Brands in Canada turn to social media first as a means to engage new and existing customers. The ability to sense attitudes and track brand-related discussion is an invaluable characteristic of social channels. But social as a platform for advertising is still taking shape in Canada, according to a new eMarketer report, “Canada Social Media: Despite Strong Ad Growth, Advertisers Remain Wary.”
New advertising products from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social players have come to the Canadian market rapidly in the past year. The goal of this collective product development effort is to increase the predictability of social ad investments and provide a clearer picture of return on investment for brands investing in the social arena.
But advertisers in Canada remain cautious—they spent an average of CA$16.05 ($15.58) per social media user in 2013. This trails the US and UK markedly, where 2013 spend was $27.39 and £15.74 ($24.59) per user, respectively.
Earned media efforts—or the attempt to generate organic traffic to social properties with viral activity surrounding branded content—remain a top focus in Canada. Skeptical higher-level executives in Canada have limited paid social media advertising, leaving the proof of concepts to US corporate cousins and forcing marketing departments to get creative with low-cost engagement efforts.
Ignite Digital’s “Canadian Marketers 2014 Outlook,” released in January, found that 18.8% of respondents in Canada ranked social media engagement as the marketing activity that would be most important in 2014, followed by content marketing (17.2%) and email marketing (16.4%). Overall, 76.7% of marketers indicated that they did social media engagement, while 59.7% conducted social media monitoring.
Most of this engagement falls into the nonpaid media category, utilizing tactics like contests, curated conversations and community involvement.
The full report, “Canada Social Media: Despite Strong Ad Growth, Advertisers Remain Wary,” also answers these key questions:
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