More than 3 in 5 social media marketers plan to increase their search engine optimization (SEO – 68%) and email marketing (61%) efforts in the next year, finds Social Media Examiner in an April 2012 report. These were the top non-social areas for increased activity by social media marketers in 2011 also, though both saw a slight decrease this year. SEO is a more popular area for increased activity among B2B than B2C respondents (67% vs. 62%), while those with 3 or more years of experience (74%) are more likely than the average to indicate increased activities in this channel. By contrast, those new to social media are more likely than experienced social media marketers to say they will increase email marketing this year (64% vs. 57%).
Majority Will Focus More on Event Marketing
55% of social marketers plan on increasing their event marketing and speaking engagements, although this is down about 10% from 61% in 2011. Another 29% will keep the level of these activities the same, with 13% having no plans to utilize them and 2% planning a decrease.
SocialMedia Examiner analysis also shows that B2B marketers are about 20% more likely to increase event marketing than B2C marketers (61% vs. 51%), and that self-employed (65%) and small business owners (64%) are significantly more likely to use event marketing than corporate employees (44%). Also, women are almost 14% more likely to use event marketing than men (67% vs. 59%).
Apparently, event marketers and social media marketers share their love for each others’ marketing channels. According to results from a Constant Contact survey of its customers, released in February 2012, 77% of event marketers are using social media to promote and market events, and another 14% are planning to do next year, while roughly three-quarters who use social media believe it to be effective.
Online Ads Still Lacking Traction
Data from Social Media Examiner’s “2012 Social Media Marketing Industry Report” indicates that only 43% of marketers plan on increasing their online advertising efforts, which includes pay-per-click ads, down from 46% last year. Meanwhile, the proportion not planning to utilize online ads increased marginally from 27% to 29%.
Breaking down the data, the study finds that marketers in their 20s are almost twice as likely to use online ads as marketers over the age of 50 (52% vs. 27%), while mid-sized businesses (250-999 – 51%) are more likely than the average to increase their online advertising.
Half Will Not Use Webinars
Despite the popularity of event marketing among social media marketers, 48% say they have no plans to use webinars, representing a 14% increase from 42% in 2011. B2B companies are much more likely than their B2C counterparts to use webinars (47% vs. 26%), while 44% of self-employed and small business owners are planning an increase, compared to about one-third of businesses with 1,000 or more employees.
Not Much Crossover With Traditional Media
Looking at several forms of traditional media used in marketing, the survey finds that only press releases have a high rate of planned usage, with a combined 79% of social media marketers planning on increasing their press release usage or keeping it the same. This contrasts with combined increased/sustained usage rates for other media including sponsorships (59%), direct mail (50%), print ads (48%), radio ads (28%), and TV ads (22%).
About the Data: The Social Media Examiner findings are based on a survey of 3,813 marketers, conducted in January 2012. Respondents were roughly split between B2B and B2C focus. 72% were between the ages of 30 and 39, and 62% were females. 57% of participants were based in the US, while 9% were based in Canada, 9% in the UK, and 5% in Australia.