The world of internet advertising is not as small as it used to be, with the emergence of social networking sites over the past decade providing businesses and brands with unfettered access to customers in an environment unlike any other.
But this ecosystem has not stood still. Instead it has thrown up new avenues for content creation and promotion which empower businesses and allow them to foster brand engagement and generate sales without the immediate burden of paying for traditional ads.
That is not to say that it is a good idea to take the focus off established platforms; Google’s Q1 earnings in 2015 showed that PPC clicks were up by a quarter year-on-year, with the cost of each click decreasing by a little over a tenth.
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But the question is, what impact are social content services having on the market and can you exploit the likes of Instagram and Vine in an inventive and effective manner in spite of the growing saturation?
Engaging the senses
As much time as you put into composing a tweet, various studies have shown that engagements are driven primarily by multimedia content, whether that might be a still image, an animated gif, a looping Vine post or a longer Instagram video.
People who use these services are more likely to click through to a firm’s profile page and ultimately visit the site if the content they are being presented with is more than just a pithily-worded sentence or two squeezed into under 140 characters. Not only that but Instagram even has more registered users than Twitter, helped no doubt by its links with Facebook.
Thus on a purely practical level if you want to reach an audience of potential customers, you are likely to be able to encounter them and engage them more effectively if you have a presence on these popular platforms than if you do not.
While you can pay for promoted tweets to appear in people’s timelines, it is much more cost-effective to have content go viral organically, at which point the sharing machine that is the modern social media market will help to spread the word without requiring you to expend any of your marketing budget.
Moreover there is a very low barrier for production value in this area, meaning that simple ideas executed well can be successful even if they were produced on a shoestring budget, or with no budget whatsoever.
That is not to say that success is guaranteed; making an impact takes time and actually learning the ropes of social networks is crucial before you can hope to see any return on your investment. But with expert advice and even an outsourced social marketing campaign, there is huge potential in these platforms from the point of view of promotion.