Practical Solutions To Measuring Marketing and ROI

July 9, 2009

It’s become evident to me that one of the biggest marketing challenges for business owners is how to measure their marketing and return on investment (ROI).

I’ve included a link at the bottom of this blog to a FREE worksheet for Measuring Marketing and ROI which I’ve adapted from a document received from Hubspot. But before you jump ahead and download the  worksheet, take the time to review my notes on what you should do before starting any marketing and what to measure.

Before You Start

Before starting out with any marketing take the time to plan and set goals. The benefit of doing this is to make sure you get the best return out of your marketing efforts. Often marketers will blame a particular marketing tactic when really it was the message. You need to know what your goals are, who your customers are and what they want, before you even begin an effective marketing campaign.

From here you can craft your marketing message, addressing problems and outcomes that speak to the value system of your prospects. If you have the budget I would suggest speaking with a professional marketing consultant. They will work with you to create a Marketing Plan that will communicate your message (value proposition) to your prospects (target market) via different channels, and develop a lead nurturing program that will attract prospects into your sales funnel, and keep them moving down the funnel until they are ready to convert to a customer.

All your marketing efforts need to be monitored. Test and measure, test and measure and test and measure again, to see what yields the best returns.

What To Measure

There are a lot of different metrics out there but what really matters is what is impacting the bottom line.

Visitors: What’s driving traffic (visitors) to your site
Leads: What’s encouraging the visitors to convert to a lead.
Customers: What’s encouraging the leads to convert to a customer

Personally, I believe Hubspot offers the best tools for monitoring specific marketing campaigns. One of the great features of the Hubspot SEO tools is that it allows you to track specific marketing tactics, even something as simple as a Tweet (ie Tweeted with a link to blog). I find it interesting to see how much extra traffic I get just by changing my status in LinkedIn.

Converting Your Visitors Into Leads

A visitor becomes a lead once they’ve indicated some interest in your product/service.

Of course traffic on its own doesn’t mean much if there are no conversions. This is where a professional marketing consultant can really help. Once you have visitors to your site you need to:

1. Offer the information they are looking for and

2. Give them a compelling reason to provide you with their valuable contact details.

What can you offer that is of value to your prospects? Some suggestions are: Blog subscriptions, eNewsletters, free ebook, free tool or kit. And don’t just direct all your traffic to your home page, offer a link to a ‘landing page’ which is designed to convert visitors to leads. Without this in place, your marketing efforts will seem futile if no visitors are converting.

Test and measure. Change your offer, heading, message, channel and landing page to see which yields a better result.

Download this Measuring Marketing and ROI Worksheet to track your results, compare and measure against different channels and campaigns. Check out the SEO tools at Hubspot and test drive their 7 day free trial. Remember to start out with a plan and seek professional marketing advice if needed.

I would really like to know if this post provides you with practical solutions to Measuring Marketing and ROI?

How to Build a Referral Based Business Using Social Media Marketing

June 30, 2009

The business results you have today are based on what you did in the past. Consequently, what you do today to market your business, will impact your business tomorrow. So the question is…

Are your marketing efforts today setting you up for future success?

The best way to build a viable business for the future is to start implementing referral based marketing strategies today. A lead generated from a happy customer is ‘hot’, and the easiest of all leads to qualify and close.

The first step is what you offer and how you engage with your current customers and prospects. In today’s world they are the media and they have the voice and the power on the internet. Here are six tips to a happy customer:

1. Provide outstanding service from the very beginning, from the first point of contact with your company.

2. Make it clear what you are providing and what they can expect from your product or service.

3. Make sure you deliver on what you say you will.

4. Under promise and over deliver.

5. Follow up and make sure they are happy. Do they have any post purchase issues or problems.

6. Maintain regular contact with your current customers and make sure you’re adding value every time you connect with them.

The second step is to empower your happy customers to spread the word. This may seem obvious, but the question today is…

How do you use social media to build a referral based business?

Empower your happy customers to spread the word.

Facebook and LinkedIn:

1. Create a forum on these sites for your customers to interact with each other.

2. Encourage fans and members to post questions for you to answer.

3. Provide added value, extra tips and advice on discussion boards.

4. Provide links to these groups from your website, blog and other content so prospects can interact with current customers.

Twitter:

5. Personally interact with your customers and build rapport.

6. Post special offers and discounts.

7. Post links to informative and interesting articles or content that would be valuable to your customers.

So why is this so important to your future success? It takes time to build a network on the internet, fans on Facebook, members on LinkedIn, followers on Twitter. Your market reach is their market reach.

Let’s say you had 100 connections spread between the three major social media sites, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and each one of your connections had 100 connections (which is conservative) you now have a reach of 10,000 people. Think about traditional marketing methods and how much time and money it would take to reach 10,000 people via referral methods.

To market today for tomorrow’s success, start building a quality network of fans, members and followers that represent your target audience, engage and add value on a regular basis. Who knows how many connections you’ll have in your network within 12 months.

I would love to hear your suggestions for building a referral based business with social media.

If you need to some help building a referral based business using social media contact me directly for an obligation FREE consultation.

If you think someone in your network will get value out of this post please ReTweet or promote using your favorite social media site. If you got some value out of this post, subscribe to my Inbound Marketing Blog for Small Business.

Is Your SEO Aligned with your Business Goals?

June 2, 2009

Take the time to evaluate your business goals before jumping into search engine optimization (SEO) for your business.
A friend of mine sent me an email that she had received from an SEO firm seeking her business, several months ago. The email started with something like, “we tried to search for your business on line and couldn’t find it, which means your prospects can’t find you either.” It went on to say that they could guarantee top search rankings (for a monthly fee). It was quite a lengthy sales pitch but basically what they were promising was top search rankings for my friend’s company, for what they (the SEO firm) perceived where the relevant keywords. My friend thought this sounded great, so she presented it to her management team. After all isn’t that what we all want, to be at the top of the search results and drive more traffic to our site?

This concerned me, because there was no reference to aligning SEO or top search results with the business goals. How do you know the best SEO tactics to implement if you don’t understand the client’s business first? Before employing a firm or individual to implement SEO ensure what they recommend is in line with your business goals, and not their business goals. SEO is more than just top search engine results. What is the purpose of the website? Who is your target audience? What are the best keywords and phrases to drive qualified leads to your website? Have you set up landing pages for the relevant keywords and phrases?

Let’s assume it works. You’re top of the search rankings for your keywords and this is driving qualified leads to your site. What is happening to these leads once they’re on your website? What is your sales funnel? Are you offering them the information they are looking for? How are you capturing these leads? Do you have a call to action? How are you converting these leads? Do they know what they need to do?

This is why implementing SEO must be aligned with your business goals. Your goal isn’t about being at the top of the search rankings, or driving lots of traffic to your site. Your goal is to convert! It’s all about the bottom line!

Before you decide to employ a firm or individual to implement SEO into your business make sure they understand your business goals, your website goals and your audience.


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