- In the month of March 4.4 million blog posts were published every day
- Over 100 billion messages are shared through Facebook products every day
- 600 million tweets are sent each day
With all of this noise, it is all too easy to become invisible. That is why most content is ignored.
One study found that 99% of 1.6 million items of content examined achieve no engagement at all. This highlights the fact that it is one thing to post on social media or put a story out there offline – but quite another to ensure it is shared, let alone goes viral. Other studies found that:
- 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy
- 65% of marketers find it difficult to produce engaging content
- 62% of marketers don’t know how to measure return on investment
- 60% of people find it hard to produce content consistently
It is relatively easy to produce content but much more difficult to produce content that the audience is interested in sharing online or offline. Advertising made communication easy – all you had to do was pay. Social media and word of mouth communication are certainly cheaper than advertising and potentially pays better dividends – but they are not easy. Trust me. After seven years of posting, I know just how hard it is.
It is also difficult to facilitate offline word of mouth – although nonetheless important. Consider:
- Word of mouth generates twice as many sales as advertising
- People are four times more likely to buy when referred by a friend
- 92% of people believe recommendations from friends
But like social media, word of mouth is rarely tracked and is much harder to track. Indeed, the difficulties associated with word of mouth include:
- Difficulties in tracking and calculating return on investment
- The slow speed with which it impacts on sales
- It tends to have a more limited reach than social media
- It is more difficult to determine any negative impact
Increasingly, we are coming to recognise that effective social media and effective word of mouth marketing are more science than art. We are also discovering that while achieving results from social media and word of mouth is potentially cheaper and more credible than advertising, it is considerably more difficult.
RECOMMENDATION – recognise that both social media and offline word of mouth marketing are sciences that should not be left to rely on creativity or intuition.
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