As a fellow small business owner, I share your concerns that, after all the effort and money we put into marketing our product or service offering, it is either being ignored or worse not being seen at all. This feeling is worse when we look at more traditional outlets such as Magazine or Newspaper adverts or even Radio and TV – how do we know they are offering value for money.
After all, no one would object to spending hard earned money on advertising and marketing, if you were certain of a level of return.
Feedback is King
With any of your marketing activities, it is crucial to decide who and therefore where you are placing your effort. Once you have this clear in your mind, you can not only tailor your message but also think about how you will measure the responses coming in. You could simply ask “how did you find us?” or “what prompted you to contact us?” The big issue with this is memory, you need your staff to not only remember to ask but also to remember to write this down somewhere. For peace of mind (or sanity) below are some ideas for more, shall we say, automated tracking systems.
For an email campaign this can be as simple as using a bulk emailer such as Mailchimp which lets you know how many people opened, clicked or un-subscribed. For this to be truly powerful, your email should have a number of contact points, some that send emails to you and others that link to a landing page on your website. These can then be tracked via Google Analytics which I will go into later.
With a traditional advert either in a Magazine or Newspaper, the easiest way is to use an ‘Offer’ or ‘Voucher’ code that has to be given over the phone, or used on your website in the case of Ecommerce. This code could also be used as a build up to a discount. Let me explain – placing one advert for one month in one magazine is unlikely to bring much attention to your company. So, you need to look at placing an advert across at least 3 months to have any chance of being seen, but you can use this to your advantage by giving a three-part offer, such as collect the code from each advert to receive the discount. As long as what you are offering is attractive enough and each advert re-enforces the benefits of dealing with you, then this is a great way of building awareness (think Sun Holidays).
Blogging is probably the easiest of all to track as virtually all Blog Channels, Facebook, Blogger, Tumblr, Linked-in etc. wherever you post to, will have a ‘Read More’ button which links to your website or an ‘Email’ button. You can even place a link within your content pointing to where on your website the Blog is also published. In addition they all have, in one form or another, a ‘number of views’ counter so you can see instantly how many people you have reached and how many have clicked for more information.
So you have attracted some attention and you now know how many people have phoned or clicked on your Blog or Email etc and of these visitors, you need to know how many then went on to look at your website and then call you from there. The easy answer is Google Analytics which, if you do not already have it installed on your website, I strongly recommend you do so immediately. With this free tool you can now see how many visitors went to which page and how they found the page. So from Direct Link, Organic Search, Social, Referral or Other, you can even see how they move through your website, to really check on how effective your marketing has been i.e. are they finding out more information about your company or have a look and then leave?
There is only so much we can cover within this blog, but hope that the above at least partly puts your mind at rest about how you can maximise your Marketing returns.
Creatively Yours Ltd helps businesses like yours succeed online through website design, website development, and our Helponomics system that offers support and training as you need it and highlights areas that could increase your sales.