How To Tackle The Lack Of Digital Skills In Marketing

“UK skill levels in Digital Marketing are worryingly low… creating a tangible barrier to Britain’s ability to export” Chartered Institute of Marketing ‘Digital Marketing Skills Benchmark 2018’ The Chartered Institute of Marketing undertook a study of nearly 5000 individuals, to assess the proficiency of Digital Marketing Skills of employees across a wide range of industries…

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Facebook Kills Off Organic Reach for 2015

The average post by a Brand on Facebook is only seen by 2% of that Brand's followers.

Anyone who reads about SEO will have heard the phrase "SEO is dead" numerous times despite the fact that SEO is alive and well (various methods and tactics are dead but that's a post for another day…). So I was skeptical when I heard that Facebook's organic reach was "dead" or at least greatly reduced until Facebook admitted it themselves. In this post I'll explain why Facebook Brand pages no longer achieve the reach they used to, what this means for you and how you can overcome this issue.

What's Changed?

In 2014 many marketers started to notice that posts by Brands on Facebook were starting to reach fewer people. Despite increasing the number of "likes" for their pages there was a significant drop in actual people seeing each post. In March Ogilvy analysed more than 100 Brand pages and found that their reach had dropped to the point where each post was being seen by only 2.11% of users for most Brands.

Facebook organic reach results from Ogilvy Facebook organic reach results from Ogilvy[/caption] In November 2014 Facebook announced that they were altering their algorithm in order to reduce the reach of "overly promotional page posts". Put simply if your post reads like an Ad then don't expect it to reach people for free.

What Does This Mean?

The days of being able to drive significant amounts of traffic to your site, engage with your audience and promote your business for free on Facebook are over. It was good while it lasted but it's time to face facts: Facebook have no obligation to help you achieve your business aims and if you're not paying your results will be limited. Officially this is about Facebook putting the interests of users over the interests of businesses (according to Mark Zuckerberg) but it's similar to what we've seen with Google in regards to unpaid traffic vs PPC Ads. Each company has made it more difficult to get good results from free services in order to encourage Brands to spend more on paid services. facebook-dollar

How Has This Affected Your Page?

The first thing to do it to look at the reach of your recent posts under "Insights". Here you'll be able to see the organic reach of your 5 most recent posts (how many people saw the post) as well as engagement metrics such as clicks and likes, comments and shares. You might find that your recent posts have had a good reach in which case there's no need to worry, just keep an eye on this figure. You might also find that very few people actually saw the post – this isn't necessarily an issue for you but you'll need to bear in mind how much time and resource you assign to Facebook and what you're looking to achieve from this.

What Can You Do About It?

If you still want to be able to get in front of Facebook users (and let's face it where else can you find 1.39 billion monthly active users?), there are two main types of advertising on Facebook: Boosted Posts and  Facebook Ads. Boosting a post is quite straight-forward even if you haven't created and Advertising Campaign before, you simply create a post as you normally would and then give it a budget and set an audience (for example those interested in Digital Marketing in Exeter) and let it do its stuff. The snapshot below shows the reach of two recent posts on the Optix Solutions Facebook page. The first was an organic post which reached 65 users and the second was boosted for about £20 and reached 12.7k users. facebook-boosted-post-stats

Digging into the engagement metrics would allow us to effectively measure the success of this Campaign but as you can see from the reach metrics it at least got in front of the right people.

Step By Step

Follow these steps to improve the effectiveness of your Facebook activity (you might have done the first few steps already):

1. Write down what you're looking to achieve e.g. increase brand awareness, drive sales, increase donations or generate enquiries.

2. Decide how you can measure this e.g. site visits, page "likes", sales, reach.

3. Measure the success of your recent posts (look in Facebook Insights).

4. Try boosting a post (you don't need much budget to give it a try) and see if this has a better result/gives you a suitable return on investment.

5. If you want to know more about Paid Advertising including Facebook Ads get in touch with us.

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What Are AdWords Enhanced Campaigns?

If you’ve logged in to Google AdWords recently you will probably have seen a message suggesting that you upgrade to Enhanced Campaigns. Although Enhanced Campaigns are optional at this point Google is going to automatically upgrade Campaigns which have not been manually upgraded on Monday the 22nd of July. If you make use of Google’s PPC Advertising you need to decide if you want to upgrade yourself or leave it to Google and you need to know what makes Enhanced Campaigns different.

What is an Enhanced Campaign?

1) An Enhanced Campaign gives you the ability to adjust bids based on Location, Device (Desktop, mobile or Tablet) and Time of Day. These settings were previously available but not without setting up a new Campaign.

Adwords Enhanced Campaigns Settings

Some instances where this might be beneficial:

You might want to bid more for people who are within a mile of your shop (who are more likely to visit), are using an iPhone (who will buy anything) or are browsing in the daytime on a desktop (If you are selling to businesses).

2) You also have the ability to serve different Ads based on Location, Device and Time of Day.

Some instances where this might be beneficial:

Serving an Ad with a phone number to people near your restaurant. Using different Ad copy at different times of day: “call us now” between 9:00-5:30 or “find out more online” in the evening.

What Do You Need to Do?

You need to upgrade your Campaigns manually otherwise they will be automatically upgraded with default settings. Click on the pop up in AdWords to visit the Upgrade Centre.

1) Mobile Bid Adjustment

You will be asked to set your mobile bid adjustment – you can leave this as the same as Desktop, choose a percentage change or let Google decide:

Adwords-enhanced-campaigns-mobile-bid-adjustment

 

If your Campaign was previously only targeting Desktop and Tablet users then you will need to set mobile bid adjustment to -100% to prevent your Ad from showing up in mobile search. If you are automatically upgraded your settings will be based on what other advertisers are choosing.

2) Merging Campaigns

If you currently have mobile and desktop Campaigns which appear to be similar you will be offered the opportunity to merge these into one Campaign.

Benefits and Risks of Enhanced Campaigns

Some advertisers are concerned that being forced to combine mobile and desktop will give them less granular control over their Campaigns. One thing which is certain is that a pro-active approach and manually upgrading are the best ways to ensure that you minimise risk.

There are lots of potential benefits to using Enhanced Campaigns particularly for those who don’t have a great deal of time to create new Campaigns and test out alternative settings. Once you have upgraded you can experiment with different factors and work out what will work best for you. This post by Google contains some interesting Case Studies from organisations who have seen improvements in ROI since upgrading.

If you want to know more about the potential risks and benefits of using Enhanced Campaigns then get in touch with our Digital Marketing team.


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