How to Measure Your Online Marketing Efforts

The first PMG-North Bay Lunch Program of 2018 focused on how to measure your marketing efforts and use those numbers to create actionable insights that can help drive marketing goals. Attendees got a sneak peek at the use of real metrics from Facebook Ad Strategist, Emily Hirsh and DTC Wine Marketing Manager, Brian D. Shapiro at Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, moderated by Rose Souders, President of PMG and CEO & Digital Marketing Consultant at Potluck Consulting.

If you couldn’t attend this program or forgot to take notes, you’re in luck. We’ve captured the highlights and take-aways that are not-to-be-missed:

Facebook & Instagram Algorithm Changes

Unfortunately, the newest algorithm change from Facebook now makes any organic reach for posts to business pages practically non-existent. Because of this, businesses are faced with having no choice but to buy ads or boost posts to be see on the platform.

Instagram also changed its feed somewhat recently by favoring certain posts they think you want to see (or that they want you to see) and no longer show every handle you follow in order of new to old.

Here are a few tips for maximizing organic reach efforts

  • Facebook organic reach favors video and high engagement posts.
  • Instagram may show preference to accounts that use all their features.
  • Use at least 10 relevant hashtags per Instagram post to reach your targets.

Inspiring Ideas to Get the Ball Rolling

  • Engage in your news-feed. Spend one hour a week looking at new ideas. Take note of things you like and try modifying the strategy for your own use.
  • Test things to see what works. Don’t be afraid to fail!
  • Dive into your analytics to see what part of your strategy might need to change.
  • Make sure what you are doing as a brand is supporting your digital marketing. For example, post to Instagram or send email that supports your Facebook ad.
  • If you are not getting sales, consider adding more value to nurture your audience and lead them to a sale in the future.

How to Set Marketing Goals

What should the result be? In Brian’s case, the goal is to increase visitation to winery and attract new members to join the wine club. To reach the target both Brian and Emily suggest starting with these easy-to-implement steps:

  1. Create simple goals. Don’t over complicate or over analyze.
  2. Make sure all social channels have a metrics goal set that reflects the ultimate goal.
    1. Work backwards. Once you have your ultimate goal for the next 30 days, review last month’s analytics and figure out what it will that take to accomplish that.
  3. “Think like a scientist.” Have a controlled method to making changes so you can review what works and what doesn’t. Don’t change everything at once.
  4. Don’t be afraid to fail. Failing gets you Intel!

What Metrics Should You be Looking at?

First, you will need to define “what keeps the lights on”, then translate that to social media metrics.

ROI – Return on Investment metrics will tell you whether you’re getting your money’s worth from your marketing campaigns.

CPA – Cost per Acquisition is the total cost of acquiring a new customer via a specific channel or campaign.

CPC – Cost per Click refers to the actual price you pay for each click in your pay-per-click marketing campaigns.

CPL – Cost per Lead measures how cost-effective your marketing campaigns are when it comes to generating new leads for your sales team.

Landing Page Conversions – This metric shows how many of the unique visitors to your landing page actually took action.

To determine a sales percentage or total number of sales you may have to do some detective work. If you have a walk-in business, have your team ask a lot of open ended questions to collect more data, such as “what brought you in today?” If your clients are either online or in-person you may consider sending out a survey or opportunity for review after their visit or purchase.

A deeper look can reveal who sent customers, how much they spent, how they were referred, and who is visiting.

Quick Tips from Emily:

  • Check metrics daily, weekly, monthly, and then compare.
    • Daily checks are important for catching anything that may have changed overnight. If something has suddenly changed you might be able to catch what caused it.
    • Monthly reviews can show the overall ebb and flow over the last 30 days.
  • Watch for saturation of an ad or ad fatigue. Even the best ads can reach burn-out.
  • Don’t panic and don’t change everything all at once.

Case Study from Brian:

Brian shared that Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery found out that large portion of their business is repeat customers. A deep dive into metrics and customer information also showed that their lodging partners are a key promoter of their business. Even though lodging “only” accounts for 30% of their business, those visitors tend to spend more than others who may just stop in for a quick tasting.

Quick Tip from Brian: New efforts to send out more segmented emails vs. blanket emails are resulting in less unsubscribes.

What Tools are Recommended for Management and Reporting?

Checking metrics manually is necessary for accuracy. However, there are some favorite tools Emily shared with us for managing social media and running reports:

Report Garden – Marketing Agency Software for Management and Reporting

A Quick Review: This tool gets points for being one of the most flexible when it comes to pulling specific reports that show you what you really want to see.

Reports & Dashboards: Adwords; PPC; SEO; Social Media; Google Analytics

Features: SEO Audit; Invoicing; Proposals; Budgeting; AdFlow; Approvals; Lead Generation

 

Wicked Reports – Get Clarity on What Matters: Customers, Orders, and Revenue

A Quick Review: A must-have tool for viewing the lifetime of a customer. You can also find each paid ad’s real ROI.

Attributions: Email Marketing; Facebook Ads; Google Adwords; Social Media

Features: People based tracking; Customer journey reporting; Chrome extension; CRM, email, & marketing automation integrations

 

Sprout Social – Social media management made easy.

A Quick Review: An excellent choice for staying engaged with all your social media channels in one location.

Integrations: Facebook; Instagram; Twitter; LinkedIn; Google+; UserVoice; Bitly; Google Analytics; Feedly; Zendesk

Platforms: Engagement; Publishing; Analytics; Monitoring; Listening; Automation; Social CRM; Team Collaboration; Account Structure; Mobile

What Should You Spend and Where Should You Spend it?

We already know that social media marketing has become a “pay-to-play” situation, but how much should you budget and where should you spend it? Like everything else, there will be some trial and error. Your metrics will help you decide what is working and what isn’t. But Brian and Emily kindly provided us with a few guidelines to follow:

  • First take inventory of your channels and planned content:
    • Live Video
    • Blog Posts
    • Shared Content
  • Then decide how you want to push them out:
    • Stand-alone ads
    • Boosted posts
    • Carousel Ads
  • Using metrics from the last 30 days, figure out how much you need for your total ad budget to get the desired ROI:
    • $250 per month may be adequate for a small social media campaign.
      • §  $5 should be the minimum on every boosted post with a very targeted audience.
    • $1000 per month budget (minimum) is a great starting place for larger campaigns.
  • Next, divide up the budget:
    • Emily suggests that 10-15% of total ad budget should go towards boosted content.
    • Of your total budget, 75-80% goes to Facebook, 20-25% to Instagram.
    • LinkedIn can be expensive. You will need to budget accordingly if that is where your target audience is.
    • Pinterest is worth a small portion of your budget if you would like to test out some content, depending on relevance.

Final Measurement Takeaways from our Panelists

Brian: Share success and share things that aren’t working. Don’t freak out. Make incremental changes not drastic changes.

Emily: Don’t be afraid to try something new. Challenge yourself. You never know what will take off.

Coming up Next

Investing in your Marketing: Our annual Ahead of the Curve Conference is right around the corner with a full day of information and activities, Thursday, April 12! We’ll start with networking and coffee from 9:00 am – 10:00 am, followed by the conference, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Not enough for you? Enjoy the after-party with happy hour from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm. Get tickets now!

First time attending? Use the code: JOINTHEPARTY for $10 off your ticket! We’ll see you there.