Social Media Advertisers in Canada Favor Nonpaid Strategies - eMarketer

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Social Media Advertisers in Canada Favor Nonpaid Strategies

Engagement is the top social media marketing activity

April 16, 2014

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.”

Social Network Ad Spending per Social Network User in Canada, 2012-2015 (in C$)

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 C$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:

  • How have consumers in Canada adopted social media?
  • What social media platforms capture the most consumer time?
  • Have new ad products from social media players prompted greater advertiser interest?
  • What brands are engaging consumers particularly well?

This report is available to eMarketer corporate subscription clients only. eMarketer clients, log in and view the report now.


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