social media marketing

This is a guest post by Katleen Richardson of Marketing AdvantEdge
If you’ve been in business for a while and have only recently started to develop your online presence, the idea of having to measure your online marketing performance can be daunting. Even for those who have more experience in the world of conducting business online, trying to compare your online and offline measurements can seem tricky.  It’s important to remember, though, that these two aspects of your marketing strategy are fundamentally the same.  For both, ROI is the most important factor, and in both cases you’re going to be most interested in these core metrics:

        

  • response rate
  •     

  • lead conversion rate
  •     

  • sales conversion rate
  •     

  • average deal size
  •     

  • gross revenue
  •     

  • expenses

There is one aspect exclusive to online measurement that gets a little complicated, however – social media performance.  Calculating your social media influence, one of the core social media metrics, can be done in a number of ways.  Here’s one that works well:
volume of content x number of comments x number of shares x net reach = influence
When assessing your net reach, take the deduped audience you have across all social media channels.  In other words, a person who follows you on both Facebook and Twitter is only counted as one person.
In order to get meaningful measurements across online and offline channels while, at the same time, managing your work load, start by choosing a core of five metrics that you’re going to track from month to month consistently.  This creates a solid base from which to make comparisons, and will help to keep you from getting overwhelmed.  Keep in mind that whatever you decide to track needs to tie back to both your marketing objectives and your overall business objectives.
Here are a couple of principles to help you tie it all together:

        

  1. Make sure each offline component can be tied back to an online component.  Let’s take, for example, QR codes used on brochures.  If you embed QR codes with URLs created with a URL shortening service, you can then track the performance of the shortened URL.  Look at the number of hits on the URL against the total distribution run of the brochures to measure the overall response rate.
  2.     

  3. Let KPI and media mix reports help steer you.  These reports should be reviewed every month, both within marketing and across the company, to help you make adjustments in the course of your marketing strategy.  The KPI report should include whatever metrics tie back to marketing and company goals.  For the media mix report, take the metrics listed above and apply them to each of your marketing channels, including SEO, advertising, direct mail campaigns, landing pages, and so forth.

If you really want to get strong analytics in place that will cover all your bases, your best bet is most likely going to be a marketing automation system.  These days, there’s no reason not to – there’s a variety of choices out there that cover a full spectrum of requirements, even if you’re on a tight budget.  All you need to do is find the system that gives you the most appropriate options for your situation, and you’ll be well on your way.
Kathleen RichardsonKatleen Richardson (marketing-advantedge.com) is an experienced leader who builds integrated strategies combining research, data analysis and creative thinking. She has delivered successful solutions for the publishing, financial and telecommunications industries, as well as for conference and training companies, and professional associations. Her approach is to design customer focused, cost-effective solutions based on cross functional collaboration and results-based metrics.

In your rush to get as many Likes, Follows, Connections and +1’s as you can, have you thought about how you are going to turn those fans and friends into leads and sales? This 13 minute video introduces you to the tools you need. You’ll learn:

  1. What are the components of social conversion?
  2. What is a Social Media Landing Page?
  3. What is the difference between an on-network and off-network strategy?
  4. What can you do with Facebook applications to increase conversion rates?

Watch on YouTube

This was originally presented at PubCon Las Vegas and you can see me at PubCon Hawaii in 2012.

 

Every week I share with you the articles and posts from the world of online sales conversion that educate and inspire me. It is offered to you for further study.

How To Build a High Converting Landing Page: Rules, Process and Critique – ConversionXL

Nov 18, 2011 12:02 am
Here’s a good check list for designing a landing page.
Tags: landing page landing pages
read more

Email marketing frequency and cadence defined | DMA Email Marketing Council Blog

Nov 15, 2011 09:54 pm
@tawatson This is a smart way to look at email frequency, or cadence by comparing it to a British telephone ring. I especially like having a “maximum time between emails.”
Tags: email frequency email marketing
read more

PubCon: Social Media Conversion Optimization with Brian Massey | Search Engine Journal

Nov 15, 2011 02:35 pm
This is a nice summary of my @PubCon Masters Group Training. You can watch the free 14 minute video of my PubCon “Social Moonshine” presentation at http://conversci.com/vuh8
Tags: conversion social media optimization apps landing pages
read more

A New Way to Create Urgency and Social Proof on Product Pages « Get Elastic Ecommerce Blog

Nov 13, 2011 10:43 pm
While this article focuses on urgency and social proof, take a look at the way this Ruby Lane product page is designed.

  1. Price is prominently displayed
  2. Add to Cart button is high on the page
  3. Shipping is handled before entering checkout
  4. The product description is near the hero shot (and well written)
  5. Several high-quality photos are provided.

All are above the fold or close to it. Are you working this hard to help your visitors buy?
Tags: product pages conversion shipping e-commerce abandonment social proof
read more

Tim Ash presented his view of getting people to take action in a world that is hyper social. He starts us off with a discussion of “Commitment” and even had the audience stand and commit to implement at least one of his recommendation.
That action alone significantly increased the likelihood that we would take some action.
This was captured live by yours truly.

Measuring Social Media

 Click to enlarge.

Tim Ash Conversion in a Social World Infograph

The common wisdom among social media marketers is “put links to your social media everywhere.” The idea is that you should build as big a social media “tribe” as possible.
As it turns out, this isn’t always a good plan.
If you’re paying for traffic to your Web site – and what traffic doesn’t require some cash, blood, sweat or tears to earn – then why would you send it off to Facebook or YouTube or LinkedIn to disappear forever?
You wouldn’t. But you might be.
In my Search Engine Land article How Mark Zuckerberg Stole Your Search Traffic & What To Do About It, I show you how your social media advertisements may be costing you conversions.
I also show you how to use social media in a conversion-safe way.
Read the entire article
Brian Massey, The Conversion Scientist teaches businesses of all sizes how to get more leads and sales from the traffic coming to their Web site.
Contact Brian Massey

Our social media avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our Web site, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.

We are well into the digital publishing world. I am fortunate to have my work appear several times a month in a variety of places.

Yet, I still love to see my mug in print, I don’t know why.

So, my digital friend, I thought I would share my mention from Chief Content Officer Magazine (free subscription) and fill in a few more details on the method to my headshot madness.

Your Social Media Avatar and Conversion Tips.

Your Social Media Avatar and Conversion Tips.

The Conversion Scientist’s Social Media Avatar Tips

1. Include something unusual in the image, something representative of your personal brand.

I wear the lab coat in every shot, even if it isn’t showing much. The human mind remembers such things.

2. Control the viewer’s eyes with your eyes.

Eye-tracking studies have shown that our gaze is drawn to faces that are looking at us. In fact, we may stare at a pretty girl long enough to forget why we came to your page in the first place. Have several versions of your headshot and aim your eyes at things you want people to see: calls to action, content, headlines, etc.

3. Be unexpected.

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One of the things we want to do is engage the mind of the viewer. Things that will light up someone’s brain activity are the unexpected, off-center and the need to “fill in” an image.

4. Consider integrating action.

You can tell a story with a one-frame headshot. So, tell it. What am I doing in this shot?

I’m talking to an audience. I must be a presenter. Why, yes, I am! But, what am I holding (unexpected)?

I’m going in for the hug! That means I’m a connector, right??

Other avatar actions: Being passionate, banging a table, thinking deeply, contributing at a homeless shelter.

Our avatars don’t have to be boring, and in fact they can be quite instrumental in engaging with visitors to our website, Facebook profile, Twitter stream and more.

Hand-drawn avatar courtesy Kathleen McElwaine.

Headshot logo by David Holston.

Headshots by Korey Howell Photography.

Image with mic courtesy Eugene Hsu.
Contact Brian Massey

Jeffrey Eisenberg is not afraid to ruffle a few feathers.

He gave us his unique view on Social Media as only a expert with his experience can at the Keynote at PubCon Austin 2011. Here are my notes from his presentation captured as a real-time Instagraph.

Social Media Conversion

INFOGRAPH: Jeffrey Eisenberg on Social Media and Conversion

INFOGRAPH: Jeffrey Eisenberg on Social Media and Conversion

As you might expect, I work with a number of eCommerce sites. Companies that sell things online is a faaaaaast moving target, so I’m glad to have folks like Willo O’Brien to keep me up to date on best practices.

Warning: You’re being left behind by some very innovative companies.

Which companies? Check out my notes form her SXSW presentation Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Online.

Click to Enlarge

INFOGRAPH-Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Online

INFOGRAPH-Social Shopping: The Future of Selling Online

Also from SXSW: 63 Great Subject Lines from the SXSW Catalog

Get more sales from the traffic you’re getting today. Sign up for a free consultation with The Conversion Scientist.

Brian

Here is a guide to how your blog can draw qualified traffic to your website via search, social media and email.

Does your blog squirt or erupt?

I got some inspiration from an unlikely place for my column on content marketing: the American Museum of Natural History in New York I was drawn there because I thought they were having an exhibit all about me. It turns out that the exhibit was called “Introducing the Brain,” not “Introducing Brian.” The exhibit did not have anything to say on what part of the brain causes dyslexia.

But, scientists love museums, and so I looked around. There was an entire room dedicated to the earth, from it’s heat-formed rocks to it’s carbon-choked atmosphere.

My next thought was “this is just like content marketing.” I’m sure you would have had the same thought. If you didn’t, you’ll soon understand.

Read my complete thoughts on the matter over at ClickZ to understand how a blog-cano can generate copious amounts of search, social media and email goodness for your business.

What does a geologist know about online marketing? Probably not much, but a geologist can give us a handy model for a content marketing strategy that is easy to implement and potentially explosive.

The Geology of a Content Marketing Strategy: How is a Blog Like a Volcano?

How is a Blog Like a Volcano?

How a Blog Is Like a Volcano

At the most basic level, a blog spews content like a volcano spews lava. The content typically emerges in pyroclastic flows fed from a content magma chamber deep inside.

It is the release of this magma – the content – that determines the pace at which the mountain grows. A mountain with a large magma chamber can be expected to erupt more frequently and more violently.

Like a blog, our volcanic mountain becomes more visible as it rises higher and higher into the top levels of the atmosphere. It can become visible very quickly to nearby villages, executive offices in neighboring cities…and to search engines.

Clearly, we can learn a few lessons from our geological friends. My question is, “How can we get our blog-cano to erupt more frequently and spread our content as far as possible?”

Have a Big Magma Chamber

You’ve got to have a plan for a steady flow of content. Your blog-cano is the heart of your content marketing strategy and can power your social marketing strategy, lead generation strategy, and search engine optimization.

The beauty of blogging is that it’s a more casual medium. Your blog content doesn’t have to be bibliographed articles. It doesn’t require your subject matter experts to be writing constantly. In fact, blog content can come from many sources: presentations, case studies, and even geology textbooks. Much blogging is simply commenting on others’ writing, which we call “curating content” for your audience.

I’m not saying that your posts don’t have to be valuable. Lava must be hot to flow. But, it must flow constantly or your blog-cano won’t grow fast enough and you won’t be able to implement some of the more explosive strategies I discuss here.

Bringing Tourists to the Slope of Mount Blogitubo

All a blog is really going to get you is an RSS feed. While your RSS feed is going to power some very helpful strategies, there aren’t going to be a lot of people reading your posts via feed reader.

Search engines, however, love blogs.

With a little geologic surveying, we can help the search engines find our naturally keyword-rich content. They will, in turn, send us tourists.

Choose a blogging platform that is search-engine friendly. Don’t just use the content management system that your corporate site is built on.

Definitely put your blog on the same domain as your corporate website so both benefit from the search engine “juice” you create.

If you have the resources, you can identify your most valuable keywords and purposefully incorporate them into your blog posts and titles. Search ClickZ for search engine optimization best practices.

Eruptions Are Worth Spreading

With a little technology, you can rain content down on people far and wide. Your Mount Blogsuveous is capable of powering engaging social media outreach, drawing qualified traffic, and growing your social networks. This can be largely automated with services like Ping.fm and Twitterfeed. Tools like HootSuite and Spredfast will help you share your content on the most popular social networks. (Disclosure: Spredfast provides its service to the author at no charge.)

Because these posts, tweets, and status updates contain a link back to your content, you can actually measure the clicks and conversions generated by your social media outreach, and this can justify production of more magma.

Spreading the Explosive Energy of Your Blogatoa

Tourists coming from social media and search are nice, but they always go back home. What if they could take a piece of the mountain home with them?

It turns out that well-qualified tourists will want to continue to receive your blava (blog-lava) and you can easily deliver that with e-mail. Ask visitors to give you an e-mail address and you can automatically power an e-mail newsletter with remarkable frequency.

Here is where your RSS feed really comes in handy. There are services that will monitor your blog for the new posts arising from your blogma (blog-magma) chamber. On a set schedule, these services will pull the content from the feed, wrap it in a nice template, and send it to your list by e-mail.

Ask your e-mail service provider (ESP) if they have an RSS-to-e-mail service. MailChimp andAWeber provide such a service. Consider FeedBurner or FeedBlitz if your ESP can’t help.

This strategy is great for considered purchases or any product or service in which the need is unpredictable. It keeps you front-and-center when it’s time for the tourists to pick their next destination.

Flow Over to Your Corporate Website

The final place on which you can rain your explosive content is on the corporate website. These sites are typically designed like a brochure, written in a “me,” “we,” and “us” style.

Blava content is generally more educational, informational, and entertaining. It’s created for the reader, and will really grab the attention of someone who is early in their decision-making process.

There are a variety of widgets available to display blog titles on your corporate site, and visitors will find this content more compelling than your recent press releases. Make sure that your blog gives them an obvious way to get back to the corporate site.

The Center of a Hub

Once these parts are in place, our blog-cano has become the center of a powerful, largely automated hub of influence. However, the system is only as powerful as our blog content. Post frequency is the best predictor of blog readership growth that I’ve seen. You should post at least once per week, in my opinion.

Remember that your editorial calendar is your magma chamber, the source of all blog-cano power. Find the resources to post helpful content frequently and you will empower search, social media, and e-mail to drive more business to your door.

Brian Volcano

 

You check into a discount hotel only to find it bug-ridden and run-down, and the staff is indifferent to your discomfort. What do you do? You can ask the indifferent staff for help, call management, write a stern letter… or write a review.

This is the premise on which Jay Baer and Amber Naslund begin their presentation at MarketingProfs Digital Marketing Forum in Austin. The authors of The Now Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social take us through the promise and pitfalls of social media that most any business must consider… now.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

INFOGRAPH: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster and More Social

INFOGRAPH: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Smarter, Faster and More Social

CLICK TO ENLARGE