio [and] focus on providing value”) and the brilliant Mari Smith, who explains why and how to post effectively outside of regular business hours.

A four-step antidote for declining Facebook reach by Ragan’s PR Daily

Mairead RidgeMairead Ridge offers practical tips illustrated by an accompanying infographic “to help you reclaim your brand’s digital reach lost to Facebook’s changing algorithm.” Among the recommendations here: test a variety of content types (“Monitor the differing engagement levels of status updates, photos, videos, and links”), share links, and diversify your channels (e.g., “Create Web versions of your emails, and include ‘share’ buttons”).

How to Make Your Facebook Marketing Work for B2B by Social Media Examiner

Ben Harper details four tips to help maximize results from Facebook marketing, such as creating and curating thoughtful content: “When you understand how your B2B audience reacts to content on Facebook, you can start creating content they want to share—the kind of content that lets them reinforce their own interests and expertise.”

Guides and Tips for Facebook Pages and Apps

New Facebook page layout: 18 things you need to know by Agora Pulse

Richard BeesonRichard Beeson steps through 18 key page layout changes implemented by Facebook in the summer of 2014, among them three changes to the ways apps are displayed (“Apps tabs are still present on your page, but they are below the fold…All apps are still in the top menu, but hidden behind the ‘more’ dropdown…[and] You can have one app featured on the main menu, above the fold, but only one, and no sexy visuals here”). He explains the details behind and ramifcations of each change.

The new layout for Facebook brand Pages: what you need to do by Smart Insights

Marie PageWhile the post above focused on what was changed, this article from Marie Page details four areas in which marketers should make changes (or at least check to be sure all is still working) in response to Facebook’s page layout changes. For example, with regard to your Facebook page cover image, “Although the dimensions of your cover image are still fine, you may well find that content is now hidden by some of the new features.” She shows how elements can be rearranged to take advantage of this modification.

15 Types of Facebook Apps to Enhance Your Facebook Page by Social Media Examiner

Andrea VahlNoting that “Facebook apps let you customize your Facebook page in many ways,” Andrea Vahl shares “15 ways Facebook apps can enhance and customize your Facebook page.” Among her categories of useful apps are custom tab apps (“you can use them to create so many different things. For example, you could include an image, a restaurant menu, a video, and an opt-in form on a single custom tab to basically install a mini-website on Facebook”), email capture forms, blog / RSS feed apps, and job listing apps.

Facebook Advertising Guides and Tips

15 Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ads by Social Media Examiner

Rocco BaldassarreRocco Alberto Baldassarre details 15 techniques for getting better performance and ROI from Facebook ads, among them keeping mobile and desktop ads separate; installing a conversion pixel (with instructions on how to do this); and testing bidding strategies (“Test different bidding methods to find out what reduces the cost per conversion but still gets enough volume. I recommend starting with CPC and conversion optimizer”).

Facebook Getting Closer to Being an Entirely Paid Media Site for Brands? by Strut Marketing

Steve GoldnerYes, everyone knows that organic reach has been greatly diminished for brands on Facebook, but what’s really behind this? Steve Goldner speculates that there are several reasons (including Wall Street pressure), but believes “If you lump all of the issues together, the key fact that emerges is that most Facebook users are turned off by brand interruption in their social platform.” He explains four important impacts of these changes on how you should approach social media marketing.

Here’s What Happens When Facebook Advertising Fails by KISSmetrics

Sherice JacobExpanding on Steve Goldner’s post above, Sherice Jacob observes with regard to diminished organic reach that “The brand wants the viewers’ eyeballs, the viewer wants the brand to give them something more relevant.” She then offers three approaches designed to please both sides, incuding link posts: she cites recent research which found that “of posts made by fifteen different major brands, text-based updates dropped 65%, video and photo-based updates stayed about the same, and link-based posts jumped 30%.”

How to Use Facebook Ads for Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide by Content Marketing Institute

James SchererNoting that “Successful content marketing isn’t always just about the content. Sometimes the marketing aspect (i.e., WPO) needs to take center stage,” James Scherer points out that Facebook ads remain “one of the cheapest ways to increase brand awareness” and details how Facebook ads work, how Facebook’s ad auction works, how to use Facebook’s targeting options, how to generate leads from your content, and how to retarget lost readers.

How To Knock 70% Off Your Facebook CPA by Moz

Ben Harper (again) details how a three-step process combining data insight, smarter targeting, and aggressive optimization can lead to as much as “70% reductions in CPA through Facebook adverts.” The process begins with a data phase in order “to gain a deep audience understanding so that you can more effectively target your campaigns. By drawing out audience insight, you can identify where your audience are active, and identify lower competition targeting segments.”

3 Facebook Advertising Tools That will Save You Significant Time and Money by RazorSocial

Amanda WebbGuest author Amanda Webb reviews three useful Facebook ad tools (two of which are free), explaining how each works; for example, Social Stats “assesses how much you should spend on your advertising campaign, depending on the size of your audience…When you are planning a Facebook advertising campaign, one of the hardest questions to answer is how much should you spend, and there is no simple answer to this. If you are very specific with your targeting, a little can go a long way.”

9 Facebook hacks that will blow your mind by iMedia Connection

David ZaleskiDavid Zaleski explains how to use several interesting capabilities of Facebook many users may not be aware of, such as how to embed a Facebook post onto your website (also noting that “Visitors can also like your page right from the embedded post”), how to use Facebook Insights to determine the best times to post (based on when your fans are online), and how to track the level of “like” activity on competitor or friend pages.

Easier, More Effective Ways to Reach the Right People on Facebook by Facebook for Business

This post explains how to use four main targeting types: location, demographic, interests and behaviors—plus Partner Categories in the U.S.—to target Facebook ads more effectively. Within location, for example, “you can build campaigns around any combination of geographies: country and city (France and London), country and state (Canada and New York), state and city (California and Las Vegas), state and ZIP code (US only), etc. It’s also easier to exclude certain areas  i.e., New York City, except 11211, or the UK, excluding Cambridge.”

Why Every Business Should Spend at Least $1 per Day on Facebook Ads by Moz

Brian CarterBrian Carter calls Facebook Ads “the biggest marketing opportunity ever,” based on their exposure potential (“they can reach as many people or more people as radio or TV, and in whatever country”), sophisticated targeting options, and low cost. While the economic of Facebook ads have changed a bit since this post was written, the essential points still hold.

And Finally…Not Fans of Facebook

‘Facebook Zero’: The End Of Social Media Engagement by The Holmes Report

Arun-SudhamanArun Sudhaman analyzes the changes to organic reach implemented by Facebook in the spring of 2014, reporting on research showing “marketers can now reach just 6% of their fans via organic reach, a decline of 49% from last October’s peak” (and the situation’s gotten no better since then). He quotes Forrester that “Facebook has abandoned social marketing” in favor of an ad-driven model, and notes Ogilvy is now “encouraging clients to look more closely at other social networks, particularly Twitter and Instagram and, for B2B players, LinkedIn.”

Why You Should Forget Facebook by LinkedIn Pulse

Jeff BullasJeff Bullas (who knows a thing or two about social media) quantifies the drop in organic reach on Facebook, and points out that brands like Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, and Charity Engine are either quitting Facebook or focusing more on other content and social channels. He then outlines “two key strategies that you can pursue” in response to Facebook’s declining reach, and three tactics for earning free traffic outside of Facebook.

Is Facebook afraid of its future? by iMedia Connection

Brian Easter“Facebook has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately,” according to Brian Easter. He speculates about the motives behind the giant social network’s recent moves, and wonders if the company’s leadership will find their higher purpose, or if instead of “trying to build a great company, Facebook leadership decided to monetize everything they could, in every way they could, before they join AOL and MySpace as ‘has been’ tech giants?”

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