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.

What’s your Brand’s Digital Refresh

As you wave goodbye to 2016, and January is hitting you right in the planner, your marketing mind is thinking, ok, what is 2017 for my brand? What can I do this year to take my brand further? How can I make a larger impact? How can the brand break through the clutter and demonstrate it’s our year.

First, you start with Data. If you find the time to invest in collecting the right data, and ensure you then in turn take the time to analyze it properly, you’ll find the data as your gold. It’s the ammunition you need to find what is working, and what you need to do more of.

For example for most brands the bread and butter is google analytics, crm, search and social analytics (in addition to any larger media program learnings).

Here are the main areas to ensure you’re looking at the right data (no matter the brand):

SEO and Paid Search:
– Time on Site
– Referral Traffic
– Content engaged with
– Bounce Rate
– Keyword and campaign performance

These are helpful to see how your overall campaigns are performing, which channels are bringing in the most traffic, what people are searching for in regards to your brand, and in turn what times/days your brand receives the most traffic.

CRM:
– open rates
– click through rates
– a/b test on subject lines

It’s best to find your category for benchmarks so you can see if your rates are below or above average and go from there.

Social:
– Engagement Rate
– Best and Worst performing posts (content types per channel)
– Day/time
– Cost per (View, Click, etc)

Each channel will be a little different, but it’s good to look at each separately for social, but also together to see which channels are best for your investment, especially when boosting posts.

With these mandatories, you can see what is working best for your brand across channels. The best part is you’ll probably seen some synergies across channels. For example a certain type of content may resonate well with your consumers no matter where they are. In turn, some types of content may work better on certain channels.

It’s good to evaluate the above every 3 months, and then every 1-2 months thereafter to ensure you’re getting a full yet also recent picture of your brand.

In turn, after you’ve looked at your data, you want to make sure you move fast with it. Once you see something is working well, churn out that content. Get more up on your blog or website for your consumers to engage with.

Another thing to consider as we go into 2017, is the things that matter to consumers. Consumers are searching on their mobile for things that matter to them at that very moment. In moments like this, it is more likely about being both mobile and local. Ensure your product/brand is accessible on a local basis. For example if you have key markets, ensure your product is available to your consumers via online or in store. If it’s only in store, ensure it’s able to be searched online so the consumer knows where to find it. If it’s online, ensure the purchase process is simple and easy. Whether it’s through a third party or your own site, be sure your consumer feels safe with the purchase, and also finds it convenient. So convenient that they can pay through an app or your website in minutes of finding it.

Lastly, don’t forget to be nimble. Be ready to change your tactics, and try new ones. The brands who fall behind are the ones who are unwilling to change and try. Ensure your success by being the ones who do.

This post was originally written for socialnomics.