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The Biggest Contradictions in the 2017 State of Social Marketing Report

Today we hosted a webinar unveiling the results from our 2017 State of Social Marketing Report. The webinar served as an exclusive first look into the minds of marketers from all over the world, from industry insights to emerging trends in social marketing to the impact of influencers. With responses from nearly 3,000 social marketers from 111 countries, this was our biggest report to date.

During the webinar, I joined Lucy Hitz, Head of Marketing and Communications here at Simply Measured, to discuss some of the key findings from our global survey. We determined that this year was the year of contradictions. We noticed several contradictory themes in our data, including but not limited to:

Marketers Need Analytics Software, but Lack the Funds

Social analytics is a critical social media practice marketers do to gather data needed to inform future business decisions, identify which social investments lead to higher revenue, and pinpoint where (and to what extent) their audiences are engaging, sharing, and converting.

In our survey, marketers reported that analytics software was their greatest need, but a majority claim to have either limited funds or no funding at all to acquire this need. Among agencies, 40.5% of brands and 34.1% claim to have no budget set aside for social analytics software, meaning nearly 4 out of every 10 marketing teams are limited in the type of data they can collect to gain valuable insight into their social strategies.

Which Resources Are Needed to Do Your Best Work? Marketers Struggle to Fund Social Analytics Software

Ad Spending Is Increasing, but Goal-Setting Isn’t Happening

Social media ad spending could exceed $35 billion in 2017, accounting for 16 percent of all digital ad spending globally, according to eMarketer. Each year, ad spending on social continues to rise, but there is a large disconnect between dollars spent and how those dollars are supporting strategic traffic and conversion goals. Put simply, marketers are spending money before understanding why or how those dollars should be spent.

Among marketers, 90.3% are spending ad dollars on Facebook, making it the powerhouse social network yet again. However, dollars are being spent across all networks. Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn are also catching the eyes of marketers and acquiring a slice of the ad spend pie.

On Which Channels Do You Spend the Most Advertising Dollars?

What is alarming to us is that a large number of marketers do not have web traffic or conversion goals to place business value on social advertising. Only 31.6% of all marketers claim to have both web traffic and conversion goals for social. This means 68.4% of marketers are not establishing deliberate goals for both traffic and conversion, or are completely avoiding setting goals altogether.

Influencers Are Vital to Success, but No Funds Are Being Allocated

Nearly 1 in 5 brands (19.9%) strongly agree that influencers play a vital role in their social strategy. As both a paid and organic method to spread marketing messages, influencers have the potential to make a huge impact on social strategies. Influencers are being utilized to extend reach, provide unique content, provide expertise in a field, and often have strong presence on multiple social channels.

Over 76% of brands, however, say they have no dedicated budget for influencer marketing. Whether due to unsubstantial resources, lack of expertise, or both, marketers acknowledge the impact of influencers on their social strategies but are not setting aside any funds to grow their influencer programs. A potentially business-harming disconnect is happening here, as influencer relationships—when identified and grown properly—can provide great ROI for brands.

For an in-depth look into the results of our global survey, please download a copy of our 2017 State of Social Marketing Report.

Download the 2017 State of Social Marketing Report

Below you will find a recording of today’s webinar, along with the full slide deck. If you have further questions regarding the information from the webinar or the report, please comment below and let us know.


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Bryan Blackburn

Bryan is the Content Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. He spoils his dog, is a fitness fanatic, and loves research and writing.

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