The 2018 Approach to Mobile- and Social Marketing

Last year was a very good year for the mobile device manufacturers.  Usage grew by more than 30% in 2017, making it even more apparent that smartphones and tablets are not going anywhere anytime soon.  They are fully integrated into our way of life and account for a very large percentage of web searches, social media usage, and online shopping.

It wasn’t just the mobile market that saw a big boost of activity in the past calendar year.  There were also a couple of social media platforms that grew by leaps and bounds.  The most notable of these was Instagram, which reached the 700 million user mark.  With that kind of growth still taking place in the social arena, marketers see no reason to stop their efforts to reach their audiences via those channels.

The cost of reaching consumers via mobile and social have changed however.  It is getting increasingly expensive to gain recognition and sales in this manner.  This explains why the average advertising budgets allotted to these platforms increased by a whopping 60% in 2017.  That upward trend is not expected to come to an end this year.

The trouble is that, depending on what outcome marketers are hoping for, the increased cost is not necessarily leading to greater successes.  While the cost per impression has been on a steady rise on Facebook, the click through rates have not improved.  Those who have seen improved success rates on social and mobile are those that do data analysis well.

What is the most important piece of data to be considered?  While this point can be argue for all of eternity without reaching a conclusion, most marketers do agree that effectively narrowing the audience is the key to seeing greater returns on investment.  Often, what a brand marketer might consider a narrow niche is actually much broader than would be recommended.  For instance:

Assume a Facebook advertisement is aimed at 35-55-year-old people living in Fresno, Visalia, or Bakersfield, CA.

It seems like a fairly tight niche, but when it comes to data analysis, the brand is actually going to have to evaluate:

  1. Women, 35-44 living in Fresno
  2. Women, 45-55 living in Fresno
  3. Men, 35-44 living in Fresno
  4. Men, 45-55 living in Fresno
  5. Women, 35-44 living in Visalia
  6. Women, 45-55 living in Visalia
  7. Men, 35-44 living in Visalia
  8. Men, 45-55 living in Visalia
  9. Women, 35-44 living in Bakersfield
  10. Women, 45-55 living in Bakersfield
  11. Men, 35-44 living in Bakersfield
  12. Men, 45-55 living in Bakersfield

Many marketers admit that they will increase their mobile- and social advertising budgets in 2018, but that they will also attempt to refocus their efforts, so that the funds are not so widely spread.  This, of course, starts with some test ads to see which niche is most likely to respond to the content, followed by a more focused campaign.  In this way, marketers may just make the most of the growing audiences on mobile and social, without losing out to the rising costs of advertising.

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