There are countless ways to spend your digital marketing budget. Everybody loves content and SEO, but there's also graphic design to think about. Oh and we can't forget social media management, email marketing, responsive design and all things mobile. And we haven't even mentioned Google, kings of the search engine land, display ad realm, and owner of everything the light touches. It's a challenge to figure out what percentage of your money to put where.
What smart businesses are doing is chasing the value of marketing tactics. Value is defined as the measure of the benefit that may be gained from something (in this case, in relation to how much it costs). There are many examples in our world of a huge emphasis being placed on value. For one, the stock market is the biggest value game there is; if you invest in the right stock when it's cheap, your returns will be through the roof. The sabermetric movement in major league baseball focuses on finding the most value per salary dollars spent on players. As seen in the movie Moneyball, Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane popularized this concept by consistently fielding one of the best teams in the game with the lowest payroll.
The Value Of Social Ads
So what does baseball have to do with digital marketing? Well, the concept of moneyball is the same, except instead of players, we're trying to roster the best team of digital marketing tactics with our salary (read: budget). There's technically no right or wrong way to spend your digital marketing budget, but putting serious thought into how you compose your mix of strategies will help you be more cost-effective.
The examples that follow are small snapshots that highlight the value of social ads. With just a few dollars here and there, social ads can become a valuable member of your digital marketing team:
Back in February, there was a great article published on the Moz blog about "why Facebook Ads are the biggest marketing opportunity ever," so we want to run through an example of how that could be true.
These are the results of a little experiment we ran on our own Facebook page. As you can see, for about $1 - the suggested amount of the Moz article we linked to - we boosted our posts' exposure by 1,000 people. Ask yourself: are 1,000 people worth $1? We think the answer is a resounding YES! The number of people and clicks that we otherwise wouldn't have gotten were absolutely worth the miniscule investment; it's the very definition of value.
We also posted the exact same thing on our Facebook wall about a week before we ran the "ad post." The difference in results was staggering. The normal post reached 220 people an garnered 3 likes, while the boosted post reached 6,700 (including organic) people and generated 53 post likes. And the grand total for these results? $4.96. We can also infer that due to the increased exposure of one paid ad, our future organic reach and likes will increase. Not a bad bonus!
Twitter ads are relatively new to the ad scene, but they're no less effective. This is a small data set of Twitter Ads that we ran for a client:
The results of the Twitter Ad set are similar to Facebook's in that they both offer significant amplification for what amounts to pennies. Let's be honest, digital marketing just isn't this cheap. Content, design, SEO - these things are expensive. And then you have this ultra-cheap, easy to use platform that can become part of your digital marketing team right now. The cost per engagement rates are a little higher in the Twitter data, but still, 4,000 extra views and nearly 60 engagements on a single tweet is a steal for $25.
StumbleUpon Paid Discovery
If you produce a lot of content, StumbleUpon is a fantastic traffic generator. Now, with the addition of StumbleUpon Paid Discovery, it's even better. For those who don't know, StumbleUpon helps users surf the web more efficiently by "Stumbling" them to pages that match their interests. StumbleUpon's Paid Discovery ads help you get your content in a more prominent position on searchers' streams. Here's a look at the results of a StumbleUpon test we conducted:
For a grand total of $20, StumbleUpon directed over 600 visits to our pages. This amounts to a tiny, tiny 4.5 cents per visit. Who doesn't want that kind of boosted traffic for that price? As Brian Carter said in his Moz piece, "If you can't spare $30 a month, you shouldn't be in business." We agree.
Become The Billy Beane Of Marketing
No matter how big or small your budget is, you should always try to maximize the value you get for every dollar you spend. Due to factors like company size, number of products or services, and target audience, some companies will need to spend more money than others, even to accomplish the same things. But the most successful companies will all have one thing in common: they always look for value. The tricky thing about value is it comes in all shapes and sizes. Something very expensive can have more value than something extremely cheap, and vice versa. If there's one takeaway of this post, it's this: learn to chase (and recognize) value, and you'll succeed.