When you’ve been in the marketing game for a few minutes, you end up seeing some things: some good, bad, even some ugly. But there’s one thing that can be fixed before it even breaks, and that is abandoning your marketing strategy because you “didn’t see results.”
If you aren't measuring your marketing results, then you bought the car but didn’t even drive it. If you’re not a retail business, there’s no cash register ringing, so it can be challenging to see the results coming from your digital marketing campaign. Here's how to overcome that challenge.
Digital marketing is an ecosystem made up of distinct components that deliver specific results. If you utilize all these parts in a cohesive plan with enough investment, you’ve got yourself the Cadillac of all digital marketing plans. Then it becomes easy to track and notice the results!
First, let’s look at four basic components of digital marketing and their respective functions:
- Website – this is your storefront and is supporting all your marketing efforts — the car’s chassis, if you will
- Branding – create awareness of your products or services — the headlights
- Lead Generation – make sure you’re easily found when people search for your products or services — the horn
- Social Engagement – give people the opportunity to interact with your business — your passenger door
We’re going to really dig into #2 and 3 here, as these two solutions have an amazing synergy that, when done strategically, can increase your business exponentially.
Cadillac Plan Step 1
Your first challenge is likely going to be deciding what you should promote. To start, you may opt to focus your efforts on your most lucrative products or services. If you have a degree of seasonality to your business (such as an HVAC), the weather will decide this for you. If you’re that HVAC business and it’s starting to get cold outside, you’re probably going to promote furnace repairs and installations.
Phase 1: Turn on the headlights. You launch a big, fat branding campaign that puts your furnace-specific creative message in front of people whose online behavior indicates they are some or more of these things: a homeowner interested in energy efficient heating, researching how to fix a furnace, looking into upgrading their existing furnace, checking prices on heating systems, etc. Your job here is to make sure this person (let’s call him “Chill E.”) sees your message with enough frequency that he will be able to recall your business when it’s time to stop researching and start buying. Congratulations, you just created awareness!
Phase 2: Make sure that you show up for Chill E. when it’s time to buy. We call this lead generation. He’s in the parking lot looking for you – honk the horn! To accomplish this, you’re basically going to buy keywords from Google and/or Bing. Done strategically and with enough budget, when Chill E. Googles (or Bings!) ‘new furnace deals near me’ you’ll show up! And the bonus? Your business name is super-familiar to Chill E. because he’s been seeing your ads – you’ve got instant credibility and a higher likelihood that he’s going to click on YOUR ad. Heck, you’re practically friends by now!
Cadillac Plan Step 2
Next up is deciding what action you want or expect Chill E. to take once he gets to your website. A good place to start is determining how most of your customers naturally contact you. Is it by phone? If so, it is imperative that your phone number is prominently displayed on every page of your site, and this is just for your desktop customers. More and more, we see people using their mobile devices, so you should always make sure your site is responsive and has a click-to-call feature. This step can vary widely from industry to industry, so take the time to understand the easiest route for a user to take to become a customer and use your website to make that happen.
Start Your Engines!
You’ve chosen what you want to promote, created awareness of it, made sure you’re found when people are searching for it, you know how people contact you, and you’ve made it super easy to do so. You’ve purchased the car, now let’s take it for a spin — or track those results!
Sticking with the HVAC example and people become clients by phone, you absolutely must track your furnace-related phone calls after your campaign starts. It is critical for you to have already established a baseline for your phone calls using data from the same time period the previous year. That way, you can fairly compare the difference before and after.
Are you a credit union promoting amazing vehicle loan rates? Track how many vehicle loan phone calls and applications you get and compare to your baseline.
College promoting a program to become a nurse? Track the phone calls and applications you receive for your nursing programs and compare it to your baseline.
Car dealership? How many cars have flown off your lot since you started vs. before?
All of this said, tracking does take a little more effort on your part, much like driving a car. You have to pay attention to the signs, stay in your lane, and pull over when you get busted speeding. The key is setting up all the right elements in a strategic way and making sure you know what results you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’re just hangin’ out the passenger side of your best friend’s ride instead of driving the car you bought.
Of course, Federated Digital Solutions specializes in all of this, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us – we’re here to help you navigate this landscape!