The Content Marketing ROI Summit brings together industry experts and practitioners to discuss the latest strategies to properly measure the reach, engagement and effectiveness of content marketing.
While few CEO’s directly manage communications, PR is one of the most scrutinised budget lines in Australian businesses. In the age of global brands, the proliferation of media channels and shifting goal posts of modern business communications have elevated PR to a boardroom concern.
CEO’s today demand greater transparency, accountability and return on investment on their PR investment than ever before.
Former Age business journalist and founder of icon.pr, Joanne Painter, shares her insights and strategies for engaging c-suite executives in the PR journey – and offers some tactics for building engagement in PR from the top down.
In this interactive workshop we will also explore:
- What CEO’s really think about PR (and why are so many afraid of it)
- Why PR should matter to CEO’s
- How to convince your CEO to invest in PR
- When to engage your c-suite in the PR journey
If, like me, you’ve worked in the marketing industry for ten years or more, chance are, you’ve had a question that goes a little something like this: Where is the ROI in PR? Or, is there really any benefit to marketing? Or (my personal favourite in recent years) what can social media really do for the company anyway?
Questions that (probably unbeknownst to the naïve asker) make your blood boil, that make the red mist descend, or that make you want to curl up in a little ball and hide under the covers indefinitely.
If your chosen marketing discipline cannot be measured based on immediate sales figures, then red-mist-inducing questions can be common place. And, unfortunately, it is the thinking (or lack thereof) behind such questions that often leads to your budget being hit first when things are tight.
For marketing professionals in some of the ‘softer’ marketing disciplines, like PR, quantification of results has always been notoriously difficult. Traditionally, PR campaign reports focus on figures linked to awareness: circulation and readership figures, website hits and impressions, the equivalent cost of advertising spend. For social media marketing managers, those same reports now centre on new fans and followers, the number of post likes, and website click-through rates. All too often, reports such as these engender a raised-eyebrow response from senior executives who want to see a clear, demonstrable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent.
All these awareness results and reporting metrics are a perfectly valid marketing objective for any business. Brand awareness is essential: you have to have an audience to market to. If no one knows who you are, no one will purchase your products or services. Social media is the perfect conversation platform for increasing brand engagement (keep in mind social media is best used for ‘pull’ marketing, rather than ‘push’ style marketing).
But, senior executives will want to see a more solid return on investment than simply increased brand awareness. For social media marketing to be considered successful, and sustainable long-term, you need to demonstrate exactly how social media is contributing to the company’s bottom line. Here’s a few tips on how to do exactly that, and how to manage a successful social media program.
1. Link social media marketing to broader business objectives
As with any marketing or advertising campaign, step one should be defining your objectives. Social media marketing objectives should always be linked back to broader business objectives. For instance, if your company is expanding into new markets, or new industries, then your over-arching social media marketing objective might be to establish your company as a thought leader within that new market or industry. Then, you could break this broader objective down into smaller, measureable, actionable goals. Your social media objective should never be something as open-ended as ‘Increase Twitter followers’.
2. Use an action-based metric for your social marketing campaign
Include an action-based metric that can be counted in your social media marketing campaign. In the case of social media, an action-based metric is often a click. So, give your fans and followers something to click on. Once you have their attention, give your fans and followers a specific task. Do you want them to share your update? Click on a landing page? Purchase your product? Provide their email address? Whatever the action might be, make sure that it is linked to our broader business objective, and that you have the tools in place to count and measure audience behaviour. The counting helps to quantify social media results, and demonstrate ROI.
3. Capture and cultivate leads
Once your fans and followers are following your lead, and responding to your call to action, re-route them through to some sort of lead capture form. This step can be tricky, and must be done carefully. Oftentimes, users don’t want to re-routed away from the website (or app) that they are already using. So, where possible, use data collection mechanisms that are embedded in the social media platform itself. Facebook enables custom tabs and promotions options. So use them. Then, set up a database that manages all these new leads, and that reports on their behaviour. For instance, you might add all new leads to your e-mail marketing subscriber list. Then, use your email-marketing software to record their behaviour, and track their newsletter opens.
4. Convert leads into customers
This is where senior executives get really excited. If you can demonstrate that you are cultivating customers all the way from Twitter to the cash register, then never again will you have to answer the red-mist-inducing question ever again. Once you have your leads on-board, and stored in your e-mail marketing software, it’s time to ensure that any multi-touch attribution is attributed to your social media campaign. Make sure that senior executives know that the only reason that customer XYZ purchased products was because you engaged them to Twitter to begin with.
5. Use Google Analytics
Make sure that your website has Google analytics installed and working. Then, by using the ‘Acquisition’ reporting section, you can determine exactly how your website visitors are landing on your site. You will be able to see, quickly and easily, what percentage of website traffic is being generated by social media platforms, compared to organic searches, other website referrals, and direct links.
6. Report in a format that senior executives will appreciate
All senior executives are busy; it goes with the territory. But, at the end of the day, they still want to know, and understand, how budgets are being spent, particularly when revenue is down. So, make sure that your social media marketing report is presented in the way that is most appealing to senior executives. Ensure that it is clear and concise. Make sure that reporting is consistent: that you consistently use the same reporting cycle, and the same reporting metrics. Make sure every month you are comparing apples and apples. It never hurts to include a detailed monthly report, with a brief (updated) annual summary.
For some further reading on the hot topic of social media, check out:
- To really understand which social media platforms your target market is using: http://marketing.com.au/australian-social-media-statistics-2013-vs-2014/
- To find out how to convince your CEO that your company should be using social media: http://marketing.com.au/business-case-social-media-convince-ceo/
- If you need help from social media agencies: http://marketing.com.au/business-directories/social-media-marketing-agencies/
Social media has taken the internet world by storm, and many marketers are deathly afraid of missing out when it comes to social media and anxious that all bases be covered. However, you might wonder just how useful it all is, and whether it is necessary to leverage social media in the course of your own online marketing. The reasons for its popularity have been well-documented: social media has been helpful to many businesses due to its flexibility and relatively low cost. It can also be done in-house and requires little technical know-how. Furthermore, with the prevalence of social media marketing in our everyday lives, most people pay attention to what is posted and shared. Despite these advantages, there are also many businesses that do not manage to reap the benefits of social media marketing. Here are some points to think about when considering where social media fits in your online marketing strategy.
Does social media gel with your overall marketing plan?
Social media marketing does not operate in a vacuum, and for you to successfully leverage social media, it has to be integrated into your overall marketing plan in order to be effective. You will need to think about your overall marketing goals and how you plan to achieve them, and then use social media as a tool to achieve these goals. For instance, if you want your brand to project a certain image, this will have to be taken into account when crafting content on social media platforms. In addition, various factors pertaining to your business need to be considered such as the legal, commercial and support aspects. Just because social media is perceived as more informal doesn’t mean you can afford to make mistakes or step on someone’s toes.
Are you prepared to face the implications?
Creating social media output can have huge consequences and should not be taken lightly. Reputations can be built and destroyed in just a few clicks, so you should ensure all social media marketing is tightly monitored. For instance, making a post in bad taste or responding to a customer’s query in an offensive manner can have disastrous consequences, especially if your output goes viral.
Are you using social media just because you feel like you have to?
If you genuinely have nothing valuable to say or share on social media, maintaining accounts and posting lacklustre content may be of little help. Bear in mind that it is not compulsory to be on social media platforms, and if maintaining an ineffective social media presence is taking time and resources away from other areas that could be of more benefit, by all means divert your attention to other methods of marketing instead.
Do you know what social media platforms your customers use?
There is no one size fits all approach to social media marketing, and your choice of social media platforms depends to a large degree on which ones are most frequently used by your customers. For instance, if your business is fashion-related, chances are your customers scope out new styles on Instagram. However, the same platform may not work for a law firm or doctor’s office.
Do you know what you want out of social media?
Jumping right into social media marketing without having a clear idea of what you want to get out of it leads to a lack of focus that will hamper your ability to achieve results. Do you want to provide your customers with a platform for sending feedback, showcase your latest products or create viral content? You will need to define your goals clearly in order to determine what kind of content you need to create.
Do you know how to calculate ROI?
While social media marketing is relatively inexpensive, it still incurs significant time costs. It is necessary to have a clear and definite way to calculate your return on investment so you can determine whether social media marketing is increasing or crippling your profits.
The marketing opportunities social media offers can be exciting, but it takes time and effort to master social media marketing, which has to be done correctly, consistently and regularly in order to yield results. Instead of just plunging in, floundering about and having to suffer the consequences of expensive mistakes, engage the help of professionals such as seoWorks who can enable your business to fully realise the potential of social media marketing.
Thanks for sharing your tips Bernard for including social media in an online marketing strategy.
About Bernard Somja, SEO Works
Aside from developing a league of veteran snowboarders, Bernard is SEO Works’ Director of SEO Services, helping businesses in Europe, Asia, Australia and the USA succeed online through the implementation of best practice Inbound Marketing.
There seems to be a lot of buzz about the “Multi-screen world”.
The term multi-screen (also called multi-device) refers to when we are using multiple screens/devices (e.g TV, Laptop, Mobile and Tablet) either simultaneously (e.g watching TV and browsing the web on your mobile/tablet) or sequentially (e.g browsing your mobile to search for a flight and then booking it later on from your laptop).
Google has been driving a lot of the discussion around multi-screen usage and they recently worked with Sterling Brands and IPSOS to understand more about multi-screen habits. Even though the data is based on research in the US, it’s most likely that these trends would be similar for the Australian market as we are amongst the heaviest mobile and tablet users in the world.
Here are a few interesting stats that caught our eye:
- 90% of media interactions are screen based (eg. on mobile, laptop/PC, Tablet or Television) while 10% non screen based (e.g radio, newspaper, magazine)
- Average of 4.4 hours per day of leisure time spent in front of screens each day
- 77% of TV viewers use another device at the same time in a typical day
- TV is a major catalyst for search
- Consumers own multiple devices so they can move seamlessly between them throughout the day and feel they’re using their time efficiently.
- 34% use the device that is closest to us when looking for information for convenience
If you want more stats, here is the full presentation:
Perhaps the most relevant factor for marketers to be across multi-screen usage is that it’s the only true way to tap into “impulse” behaviour. To address the explosion of multi-screen usage Google has released a major change to AdWords called Enhanced Campaigns. Enhanced Campaigns allow you to target based on context, time of day and device. This way you can further optimise your ads for, as Google says “the moments that matter”.
One thing to remember is that not every task is suited for every device. In fact if you ignore the hype and get into the numbers, there are certain things people clearly don’t do on their mobile devices. When people talk about ROI for mobile, they don’t always measure some of the activities where mobile shines. Tasks such as Click to Call, Store Locator and App downloads are critical and have a massive impact on ROI, so we should try to factor these in where possible.
Multi-screen use provides a whole new world of opportunities for the savvy marketer to engage with their audiences. But don’t park this on your To-Do list for too long, because the multi-screen revolution is well and truly here.
As 2012 draws to a close and the silly season is well underway, we just wanted to take the opportunity to thank you all for your wonderful support of Marketing.com.au. We would also like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy festive season.
We would also like to say a special thank you to all our wonderful guest authors. They have all kindly taken time out of their busy schedules to share with us their knowledge, expertise and advice. It certainly has been a bumper 2012 so lets look back at the Top 7 Marketing.com.au articles for the year (based on social and email love), in case you didn’t get a chance to read them!
- Lacking Style? Top 5 Tips for Writing a Style Guide – Ever been given the task to write a style guide? Well, this article we shared back in June discusses some common elements we found referenced in style guides to help you start off on the right foot.
- Measuring The ROI Of Your SEO Campaign – New Marketing.com.au contributor Mike van der Heijden from SEO Works talks to us about the info you should be requesting from your SEO provider to ensure you make the right investment and ensure they work with you not for you.
- Creating Great Presentations – We’ve all fallen into that default mode of preparing presentations the way we always have. Boring! In this article, we review blog posts from Clay Johnson and Seth Godin along with a book by Nancy Duarte called ‘Resonate’ to summarise some top tips to help you deliver a killer presentation.
- 7 Ways To Get A New Logo Designed – We shared 7 great ways to get a new logo for your business from the Rolls Royce of professional branding experts right through to designing one for free!
- Mobile Marketing Trends 2012 – This article by Simon ODay from Responsys discusses the results from a survey of 650 professional marketers from around the world and how they are going about implementing mobile into their cross channel marketing and advertising strategies.
- The Secret to Affiliate Marketing for Marketers – Why are some marketers resistant to run affiliate marketing campaigns? James Kitchener from Jack Media talks with Richard Green from HotDeals about what it takes to run a successful campaign and also why some marketers hesitate to give it a go.
- Digital Marketing Trends In Australia – We shared with you the Big Australia Report from Responsys and discuss the practices of digital marketing in Australia based on interviews that they conducted amongst 125 digital marketers.
So there you have it! If you have any specific topics of interest you would like to know more about, now is your chance! We’d love to hear from you below!
In the meantime, wishing you all an eventful and fulfilling 2013!
❄ The Marketing.com.au Team ❄
Hi everyone, my name is Mike van der Heijden and I work as a Senior Business Analyst at SEO Works, an Australian based SEO services provider with offices throughout Australia.
I have been invited to be a regular contributor to Marketing.com.au on everything and anything in the wonderful world of online marketing.
Today’s article discusses the various reports/information you should be requesting from your SEO professional or potential SEO company to ensure that you’re making the right investment with the right company. As I like to say, search engine optimisation professionals shouldn’t work for you, they should work with you.
Even in this day and age there are still people (and companies) who are unsure about Search Engine Optimisation, and rightly so! SEO companies and professionals have been wrongly educating the general public on how to measure the success of a campaign. For years clients have been told that the success of a search engine optimisation campaign can be measured by traffic and rankings!
Enter The Rankings & Traffic Metrics
If you have ever engaged a Search Engine Optimisation company/professional, you undoubtedly have seen a “ranking report” and a “traffic report”. I won’t go into the details of each as the level of detail of these reports vary from company to company, but generally are an overview of traffic of your website (perhaps broken up by source e.g. PPC, Organic, Direct etc.) and the rankings of a list of keywords.
Let me ask you a question, after your investment in SEO and seeing a ranking report and/or general traffic report have you gotten the feeling that what you (or the SEO Company) were doing was increasing your bottom line? Did those rankings directly relate to your increase in traffic and more importantly, increase in revenue?
Didn’t think so! If you are serious about your business, you need to be serious about the KPIs you set for your SEO firm, you need to know what to look at and in some cases request from your search firm.
Overall Campaign Metrics
I will explain 4 overall metrics to measure your websites performance by. By no means are they simple factors to influence and in some cases SEO companies might not be solely responsible for influencing these factors, however, each of these lends elements to be improved by a solid SEO campaign.
Are you tracking the amount of revenue that is created by your website? If you’re running an e-commerce website have you set up e-commerce tracking properly? If you’re a service provider are you tracking the amount of people contacting you? And have you attached a value to these conversions?
This is the number one mistake businesses make. If you are not tracking any type of conversion, talk to your SEO Company on getting this set up as soon as possible, because only then can you start measuring the money your website makes you, and in term, your SEO Company delivers you.
Ask your SEO Company what they are doing overall to drive an increase in revenue, this should align properly with your business goals and needs.
2. Conversion Rate
Simply put, your conversion rate is the total number of goal achievements divided by the number of visits to your website.
E.g. if at the end of the month you received 1,000 visits to your website, and 100 conversions/sales were made, that would mean a conversion rate of 10%.
Because a website can have multiple “goal achievements” set up you should be measuring the conversion rates for all your goals.
Ask your SEO Company for monthly updates on your conversion rates and what they are doing to improve the conversion rates on your website.
3. Leads / Sales
As discussed in the Conversion Rate section, you want to have an overall report of total leads/sales/conversions that were made on your website.
Generally these reports will show the overall statistics for conversions on your website, broken down by the source of the visits (be it direct, referral, paid or organic).
4. Cost per Acquisition
Possibly the most important metric, after having figured out all of the above, is the cost per acquisition. How much are you paying in order to attract sales/leads/conversions?
Typically, this should be as easy as taking the amount you are investing in your Search Engine Optimisation campaign and dividing that by the amount of sales/leads/conversions driven through organic search.
When you first start with your SEO Company, this should be set as a benchmark, and the company should strive to improve (read, lower the Cost per Acquisition) over time.
Measuring ROI on Keyword Clusters
Firstly, let me introduce the term “Keyword Clusters”. Keyword Clusters are, in a nutshell, keywords that relate and incorporate a main keyword within.
For example: The keyword “Sydney Hotels” would have a cluster of keywords that contain either the phrase “Sydney Hotels” or contain “Sydney” and “Hotels”.
Sydney Hotels, Sydney Luxury Hotels, Best Sydney Hotels, Hotels in Sydney etc.
The reason for measuring activity on a “cluster” is to take away focus of one particular keyword, because ranking for 1 keyword could mean ranking for endless variations of that keyword.
Clusters aren’t evident in normal keyword ranking reports and therefore you might be missing out on tracking keywords that provide you revenue rather than just search volume.
1. Sales Per Keyword Cluster
Now that we understand the meaning of a keyword cluster, it is important to find out how many sales your website is making from these keyword clusters. It could very well be that a low search volume cluster is producing more sales for you than a high volume keyword cluster (which is often the case).
Ask your SEO Company for a breakdown of keyword clusters and the amount of sales/leads/conversions generated for that keyword cluster. This will give you a good insight into what keyword clusters you (and your SEO Company) should be focusing on.
2. Conversion Rate Per Keyword Cluster
Naturally, the next step is to work out what your conversion rate is per keyword cluster. It’s one thing to see a low search volume cluster producing more sales/leads, but it is also important to know what ratio of people searching for those clusters are actually converting.
3. Cost Per Acquisition for a Keyword Cluster
Last but not least, figure out what your cost per acquisition is per keyword cluster. It could very well be that the cluster producing the most leads is also the most costly (in terms of SEO investment and time taken to rank particular keywords).
A Few Extra Tips
- When engaging/interviewing potential SEO companies, make sure you request them to do an audit of your current state of affairs. Give them (read only) access to your analytics in order for them to do a proper analysis of where your website currently stands.
- Whilst interviewing your potential candidates, ask them what they think are reasonable goals and milestones to set for your campaign and how long they will take to achieve those results. If they return with an answer anywhere near “That’s hard to say/SEO is a difficult process/We can’t be sure” I say, run for the hills.
- Ask for recent successes/experience with other clients in or similar to your niche, more than likely they will have worked with a client who has been in a similar situation to you.
In closing, Search Engine Optimisation isn’t the black voodoo some companies make it out to be. As long as you’re well aware of the information that is out there and the information that you can request from your SEO Company there is no longer any reason for you to be “wasting” money or getting yourself caught in endless contracts.
Mike van der Heijden, Senior Business Analyst, SEO Works
Mike is a Business Analyst with SEO Works and has extensive experience in various online marketing techniques with both blue chip and SMB clients.
While not working on SEO, Mike enjoys working out and keeping abreast of industry trends.
We attended the Salesforce Cloudforce Essentials day in Melbourne yesterday and we wanted to share with you some of the interesting discussions from the day. Salesforce recently launched Marketing Cloud™ which is a collection of cloud based marketing services to make both internal and external marketing communications easier to manage and be more effective.
Derek Laney who is the Director of Product Marketing Management at Salesforce gave a presentation yesterday called “Introducing The Marketing Cloud” which we really enjoyed.
Even if you are not interested in using their cloud based platform there were still some great points raised about how we need to engage more with customers, integrate our marketing efforts both online and offline and also measure our performance so we can continually improve and find new opportunities. You might also be interested to check out our article on using Inbound Marketing In Your Marketing Mix where we also discussed the importance of customer engagement.
There were three key take outs we wanted to share with you that we took note of from Derek’s presentation:
- Improve customer engagement via social channels for increased return on investment – Business is now more social so it is more important than ever to align social goals with our business goals. In Derek’s presentation he talked about the real opportunity for marketers to listen to customers in real time and to build and engage with them.
- Streamline and intergrate both offline and online marketing – While social is exciting it has certainly created chaos for marketers. There’s social media, PR, messaging, marketing, community management, creatives, media, eCommerce, digital etc. We need to find ways to better streamline marketing efforts across multiple platforms. Derek then shared with us how Salesforce’s new Marketing Cloud™ helps to turn insights into actions and connect with customers for life.
- Measure and report on your data – We all know how important it is to not only look at our brands performance but also our competitors. We need to listen, analyse, engage and then also measure and report on how we are performing so that we can better develop insights and key strategies. There is a wealth of customer information we have right at our finger tips, we just need to find ways to better utilise this data.
If you are interested in finding out more, check out Derek Laney’s presentation slides. Thanks to Derek for a great presentation and for sharing this with us. You can also follow Derek on Twitter @derektweets.