social media advertising: facebook vs instagram

Social Media Advertising: Facebook vs Instagram

Social Media Advertising: Facebook vs Instagram

The year 2020 has shown us that social media advertising is here to stay, and that allocating your budget to successful campaigns with a high ROI is more important than before. Many times businesses feel the return on print advertising can’t be accurately measured. The beauty of marketing via social media channels is the variety of insights provided that can be analyzed to continually improve your campaigns to achieve successful results.  

Gone are the days where social media was solely for social interaction. In fact, research shows that 52% of all online brand discovery still happens in public social feeds (organic & paid). This suggests that the majority of consumers use Instagram and Facebook to investigate a new company before even visiting their website! 

Build brand awareness and loyalty by engaging with your followers and curating a feed that gives consumers a feeling of trust and relatability. Of course this means understanding the algorithms and the importance of curating captivating content. Let’s break down common questions surrounding social media advertising

 

What are the benefits of social media marketing?

Social media is proven to increase brand awareness, inbound traffic, conversion rates, customer satisfaction, brand loyalty, and most importantly is measurable and cost effective.

 

Audience Growth: Facebook v Instagram

Of all social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram are proven to be the most interactive and can produce the best ROI. However, the benefits of each are very subjective and depend on which features are being used, your industry, audience, and other factors.

  • Facebook
    • Facebook launched in February 2004, and introduced Facebook Ads in November of 2007. The platform was originally created to help people stay in-touch with family and friends and became an advertising powerhouse with the launch of Facebook Ads and Business pages in 2007.According to Statista, Facebook reported almost 1.79 billion daily active users and overall, daily active users accounted for 66% of monthly active users.  This number continues to grow by 9% compared to the year before, despite the speculation that Facebook is “dying”. 
  • Instagram
    • Instagram launched in October 2010 and is a younger platform focused on storytelling through images and now instagram reels and stories. Instagram ran its first ad in November 2013. By 2017, Instagram was averaging more than 2 million businesses with purchased ads, compared to Facebook’s 5 million. 
    • However, according to Statista, Instagram has over 500 million daily active users out of 1 billion monthly active users, making Instagram a powerhouse when it comes to audience engagement.

 

Audience: Facebook v Instagram

Facebook may not have the highest engagement, but because it is the oldest platform the audience is huge, with more than 2.45 billion monthly active users. Facebook differs from other social media platforms that show strong trends in users by age. The average age for a Facebook user ranges from 18-49, with little variance in between. However, Facebook is the most popular social network among seniors and the majority of the users are in the United States.

Of this 1.79 billion daily users, the ad audience reach for the U.S. is only 183 million people. This audience size has also seen a decrease in the past year from 3% to .4% - a fairly significant dip.

Instagram’s growth continues to be studied and monitored by marketers. In the United States, the network reaches over 37% of the population. The global audience is diversified, with only 11% of Instagram users represented by the U.S. eMarketer estimates 2020 will reveal a growth of over 5% in the U.S. compared  and anticipates this number to continue growing at this growth rate. 

More adults use Instagram than you would think, with 37% in 2019. The network is also significantly more popular amongst the younger generations. 67% of users are between the ages of 18-29. Here’s a breakdown from Hootsuite:

    • 18-27: 67%
    • 30-49: 47%
    • 50-64: 23%
    • 65+: 8%

Another important and interesting insight to Instagram’s audience is that the gender demographics are pretty even - 48% female and 52% male. 

All of these statistics are important to research when considering your buyer personas. You should always analyze your business’s audience and design your strategy based on this information rather than the overall network statistics.

 

 

Brand engagement: Facebook v Instagram

It’s no surprise that consumers rarely engage with branded social content compared to all content on a social platform. A study by Forrester revealed that on six of the seven social networks, the brands studied had an engagement rate of less than 0.1%. So, between Instagram and Facebook, which platform has the highest engagement? Depending on the blog you read, you’ll render different results. According to the Forrester study, one platform stood out the most: Instagram.

Facebook launched Facebook Business Pages to support the Facebook Ads launch in 2007, and now has over 60 million business pages. 39% of Facebook users that follow Facebook Business Pages do so because they want to receive special offers. Interestingly enough, the average organic reach of a Facebook post is only 6.4% of the Page’s total likes. Statista reports that  in 2019 the social network’s marketing spending reached almost 9.9 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of over 2 billion U.S. dollars from 2018. However, despite this level of spending, the engagement on Facebook with paid branded content is still under .1%. 

A study by Merkle reveals that ad spending on Instagram is 23% higher than facebook. What is driving this shift in ad spending to Instagram’s platform? Story ads and higher engagement.  

 

 

Types of Ads: Facebook v Instagram

Facebook offers Facebook Ads Guide for types of ads. These ad types include: Image Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads, and Collection Ads. Facebook provides thorough research where their teams explored the effectiveness of ads based on engagement, exploring text, timing, and format considerations. You can find some of this research here. Facebook’s targeting tools are considerable, and allow you to narrow down by purchase behavior, interests, location, demographics, Facebook communities, and more. You can create Core, Custom, and Lookalike Audiences for your ad delivery to increase relevance, thus leading to higher ad engagement.

Instagram ad types consist of feed posts and story ads. Both types look just like regular posts and stories, but are labeled with a “Sponsored” label and include a call to action button with options to send to your messages, website, Instagram profile, etc. According to AdEspresso, the average engagement rate for Instagram branded posts is 4.3%, compared to Facebook’s 1.5%. 

The user experience for Instagram story ads shows most users don’t realize they’re seeing an ad play back to back, revealing a smooth experience that isn’t too interruptive. Additionally, because an Instagram story takes up the entire screen there is no competition with other content and when targeted correctly, the experience feels organic. Therefore, consumers are more likely to engage.

Both are measured by reach & impressions. Reach is the number of unique views on a post. Impressions are the total number of times a post was seen. Both metrics provide helpful insights to your ad performance and allow you to make adjustments to improve your ad engagement overall.

 

 

Cost: Facebook v Instagram

A study in 2019 found that the average CPM for Instagram is $5.14 per 1000 visits. While the average CPC for Instagram ads is between $.20 and $2.00. Compared to Facebook’s CPM of $5.12 and CPC of $.80, Instagram wins again in this category. This study is a broad estimation, and certain factors like your target audience will affect these costs. Let’s discuss a few factors that affect the ad costs.

  • Ad Relevance - Facebook takes into account the relevancy of your ad amongst your selected target audience and factors this into the cost of the ad. Facebook and Instagram provide a relevancy score that changes while your ad runs. If you receive high engagement, your score will increase. If consumers are hiding your ad, your score will go down. A/B testing is a great way to determine what is relevant to your audience. Remember to only change one factor so that you receive concise data. Similar to a Google algorithm, the more relevant your content is to your target buyers and ad audience, the less expensive your ads will be.
  • Target audience - If you are targeting a popular audience that is high-demand, the cost will fluctuate. 
  • Time of year - like any retail or sales strategy, the time of year will determine the cost of the ad. Popular times of the year, like holidays, will affect the ad cost.
  • Ad Run Dates - Obviously, the longer you run an ad the more your cost will increase. The average ad doesn’t necessarily need to run for a long period of time. Assessing your impression and reach goals will help guide you to determine a reasonable ad length and price.

 

 

 

 

 

Steeplechase of Charleston_Diamonds Direct

Spotlight On: Branded Content

Spotlight On: Branded Content

Authenticity for the Win

By, Sterling Eason, Senior Director of Partnership Development

Now more than ever, consumers are gravitating to brands to hear their authentic stories.  They want to see the CEO on Zoom (with her dog) in weekend clothes giving a tour of the factory or follow a social media campaign that teaches them something new.  And, it's comforting when the delivery is genuine and authentic.  The best part? Authentic communication is as effective as it is affordable.

This is where branded content comes in.  It is the vehicle for the authenticity to travel within, which is why it can be one of the most effective tools used by brands today. Trust can be built between the consumer and the brand when they see the people behind the brands and the products.

New sales and marketing models are emerging weekly.  Coupled with concerns and uncertainty around budgets for marketing, we are stepping onto new ground that can feel precarious. There will be no return to the status quo for consumers in the near future - the new normal is taking shape.

We recently surveyed our business partners at Steeplechase of Charleston with the majority  indicating that their top tools for marketing are social media and branded content.  This is where the affordability theme steps in.  Creating branded content doesn’t mean slick and expensive productions.

 

HOW TO GET STARTED

What is your goal?

Let’s start with what branded content is often used to do:

  • Drive engagement
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Improve brand loyalty

 

First, gather your smartest minds together and talk it out.

Be sure to populate that team with people from multiple areas of the company. Remember, your brand is represented in everything from sales to operations to the front lines of customer service - all these areas should weigh in. 

  • What do you want for the brand? Find your themes.
  • Start putting them into buckets with ideas attached to each.
  • If you are efficient, this is a one-hour meeting. Preparing your people before the meeting is key. Give them time to think about the brand and assign them ideas to bring to the table.

 

Develop the story and concept.

You have your buckets of goals with themes, now pick one.  Pick a week on the schedule to push it out and work backward to begin your planning. While you are at that, create a basic content calendar for the year and share it with the team. Be willing to change that calendar as often the market will present new challenges. For guidance, here's a great article discussing the Nine steps to great storytelling.

 

Develop content that strengthens likability while also carrying out your major goal.

Good content is key to convince consumers to click.  People like content that makes them feel good and in turn, they often will feel good about the brand. Make them laugh, teach them something, give them special access. With consumers spending less time commuting, etc., they are looking to fill in gaps. This is your opportunity to bring them content that entertains and informs - resulting in consumers taking action.

A SATISFYING CONTENT EXPERIENCE → DRIVES CLICKS → HOME PAGE → SALES

 

A few ideas to consider:

  • Give them access to something - Go behind the scenes and show your process. People love to see things being made!
  • Another suggested strategy is to not only attempt to create a community centered on enthusiasm for your brand, but for your brand to enthusiastically support existing communities that have a purpose separate from, but relevant to you.

 

How to tell your story

  • Find the easiest platforms for you to use.  This is where Social Media steps in often.   It is user-friendly, easily-measured, and inexpensive. (If you aren’t consistent with content on social media, you are likely not going to build your followers.)Baker Motor company Steeplechase Social Content
    • However, there are many other platforms such as articles, video calls, virtual events, branded videos, newsletters, as well as conference calls.
  • Identify the voice: If it is a Zoom call, bring in a moderator to hold the content together by keeping everyone on message; if it’s an article, have your CEO pen the piece from their perspective, or, if you are hosting a virtual event, pin it to a theme and have your host give a strong introduction and close.
  • Record and reuse.  Once you have built a body of content, save it! Use it again. Replay it to a new audience. And by all means, add it to your website so that those visiting for the first time can get a sense of your brand voice.

Here's an example of a branded content video created by Steeplechase of Charleston for our presenting sponsor, Baker Motor Company:

 

Last but not least, three golden rules:

  • Have a purpose for what you are doing when you tell your story.
  • Tie that purpose back to a call-to-action.
  • Make it easy for them to act as well as react.

 

The time is now to drive connections. The desire of your customers is there. What are you waiting for?

A partnership with Steeplechase of Charleston can mean much more than exposure on race day. Consider a conversation with me to discuss how your brand can be a part of our overall content strategy that begins well in advance of race day and extends across multiple platforms.

 

 

By Sterling Eason, Senior Director of Partnership Development, Steeplechase of Charleston, The Post and Courier

 

 

 

 

Relationship Management Blog

Relationship Management: How to Keep Leads Warm Without Selling

Relationship Management: How to Keep Leads Warm Without Selling

As businesses begin to re-open, it is more important than ever to prioritize relationship management and be mindful of how each business approaches potential buyers. Your business’s ability to adapt to an empathetic marketing strategy will have an impact on customer conversions. 

Trends suggest that how a business communicates with clients during a time of crisis will directly impact the brand’s reputation for the foreseeable future. The goal is to design a communication strategy that leads with empathy from an honest place. 

Using empathy as a tool and not a recovery plan

Understanding your client’s perspective is essential to your success. By listening to your customers needs, you can better provide them with whatever services or products could help them. You want to be their problem solver for the immediate, and need to present longer-term the value in your proposal. 

By now, you should have your post-pandemic marketing strategy in place. However, there’s a high possibility that clients may still be uncomfortable with spending. Although sales are down for a majority of businesses, web traffic has increased significantly since March. Marketing Gong's Head of Content, Devin Reed believes customers aren’t making purchases, but they’re gathering information about who/how they want to spend when the time comes.   

Positive and creative communication

HubSpot Marketing trends reveal email open rates are increasing and holding steady, but sales are down. Now what? Nurture these leads with a kind voice & helping hand so that when they reach financial recovery (individuals or businesses), they choose to purchase with you. Listen to your clients’ needs and only beneficial information. Deliver value first.

Remove words from your messaging that carry a negative connotation. However, don’t ignore the elephant in the room. Try new + creative email campaigns geared towards providing your clients with helpful resources. Response rates are 25-50% lower and sales open rates have tanked. The idea is to pull, NOT push your clients to you. Lead with relatable and positive messaging and don’t be afraid to add a little (tasteful) humor. 

Utilize some of our Post and Courier Marketing Blogs and incorporate them as selling tools. We’ve written dozens of articles in an effort to help small businesses with tons of useful information pertaining to crisis marketing + other free tools we’ve created to help local businesses at this time. 

 

 

 

11 Free Business Resources During COVID-19

11 FREE Tools Your Business Should Be Using During COVID-19

11 FREE Tools Your Business Should Be Using During COVID-19

Due to the increasing precautions and gathering restrictions throughout the United States because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are experiencing digital growing pains.  Ideally, expanding an in-office position to a remote position would involve a gradual process for businesses and employees. This transition from office to remote work might include planning for necessary resources and employee training. However, over the last two weeks many companies have been scrambling to get their businesses running smoothly online within a short time frame in an effort to flatten the curve of the coronavirus. As a result, business owners are looking for new solutions and ways to run their businesses online.

In order to help guide our small businesses, we’ve compiled a list of 11 FREE tools to help your business during COVID-19:

 

VIRTUAL CONFERENCING:

The silver lining to quarantining is the expanding usage of video conferencing tools. Using one of the popular platforms listed below, you can gather multiple employees on one meeting call.  Simply set your meeting and share the URL in your calendar event. And for the best part? They’re FREE. Attendee and time limits exist for each platform and vary for each. Here’s a brief breakdown of the two most popular platforms: 

1.  Zoom.us

Zoom provides HD Video and audio to its users across a platform that is friendly on any device. Zoom can also be accessed from desktop or mobile. A free account with Zoom.us includes the following:

      • Up to 100 guests
      • Up to 40 minutes
      • Multiple screen sharing 
      • View all guests in grid view

2. Google Hangouts

Google-Hangouts-logo

Hangouts is a free tool for US and Canada that can be accessed within any existing Google account.  Don't have a Google account? Create a free gmail.com account to get started using both.

      • Up to 25 guests on video / 150 in Google Hangouts chat
      • Unlimited minutes 
      • Individual screen sharing (one at a time)
      • View 10 active participants in the bottom of the screen

 

MESSAGING:

3. Slack Messenger

slack-messenger-logo

Slack is an instant messaging tool that brings your company together and helps you to stay productive, regardless of location. Your business can save time with Slack by decreasing the need for back and forth emails and meetings to discuss and approve small tasks.  Additionally, Slack creates a more casual workplace that can be categorized with different channels to keep conversations organized.  Get started using Slack remotely with these tips. With the free version of Slack, you can:

      • 10k searchable messages
      • 10 apps and integrations
      • Two-factor authentication
      • No channel limits

 

VIDEO INSTRUCTION (COMMUNICATION):

4. VidYard

VidYard-logo

VidYard.com is an online video platform for users to create, house, and share video content. This resource is useful for marketing, instruction, and internal communication purposes. During the coronavirus pandemic, it more important than ever to stay connected not only via video conferencing, but also with on-demand videos and video messages. VidYard for Internal Communications is available for free through 6/30/20and includes the following features: 

      • Centralized administration of security policies, user provisioning, and content management 
      • End users can capture,share, and store unlimited videos via web-based extensions to Google Chrome, Outlook, and Gmail - no desktop software required
      • Access control to video content via Single Sign-On authentication
      • Password Protected or IP whitelisting for videos

 

ORGANIZATION/PROJECT MANAGEMENT:

5. Trello

trello-logo-full

Included in the Forbes.com 10 Essential Productivity Tools, Trello is a color-coded organization tool that is also user-friendly.  Manage projects from the board view, create to-do lists and editorial calendars, and plan SEO campaigns with many other options to explore. This visually appealing organization tool is a favorite!

 

DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT & SHARING:

6. Google Drive

google-drive-logo

If you’re not already using Google Drive, add this to the top of your to-do list for today! It is easy and free to begin - simply use your free Gmail.com email address to get started. Google Drive allows you to share + create documents to share with anyone. For instance, when you have access to working documents, multiple team members can work in the document at one time. This article provides some in-depth examples of how to integrate Google Drive into your business.

 

THE POST AND COURIER RESOURCES:

7. The Post and Courier’s COVID-19 Coverage 

With daily news updates and an updated South Carolina coverage map of the virus, The Post and Courier has you covered. We are working hard behind the scenes in Charleston, SC to keep you informed and to provide our readers with community updates in an effort to support our state and its businesses as we navigate this unprecedented time together.  Therefore, we are currently offering this COVID-19 News for free without subscription as a public service. 

the-post-and-courier-covid19-news

 

8. The Post and Courier COVID-19 Business Guide

We are here to help our businesses and community connect! The Post and Courier has launched a new COVID-19 Business Guide as a free service! This guide provides a place for businesses to provide their updated hours, location, current deals, or send a kind message to the community. Follow this link and submit your information for free!

Post-and-courier-covid19-business-guide-page

 

9. The Post and Courier Dining Guide

Looking for some curb-side dinner options? In addition to the COVID-19 landing page, we are gathering and providing an active list of local Charleston food & beverage businesses that are open and providing take-out options. We’re here to help you support our local restaurant industry! Send us your restaurant's info here!

Post-and-courier-coronavirus-dining-guide

 

10. Marketing Your Business in a Time of Crisis:  A Free Webinar with The Post and Courier + Evening Post Newspapers 

The COVID-19 outbreak has changed the marketing landscape for businesses. As a result, The Post and Courier wants to provide useful marketing resources for our clients. Join us for a live webinar as we host renowned marketing experts to discuss how to manage your marketing in a time of crisis. Reserve your free seat here!

Facebook Webinar Ad

 

11. The Post and Courier Marketing Blog 

As the coronavirus crisis extends further into 2020, The Post and Courier Advertising division is dedicated to providing your businesses with useful blogs full of information and virtual events as an additional free resource.  We're discussing important topics like social media trends,  email marketing strategies, sponsored events updates, and more.

post-and-courier-advertising-blog

 

 

 

Sticky Notes: A Customizable Advertising Solution

Sticky Notes:  A Customizable Advertising Solution

As we look for efficient ways to market businesses via print methods in the year 2020 and beyond, Sticky Notes can be an effective resource that provides a quick read with a lasting reference. Although it may feel like an all-digital world, 81% of customers like brands to communicate coupons and offers in both print and digital in order to not miss out on savings.  

Moreover, 60% say seeing an offer in both print and online makes them more likely to make a purchase. These eye-catching coupons take immediate attention from the newspaper reader on the front page, which is rare real estate. Sticky notes are sometimes a company’s only opportunity to appear in such a prime spot. 

How can Sticky Notes be a smart investment & marketing solution? Not only are these fun stickers customizable and double-sided, but they also have a tendency to travel. Because of their design, Sticky Notes frequently move from newspaper to refrigerator and then (hopefully) into the wallet of a client, leaving a direct impression and feeling of exclusivity.

On the front page, there is no competition with other ads. Sticky Notes deliver high visibility and an immediate impact. Adding newspapers to a campaign boosts ROI by nearly 3 times, on average!

Ask yourself, “What are your company’s primary methods for gauging effectiveness of the advertising sales?” If the answers include increased customers, sales, and traffic, this would be a useful solution for you.

Ask your sales representative how your company can get involved - fill out the form below and our team will be in touch with you promptly!

Let’s chat about customizable marketing solutions: