It’s never too late to focus on your digital strategy

With the new year half way gone, brands are going through their budgets—and must determine how to spend the remainder based on previous metrics and business needs to ensure they reach their annual digital goals. This includes but is not limited to digital, which entails SEM, Paid Social, Media, CRM, and lead generation.

The last thing any brand wants is to come up short on their budget or on their KPIs.

An important first step is to look back at last year’s and the current year’s analytics, and evaluate what worked based on your brand and segment’s benchmarks, and what makes sense to increase, continue, and kill in regards to strategy and tactics.

According to Forbes, digital is the best way for marketers to truly reach their audience where they already areand is the most cost-efficient.

Here are five things to consider to increase your digital success:

1) SEO – Review your Google Analytics and Adwords reports to determine the best performing keywords and content, and determine what percentage is coming from SEM vs. SEO.

If your site relies only on paid traffic, your budget will likely end up bleeding dry, unless there is significant investment in SEO capabilities.

Consider the following:

Regular quality content. (And this doesn’t mean quantity!) It means content that a brand’s audience will find valuable. It is content that is distributed in a measured pace so your target audience knows when to expect it.

For example if it’s an article, ensure it’s an article that you can be an authority on, with content your audience will consume thoroughly and hopefully share and/or go on to consume more of in the next installment.

Ensure your content is tagged, and uses proper keywords to compete.

Tag your content in Voice Search, which searchengineland expects to be a major trend in 2018.

Cross-and back-link (where appropriate) to articles with previously well-written content to help direct traffic to your site.

 

2) Leads – After analyzing where the majority of your leads came from, and the associated spend, determine which lead sources are worth moving forward with.

For most brands, especially B2B, leads are critical to the success of the company. Generating leads enables a brand to nurture potential customers through the sales funnel, and hopefully, convert them into customers and loyal advocates down the road.

What more can brands do?

Facebook is known for cost efficient lead generation, because advertisers are able to specifically target their audience down to interest level, and has reasonably priced lead generation ads.

LinkedIn is another helpful channel, allowing brands to target specific career categories. However, Facebook remains one of the most effective platforms for targeting based on cost.

Bottom line: ensure the tools your brand is using are low CPL and capture quality leads, not just quantity.

 

3) Engagement –  Analyze the purpose of the engagement tactics your brand utilized last year, and determine if the results made sense for the purpose.

Was it to get clicks, or was it to get shares, or simply to get comments? Each piece of content has a particular purpose.

If you haven’t already, this year you must determine your brand strategy based on intent and purpose in order to measure and analyze accurately.

For example, it’s very difficult to compare the success of a video, which is measured by views, to an article, which is measured by clicks to your site.

In order for your content to be successful, ensure your analytics marketer is comparing apples to apples.

 

4) Views – As mentioned above, engagement is different and so are views.

Views have different definitions on different channels. Evaluate last year’s numbers based on the channel and their particular benchmarks, rather than the exact amount of views.

Using these insights, your brand can determine which channels are worth continuing with this year, which channels are worth more investment, and potentially, if video works for your brand in the first place.

If video does work for your brand, but not all video, it helps to determine length options (15 vs 30 vs 60), and types of videos (ex. How-to vs. interview).

 

5) Purchase – Last but definitely not least is purchase. A great example is e-commerce, where your marketing team can see exact calculations to determine which tactics led to the most purchases.

For instance, an alcohol brand selling on a 3rd party delivery site can attribute their e-mail marketing campaign with the partner to an exact purchase. They can see how many clicks were true attributions, and which marketing tactics did not help at all.

This year, go a bit further and ensure the brand’s tagging and tracking is set for both internally and for partners, so the products and conversions can be measured back to your marketing action based upon the channel used.

Marketing never ends, and neither do the metrics. Is your brand ready?

 

Originally written for social media club.

Video Content – Not just an option anymore

video content fashion brand

The latest news in the battles of the social channels has been that Facebook is going over YouTube’s video domain. Facebook recently tried to “own” the Grammy’s conversation, and now is trying to “own” as many Superbowl related Ad opportunities as possible.

But what does this mean for startups and smaller brands? A lot actually.

As much as large marketing and ad budgets are nice to have, it’s not just about the money. It’s about the content. The key trend here is video. Over the past couple years we’ve noticed Vine, Instagram Video (including hyperlapse), Snapchat and more come into the social video space — joining the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Vimeo.

Smaller brands need and should figure out a way to invest in visual content, including video. Especially in the fashion industry where visuals are key to sell products and services.

Video can tell a story that a picture may not be able to portray fully.

  • Video can demonstrate how the founder came up with his/her idea for the startup
  • Video can show how the piece of clothing started from a piece of fabric
  • Video can allow an event to come to life in real-time
  • Video can allow consumers to see into your brand
  • Video can allow consumers to connect with one another
  • Video can allow for more user generated content (UGC)
  • Video can demonstrate that your brand is on top of its game

Although some video content can be expensive, there are ways to make video happen without breaking the bank. It’s not just about the ad budget, it’s about the story. Each brand has a story to tell.

The key is finding the story consumers want to hear. So before you go out and make a dozen videos for social, your blog, and your site. Listen first. Do some digital listening research to understand what consumers are talking about, asking for, and actually want from your brand…

  • Use free tools like Google trends to understand what people are searching for in regards to your brand and your competitors.
  • Topsy is a great tool to see if certain numbers are working and what people are saying in that conversation.
  • Look back at your Twitter stream to see what questions your audience was asking. Do they want to know more about your product and service? More about your founder?
  • Look to see where your audience engages, and what they engage with. For example on Pinterest – what do they love and repin most?
  • Do a poll or survey to see what your audience wants. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking directly.

Does your brand have questions on how to get started with the right video content? Reach out in the comments!

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion.