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The HubSpot Blog’s 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers

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The HubSpot Blog's 2022 Social Media Marketing Report: Data from 310 Marketers

In our recent Marketing Trends survey, we learned that social media is the most effective channel marketers leverage, as well as the channel they use most.

But the world of social media is constantly evolving, with new features coming out every month, constant algorithm updates, and disruptive social apps changing the way we communicate.

To get the most out of your social media strategy, it’s critical to keep up with these changes.

The pace of social media can be intimidating. But, the great news is that with change comes opportunities for you to tap into exciting new marketing strategies and help your company grow better.

To help professionals just like you, we surveyed 310 social media marketers across B2B and B2C industries in the United States to find out:

Without further ado, let’s dive into some data that will help your social media strategy stay up-to-date as we jump into the new year.

2022 Social Media Marketing Trends Survey Key Findings

  1. Facebook is the most used social media platform and has the highest ROI, engagement, and highest quality leads.
  2. Funny, interactive, and relatable content, as well as content that reflects a brand’s values, performs best on social media and will see increased investment from marketers in 2022.
  3. Short-form video is the most popular and effective social media format and will see significant growth in 2022.
  4. When it comes to partnering with influencers, followers aren’t everything. Marketers are placing an emphasis on quality of content, engagement rates, and alignment with values before considering follower count.
  5. Overall, social media marketers located in EST say the best time to post is 6-9PM, while marketers in PST consider the 3-6PM window to be best. 
  6. The most popular demographics social media marketers target are Millennials (25-40), followed by Gen X (41-56), Gen Z (6-24), and lastly, Baby Boomers (57-75).
  7. Younger audiences prefer shorter video content that is funny, trendy, and reflects a brand’s values, while baby boomers prefer interactive/educational content, such as interviews, podcasts, expert discussions and/or live videos.
  8. Nearly two-thirds of marketers are building social media communities, and this number will grow in 2022. .
  9. Social media marketers search for new or emerging platforms/features to leverage often, and the top features they invested in this year are Twitter Spaces, YouTube Shorts, and Instagram Shops.

The Top Social Media Platforms of 2022

There are many factors that go into determining which social media platforms you should consider in 2022. While below we highlight a list of the most used platforms in 2022, here’s a quick graphic with quick stats on a few of the platforms you might want to watch as they grow and evolve in the coming year.

four social media platforms to keep on your radar in 2022Download Image as File

The Most Used Social Media Marketing Platforms

1. Facebook

Facebook is used the most, has the highest ROI and engagement of any social platform, as well as the highest quality leads.

One in four social media marketers plan to invest more in Facebook than any other platform in 2022, and it is the platform marketers buy paid ads on the most.

2. YouTube

YouTube comes in second for usage, engagement, and ROI, but it’s the number one platform marketers plan to invest in for the first time this year.

On top of the fact that one in five social media marketers plan to invest the most in YouTube this year, the platform will continue to grow along with the use of video content.

3. TikTok

TikTok is only used by one-third of social media marketers. Although these marketers report low ROI and engagement levels compared to other platforms, 52% of those who use TikTok plan to increase their investment this year, tied with Twitter for the highest increase of any platform.

4. Twitter

Twitter is used by about half of social media marketers and comes in third for engagement and ROI.

52% of those who use it plan to increase their investment this year, and 16% of all social media marketers plan to invest more in Twitter than any other platform in 2022.

5. Instagram

Instagram is leveraged by 45% of social media marketers, coming in 4th for usage, ROI, and engagement.

However, Instagram comes in second place for generating the highest quality leads. And,

the platform is set to grow in 2022, with 40% of marketers planning to use it for the first time and 15% planning to invest more in Instagram than any other platform.

6. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has become host to lots of B2B marketing and expert thought leadership over the past few year. It’s unique professional social media experience is likely why it’s leveraged by more than one-third of social media marketers. In 2022, LinkedIn marketing will only grow with 38% planning to use it for the first time.

Which platforms will see less investment in 2022?

You may also be wondering which social platforms marketers plan to reduce their investment in this year.

Clubhouse, Snapchat, and Reddit are the top platforms marketers plan to decrease their investment in for 2022.

Although Clubhouse was a viral app in 2021 — and offered marketers a new way to connect with consumers — this expected dip in investment could be due to the platform’s brand challenges. For example, Clubhouse offers minimal advertising opportunities or ways to share outside content or URLs, because of this, it will yield less ROI to brands than platforms like Facebook where advertising and link-sharing opportunities are always growing.

Not to mention, like many viral social media apps, Clubhouse has gotten some tough competition from social media channels owned by larger corporations like Twitter, Meta (formerly Facebook), and LinkedIn which could have social media marketing managers considering these options as those platforms are much more familiar to them. 

While Snapchat and Reddit have also hosted viral content in the past, they too cater to more niche audiences and consumers looking to avoid ads and branded content, which could cause more ROI-generation challenges than the most-used social media platforms. Like Clubhouse, they have also had a more difficult time competing with larger social media channels to win over brands.

Think one of the three platforms we just mentioned should still be part of your strategy? Don’t panic!

It’s important to remember that what works for your brand might not be what works for everyone else. And, while many marketers might not see their bottom line impacted by evolving platforms like Clubhouse, Reddit, and Snapchat just yet, that doesn’t mean no marketer ever has or will benefit from using them.

Ultimately, you’ll need to build your strategy around your audience and brand and take steps to determine which channels are best for you. 

4 Content Types Social Media Marketers Will Lean Into in 2022

1. Value-based Content

Content that reflects your brand’s values is the most popular type of content among social media marketers right now and has the 3rd highest ROI of any content type.

This type of content will see more investment from users in 2022, with 95% of those who leverage it planning on increasing or maintaining their investment, and 21% planning to use this type of content for the first time.

Additionally, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 21% more likely to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year

which social media content types have the biggest ROI

2. Funny Content

Funny content is tied with interactive content at #2 in terms of usage by social media marketers.

However, funny content has the highest ROI and is the most effective content type. The use of funny content will continue to grow in 2022, with 33% of all social media marketers planning to invest more in funny content than any other format.

Additionally, 95% of those who use funny content will increase or maintain their investment, while 56% of those who don’t leverage it plan to use it for the first time in 2022.

3. Interactive Content

Interactive content is #2 when it comes to usage, ROI, and effectiveness and will grow significantly in 2022.

97% of those who leverage it plan to invest more or maintain their investment this year, while 49% of those who don’t plan to use it for the first time in 2022.

On top of all that, we found that social media marketers who say their social media strategy has been effective in 2021 are 25% more likely to leverage interactive content than those who reported an ineffective social media strategy last year.

types of social media content marketers will invest in

4. Relatable Content

Relatable content is currently leveraged by 39% of social media marketers and will see increased investment among current users as well as first-time users.

93% of marketers who leverage relatable content plan to increase their investment or continue investing the same amount in 2022 and 54% of social media marketers who don’t leverage it are planning to for the first time this year.

which social media content types will get the biggest investment

The Top Content Formats for Social Media Marketing

1. Short-Form Video

Short-form video is the most popular and effective social media format and will see significant growth in 2022.

50% of social media marketers plan to leverage short-form video for the first time this year, and 95% of those who already use it will increase or maintain their investment.

On top of that, 26% of all social media marketers plan to invest more in short-form videos than any other format this year.

Building a video strategy for 2022 and not sure which platforms to share it on? Check out this data on the best social platforms for video or watch the video below to learn more about short, or snackable, content.

2. Live Video

Live video is No. 2 when it comes to usage and effectiveness, and will continue to grow in 2022.

43% of social media marketers plan to leverage it for the first time this year, and 66% of those who already use it plan to increase their investment next year, the highest increase of any format.

3. Audio Chat Rooms

While marketers are still easing on to platforms like Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces, this doesn’t mean they have no interest in the audio experience. Audio chat rooms rank third in usage and effectiveness, though social media marketers report low ROI.

However, 44% plan to invest in live audio for the first time in 2022, and 17% of marketers plan on investing more into live audio than any other content format.

Social Media Strategies

This section will go over a wide range of social media metrics, from the best time and day to post on social media, to which metrics marketers use to measure the ROI of their campaigns, and much more.

The Best Times to Post on Social Media

73% of marketers say their company has a posting schedule or calendar for social media marketing. While tools like TK, TK, and TK can help the social media marketers we surveyed in building out an effective scheduling strategy, it’s also helpful to know the best times to post social media content to optimize likes, clicks, and other engagements.

Overall, social media marketers located in Eastern Standard Time say the best time to post is 6-9PM, while marketers in Pacific Standard Time consider the 3-6PM window to be best. 9-12PM and 12-3PM are also popular times to post.

Keep in mind that while all of these times can work, the best time will ultimately depend on when your audience is most active on the platform, so make sure to look at your insights when deciding when to post. You can also run your own tests to see which posting time results in the most engagement.

Speaking of platforms, the best time to post can vary based on which one you are using. Here’s a breakdown of the top three times to post for each platform:

  • Facebook: 6-9PM,  3-6PM, and  9-12PM
  • YouTube: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
  • Twitter: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
  • Instagram: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 9-12PM
  • LinkedIn: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM
  • TikTok: 6-9PM, 3-6PM, and 12-3PM

When it comes to the most engaging days of the week, social media marketers say Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the best days to post across social media platforms.

Documenting and Templating Social Media Strategies

Much like posting schedules, more than two-thirds of marketers say their company has a documented social media strategy. If you need help getting started, check out these templates.

Below are some of the top questions social media marketers ask themselves when building out a social media strategy and our data-backed guidance around them:

1. Which metrics should I use to measure the ROI of my social media marketing campaigns?

Measuring ROI is one of the biggest challenges marketers anticipate in 2022. With more data available to us than ever before, it can be hard to zero in on the metrics that are most important.

According to social media marketers, website traffic is the most important metric when measuring ROI of social media campaigns, followed by

  • impressions/views
  • clicks
  • sales/conversions
  • likes/comments

2. How do I know if I should keep using a platform for social media marketing?

Believe it or not, the biggest challenge marketers anticipate struggling with in 2022 is determining which platform to market their brand on.

If you are one of those marketers, you may be wondering what metrics you should be looking at when deciding whether to continue leveraging a social channel.

Coming in at number one is impressions/views, followed by sales, then subscriber/follower count, website traffic, and clicks.

3. Which new or emerging platforms or features are marketers investing in for 2022?

With new social media platforms popping up every few months, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all of them while also managing your active campaigns.

Nevertheless, you might be wondering which new platforms marketers plan to invest in this year, how often you should be searching for new platforms to leverage, and when you do find a promising opportunity, how do you determine whether it is worth your time and investment? Let’s break it down.

emerging features brands will invest in in 2022

  • Twitter Spaces is a new live audio feature on the already popular Twitter platform, so it’s no surprise that 39% of marketers invested in it in 2021, the highest of any platform. Twitter Spaces is also the #1 new feature marketers plan to invest in more than any other in 2022.
  • YouTube Shorts is widely considered YouTube’s response to TikTok and 31% of marketers invested in it in 2021, with 15% of marketers planning to invest more in Shorts than any other new feature next year.
  • Instagram Shops is the 3rd most popular new feature marketers invested in last year, with 30% of social media marketers giving it a try in 2021.
Emerging Social Channels and Features That are Losing Steam

When it comes to reducing their investment, social media marketers are pulling back on lesser-known live audio platforms as more established ones like Twitter begin to incorporate live audio features.

In 2022, marketers plan to stop their investment in live audio platforms like Spoon, Discord, Spotify Greenroom, and Riffr.  These platforms all involve live streaming and audio discussions, adding to the over-crowded audio social market. While the saturation of this social media category could be one issue causing stagnant marketing growth, these platforms could also host similar niche audiences or low-ROI challenges like Clubhouse. 

How often do marketers search for new platforms to leverage?

Marketers search for new platforms often, with 29% searching once a month, followed by 22% searching once a week and 20% searching multiple times a week. 14% search once a quarter, 4% search once per year, and only 1% never search for new platforms.

So if you aren’t currently setting aside a small chunk of time to search for new platforms, you run the risk of missing out on a new and exciting opportunity. But once you find something, how do you determine if it’s worth the investment?

How do marketers determine if a new platform is worth investing in?

Marketers determine which social media platforms are worth investing in based on the potential for driving traffic to their website, then the potential for lead generation, followed by the potential audience reach, the cost of paid ads, the cost of influencer partnerships, and the demographic makeup of the platform’s users.

Social Media Demographics

When we asked social media marketers about the age groups they target, we discovered:

  • Millennials (ages 25-40) are the #1 group being targeted by social media marketers by far, with 84% of those surveyed saying they target them.
  • Gen X (ages 41-56) are targeted by 52% of social media marketers
  • Gen Z (ages 6-24) are targeted by 22% of social media marketers
  • Baby Boomers (ages 57-75) are the least targeted demographic among social media marketers, with just 14% saying they target them.

which age groups will brands target on social media in 2022

And, when it comes to targeting each age group, the strategies can be slightly different. Below are some additional learnings we gained from our survey:

What type of content do Millennials and Gen Z prefer?

According to marketers, younger audiences like Millennials and Gen Z prefer shorter video content that is funny, trendy, and reflects a brand’s values.

If you’re targeting this audience, you’ll want to leverage short-form video platforms such as TikTok, as well as YouTube and Instagram now that they’ve implemented similar short-form features.

What type of content do Baby Boomers prefer?

On the other hand, Baby Boomers prefer interactive/educational content, such as interviews/podcasts/expert discussions and live videos.

If you’re targeting this audience, you’ll want to leverage those formats on Facebook, which marketers say is the most popular among baby boomers.

To learn even more about social media demographics, check out and bookmark this post.

The State of Social Media Communities

In an increasingly online world, you may be wondering if you should be investing in building social media communities.

Let’s go over what they are, which platforms are most effective for building social media communities, and some of the top challenges marketers face when leveraging them.

Currently, around 64% of marketers are leveraging social media communities (or online groups where members interact over shared interests).

This number will only keep growing, as 30% of those who don’t use social media communities plan to start in 2022. Additionally, 51% of those who already leverage social media communities plan to invest more this year, while 45% will continue investing the same amount.

Which platforms are marketers building social media communities on in 2022?

Facebook is the top platform marketers build social media communities on, followed by YouTube and TikTok tied for #2, with Instagram and Tumblr close behind.

social media community investments of 2022

What are the biggest challenges marketers face with building social media communities?

Despite the growth in online community building, social media marketers are still learning how to build the perfect strategy and navigate regular challenges associated with community management.

According to social media marketers we surveyed, the biggest challenges marketers face with building communities are:

  • actively managing their community
  • measuring the ROI of their community-building efforts
  • growing their community,
  • fostering an engaged community.

What sets effective social media marketers apart from others?

In our survey, we asked marketers how effective or ineffective their social media strategy has been this year. I then examined our data through these two separate groups, the first being those who said their social media strategy was effective, compared to the second which rated their social media strategy as ineffective.

Here are a few key differences between those who say their social media strategy was effective (77% of respondents) vs. ineffective (7% of respondents):

The effective group is 25% more likely to leverage interactive content (polls, games, etc.) and 21% more likely to leverage content that reflects their brand’s values.

When determining which influencers to partner with on social media, the effective group is 26% more likely to consider the quality of influencers’ content and 18% more likely to consider whether influencers align with their company’s values.

When trying to find their audience on social media, the effective group is:

  • 21% more likely to use social listening
  • 17% more likely to research the demographics of social media platforms
  • 17% more likely to research relevant online communities
  • 14% more likely to analyze demographic data their company already has

effective vs. ineffective social media marketers

In terms of the age demographics they target with their social media marketing efforts, the effective group is:

  • 5% more likely to target Millennials
  • 14% less likely to target Gen X
  • 7% less likely to target baby boomers
  • 6% less likely to target Gen Z

Oh, and one more thing. Those who use HubSpot to track social media analytics were 16% more likely to say their social media strategy was “very effective” in 2021, compared to those who use another analytics tool.

Want to learn more about our social media findings? Check out our most recent follow-up posts below, and stay tuned for even more research-driven content:

For even more data and exclusive tips from social media thought leaders, you can also download our free Social Media Trends Report.

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

​​

via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

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How to Buy Ads on Netflix: Specs & Tactics for Marketers

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By Emily Sullivan

Netflix, the streaming giant known for binge-watching and award-winning originals, sent shockwaves through the industry in 2022 by announcing an ad-supported tier. This move was likely fueled by a desire to reach new audiences, combat rising subscription costs, and potentially even fend off competition from other OTT platforms. These ads could lead to strong growth potential with advertisers eager to tap into Netflix’s massive user base. 

If you’re unfamiliar with how Netflix works, it’s important to know that Netflix is an OTT (Over-the-Top) platform, meaning it delivers streaming content directly over the internet, bypassing traditional cable or satellite providers. It’s one of the most popular OTT platforms globally, but in the ad supported video on demand (AVOD) space, Netflix is a relative newcomer. Understanding this new facet of Netflix is crucial for marketers looking to capitalize on this advertising opportunity.

Interested in learning more about Netflix and its advertising offerings? You came to the right place. In this post, we’ll cover the foundational elements of Netflix ads including ad types, specs, advertising best practices, and more. 

Why Did Netflix Start Offering Ads?

In November 2022, Netflix introduced an ad-supported tier. This move marked a significant shift, as Netflix was previously known for its commitment to an ad-free experience. The decision likely stemmed from a desire to tap into new revenue streams. With consumers increasingly cost-conscious, an ad-supported tier provided a way to attract budget-minded viewers while still offering a premium ad-free option, similar to established AVOD providers like Hulu and Peacock.

Initially, the launch was off to a slower start, with few people signing up for the ad supported tier and Netflix failing to meet guarantees, but things are quickly turning around and savvy advertisers are taking notice. Netflix boasts a massive user base, with roughly 270 million paid subscribers – a household name with immense reach. In fact, 40% of new Netflix sign-ups are choosing the ad-supported tier, translating to a total of 40 million users. Netflix’s ad platform presents a unique opportunity for marketers looking to reach a large and engaged audience.

“Our goal isn’t just to offer the same products and tools the industry has come to expect — although we’ve made a lot of progress on that front over the last year. It’s to build something bigger and better than what exists today. We want to shape the future of advertising on Netflix and help marketers tap into the amazing fandom generated by our must-watch shows and movies.”

Amy ReinhardPresident, Advertising at Netflix

How to Start Advertising on Netflix

So, you’re interested in capitalizing on Netflix’s massive audience? Here’s a breakdown of the three main ways to buy ads on their platform:

1. Netflix Ads Manager

This platform, powered by Microsoft, allows you to directly purchase ad space on Netflix. However, be prepared to meet their minimum spending requirements, which can be substantial and offer little room for negotiation.

2. Partnering with an Agency

While the minimum spend might be high for direct buys, streaming agencies like Tinuiti can be a valuable asset. They can not only help you navigate the intricacies of Netflix advertising, but also:

  • Consolidate Streaming Data: The streaming landscape is fragmented, with viewers spread across multiple platforms. Agencies can collect data from these various platforms and turn it into a unified, actionable strategy for your advertising campaign.
  • Expertise and Negotiation: Agencies bring a wealth of experience to the table. They can leverage their knowledge of the advertising landscape and potentially negotiate more favorable terms on your behalf.

3. Ad Tech Partners

Companies like Microsoft offer ad tech solutions that provide technical capabilities to streamline your advertising efforts. These partners typically take a more hands-off approach compared to agencies, focusing on the technical aspects of ad delivery and optimization.

The best option depends on your budget, experience level, and campaign goals. If you’re a large brand with a significant budget and an in-house marketing team, going directly through Netflix Ads Manager might be a good fit. However, for most businesses, partnering with an agency or ad tech provider can offer valuable support and expertise.

Ad Types & Specs for Netflix Ads

Now that you understand the different avenues for buying ads on Netflix, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of ad formats and specifications:

Netflix Ad Types

Example of a Netflix Ad Featuring Smartfood and Love is Blind

Currently, Netflix offers two main ad types, pre-roll ads and mid-roll ads. Netflix notes that users can expect to see a few short ads per hour and that they aim to place ads during natural plot breaks for a more seamless experience.   

Let’s take a look at each option… 

  • Pre-roll Ads: These commercials play before a program or movie begins, similar to traditional linear TV advertising.
  • Mid-roll Ads: These ads appear in the middle of a program, typically inserted during natural breaks in the content.

During paused playback, ad breaks are displayed on the progress bar. As an ad break begins, the upper-right corner reveals the number of ads included in that break.

While Netflix advertising is fairly new, the platform has made a few important announcements to look out for in 2024. Netflix plans to introduce a new binge ad format for global advertisers, offering viewers an ad-free fourth episode after watching three consecutive episodes. Additionally, QR code integration in U.S. advertising will launch early in the year. Sponsorship opportunities, including Title, Moment, and Live Sponsorships, are also now available in the U.S. and will expand globally in 2024.

Netflix also offers live opportunities including WWE Raw (launching January 2025), which will air live on Netflix 52 weeks of the year, and the NFL Christmas games which Netflix just secured the rights to. These live events provide advertisers the opportunity to reach ad and ad-free members of Netflix in a live environment with traditional ad formats.

Last but not least, Netflix recently announced they are adding Pause Ads to their suite of custom ad units. This is currently in beta and is expected to be rolled out to the general marketplace in H2 2024.

Netflix Ad Specs

When it comes to advertising specs, it’s important to follow Netflix’s guidelines which include the following… 

  • Supported Lengths: Netflix accepts ads in 10, 15, 20, 30, and 60-second durations.
  • File Format: Ads must be submitted in MP4 or MOV format.
  • Aspect Ratio & Resolution: Maintain a 16:9 aspect ratio and a resolution of either 1920×1080 HD or 1280×720 HD.
  • QR Codes on the Horizon: Netflix is preparing to support QR code integration within commercials, allowing viewers to seamlessly access additional information or promotions.

Hot Tip: Stay tuned for updates, as Netflix is constantly evolving its ad platform.

Why Advertise on Netflix?

Advertising on Netflix offers several unique advantages for advertisers including… 

  • Massive Reach – Netflix boasts a massive subscriber base worldwide (globally, there were around 270 million Netflix subscribers in Q1 2024), providing advertisers with access to a vast and diverse audience. These viewers are often highly engaged, spending significant time on the platform consuming content. In fact, Over 70% of Netflix’s ad-supported members watch for more than 10 hours a month – which is 15 percentage points higher than the nearest competitor according to Nielsen.
  • Targeting – Netflix collects extensive data on user preferences and behavior, enabling precise targeting of advertisements based on demographics, interests, viewing history, and more. This targeted approach increases the relevance and effectiveness of ads, maximizing ROI for advertisers (more on this below).
  • Global Reach and Localization – With a presence in numerous countries around the world, Netflix offers advertisers the opportunity to reach audiences on a global scale. Additionally, the platform’s localization capabilities enable tailored advertising campaigns to resonate with specific regional or cultural audiences.
  • Unskippable Ads – Unlike some streaming advertising platforms, Netflix ads are unskippable, guaranteeing your message reaches viewers.
  • Positive User Experience – Netflix prioritizes a positive user experience, so it’s unlikely viewers will see the same ad twice in a single episode. However, there’s a chance you might encounter the same ad later during your viewing session. It’s also important to note that children’s profiles maintain their ad-free experience.
  • Ad Delivery & Blocking – Since ads are delivered server-side, ad blockers are ineffective on Netflix. Additionally, playback automatically pauses if you minimize the window while an ad is playing, ensuring your message is seen.

Best Practices When Advertising on Netflix

When advertising on Netflix, it’s essential to understand the platform’s unique capabilities and audience targeting options to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns. Check out a few best practices you need to consider… 

Explore Audience Targeting Capabilities

Netflix offers several audience targeting capabilities for advertisers on their ad-supported tier. These capabilities focus on three main areas: demographics, viewing habits, and content context. Here’s a breakdown:

Demographics:

  • Age: Advertisers can target users by age groups, like 18-34, 35+, etc.
  • Gender: Ads can be shown to specific genders (male or female).
  • Location: Targeting can be set by country or even state (in the U.S.).

Viewing Habits:

  • Genre: This lets advertisers target users based on the genres they watch, like comedy, drama, action, etc.

Content Context:

  • Top 10: Ads can be placed before or after shows and movies on Netflix’s daily Top 10 list, ensuring high visibility.

Advertisers also have the option to choose where they don’t want their ads to appear. For example, they can avoid showing ads on programs with mature themes or content that may not align with their brand values.

By using a combination of these targeting options, advertisers can reach a more precise audience interested in their product or service. This increases the ad’s relevance to viewers and potentially improves the ad campaign’s effectiveness.

It’s also important to note that Netflix now has the ability to target advertiser first party data. The platform currently has two approved DMPs: Liveramp or Adobe. Advertisers who work with either of these DMPs can upload first party data for targeting or suppression.

It’s important to note that Netflix’s ad targeting is still evolving. While it doesn’t offer some of the more advanced options found on other platforms, they are working on expanding their capabilities.

Test Your Ad Creative

Just like any other marketing campaign, testing your ad creative on Netflix is vital for optimizing performance. Here are some key reasons to test your ads:

  • Discover What Works: Testing allows you to compare different ad variations and identify which elements resonate most with your target audience. This could involve testing variations in messaging, visuals, calls to action, or even ad length.
  • Data-Driven Decisions: Testing provides valuable data and insights. You can track metrics like click-through rates, completion rates, and brand recall to see which ad versions generate the best results. Don’t rely on guesswork. Testing helps you move beyond assumptions and identify what truly connects with viewers.
  • Meet Audience Expectations: Netflix viewers anticipate premium content, including ads. Testing ad creative ensures that your commercials meet these expectations by delivering high-quality, engaging content that resonates with the audience.
  • Optimize Performance: Testing allows you to refine your ad creative to achieve optimal performance. By experimenting with different elements such as messaging, visuals, and calls to action, you can identify the most effective combinations that drive engagement and conversion.
  • Enhance Relevance: Testing helps ensure that your ad creative remains relevant to your target audience. By continuously testing and refining your approach, you can adapt to changing consumer preferences and market trends, ensuring that your ads stay impactful and resonant.
  • Maximize ROI: Effective testing enables you to make data-driven decisions that maximize ROI. By identifying and scaling the best-performing ad creative, you can allocate your advertising budget more efficiently and achieve greater results.

Measure and Analyze Your Results

Netflix doesn’t offer 1:1 conversion measurement for ad buyers (yet) – but they do have brand awareness and lift studies they offer advertisers so keep this in mind when measuring and analyzing your results. 

The platform did recently announce that this summer, Netflix will expand its buying capabilities to include The Trade Desk, Google’s Display & Video 360, and Magnite who will join Microsoft as the main programmatic partners for advertisers.

Starting in the second half of 2024, Netflix just announced that the following third party measurement partners (partnering to measure and verify the impact of advertiser campaigns) will also be added: Affinity Solutions, iSpotTV, NCSolutions, Videoamp, DCM and TVision.

They also announced Netflix will launch an in-house advertising technology platform, by the end of 2025. This will give advertisers new ways to buy, new insights to leverage, and new ways to measure impact. 

Is Netflix Advertising Right For Your Brand?

Overall, Netflix advertising offers the unparalleled reach of a massive, highly-engaged audience. This can be a strategic choice for brands seeking broad awareness and brand association with premium content.

If you’re interested in exploring advertising opportunities on Netflix for your brand, consider reaching out to the Tinuiti team. Our expertise can provide guidance and assistance in navigating the complexities of advertising on the platform, maximizing your campaign’s effectiveness and ROI. 

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to showcase your brand on one of the world’s largest streaming platforms—connect with Tinuiti today to get started.

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

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Xngage and HawkSearch join forces with a powerful connector

The bar has been set by the industry leaders in UX and Merchandising, and our customers have stated their claim clearly – “to grow our market share, we must have an enterprise search experience that drives conversions.

Optimizely offers baseline search experiences within our commerce platform, which are designed to help companies get started with organizing and delivering SKUs to customers. These experiences utilize out-of-the-box algorithms and methods for sorting, categorizing, and customizing.

While Optimizely provides a foundation for search experiences, we knew there were users ready to take their search capabilities to the next level. This is where the Xngage and HawkSearch partnership promises to redefine how you approach search-driven experiences within Optimizely Configured Commerce. Our highly experienced partner Xngage has developed a seamless integration connector, a best-in-class accelerator for harnessing the power of HawkSearch.

The powerful partner in search

HawkSearch is known for its expertise in search-driven engagement, AI-powered product discovery, and no-code customizations. With a strong history of serving B2B customers with enterprise-level search solutions, it was a perfect choice to make HawkSearch directly available within Optimizely’s platform.

The expertise of Xngage made this connector a reality enabling Optimizely’s Configured Commerce customers to:

  • Easily plug directly into the HawkSearch service to share your products and their relevant data.
  • Utilize powerful unit of measure conversions, ensuring your customers can find exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Customize sorting and facets to deliver highly relevant results to customers.
  • Craft a personalized user experience with features like auto-complete and the new ‘instant engage’.

Customers can further explore HawkSearch’s capabilities in this on demand webinar and recap, which highlights the benefits and use cases of the Xngage connector for HawkSearch.

A powerful partner in digital growth

Xngage complements Optimizely perfectly, as they deliver robust solutions in the realm of digital content and commerce experiences. The development of the Xngage connector to HawkSearch is a part of their broader mission to empower manufacturers and distributors to serve their customers digitally. This alignment seamlessly fits with Optimizely, making our partnership with Xngage an ideal choice. 

Furthering their goal of digital growth, Xngage offers a range of holistic and complementary professional services, including:

  • User research & user experience design (UX)
  • Enterprise architecture & ERP integration
  • Product information management (PIM)
  • Ecommerce Implementations, and digital growth services.

To learn more about this highly experienced digital commerce partner visit Xngage.com.

The future of the partnership

This partnership is just the beginning. Xngage and HawkSearch are committed to working hand in hand to empower you with the tools and insights you need to elevate your ecommerce site. Stay tuned for future blogs, webinars, and resources that will help you make the most of this transformative alliance.

The future of ecommerce search has never looked more promising, and we’re excited to have you on this journey with us.

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