Each week on Friday, the Beat will publish this marketing informational newsletter by Sabrina Pack of SkyWest Media and Silver City Radio.
Some business owners ask why should they care about a few negative remarks posted on social media? The truth is, business owners/managers should care extensively about negative remarks as a wildfire can spread in hours and a social media disaster can significantly destroy a brand's reputation literally "overnight." Recognize that any online content, good and bad, will impact how the consumer views your business. Having a plan or policy in place is critical to brand survival.
In advertising, there are many choices to be made concerning the message that should be conveyed. How to convey that message can get lost in the creative decision-making process. One of the most important first steps is to determine what the purpose of the campaign is and the specified target audience. By clearly knowing the purpose and the intended target audience, then creative talents can be focused on what should be the appropriate common theme and which set of advertising appeals and execution styles should be employed.
1. Website: Focus on having a well-designed website that is modern, updated often, mobile friendly, has a solid-engaging landing page.
• Tell a story visually. Recognize the critical importance of having quality video and static images. Use key words for finding your business on your landing page.
• Utilize keywords (1-2 words), but also long-tail keywords (phrases 3 words or longer). To see what search keywords are trending and compare keywords, go to Google Trends.
• Contact and Business Information: Make sure you have your full contact information and hours of operation on your website…and more than just a “fillable” form that someone has to complete to have you contact them.
2. Social Media: Utilize social media platforms and get your product in front of the identified target audience. Getting started suggestion—start with Facebook, then if desired also include other platforms, but Facebook is the most important and you don’t have to be on all the channels. One good channel is far better than being on three or more and not have the branding and image maintained correctly. The following research and graph by Statista illustrates the significant presence of Facebook.
As anticipated, Black Friday, the weekend, and Cyber Monday, proved to be very good for business. Taking this momentum into the holidays is possible, but also challenging for marketers. Analysis of sales from this past weekend fully align with the realization that online marketing efforts are critical to capitalize on e-commerce sales. According to Statista, pulling data from Adobe Digital Insights, the following illustration portrays the significant shift in year-over-year growth in the online shopping market. eMarketer reports that retail e-commerce sales will experience 15.8% growth this 2017 holiday season.
What does this mean for small business marketing? This illustration represents opportunity and a positive trend in consumerism and the importance of e-commerce. Often in smaller markets, small business owners want to pursue a stronger online presence, but are still very focused on the brick-and-mortar approach, even stuck in traditional marketing models. It is important to shift from the “mindset” that effectively developing an online presence is just too difficult, too competitive, too time consuming, cost prohibitive, or not important enough to pursue diligently.
For every one of these negative assumptions, there are numerous positive reasons to really focus on an online presence. This is true to all sizes of businesses, from large down to the “mom-and-pop” business, as it is absolutely critical to get in front of the right consumer and the right time. An online presence, will help to accomplish that. Target marketing is more easily achieved through digital marketing than ever before and when a business finds the magical mix, positive outcomes follow. Yet, regardless of whether you focus on digital marketing more or give a new push into traditional media, the key to success is getting the message right. It is no longer about just putting a coupon out into the market. It is critical to get consumers to engage with your brand.
But you may be asking, what is that magical mix? What is the “Right” Marketing Message?
Starts with “telling your story.” Make your marketing message: (1) personal; (2) authentic; and (3) real. This means your message needs to identify with your consumer. It has to be something that they value and want to know more about, that satisfies a need or helps them in some way. The message has to be authentic. Consumers are more savvy than ever. They know when a deal is too good to be real or promises things that probably can’t happen or that are questionable. Consumers don’t like fake and misleading messages and they know the difference. The brand needs to be “real.” This means trustworthy and makes sense. Connect on an emotional level and be genuine when you do.
Every time you create a message whether it be for a print ad, content on your website or Facebook page, or digital ad, apply the “3 part magical mix rule.” When telling your story, did you make it personal, was the story authentic, and was it real. Remember the power of video. Story telling through video and even static ads, with text overlay, can increase conversion from 200% to 1500%.
The message is up to you. Tell your story to the world. Written by: Sabrina Pack-PCM
The power of email is sometimes overlooked in the clutter of digital marketing, but when email is done right, it can be highly effective. Email should be a huge part of your digital interaction strategy to engage consumers in your brand and keep your brand top-of-mind. If you are looking for last minute holiday shopping to influence consumer engagement, consider email marketing. If you do not have a client email list, use the holiday season to collect that information from each of your customers so you can use this valuable marketing tool in the future.
Why email? According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing yields the highest ROI (Return on Investment) among digital channels for marketers--$39 for every dollar spent.
Are you a retailer? Being able to capitalize on the “hype” of Black Friday (weekend) and Cyber Monday can be of huge importance to your business. During this coming Black Friday weekend, as reported by Winswig in Forbes (2017), it is forecasted that sales will represent a 47% growth over last year. According to RetailMeNot survey, consumers will spend an average of $743 this year during this weekend. National Retail Federation’s research indicates that number is even higher at $967.13. Research shows that 4 in 10 retailers are planning on pushing offers for an entire week.
Make sure you are spending your time tracking the right metrics. In the digital world of marketing, sometimes there are so many different types of “metrics” being used that understanding what has value and what does not can be very confusing. First, “marketing metrics” refer to performance measures and statistics of operation. Metrics are used to determine performance and track performance overtime and relate to marketing intelligence that help us to know how we are doing and to be used in decision-making. In the landscape of digital marketing, there are all kinds of metrics being stated and if you don’t understand them, you might be “impressed” by the wrong metrics.
Beware of vanity metrics: Engagement or actionable metrics are much different from vanity metrics. Vanity metrics can actually lead you astray. Vanity metrics can include the number of downloads, likes, tweets, raw page views, visitors, registered users, impressions, etc. It actually does not mean much how many likes you have or how may tweets there were. These can show traction and can be exciting to see. After all, when your article on your website was downloaded “x” times or your Facebook page has “x” likes, you might feel a sense of “wow,” but that does not translate into real engagement metrics. Don’t be lured into tracking vanity metrics, because they are easy to track (Wojcik, 2016).
What is important is actionable metrics: What does matter is the number of active users, engagement, conversion, and ultimately revenue. Conversion is when a consumer receives a marketing message and then performs a desired action. When you select your key performance indicators (KPIs), such as shares or mentions, website traffic coming from social media, or conversation rates, then you are selecting metrics that hold more meaningful data. These relate to actionable metrics that are statistics that relate to specific and repeatable tasks (Ries, 2010).
Just like with traditional marketing strategies relate to product life-cycle, metric following can relate to the company life-cycle. There are different important metrics to consider depending on where you are in that life-cycle and company goals.
• Intro stage (just getting business started)-useful metrics can include traffic, followers, reviews, social media shares, and subscribers (some of those vanity metrics).
• Growth stage-useful metrics can include conversion rate, time on site, number of sales generated, customer satisfaction, and revenue (those actionable metrics).
• Maturity stage-useful metrics can include churn rate (the annual percentage of customers who drop association with the business), retention length, profit, impact, new members (more actionable and engagement metrics)
Remember: “Vanity metrics simply don’t affect your bottom line. When you measure things, you want to measure things you can test, improve, and simplify in order to build the company’s business. Driving more page views without noticing the high bounce rate doesn’t matter. Neither does having 10,000 followers – none of whom comment or share your content” (Pantel, 2015, para. 6). Don’t get disillusioned by how many followers or likes you may have with your digital media campaigns. Focus on metrics that have value. Focus on engagement, actionable metrics, such as a conversion to actual actions that produce sales.
Patel, S. (2015, May 13). Why You Should Ignore Vanity Metrics and Focus on Engagement. Entrepreneurs.
Reis, R. (2013, Feb. 8). Entrepreneurs: Beware of Vanity Metrics. Harvard Review.
Wojcik, C. (2016, May 9). Vanity Vs. Actionable Metrics: Are You Tracking the Right Stats in your Business. Fizzle.
Weekly Marketing Insights
Facebook Ad Types and Placements: Facebook advertising is far more than just making a post and then occasionally “boosting” the post. There are many types of ads that can be done through Facebook as well as consideration of placement of those ads. Facebook Business shares, “The first question that should be answered is how would your story be told.” Marketers are recognizing that the “story” is one of the most important components to marketing success. This leads to understanding that there are different ad types or formats that can help express that story to the consumer.
Here are five basic Facebook ad formats: (1) photo-still image; (2) video-story telling with sight, sound, and motion; (3) carousel-showing multiple images or videos in a single advertisement; (4) slideshow-creating lightweight video segments or images to tell the story through looping of the video or images; and (5) collection-provides for a way for consumers to tap on an ad, then browse more products or learn more about a specific product, in a fast-loading experience that opens into a full screen mobile experience.