From an estimated $4.5 billion last year, inbound marketing on social media networks is expected to grow to $38 billion by 2015, according to a new report released by Borrell Associates, Inc., a Virginia media research and consulting firm. Last year more than $1.5 million local U.S. business owners employed social networks in their inbound marketing campaigns, accounting for half of marketing spending. Facebook pages were the most popular new marketing stratagem, but blogs, Twitter, calls to action, specially designed landing pages and website redesign were also popular choices for building and strengthening Internet marketing campaigns.
The power of inbound marketing platforms to build brand recognition both locally and nationwide, deliver advertising and promotional messages quickly, and nurture positive customer relations is quickly usurping marketing budget funds previously reserved for more traditional forms of advertising. Over the past two years, inbound marketing on social networks has been closing the advertising gap, steadily creeping up on traditional print, television, radio, direct mail and telephone advertising. Spending marketing dollars on social networks is even giving proven Internet advertising techniques like email campaigns a run for their money.
By 2012 Borrell analysts predict that social network-based inbound marketing will draw even with traditional marketing strategies and quickly jump ahead. Marketing budgets for inbound advertising on social networks are expected to grow dramatically as businesses capitalize on our increasingly connected society. This year alone, inbound marketing spending on social networks is expected to jump 68% to $7.5 billion, capturing 11 cents of every online marketing dollar spent. In five years, Borrell predicts that one-third of all online marketing expenditures will be for inbound marketing on social networking sites.
Promotional campaigns, which are particularly suited to the immediacy and interaction of social network sites, are predicted to make the biggest gains in inbound marketing. In 2009, Borrell says online advertising captured 88% of social network marketing spending. Increasing emphasis on social network promotions is expected to drop online advertising expenditures to 50% this year and a mere 36% by 2015.
It's the ability to fine tune profiling engines on social networking sites such as Facebook that is driving the marketing stampede to inbound marketing. Profiling engines allow businesses to target online promotions and advertising to specific audiences by gender, age, relationship status, education level, profession, recreational preferences, hobbies -- actually, any measurable characteristic. That's a huge advantage no other advertising media can offer.
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