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A report in Fairfax Media, “ABC increases spending on advertising by 40 per cent”, contains a number of inaccuracies concerning the ABC’s marketing strategy. The success of the ABC News’s Facebook page is not, as Fairfax reports, a result of paid advertising on that platform, but is a measure of the high level of audience engagement with the content we provide and how much that content is shared. In 2014, the ABC has spent less than $9000 on Facebook advertising for news content, a minuscule amount compared to other organisations active in this space. In fact, the reports that have generated the most traffic on the ABC News’s Facebook page have required no ad spend at all. For example a report about the health of AC/DC musician Malcolm Young reached 3.7 million people worldwide at no cost to the ABC; an ‘explainer’ about the various forms of head covering worn by Muslim women reached 2.3 million with no ad spend; and a report on Stephen Hawking’s musical abilities reached 2.4 million with no ad spend. The figures contained in the 2013/2014 annual report reflect the total amount spent by the Corporation across all of its advertising, marketing and audience research requirements. This budget supports a range of platforms unrivaled by other Australian media outlets – five television channels, 67 local and national radio services and a raft of online services. The ABC’s marketing budget fluctuates year-to-year depending on audience strategy and opportunity for specific content initiatives. In 2011/2012 the budget fell 18 per cent from the previous year. The ABC has a very orthodox approach to advertising and marketing. We invest in creating strong, distinctive, Australian content and we want that content to be found by audiences in a highly fragmented media landscape. Where possible we leverage our existing audiences on our own platforms, but like all organisations, we also need to find new audiences to keep evolving and growing. We look for the most efficient way to target the appropriate audience for specific content and select relevant media based on that. Digital allows us to be quite targeted and is very cost effective. The article was published at ABC responds to reports on marketing budget.

Post Author: Nick Leys

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