eMarketer estimates that total social advertising spend will increase from $2.6 billion in 2013 to $4.38 billion in 2019, a 68.5% increase. Marketers will be managing more social campaigns, thus making it important to understand how to effectively and efficiently manage these efforts and when to enlist the help of third party technology platforms in order to maximize their investment.

As social advertising functionality has expanded and evolved in the past years, so has social advertising management technology. Advanced functionality and additional components have been added to keep up with the evolving advertising formats. As outlined in The Kenshoo Guide to Evaluating Social Advertising Technology Platforms, there are many components that marketers should consider when selecting a social advertising technology platform.

Some of these variables include: workflow and user interface (UI), reporting and analytics, optimization technology, advanced functionality such as partner integrations and mobile capabilities, and intangibles such as company history, size, and objective industry validation.

While each organization’s needs differ slightly, we wanted to get a sense of which components were at the top of the list from a marketer’s perspective, so we asked attendees of our recent webinar, How to Evaluate Social Advertising Technology Platforms, “Which of the key components of social advertising platforms are most important to your marketing organization?”

Social Webinar Polls 1

While respondents’ answers varied, the largest percentage valued the Ease of Use and Reporting and Analytics as the most important components of a social advertising platform. Clearly marketers are looking for a tool that is flexible and easy to navigate, allowing them to more efficiently manage their campaigns. Reporting and Analytics was also an important aspect for the marketers we surveyed; being able to easily access and run reports allows advertisers to analyze performance and also make adjustments to campaigns that may not be meeting expectations and goals.

Once marketers understand the value of a social advertising platform prioritize among the various components, they must go through an evaluation process to identify which platform best fits their needs. While this can be a long process, some steps along the way require more time and attention.

We again polled our webinar attendees to get a buyer’s perspective on which stage of the evaluation process was the most challenging. As seen in the chart below, our respondents thought that almost every step was equally as challenging as the next with the highest percentages of votes split equally between Selecting evaluation criteria and Identifying vendors and narrowing down your list.

Social Webinar Polls 2

Selecting the right social ad technology partner can be a demanding process, but with the proper resources, tools, and tips at hand, marketers can be sure that they make the most informed decision after thoroughly completing all of the steps.

For 10 quick tips to make platform evaluation successful along with a marketer’s perspective on reviewing social advertising platforms, download The Kenshoo Guide to Evaluating Social Advertising Platforms.