James Anderson

Social Media Advertising for Content Marketers: Insight from Salesforce’s ‘2015 State of Marketing’ report

Social Media Advertising

Salesforce recently released its annual “State of Marketing” report, in which the company surveyed 5,000 marketers worldwide. Results of the survey point toward a significant investment in social media advertising in 2015.

According to the CRM company’s report (gated download), 70% of marketers will spend more budget on social media advertising this year. As numbers of customers on social channels increases, it is increasingly imperative, as the survey results show, to have a social media marketing strategy in place.

It is clear that digital marketers are increasingly valuing social media advertising to help promote their content marketing efforts. In 2014, 25% of marketers saw social as a critical enabler of products and services. The number leaps to 64% in 2015.

Social media overall is on the rise in both SMBs and large corporations. The 44-page Salesforce report says that 78% of marketers stated that they have a dedicated social media team. This number is up from just 57% in 2014. As digital marketers focus more on social media, it is important stay abreast of the reach and power of social networks.

Here is a look at the top three:


Salesforce’s report showed that Facebook had continued to be “the most popular social channel for marketers to engage customers around the world.” With 1.35 billion active monthly users on Facebook as of Sept. 2014, B2B marketers are increasingly looking to Facebook to engage with their audience.

Here are a few stats to keep in mind:

80% of marketers are using Facebook
74% of marketers use Facebook to engage customers
73% rated Facebook ‘very effective’
19% rated Facebook ‘somewhat effective’
8% rated Facebook ‘not very effective / not effective at all’

Facebook is by far no stranger to B2B marketers, even though some still think it’s a place to connect with high school classmates. Facebook for business offers tips for getting started with Facebook advertising. Both B2C and B2B marketers will find resources to help you on your way to create awareness, launch products and services and drive sales. Facebook also offers tips specific to advertising on the social network.

Targeting options help Facebook advertisers reach not only the consumer audience that B2C marketers are after, but the B2B audience as well. Targeting by interests, connections, behaviors and location can help B2C marketers reach an audience that is more likely to include key buyers and decision makers they are after.

The video marketing service Wistia seeks to reach a B2B audience with this ad:

Wistia ad sample


Second to Facebook is the micro-blogging social network Twitter. Marketers using Twitter totalled 70% of those surveyed for the 2015 report. However, Twitter ranks higher than Facebook in terms of use by marketers to engage with buyers. Salesforce’s survey showed that 79% of Twitter users engage customers on the platform, more than Facebook’s 74%.

More numbers about Twitter:

68% of marketers rate the platform ‘Very effective / effective’
22% say Twitter is ‘somewhat effective’
10% say Twitter is ‘Not very effective / not at all effective’

Twitter’s 284 million monthly active users also serve as a target-able audience for digital marketers in both B2C and B2B roles. Twitter offers campaigns that work in a number of capacities, depending on your objectives. Twitter ads (some still in beta) can:

  • Grow followers
  • Facilitate conversations
  • Encourage app downloads
  • Collect email addresses

Twitter ads also can feature in-stream video as well as clickable offers. Twitter cards allow marketers to attach media experience to Twitter ads. In the example below, Uberflip uses a Twitter card to gather email addresses for a free eBook download.

uberflip ad sample


When LinkedIn (a TopRank Marketing client) announced in 2014 that it was going “all in on content marketing” it resonated with marketers. LinkedIn has developed platforms that allow for the promotion of sponsored content. LinkedIn has used content marketing itself to promote the network’s ability to connect B2B marketers and buyers. LinkedIn’s collection of eBooks and videos have helped marketers understand the possibility of reaching a B2B audience.

LinkedIn’s numbers from the 2015 Salesforce report:

62% of marketers are currently using LinkedIn
69% call LinkedIn ‘Very effective / effective’
21% of marketers say LinkedIn is ‘Somewhat effective’
10% of marketers say that LinkedIn is ‘Not very effective / not at all effective’

Through LinkedIn sponsored updates, marketers are reaching a B2B user-base that is highly in tune with the business of the day. Rarely are LinkedIn users on the network to be social. The focus is careers, networking and industry insight.

Adobe uses LinkedIn to raise awareness of digital marketing solutions through sponsored updates.

Adobe ad sample

Many more social channels

Every time a social media network pops up on the scene, there is no doubt savvy marketers will look for the best way to utilize that network. Social network advertising and engagement  to catch up with a buyer base in order to raise awareness and drive buyers toward their products or services. While the top three networks mentioned above are just the tip of the social network mountain, there are certainly others to keep an eye up with, from standards such as YouTube, Google+ and Instagram, to Snapchat and other messaging apps.

Have you found luck reaching your audience through social media? If so, tell us about your experience. If you would like more information about how TopRank Online Marketing can help you reach these audiences, reach out to us here.

Top image: Shutterstock.

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