Category: Digital Marketing

Tips About Measuring Social Media Marketing Performance

Social Media Marketing for Businesses

There is no lack of controversy on social networking ROI. Social media revenue attribution is tricky given the actuality of Facebook and other social networking websites privacy configurations. This challenge is the same for many word-of-mouth customer behaviors. For example, how easy is it to attribute a buyer visiting a new surf shop because of a buddy’s recommendation?

But that doesn’t mean a company shouldn’t evaluate and measure social media marketing and get significant information on the effectiveness of their strategies. Measuring customer investments in a social media relationship reveals the likelihood of along-term payoff, not just short-term results. When utilized properly, social media marketing produces interest, awareness, advocacy, and even loyalty — which all can be measured for ROI.

These key performance indicators should be considered and social media marketers should be focused on seeing measurable results which can be tied to increased revenue. Consider the following factors that can be easily taken and measured:

  • Interest: Number of visits to your website, web page views, Facebook post and/or Tweet click-throughs from your posted link, page views on your social networking pages, re-Tweets & Twitter replies, and visits to your blog.
  • Awareness: The amount of logo or brand & URL “mentions”.
  • Loyalty: How many Fans or Followers you gain, amount of increase to RSS subscribers, Facebook comments, mentions on Twitter, blog comments, and the number of returning visitors to the website.
  • Advocacy: reTweets, other people posting your blog link, mentions of your company or brand, and yes – even Facebook “Likes.”

This is just the tip of what you can measure in your social networking campaigns and it goes to show you that you can effectively measure the value of social media. While both customer loyalty and brand awareness are important to a company, having your company recommended online by one of your customers is actually more useful than just awareness itself. Often times, Fans of your brand or company produce more powerful brand action than you yourself can. A company could also start by thinking about what marketing objectives such a blog might satisfy (e.g., brand engagement), why its customers would visit the blog (e.g., to learn about new products) and what behaviors they might engage in once they got there (e.g., post a comment about a recent consumption experience) that could be linked to the company’s marketing objectives.

Here are some tips on developing your own effective ways of measuring social media marketing:

  1. Measure each of the things detailed above. Consider using both a social media tracking tool and a social networking posting tool to glean the information you need. Then think about a weighting element for each statistic. Are some characteristics more useful than others?
  2. Once the key metrics are set up, gather information every week or monthly. What matters here is the amount comparative to a competitors’ worth and, furthermore, changing that value over a specified time period. Periodic variations are normal and likely to happen, so improvements and tweaks to your social networking campaign may be necessary. Watch over time for month-over-month increases – as that is what will prove great results.
  3. Use a Graph to show a visual result — Interest, Awareness, Loyalty and Advocacy — all in one comprehensive report. This provides a summary of how these factors change monthly. Examine where each factor changes comparative to the others.

9 Ways to Market Your Business Online

There are many methods used to market online. Some are more compatible than others depending on the business, what is offered, and how the method is utilized. The online landscape is exceptionally large and any online business can use more than one method to bring traffic and exposure to its online doors. Listed are nine ways to market your business online to bring maximum results.

#1 Local Listings and Classifieds

The online marketing environment encompasses a wealth of untapped potential for local businesses. Local listing advertising is a powerful, but highly under-utilized marketing method. Many new businesses may not understand how best to attract local clients.

Businesses that wish to delve into advertising through local listings should first ensure that the website is optimized by using specific keywords relative to the business. This helps customers find local businesses when they’re searching for specific products or services. You can make this action more effective by placing your local street address and business phone number on the landing page(s), content pages and each internal page of your website.

#2 Search Ads

Businesses use search advertising for customers to find them in the search engines or within specific web pages. Search ads can be modified to target particular demographics or specific consumer interests. The type of advertising most utilized, search ads can be targeted to specific groups, products, locations or topics. Using search advertising is highly profitable and can include paid or free campaigns for efficacy.

Search ads can be modified to target particular demographics

Businesses use search ads to attract consumers with specific buying interests by using targeted keywords in their marketing campaigns. When consumers launch specific searches, they are returned a list of relevant businesses. To make full use of this type of marketing, businesses should focus on advertising through the search engines and culling rich content that will draw traffic to the website.

#3 Contextual Advertising

The online consumer drives contextual advertising by providing the template that businesses use to pitch products or services. By using the information gathered through online search results, businesses can create specific marketing campaigns targeted at what the user is seeking. Search engines gather this user information that relates to specific search topics or products. The consumer drives this search because the engine is tracking a particular keyword(s) and terms.

To maximize the potential in contextual advertising, businesses should design ad campaigns that center around specific search terms. To broaden marketing appeal to a specific demographic of consumers, ad campaigns should include a range of media advertising methods that include video, text, and graphics.

#4 Geotargeting

Businesses can further maximize their marketing methods by utilizing geotargeting, a method of sending specific messages to consumers by using GPS location devices on smartphones and mobile devices. This type of location-based target marketing is used successfully by businesses that provide specific products or services to businesses that want to market to consumers in specific locations.

Geotargeting finds customers based on their location and funnels specific marketing content to them through various channels that can include online ads, video marketing or content-based marketing. It can include both organic and paid methods, depending on business goals and budgets.

#5 Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing has been a popular marketing method for quite some time. It is rising quickly in popularity and businesses are starting to use this method to market online and draw more traffic to business sites.
To make social media marketing successful and flow easier, businesses should employ a social media manager software or tools like Buffer or Hootsuite. This will assist in a myriad of tasks like managing social accounts, scheduling posts or tweets and creating cohesion across all social media platforms.

Through this style of marketing, it is easy to connect with your audience, whether those are buyers, clients or readers. Establishing a connection is usually done through friend requests, requests to join groups, interacting on pages, or live forums. Even having others follow your business on social platforms can establish connections. After connecting, businesses should start interacting through blog posts, articles, video marketing or through a Q&A dialogue.

#6 Organic Content vs. Paid

The biggest difference in organic content vs paid content is how and at what speed customers arrive at your site.

Organic Content
While consumers may land on your site via search engines through organic content, paid content increases the chance that your content will appear on the first or second page of the SERPs. Organic content can also land on the first or second pages, but it will take longer and more work (building content, keyword focus, etc.). The question then becomes, how quickly do you want your business to appear on the top pages.

Paid Content
Paid content results will end when the ad expires. Organic results will continue because it has no dependency on advertising results.

#7 Display Advertising | Affiliate Marketing/Cross Promotion

Affiliate marketing is a method that benefits the affiliate marketer and the brand. When the affiliate promotes the brand’s product, he earns a commission. Online businesses will find this method easy to implement because it’s simply getting affiliates to market and promote your products to target markets.

Display advertising represents different formats that can include text, images, video or audio. Its main goal is to deliver the advertisement and content to site visitors. It’s important to use display advertising within context and couple it with methods that are conducive to the business.
Businesses can use cross-promotion activities to promote or highlight a particular product or service. Businesses use cross promoting methods that highlight other products and increase potential sales. As an example, this may include highlighting a study guide that complements or pairs with a textbook for sale.

#8 Online Videos

If videos aren’t already a part of your online marketing strategy, they should be. Videos are not only a great way to engage a customer. Depending on your business you may want to create videos that convey a message to your future customers reminding them why they want to engage your business or shop at your store. If you’re selling products online, product demonstration videos may be helpful to consumers as well.

Online videos are also a useful tool for search engine optimization. Typically videos that are viewed often and well-rated will rank higher than blog posts. The key to success with online videos is creating videos that are engaging and fun to watch while portraying the image that your brand represents.

#9 Mobile Marketing

Mobile marketing is growing very rapidly as consumers are using their smartphones more to shop, find deals or discounts, and connect. Businesses can capitalize on this growth by implementing mobile marketing in its online campaigns.

mobile marketing

To reach more potential customers, ensure that there is a business presence on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The business website should be continually updated and optimized for mobile marketing, making it easier to connect with your customers without having issues.

You can use mobile marketing to build and grow your email list as well. By using applications that integrate with your business email marketing program, you can capture email addresses (with permission) and create marketing messages to target your audience and specific demographics.

There are numerous options for promoting and marketing your business online. Each of these methods may not apply to every business model; however, it is reasonable to expect that application of a few them can yield profitable results. Some of them may require adjustments to fit your business model. Simply test each one that seems applicable to your business and develop the online marketing plan that is most successful.
To learn more about how to market your business online, contact the marketing experts at Blackstone Agency for more information.

Evaluating Your Marketing Firm and Your Marketing Plan

Most companies have a formal budget that is reserved for marketing. They have an upper level to which they can go. They spend it each month and are most likely unsure that the budget is getting a return. If the marketing budget is spent on your website, an SEO team, brochures or articles, it’s hard to measure a real return in some cases, so you’re never quite sure if your marketing firm is working for you.

Any time that we spend money with a marketing firm, we have to look at that expenditure and ask ourselves how well it working and whether the expense is netting a return. Very few companies actually lay out a plan that allows them to measure whether it is working and how well it is working to determine if the current marketing agency is doing the job or if they need to consider another alternative.

In order to track the worth of your marketing, there has to be a yardstick by which you measure it. What is that yardstick and how do you as a business implement it?

To a large extent, the way in which you measure the return will depend on the way in which you are marketing and what you are marketing.
Logically, different types of measurement will apply to your marketing campaigns, those being:

Initiation of Contact. Customer contacts from the marketed area are one logical measurement to determine if the marketing is bearing fruit. If you are using, for example, a phone book advertisement and none of your calls come from that campaign, it’s reasonable to assume that it is not a workable method.

Visibility-if you’re using a website marketing team and your website is nowhere to be found in search, does not show up on any keyword term, or has no visibility overall in social media, the odds are very good that your particular marketing campaign is not viable.
Creating some bottom lines and benchmarks by which to measure is in the best interests of every company as a means to measure success from a marketing campaign.

When you seek to determine if your marketing firm is working for you, some things that you may want to take into account are these:
Get a starting point for each area of marketing. Determine where you were in search prior to hiring the company and where you are each month. Is there a rise in your visibility?
How frequently did you receive calls prior to hiring the marketing firm that could be linked to your website or your phone ad or other methods that you are using now? Have the number of calls risen dramatically or risen at all?

Once you’ve made the determination that the marketing firm is working for you,(or is not) consider how well it is working and why.
Evaluate what you are spending and how far it will go. Bear in mind that you cannot ask a company to do twice what you want to pay for. Consider the budget, be realistic about what it will do for you and consider expanding on it if you find that the company is giving you a return for what you’ve already spent.

Marketing Strategies and Lead Generation for New Business- How Important Is It?

Businesses which don’t have any leads at all may as well close their doors. In effect, if you have no method to generate business leads, you might as well not exist at all. The problem is that many companies don’t know how to generate leads. They rely on the word of mouth advertising that is somewhat effective, but is not effective enough to carry them through economic downturns and is certainly not going to expand their business.

What are the Best Lead Generation Strategies for New Business Strategies?

Every business has a wide range of lead generation and marketing strategies available to them. One of the biggest mistakes that the new or small company makes is to rely solely on social media and free methods of advertising. These methods are not actually free in that they take up the time of you or your employees. Social media is of course important but it is one lead generation strategy that is not always reliable.Time spent here is costly in that it may not net you the return that you need.

Hire a Professional

Hit and miss at best, social media can bring you a few leads, but businesses today require a more full-featured and more dependable method of generating leads. More reliable and more cost-effective is the use of a marketing company which can offer you leads on a regular basis.
Lead generation sites that can be used to give you the business that you need on a regular basis are one thing that a professional marketing and lead generation company can offer you.

Lead Generation Strategies

Full print materials, PDFs that are available on your site and others for the prospective customer to print out and review are other strategies that will generate leads for your business. Small microsites and guest posting, networking on a full scale will give you the lead generation and the new customers that you need to grow.

Isn’t DIY Marketing Cheaper?

While some diy methodology is useful and desirable, don’t make the mistake that many small businesses make today. Saving money is laudable in any business, but if that penny saving strategy isn’t providing you with the means to expand and to grow, isn’t offering you the leads that you need, it’s time to find a new strategy that includes professionals with a well laid out plan to expand your small business.

What are Micro-moments and How do They Impact Digital Marketing?

The reality of digital advertising today is that you have just a few seconds to capture a consumer’s attention. People are increasingly attached to their phones, checking them constantly and going online in short bursts. Google’s Content Marketing team, Think with Google, decided on a term to describe this phenomenon. In 2015 they defined these as “Micro-moments.” A micro-moment describes those precise moments of intent when a consumer gets on their smartphone to make a decision. Today, with the proliferation of mobile use, these micro-moments have become more and more critical to marketers. Mobile media use is up more than 1 hour from 2013, seeing steady increases every year1.

What does this shift towards Micro-moments mean for Marketers?

This means as a marketer, you have just seconds to deliver a clear, concise message. If your message is too elaborate, consumers are on to the next big thing.

The Urgency of Mobile

Google’s VP, Lisa Gevelber, said that “In many ways, the micro-moments conversation has provided a reset and a roadmap for companies who sought a simple mental model for how to approach the otherwise daunting force that is mobile. It helped marketers think about which moments mattered most, and it created urgency.” Below are some key insights from Google’s recommendations regarding mico-moments for advertisers. 2

How to Capitalize

  1. Speed up Your Site – Make sure your website loads fast, or you’ll lose customers. Today’s consumer doesn’t want to sit around waiting for a site to load and doesn’t need to. If your page loads faster than 2.9 seconds, it is loading faster than most sites, and many sources believe an ideal load time to be less than 1.5 seconds. 3
  2. Keep Things Short – Reading long-form content can be daunting on a mobile browser. Break things up with bulleted lists and keep it easy to read.
  3. Eliminate Steps – Put calls-to-actions in a prominent location and not behind a maze of a menu. Your prospective customer shouldn’t have to spend a great deal of time trying to find where to make a purchase, or act.
  4. Ascertain Your Customers “Key Moments” – Google’s team categorizes these moments as times when a customer wants to learn, buy, go and do. These are moments in time when a customer is researching products, ready to buy, searching for local businesses, or learning how to do something. What are these moments to your customer?

The Stats Back it Up

Why focus on Google? Recent research shows that 96% of mobile searches begin on Google! 4 Furthermore, consumers spend 5 hours a day on their mobile devices! 5

Final Thoughts

Adapting to behavioral changes due to mobile is a must in today’s digital landscape. Be useful to your customer when they most need it! In a world of “I need it now,” timing matters.

Write Engaging Content

Write Engaging Content

Content is king. Your marketing needs to include a fair portion of the content, but the content isn’t for the search engines; it’s for your customers. The average customer knows when content is written for keyword use by search engines. You need to use those keywords but don’t let them drive your content.

The content that appears on your site needs to add real value and bring in not only the search engines but also your customers. Give them something new, something interesting and something they don’t know. Articles can draw in the search engines while also engaging your customers. Make sure they begin in an interesting way and don’t leave your customers hanging.

Why digital marketing is so important for any business

Why Your Business Needs to Market Online

Overview of Why Online Marketing is Best for New Businesses

Business marketing has many methods of working, depending on the goals of the business. It’s a way to let people know about a business and what products or services are offered. A popular and most often used form of marketing includes traditional, offline marketing, which is a method that a lot of new businesses start off with before they move to online marketing. However, there are a lot of businesses that only do online marketing and are very successful at it. It allows new businesses to get into marketing quicker and compete effectively with other businesses in its industry.

Young companies also gain a marketing advantage because it can penetrate some of the same markets as larger, older businesses by using the same or similar online tools and software. Overall, it is the most effective form of advertising and one that is the best solution, especially for new businesses.

Online marketing is an efficient and productive way to cull a branding image and online position.

Creating a brand can is more than designing a logo, creating a slogan, using certain images or colors that all go towards the company’s “look.” These different methods that businesses use online makes it ideal because it’s quicker, more effective, more cost efficient and much easier to adapt to as compared to other methods.

Online marketing also provides a way to make information easily accessible for clients.

Technology has advanced to a level where most all businesses are expected to have a website or an online presence of some sort. This is essential for profitability because consumers now look for and expect businesses to have some sort of web presence. This is especially critical for e-commerce and some types of service businesses because consumers like to compare before they purchase. Companies who do not have a presence often lose out on potential business to other competitors in the same industry. The majority of online buyers need and want to have a comfort level with a business before they buy. Because it is so easy and affordable today to have a website presence, every new business should take steps to create one and make its presence known in its industry.

Online marketing provides new and existing businesses with a way to offer stellar customer support. With traditional offline businesses, this can be a challenge. But online marketing allows 24/7 services because technology creates that availability. Business owners or staffers can respond to customers almost immediately, versus long response times. With email and online chat features, any business can be more effective with its service offering. Customer retention increases and so does profitability.

Online marketing also provides a way to make information easily accessible for clients.

Technological capabilities allow customers to find out information about the business, find product related content and updates and company changes. Depending on the business and the type of customer base, customers like to research and read about a product or service before they purchase. They will depend heavily on the information provided on a business’ website before they make a selection.

New businesses benefit from an online marketing presence because it provides an ideal solution for doing business. Just like with customer support solutions, prospective customers access the business via the business’ web presence. Proper and effective marketing a storefront business creates a way to increase the customer base and provide quicker customer sales. This is much more advantageous than a traditional brick and mortar business and usually more profitable.

Customers also enjoy the convenience of surfing and shopping and making their selections or requesting more information that they can read at their convenience.

Online businesses can design, build and grow any business effectively and profitably with the right tools and design.

The economy is leaning heavily towards online businesses because of customer’s preferences and convenience. Online marketing makes it easy for customers to find information and verify a business before doing business with it.

For more information on how to promote your business online, please contact the internet marketing experts at Blackstone Agency.

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