Today I am going to address the million dollar question “how do I get more business?”, this is something everyone who runs a business will ask themselves at some point in their journey and today I will try my best to answer this from a marketing and digital marketing perspective, and touch on some of the pitfalls of marketing that a lot of business owners fall into.
Marketing today is amazing; we as business owners have so many platforms and tools available to us to promote our services (even organically) that simply did not exist in the past however recently I have seen a lot of businesses moaning as organic reach has dropped and paid reach’s cost has increased for the same results, and both of these are true as more businesses competition on these platforms, but this means we have to adapt and get smarter with our marketing to succeed. There are new social media platforms flying up left, right and centre, spiking in popularity, older platforms are adapting and changing, so how do we know where to focus our attention?
There are two key points to succeeding:
- We need to focus our time, resources and effort on marketing that works.
- We need to go with our audience’s attention
How do we know what works?
Measure conversions to get results
This is true of marketing in general, to some extent marketing is a trial and error process, yes you can draw on experience and research to point you in the right direction but you will never fully know whether a particular platform, campaign or ad copy will work until you try it and look at the outcome.
The problem many business owners here face is that the “results” are not always what they seem, the analytics we are provided by platforms and marketing agencies are often full of lots of great figures, which can mislead or be skewed, but really we have to cut through that and measure conversions.
Let me give you an example; when I first started my career I worked for a free weekly editorial and advertising paper, as paper advertising was slowly declining and facebook advertising was gaining momentum the company tried to sell facebook advert campaigns which were then fulfilled by a third party company (this was actually a really great idea to try and and adapt to where consumer attention was, but it did not work out for various reasons which I won’t go into today). These facebook campaigns were sold on the reach metric and subsequently optimised accordingly, so a client would pay for a campaign which was set to achieve a reach of say 50,000 over a period of time, and the campaign would be optimised to make sure it achieved that goal (often with saving budget in mind to an extent), this was problematic for the client as in this instance they are looking at reach as the success metric for their marketing, 50,000 people sounds like a lot to see your advert but if the campaign was shown to people who are never going to be potential customers then it is a waste.
What we really need to measure to get the most from our marketing are conversions; how many sales or leads came from that campaign.
How to measure marketing results
How we can measure the success of our campaigns varies depending on the platform of the campaign, where the conversion happens and technology we use, some of these methods are going to require time and/or resources from us as business owners, but in my opinion if we are serious about our businesses we owe them that much. Below I will outline a few of the more common platforms or conversion locations and how we can track leads in each area, which then can be built into a bigger picture of tracking all our conversions.
Website traffic and analytics – how we will track conversions in this instance requires us to have Google Analytics installed on our site, more information on how to install google analytics can be found here.
At a very basic level we can look at the Acquisition metric of analytics; this shows us the sources from which users have found their way to the website, e.g. social, referral, direct, organic search.
To take this a step further we can use Acquisition as a secondary metric for specific page URLS, so for example we can get analytics to show us where traffic was acquired that reached an /order-received/ URL, or maybe one we have set up for our form completion to redirect to /contact/thanks-for-enquiring/.
To get more advanced we can use UTM links to measure our marketing campaigns, this could be a blog post on it’s own (and probably will be soon) but for now we are just going to touch on the basics. A UTM link is a link to a specific URL with some extra parameters attached on the end which can relay trackable information to google analytics, these parameters are:
A great tool for building UTM links can be found here.
Setting these parameters in a link will allow you to really refine specifically where that traffic is coming from down to the post and you can pair that (as outlined above) with other google analytics data to get an accurate report on which of your marketing efforts are actually successful.
It’s worth mentioning here that within google analytics you can enable ecommerce tracking, this is pretty easy to integrate with most of the more popular ecommerce platforms, for example on wordpress there is a plugin that will integrate with google analytics , this will give you sale related data surrounding conversion rates.
The Facebook pixel – this is a great bit of technology we can put on our website which will help us track conversions for our paid Facebook and Instagram marketing through the ads manager dashboard, seeing which campaigns perform well in terms of conversion events we can set up. This tool also has loads of great features as it can pair up events (conversions, page views, etc) on websites with social media profiles, which means we can retarget specific people or create look-a-like audiences. To install the facebook pixel is simple at the outlay but we can get more in-depth with adding custom events for tracking purposes. Guides on installing the facebook pixel can be found here.
The ‘ask’ – the methods outlined above give us a great indication as to where our conversions are coming from if they come via digital platforms, however they are not 100% fool proof, so it’s always worth asking your leads where they found out about you.
What to compare when marketing
Compare everything, you might find that it’s not the platform that is causing poor results it’s the wrong use of copy for that platform, for example Instagram is a very visual platform and as such it is likely that you want to put out visual content.
Some great things to compare are:
- marketing platforms
- audience selection within those platforms
- advert copy and creative
Go with your audience’s attention.
The second key thing to think about here is; where is your audience’s attention now and where is it going to be.
As well as being experienced in the current marketing platforms and content types, as a marketing agency our success also comes from understanding audience attention, we understand where businesses ideal audiences are now but also quick uptake on where these audiences are going. If you can be early in to a popular new marketing platform you can make the most of organic reach as well as cheaper paid marketing and can also establish yourself easier as a market forerunner.
At the time of writing this post TikTok is currently blowing up, it may already be on the decline in terms of organic reach and increase in cost for paid advertising as more and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon. A few weeks ago we got one of our clients on TikTok (they have a younger audience base) and started making TikTok specific content for them, the first two posts had stats we would typically see on a weeks worth of facebook marketing. This shows you the power of going where user attention is for our businesses.
The only way to get on board with the next big thing at the perfect time is to research and stay up to date with trends, we can then get involved early and measure the results.
If you would like anymore information on anything covered in this article then feel free to comment below or get in touch directly via our contact page or social channels.