When organizations start planning their digital marketing efforts, they often ask themselves a series of questions:
While asking and answering these “whats” are important, they are not the right ones an organization should initially ask. Instead, they should start with a defining question: “What do I want to accomplish?”
Answering this provides direction, motivation, and a clear way to measure and understand progress. Without a clearly defined objective, an organization may struggle to improve because it could lose focus, make bad decisions, and implement counterproductive actions.
How To Set An Objective
The SMART model is a common and effective guide to setting the right objective. Introduced by George T. Doran in the November 1981 issue of Management Review, the SMART model allows organizations to set goals that are clear and allow others to understand where they want to go.
The “SMART” in the SMART model is an acronym. Each letter corresponds to the five elements that a SMART goal should have:
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology recommends asking the following questions to fulfill the SMART elements:
When done correctly, outputs of the SMART model should look like these:
Common Objectives Digital Marketing Serves
According to a 2018 report by Salesforce, these are the most common objectives businesses use digital marketing to serve:
Digital marketing is well positioned to serve all these for three reasons:
Tracking & Data Is Available Like Never Before
John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was a businessman who opened one of the first and most successful department stores in the United States. He is also credited with coining the phrase, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is I don't know which half.”
Today’s technologies give businesses and marketers a much clearer idea which half would be wasted because everything is tracked. We know how many times an ad was served. We know how many times the ad was clicked. We know how many sales those clicks generated. We even know what ad influenced a consumer to go into a brick-and-mortar store.
Because of this available data, marketers can identify what parts of their digital marketing initiatives are working, and adjustments can be made to further improve performance.
Publishers Offer Objective-Specific Ad Units
For example, let's say a retailer wants to drive more foot traffic to their store. Local Inventory Ads showcase products and store information to nearby shoppers searching on Google. When shoppers click an ad, they arrive on a Google-hosted page for a store. This is called the “local storefront”. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more.
Facebook also offers specific ad units highly relevant to specific objectives. Here’s a sample from their ad management tool:
Time Online Is Increasing
According to a 2018 KPCB report, the average adult spent 5.9 hours per day on digital media platforms in 2017 (a 118% increase from 2008). Given this is where consumers are spending their time, it makes sense to engage them where they are.
Need Help Defining And Executing Your Business-Specific Objective?
We can help! Reach out to us today for a free consultation.
Funnel Digital Marketing is offering a free "Intro To Digital Marketing" class on February 19th from 6pm-8pm at Launch And Go Workplace (470 Commerce Dr, Peachtree City, GA 30269).
The first 90 minutes will use the objective-first framework to discuss how to do the following:
The final 30 minutes will be an open Q&A.
How To Attend
Click here to register now through Eventbrite.
It’s no secret that social media platforms are popular. According to the Pew Research Center, over 3 billion people use social media each month (42% of the total global population!), and all age demographics within America have a healthy presence on social networks.
The most popular networks used in America are Facebook (60.6%), Instagram (37.4%), and Snapchat (30.9%). According to the research firm Comscore, young people spend the most time on Facebook in comparison to other platforms.
Because many people spend a lot of time on social media platforms, it makes sense for businesses to “follow the eyeballs” and have a presence there to drive awareness and conversions. However, many businesses are not effective at connecting with consumers according to social analytics firms:
To avoid these issues from occurring with your business, it’s crucial to have a strong social media marketing plan. Fortunately, that can be accomplished by following six simple steps.
1. Determine Your Goal
The first thing you should do is ask yourself, “What do I want my efforts to produce?”. This may sound like a no-brainer, but many marketers skip this step and focus on the how they will act ("My social media goal is to be on Facebook"). Answering this question will allow you to focus on what you want to accomplish and give you direction on how to act ("My social media goal is to generate $100 in revenue per day from these networks").
2. Define Your Metrics
Next, prioritize the social media metrics that will allow you to determine how you are performing against your goal. Here are some figures to consider:
3. Identify Your Audience
Social media platforms know a lot of information about their users (they literally know what a user “likes”). While this can be creepy, it works well for businesses because there are opportunities to do hyper-targeted posts and other ads. Define the core demographics for your target audience (age, gender, location, income, education, interests, and so on) so you can place your message in front of the right people.
4. Select Your Channel Coverage
Does your audience live on Facebook? Instagram? Twitter? LinkedIn? Snapchat? Identify where they are so your business can form appropriate connections.
Additionally, strongly consider using paid advertising options to increase your reach with your target audience. Organic reach on its own likely will not be enough. This is particularly true on Facebook as many posts from businesses had their reach reduced in order to make the experience more appealing for the platforms users. As a result this made appearing in a consumer’s newsfeed “pay to play”.
5. Produce Engaging Content
Here are some angles to consider based on the goal determined in the first step:
Also, consider what type of content format performs best. Do people respond well to a videos? What about your posts with prominent photos?
6. Track Your Efforts
Finally, make sure you have a platform that is accurately collecting your data. This can be a publisher owned & operated tool, or it could be from a third-party (however, those can come at an additional cost and can be expensive). As you collect that data, assess what is (or isn’t) performing well, and figure out why something is performing the way that it is so you can make optimizations to further improve your performance against goal.
Social media will no doubt continue to play a significant role in our lives. Regardless how big or small your business is, know there are opportunities to engage with consumers within those platforms. Contact us today for a free consultation on how you can grow your performance through social media.
When a business considers the ways it can drive more performance, Search Marketing should be the opportunity it prioritizes first. That's because Search Marketing generates awareness with consumers who are actively expressing interest in a product or service. It also drives website traffic most likely to convert by being at the right place at the right time.
For example, let's say that a pizzeria wants to increase its delivery sales. To accomplish this, it gains a strong presence on Google's "pizza delivery" search result pages. By appearing in front of hungry-for-pizza searchers, it can increase awareness with its target audience and generate more sales by fulfilling the desire that sparked the consumer's query.
Search result pages have two parts that are served by different practices:
Let's take a deeper dive into these practices that serve each part of the page.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Google and other search engines use crawlers that go across the Internet and gather information about all the content they can find. The crawlers bring all those 1s and 0s back to the search engine to build an index. That index is then fed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with certain queries that bring value to the searcher.
While the engines do not openly share how their algorithms decide what content should show on specific search queries, SEO specialists know certain actions can be taken to improve the likelihood of strong natural presence. These actions fall into two categories: on-page actions & off-page actions.
Here are some example on-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Here are some example off-page actions that can improve a page's natural presence:
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Like SEO, SEM also requires both technical and creative actions to attain a strong presence within search result pages. Both require figuring out the right queries to show against, constructing a fast and responsive site (especially for mobile devices), having site content that serves the need of the searcher, and so on.
However, SEM differs from SEO in some significant ways. Here are five examples:
There are a few other things to know about paid search:
What's Best For My Business?
Ideally, a business should maintain a strong presence in both paid and natural search listings for several key reasons:
While other online channels like Facebook can contribute to performance, Search Marketing is arguably more important in making a business successful. Search Marketing provides awareness and conversions like no other marketing channel can, and it plays a huge role in "closing the sale" with searchers actively looking to fulfill a want or need. As a result, SEO & SEM can provide a higher rate of return when compared to other forms of marketing.
The traditional ways a small business could advertise used to be very straightforward but limited. For example, a business could generate awareness for a product or service by placing ads in the newspaper, running a television spot, displaying messages on billboards, sending mailers to households, and so on.
However, the marketing landscape has changed drastically due to the Internet. Small businesses can now drive cost-efficient performance through targeted search listings, social placements, and more.
To illustrate how the Internet can serve small businesses better than traditional channels, this post compares Paid Search listings (ads that appear above natural results on Google/Bing/Yahoo search result pages) to ads within a local newspaper (The Citizen) and a local mailer (Buzzzzn Magazine).
Paid Search is the most cost-efficient and flexible marketing channel.
Unlike traditional channels, Paid Search can run multiple customized ad variations that auto-optimize to the best performer.
Paid Search can target specific audiences effectively while other channels cannot.
Paid Search can target specific defined locations while traditional channels cannot.
Paid Search can track activities other channels cannot.
Paid Search can place low-cost ads in premium positions where they will get noticed while ads in traditional channels are more likely to be overlooked.
Ad Duration Commitment
Paid Search has no time-duration commitment and can serve for as short or as long as you want.
Overall, online placements like Paid Search are the best way to connect your products and services with the right customers. In comparison to traditional methods they’re more cost-efficient, targetable, trackable, and customizable.
Contact us today for a free consultation on how digital marketing can work for your business.
Facebook has offered its users the option to message businesses for some time, and Google has offered limited capabilities since July 2017. However, Google is making a bigger effort to encourage its searchers to engage businesses through messaging.
Here is a screenshot from a mobile device with a significantly larger messaging button:
For comparison, here is a screenshot with the regular button layout:
If and when Google makes the new messaging button permanent, businesses will need to figure out ways to respond to these messages in a timely manner because the searcher/consumer is going to expect a timely response that answer there questions or serves their other needs. This will add to a business's already heavy workload. It will also require mastery of Google My Business since that will be the hub for message delivery.
For more information feel free to contact us today.