Brandie Broihier | @brandienic Businesses are ringing in the new year with evolving social media marketing strategies. We are trending towards a shift in how companies increase revenue through online video, media sites, and web apps. While companies have focused on brand awareness for awhile, the time has come to fine-tune the paradigm and explore what exactly it is that their customers respond best to.
So what IS brand engagement? Intern Keegan Sidhu explains:
By shifting funds from basic brand displays to methods that encourage interaction like Facebook and Twitter streams, customers become engaged in daily banter with companies with whom they already do business. Agencies said boosts to online video budgets would most come at the expense of display (43%), indicating a general move away from less dynamic ad formats, such as banner ads, in favor of those with greater engagement potential. Now you can directly reach your revenue base where they spend the most time: online social interaction.
Why are companies shifting their advertising budgets? Simple. The benefits of using social media to increase profits are increasingly obvious. Brand engagement helps create a loyal consumer base, and this base is more likely not only to spend, but to continue to spend and increase profits exponentially. Using social media to interact with and engage customers is proven as an effective method to increase profits and consumer loyalty.
Advertisers are quick to mention that while an engaging online presence is vital to business growth, the idea is to complement TV adds, not to replace them all together. In fact, more agencies said they would pull funds from print advertising before TV adds. “Though findings appear to suggest advertisers and agencies are shifting budgets away from TV toward video ads, more than half (56%) of respondents viewed online video as a direct complement to—and not a replacement for—their TV ad programs.”
Many companies plan to use online video as a springboard to capture their audience's interest, and then bring them into interactive mode via their media sites and mobile apps. While mobile apps are a growing area of interest, they are not as focused as online media as few publishers support the adds. However, businesses who combine social media, online video, print, TV, and mobile will spread their video footprint across as many screens as possible to increase brand engagement.
The way I see it, as more businesses begin to move away from brand awareness to social media engagement, they show acceptance of the web as a better way to directly engage viewers in a dynamic way. I think 2012 will bring evolving methods of engagement as businesses continue to grow revenue bases by interacting more directly with their customer base.