Social Media Benchmarking: Why You Need to Benchmark Your Social Media Activity
By Sandra BuschNov 9
Published December 14th 2022
Many marketers have already started mapping out next year’s digital marketing strategy, zeroing in on what will have the biggest impact on the bottom line.
More agile professionals are looking to capitalize on the latest industry trends.
This blog post is a snippet from our report, 2023 Digital Marketing Trends. You can read the report in its entirety here.
Below are some of the biggest digital marketing trends you should watch out for next year.
Let’s get to it.
74% of CMOs are facing cuts to their marketing spend, making every marketer’s existential question of how to prove a return on investment as pressing as ever.
Many brands have successfully implemented low-cost production methods, including publishing unpolished, ‘raw’ footage, leveraging TikTok, Instagram Reels and Stories, and using user-generated content.
Check out how the women’s clothing brand Aerie reposted a fan’s photo to its account on Instagram.
While we are at it, here’s a quick tip from a marketing professional on how to keep the creative flows going.
Influencer marketing has evolved from expensive celebrity endorsements for brands looking to quickly expand their reach and increase brand awareness to a more relatable approach built on authenticity and trust that creates a bond with consumers.
Today the global influencer market size is estimated at $16.4 billion.
How is the industry changing as we’re getting closer to 2023?
Not everyone who has followers is an influencer
When choosing to partner with an influencer, it’s important that brands focus on meaningful KPIs and don’t get distracted by the vanity numbers, such as the follower count.
While a huge social media following is a form of social proof, not all social media influencers are equally influential.
Next year, we’ll be seeing more content creators as opposed to influencers. The main difference between the two, as Neil Patel puts it, is that content creators are more focused on creating original content, while influencers are primarily focused on building an audience and working with brands on brand sponsorship opportunities that makes sense for what they themselves and their followers are interested in.
In other words, content creators aim to spread knowledge through original content, while influencers look to increase their popularity and get paid.
Working with content creators can be highly beneficial for brands; not only is it more economical, but you also get high-quality work in return because content is what they do best.
Remember when in 2020, Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle cut his own salary to $10K so retail employees could continue receiving regular pay while the brick-and-mortar locations were temporarily closed due to the pandemic?
The news triggered so much conversation that the brand took the top three spots in the chart of the most-engaged-with sportswear headlines in 2020.
So what, you might ask?
It was also reported that the company’s revenue in 2021 saw a 24.98% increase from 2020.
A recent study strongly suggested that consumers tend to gravitate towards companies and brands that are more socially and environmentally responsible. And we’ve seen this trend impact many industries. Just look at the fashion sector and the growing popularity of ethical fashion and resale tech, like Poshmark and ThredUp.
When shopping with ThredUp, consumers already know that they’ll be purchasing second-hand items. But the company takes it further by informing their shoppers exactly how big of an impact each purchase will have. And consumers reportedly like shopping with the planet in mind.
There are many layers to being an ethical company, and that environmental impact is just one of many.
Placing ethics over profits pays off, and brands that connect with their audiences and their values stay profitable. Just look at Patagonia, Thinx, LEGO, and many others.
By growing your brand beyond the product you sell, you create a community of raving fans who’ll be excited to discuss your brand online without you ever asking.
Another trend we’ve seen evolve in the last couple of years is the rise of communities and niche forums.
People want to belong and connect and talk about their interests with like-minded individuals. And the social media networks know this.
For example, TikTok recently launched the Follow Me educational program to help small businesses build a community on TikTok. And LinkedIn has introduced audio-only live events, enabling LinkedIn creators to connect with their communities over interactive audio discussions.
Communities are a great way to give your customer a voice and ensure the customer is at the heart of every brand decision. And communities can help brands outsmart algorithm changes.
Many brands have opted to have their own communities where they can deliver better experience and get closer to their customers, including Brandwatch. Brandwatch’s Grow with Social community offers tools, tips, and tactics marketers can use to keep growing with social.
At the end of the day, it’s all about building connections that lead to greater trust between you and your customers. And there’s no better way to secure the customers’ loyalty than by giving them a safe space to interact and find support from one another.
In January 2020, Google made an announcement that the company was planning to phase out third-party cookies in Chrome browsers in the next two years.
And Google is not alone. As part of the iOS 14 update, Apple users are now presented with the choice to block the IDFA identifier at the app level. And since the launch of the iOS 14 update, users have mostly been opting out of being tracked.
What does the loss of these technologies mean for marketers?
Today, advertisers heavily rely on cookies for retargeting. And a cookieless future is one in which marketers will have to increasingly rely on the zero-, first-party, or data supplied by consumers. We are talking about data that comes from customer surveys and polls, as well as web activity.
Guess who’s already ahead of the curve and tackling the data problem? Amazon. The company has launched an invite-only program as part of the Amazon Shopper Panel, where users can receive rewards by submitting receipts and taking surveys. And Amazon will pay customers $2 a month to monitor how they interact with ads on mobile devices and to verify which ones they have seen.
But it doesn’t stop there. According to Gizmodo, the program participants can also earn monthly rewards by sharing receipts from purchases made outside of amazon.com.
Overall, AI and BI tools will take center stage in helping marketers gather consumer insights that can aid in crafting more personalized campaigns while keeping the ad spend under control.
One example of how cutting-edge AI tools can predict how people will respond to your content is Neurons. Neurons’ visual attention prediction AI is said to be able to predict with 95% accuracy where a consumer will look at an ad. And according to the company, it has already learned where consumers look and what they ignore.
Equipped with the right tools, marketers can craft more relevant ads that consumers won’t be able to ignore.
What’s been on the minds of marketers lately?
We used Brandwatch’s Social Panels to peek inside the heads of marketing professionals on Twitter worldwide. For that, we analyzed Twitter profiles of individuals whose bios included relevant keywords, such as CMO, marketer, marketing, SEO, and social media.
We studied Twitter mentions from approximately 88k marketing professionals shared between June 1 and December 5, 2022. Below are some of the topics these marketers discussed on Twitter in the last six months:
Burnout among digital marketers seem to be fueled by algorithm changes that often work against publishers.
According to a recent estimate, about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated every single day. So, producing and promoting content is no longer enough to stay in the game. Quality and relatability are what will set brands apart from their competitors.
Have you heard of the “spaghetti” approach to marketing? The term is often used to describe marketing initiatives that are done in an unorganized fashion or because “everyone else is doing it.”
The opposite of that would be a data-based approach to strategy planning. And the key here is to discover the insights relevant to your business and industry and feed them into your marketing strategy. Because copying everybody else is not a viable marketing plan.
Today, there are over 4.2 billion of active users on social media.
But guess what? Your marketing doesn’t need to reach all of them. As long as you reach your community and your consumers and capture their attention.
So, the question for you is: What story is your brand going to tell on social in 2023 to stay relevant to your audience?
This year is coming to an end, and one thing is clear: more than ever, marketers will need to look for new ways to get in front of consumers, which means diversifying their marketing efforts. Whether it’s getting behind a social cause, doing content collaborations, or building a community, relatable and tailored experiences will be the winning recipe in 2023 and beyond.