Successfully marketing your business is no simple feat; the good news is that each part of marketing is actually pretty simple on its own. Let’s assume you’re already setting your company up in three key areas of local marketing – social media, email and search. There are a few simple metrics that you should be checking on regularly to make sure that the time and resources you put into marketing are producing a return on their investment.
- 1. Your Audience (where they are, who they are, and how many you’re reaching)
- 2. Your Ranking (where Google places your business in search results)
- 3. Your Facebook Ads (what you’re offering – and the people who are actually interested in it)
- 4. Your Reviews (how people feel about your business — aka, your reputation)
1. Your Audience (where they are, who they are, and how many you’re reaching)
A successful marketing strategy brings in customers and does it cost effectively. Some of the best ways to do that is to target your efforts towards people you believe are interested in your product or service, and to start by taking stock of who you already have access to. These people are your current customers, as well as people who have decided to follow you on social media or have given you their contact information. These are the key customer lists you can start with:
- Email subscriber list
- Text subscriber list
- Social media following (one for each platform you’re active on)
- Mailing address list
Sending physical mail is something that has fallen a bit out of fashion – mostly because it has become the more costly option. When looking at the cost per acquisition (CPA) for all of the major forms of media – paid ads, paid search, social media, email and direct media – companies have reported that direct media (those physical mailers) have the highest CPA – in other words it costs more to gain a customer than it would using the other marketing tactics. We have a few tips for each of these digital marketing tactics so you can get the most for your money:
- Your Email Subscriber List Always have an option to subscribe: Make sure that there is always an option to subscribe to your email list – whether that be for a newsletter you put out, product updates or any other kind of communications about your business. You can include a “subscribe” option in the footer of your emails in case a current subscriber forwards it to a friend. You should also have an email subscribe button on your website (or even in a few places) and on your Facebook profile. Keep an eye on these numbers – you should see some exciting subscriber list growth.
- Your Phone Number List Where you can, offer to text instead of email: There are services that allow you to market to customers on their mobile phones. This makes a lot of sense for businesses like restaurants or hair salons that would be booking reservations or appointments, it may also work if you’re in retail and are offering a discount. Just as we suggested you include an email subscription option, you’ll want have plenty of opportunities for people to “opt in” to text.
- Your Social Media Following Keep track of who is coming and going (and from where): It is a good idea to keep a running tally of your weekly follower growth and/or decline (any loss of followers is what we in the industry like to call “churn”). This data may not seem all that relevant each week, but over time you’ll be glad to have the numbers ready for review. They can reveal some useful connections to what content you post (indicating to you that it may be something you want to do more of). This habit can also help you catch any strange activity you may have otherwise missed.
2. Your Ranking (where Google places your business in search results)
If ranking on Google and other search engines is part of your strategy, you’re going to invest a considerable amount of time on developing content. One of the simplest ways to determine how to best develop your content marketing strategy is to regularly look at your search rankings.
Just like checking in on your follower growth or churn on your social accounts, checking your rankings is a good habit that can give you answers quickly. Depending on what tools you use, the view may be a little different; below is how top level Google rankings look on the Vivial Platform for one of our customers.
So, what caused the increase in rankings over September? There are several factors that could have contributed to this company’s uptick. The company may have added site content with more relevant and popular keywords for their industry, updated their online listings, or they may have published articles and other content on their site. All of these things contribute to a company’s ranking on Google. If this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry, we can help you!
A regular snapshot like this can help you know what’s working, what’s not and when you need to dig in to trouble shoot.
3. Your Facebook Ads (what you’re offering – and the people who are actually interested in it)
It was just reported that email drives 174% more sales than social media during the holiday season. So, you may be asking yourself – why do I need social media at all? Simply put; it’s a lot harder to get email addresses than it is to get new followers (both in terms of effort and of cost). Social is, well, social – the opportunities for a share are better than they are for an email forward and if you get into the paid game your potential reach widens considerably.
Here is an example of how Vivial’s Marketing Platform presents metrics on Facebook advertising reach and engagement data. On average, Vivial customers see over a 5x increase in total reach compared to organic alone. If you’re not too familiar with Facebook Ads you can get an overview in our recent blog post “5 Reasons Why Your Business Needs Facebook Advertising“.
4. Your Reviews (how people feel about your business — aka, your reputation)
Reviews are something that people take seriously. According to Small Biz Trends 88% of consumers trust online recommendations as much as personal ones. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure you’ve claimed your business on Google (if you haven’t, we show you how to do it in our recent webinar), you’ve set up your Yelp page, have a business page on Facebook and have set yourself up on any other review sites relevant to your industry (OpenTable for restaurants, for example).
Once you have your business set up properly on each review platform, make sure you’ve set up alerts as well. You’ll want these coming right to your inbox where you will see them in real time. Review management isn’t something that you check on every few weeks – customers expect that you are responsive online. And, given that these review platforms are all public, other potential and current customers may see bad reviews that have gone unaddressed and change their minds about your business. For tips on how to set the right cadence and tone in your responses you can see our blog post “How to Respond to a Negative Review and Get More Positive Ones.”
Marketing is a lot of work, but when it’s done well, it is a key driver of customers, sales and revenue for your business. The great news is that you don’t have to go it alone, you can work with an expert like Vivial. Let us do what we do best so you can focus on what you do best – running your business. Get in touch with us to get started today with a free business consultation.