Every marketing strategy that you undertake as a marketer and/or business owner requires some kind of investment. It could be that you invested a lot of time and effort, but in most cases, everyone is more concerned about the financial aspects of an investment. This big concern questions how much you spent on your marketing strategies and, more importantly, how much was it worth i.e. what is the return on marketing investment/ return on ad spend (ROAS) that you received.
Calculating ROAS for traditional marketing strategies
It may be tempting to try to analyze the ROAS for social media marketing much like calculating the return on traditional paid marketing strategies (such as TV, radio, newspapers, and direct mail), but it is not as straightforward as we would think or hope. Calculating the ROAS on traditional paid media is more straightforward because you can track customers along the customer journey and utilize attribution models to determine what lead to the conversion, then use that data to determine how much revenue was generated from the marketing strategies. You would then divide the revenue generated by those strategies by the cost you paid for the strategies then multiple by 100. This will give you your ROAS percentage. The higher the percentage the better, because that would mean that you had a better return on ad spend.
Calculating ROAS for social media
When it comes to calculating the ROAS for social media it becomes a lot trickier, because how do you truly calculate the value of things such as increased brand awareness, brand engagement, and word of mouth? It is a lot harder to put numbers to those valuable aspects because they are the investments that customers are making in your brand, not investments that you are making. Therefore, what you should focus on is increasing your efforts in developing ways for your customers to connect with your brand, to participate in creating content for your brand, to consume the content that you put out, and to control what they receive from your brand and interact with your brand. You can do this by making it easier for your customers to reach you, to provide feedback, to let you know when things are not going the way they would like, to let you know what they would like to see next, and to see that you genuinely care about them and are finding ways to fulfill their needs. When you do these things, it increases brand awareness, brand engagement, and word of mouth which then translates into more conversions, increased repeat business, and increased customer loyalty.
Appling a monetary value.
If your objectives for your social media marketing strategies are focused on increasing brand awareness, brand engagement, word of mouth, etc. and you implement ways to facilitate the 4 Cs (connections, creations, consumption, and control), then you can assign a value to a newly acquired customer and calculate the ROAS based on that value (revenue) and the marketing cost required to acquire that customer and others like them. Examples of costs to acquire customers include the cost of the Instagram promotion, the cost of a Facebook group sweepstakes that increases customer engagement with the brand, or the cost of a great customer service team to see to your customers’ every need and leading to a better relationship.
Some types of ROAS are easier to calculate than others. As it relates to ROAS for Social Media Marketing it is not as clear cut because some things have intangible components that you have to assign a tangible value to (e.g. brand awareness) in order to calculate the return received. Overall, it is better to focus on improving the 4 Cs of the customer’s investments and that can lead to an overall increase in ROAS.
Check out last week’s post