5 Ways to Know Your Digital Marketing is Really Working

Dilbert Cartoon on Goals
Dilbert Cartoon on Goals

At the end of the month, your biggest question about any marketing campaign is whether or not it’s making a positive difference for your business. In the years before Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, and Google, marketers had a difficult time measuring the ROI of their campaigns in digital marketing, lacking much of the insight from current analytics. Now modern, measurable marketing is the difference between stagnant sales and steady growth.
But even with streaming data, today’s marketers have trouble determining which metrics indicate some measure of success and where (or how) to access them. This is where we can help. Here are some of the best ways you can measure if your marketing is really working.

Set SMART Goals

Every marketing initiative needs to begin with concrete expectations. Specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals are critical to achieving results.
Not sure what a digital marketing SMART goal looks like? Take a look at these two examples:
Generic Example: I want to generate a larger email list.
SMART Example: Increase subscribers by 10,000, decrease churn rate by 20%, increase conversion rate by 10%, and as a result, attract 50,000 subscribers over a six-month campaign.
Generic Example: I want more website visitors, leads, and sales.
SMART Example: Spend $25,000 on optimizing the website’s SEO for six months with an expected 30% growth in traffic.
Framing your goals in this quantifiable way increases your chances of achieving results that will actually make a difference in your business.

Conversions: Online sales and Online-to-store sales

Perhaps the simplest conversion for gauging success equates to dollars and cents. Tracking online sales is easy if you use Google Analytics. After installing a snippet of code on your website, you’ll have access to data and actions that details which campaigns are driving the most online sales.
Number of online transactions: Monitoring transactions helps to track AOV and how customers interact with your online store.
Average order value (AOV): Total sales / number of transactions helps you understand and even influence trends.
Deep sales data: Sales totals generated by channel (e.g. search, social media, email, direct, referrals, radio, promo code) help prioritize campaigns.
Sales conversion rates: Sales / sessions reveals how much traffic is required to generate your target sales.
For local customers who are likely to visit and make in-person purchases, you can collect information from prospective customers on your website, such as an email address, that can later be compared with data collected at the cash register.

Leads: Submission forms

Most websites have forms that customers complete to request services, schedule appointments or access more information as in this video consult form:

Screenshot of Broadcast2World on Goals
Screenshot of Broadcast2World on Goals

Leads are considered conversions in and of themselves: When someone visits your website and takes the time to fill out a form, they’ve converted from visitors into leads. Therefore, your marketing campaign success can be measured by the number of form submissions generated. Analytics data reveals which campaigns utilize your various lead generation forms the most.

Inbound Traffic KPIs: Onsite traffic metrics

The focus of a portion of your marketing efforts should be to convince potential and existing customers to engage with your brand, with the end goal of purchasing your products or services. Therefore, various on-site key performance indicators should be measured on a monthly basis:
Sessions: Which of your campaigns is putting the most eyes on your website? A single session (e.g. page views, events, social interactions, transactions) within a given timeframe helps to understand traffic trends over time.
Pages/Session: Site visits are important, but they don’t indicate whether people are engaged. The unofficial industry standard is 2 pages per session.
Bounce rate: People hitting their “back” button upon landing on your site may indicate a serious problem, but an average of 26% to 40% is considered “healthy.”
Avg. Session Duration: Folks who spend more time browsing are more likely to eventually buy. The industry standard for a good average duration is 2 to 3 minutes.

Organic Traffic Metrics

Since a significant amount of inbound traffic comes from the Google SERP, you should be tracking Google Search Console metrics on a monthly basis:
Average CTR: The percentage of clicks resulting from a search impression is healthy at an average of 2%. Use it to gauge how well your title tags and meta description tags drive searches on Google to your site.
Avg. Position: The average ranking of your site’s URLs for Google search queries can help to better understand traffic and engagement.
Having the confidence to adjust or turn off campaigns that aren’t working, and bolstering those that are, is reliant on a results-based strategy. Knowing how you’ll measure a campaign’s success before you launch it means your business will find predictable and confident growth.
Digital marketing is a major investment of time, money, and energy. We can create and track the SMART goals that will drive steady growth and ROI for your business. Contact RLC Media here to get started!

5 Super-Effective Ways to Nurture Prospects with PPC

AdWords and Facebook paid advertising are effective in reaching and nurturing highly-targeted prospects who become consumers.

lead gen funnel image
Let’s face it, most of the time people just aren’t ready to convert. The time it takes to close business lasts anywhere from minutes to months, and competitors have ample time to sway prospects from your sale. That is, unless you do something called nurture.
The catch-all term applies to any system or strategy that moves potential customers down a business’s conversion funnel. And while email is an invaluable channel for engaging prospects, the Gmail promotions tab is where nurture often languishes.
That’s why Adwords’ paid search and Facebook paid social provide consistent brand awareness and greater value without giving customers the feeling they’re being stalked around the internet.

  1. Use AdWords Tracking Codes and Facebook Pixels

Nurture is the current that draws the stream of consumers to your doorstep.
But if your website exists without the ability to track actions to and on its landing pages, nurture is rendered nearly impossible. There are three primary forms of tracking codes that differ across AdWords, Facebook, and Google Analytics.
AdWords Tracking Code
The tags you can generate in AdWords effectively track your conversions. Simply define the parameters for your conversion and finally paste the code onto your landing page between the <body></body> tags of the page you’d like to track.
The Facebook Pixel
facebook pixel examples
Put the pixel around your website and optimize for different types of on-site actions.
In order to avoid overlapping data, distinguish the parameters of a conversion: revenue, email address, or other.
Google Analytics UA Code
Most people track organic metrics using an Analytics code on their site. It provides essential nurture data, informing consumer actions to, on, and from your site.
Without tracking site-related data, it’s difficult to evaluate the success on each channel that a business uses to eventually nurture consumers.  

2. Keywords Research

The primary advantage to paid search and social is the ability to reach hyper-targeted audiences as opposed to the unmeasurable ears and eyeballs of a radio or TV spot. And a great place to start is Google’s Keyword Planner, which allows you to research and prioritize new keywords for your AdWords account.

Ad Group Relevance - AdWords
While broad keywords may be a waste of your time if you’re a smaller business, consider search intent: what do the search queries you’re bidding on say about the prospect’s ultimate goal?

Facebook works similarly in that you can leverage their targeting options to zoom in on local demographics and view how many potential customers in the area fit your targeting goals. With both PPC strategies, the nurture funnel for your business initiates prospects much closer to conversion.

  1. Connect Messaging Between Platforms

If a potential customer sees a text ad, their next steps may include clicking and then downloading an ebook or whitepaper.
Your Facebook messaging should overlap this nurturing effort by serving an ad to the very same users that downloaded the white paper. This ad should address the problem suggested in the text ad and offer a research-based solution.
It’s essential that effective advertising acknowledges that channels are interdependent; they are more effective when they create a flow of information that educates and moves the consumer towards a purchase.

  1. Utilize Ad Copy IF Functions

The digital advertising gold standard is an ad capable of adapting on the fly to fulfill the individual search query and sales funnel stage of a prospect.
According to Google, “IF functions allow you to insert a specific message in your text ads when a condition is met, and a default text when it does not.” In other words, if you generally have difficulty converting mobile users, make the ad more appealing to consumers viewing on their phones.

AdWords If Function example

With IF functions, you can primarily target cart abandoners with hyper-targeted messaging using “limited,” “exclusive,” or time-sensitive offer with greater discounts. Prospects not quite so far along in the sales funnel will merely see the standard sale.

  1. Meet Better Prospects with Lookalike and Similar Audiences

Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences and AdWords’ Similar Audiences leverage current customer data to locate new high-quality prospects.
Through targeting or bid adjustment, you can reach audiences similar to your existing remarketing lists in AdWords. And on Facebook, you can create multiple Lookalikes based on their level of similarity to your original audience.

Facebook lookalike image

All new prospects are not created equal and can be dropped into your nurture funnel accordingly based on the comparative data.
Still Struggling to Convert Prospects into Customers?
The question is no longer whether a particular channel is worth the investment. You need to be able to reach prospective customers wherever they exist. Fill your nurture funnel and earn new leads with RLC Media’s optimization strategies and expertise. We can help.

6 Key Remarketing Audience Types for the 2017 Holiday Season

Maximize Google AdWords’ remarketing capabilities in your search campaigns by diving into multi-targeted / remarketing audience types. 

Remarketing is the art of “saving a click,” targeting ads to users who have prior experience with your site, which in turn increases conversion rates, ROI, and retention among existing customers. In the product research boom of the holiday season, you need to utilize strategies to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your site.
Luckily, AdWords’ remarketing tools have advanced in recent years to allow more flexibility and control for account holders. In 2015, Google Analytics audiences became available within Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, which meant that advertisers could use over 200 Google Analytics dimensions and metrics to create audiences for RLSAs. And just last year, a new subtab for demographics became available to display age, gender, and parental status data in that ad group.
But if you’re mainlining off of a single All Users audience, you’re likely coming up short on growth and profit development for your business. Here are six remarketing audience types to help kick off your strategy.
Engaged Audiences
Engaged audiences are categorized by behavioral metrics available through AdWords. Session duration, pages per session, and bounce rate help refine a high-quality target audience who is likely to re-engage with your site.

Demographic-Based Audiences
Demographic-based audiences are categorized by age, gender, parental status or location. Chances are that you or someone on your team already has an idea of what your customer demographics look like. Still, a study by Google has shown that some of our preconceived ideas about which demographics purchase which items may result in us missing out on a significant proportion of buyers. So before running search campaigns that exclude all but 18 to 35-year-old males, use performance data to target most effectively.

AWOL Audiences
Your AWOL Audience has abandoned your conversion funnel and is categorized by the steps a user takes within a particular ad. For example, you can set up a sequence filter to segment visitors that have completed specific sequential behaviors on your site. Running ads that promote a seasonal holiday discount for a product may be customized to surface only to users who complete a series of sequential actions: clicking the product’s landing page, adding it to their cart, and finally proceeding to checkout before bouncing from the site.

Past Purchasing Audiences
Your past purchasing audience is categorized by the purchasing history of existing customers. When you sell a product with minimal involvement in the purchasing decision, remarketing to previous customers can be highly effective to drive sales. Creating a custom strategy is integral to address the differences between remarketing to what you might consider a loyal visitor (i.e. someone who has purchased multiple times within the year) and a user who purchased something a year ago.

Lookalike Audiences
Automatically created by AdWords, look-alike audiences are based on the remarketing lists you create. Within the context of your search campaigns, advertisers provide a source of audience data to an ad network which then matches it to other users on their network. Remarkably, these new networks allow you to be conspicuous to prospective qualified audiences without screwing up your search budget on all potential search impressions.
Unqualified Audiences
Cold and unqualified audiences fail to meet the criteria necessary to make them worth a piece of your search budget, which is why AdWords allows you to exclude sets of users from seeing a specified set of ads. These audiences can be added to your campaigns or ad groups as an exclusion, just as you would add a target audience. Filtering out audiences who don’t qualify for your campaign goals eliminates the need for custom combinations or isolated audiences with a repeated exclusion incorporated into its definition.
Is your business remarketing to a full usership? Are you utilizing AdWords’ tools to remarket to multi-targeted audience types? If you see opportunities to make better data-driven choices in how you market this holiday season, contact our AdWords and PPC experts at RLC Media here./http://www.rlcmedia.com