By Sharon L. Hadden on December 19, 2017
The new year is just around the corner, and while some women in business are still engrossed in the holiday uproar, others are beginning to take a look at what worked, what didn’t and the improvements needed for 2018.
If you’re among those who are looking ahead, you may be wondering what’s the best way to measure marketing effectiveness. We broke down a few of the common problems plaguing small business owners, and deliver the answers here.
Problem: I want more social media followers, and more engagement, but I can't tell what's working and what's not.
First, have patience. Social media is an ever-changing landscape, so if results vary from week to week, that’s normal. Most social media platforms have a robust analytics dashboard that you can use to review the success (or lack thereof) of your marketing efforts.
Start by reviewing what posts went out on the weeks you had great success. Then, take a look at the posts that no one took any action on. Did you do anything differently between successful and “non-successful” weeks on social?
Facebook allows you to export reports for a range of dates, to track follower growth and engagement. Let’s say you were marketing a subscription box this year. Look for patterns in content that was liked and shared the most. Were followers most engaged on a certain day? Certain hour? Certain time of year?
Use these insights to plan stronger social content in 2018. Also make a point to measure your content performance more frequently, so you can determine what's working and what's not, in real-time.
Problem: My social media followers aren't converting into paying customers.
First, check to see if you're sending followers directly to webpages they can buy from. It’s common practice to direct followers to the homepage of your website, but if you’re optimizing for sales, don’t leave anything to chance. Send followers straight to a product page, or overall shop page, and then measure conversions (or lack thereof) from there.
Content management systems, like Squarespace and Wordpress, have built-in analytics reports, to show you how much traffic each social network is sending to your website.
As an added layer of measurement, you should also consider creating a free Google Analytics account. Your Google Analytics account will not only allow you to see the source of your website traffic, you can set up reports that document how your customers are navigating through your website.
Once you have an accurate account of which social accounts are sending traffic your way, as well as how followers are navigating your website, you can start to test items that will improve your conversion rates i.e. update the placement of call-to-action buttons; add a pop-up offer that triggers when a customer is about to exit a page, etc.
In order to convert followers into customers, prioritize building trust and giving customers a reason to believe in the quality of your product. Trust will get them on the path to purchase, and a website optimized for sales will help close the deal.
Problem: I have a huge contact list, but people have stopped responding to my emails.
Your contact list is by far one of your most valuable marketing tools, but if your list is no longer engaging with you, it can be frustrating to assess why.
If you’re using an email marketing platform like MailChimp or Constant Contact, review the open rates and click-through rates of all your email campaigns. If you find that certain contacts are consistently not opening emails, it’s time to un-enroll those email addresses, based on low engagement. It may result in a smaller email list for your business, but you’ll feel better knowing that the contacts that remain are interested in the information you have to share with them.
Once you’ve purged your list, run through the same exercise you would to assess social content performance i.e., best performing and worst performing content, days of week, time of the day, season of the year, etc.
If you find that one type of email is performing better than others, try to mimic the format and timeframe that email is sent, to improve performance of other email communications.
Email marketing is all about providing value, and meeting people where they are. If you want to improve open rates and engagement, get to know your audience better, and use their interests, challenges and behaviors as insights, to add value to their daily lives.
Have you found yourself facing some of these challenges? Leave a comment, and let me know. If you’d like someone to take a closer look at your marketing effectiveness, schedule a marketing assessment with our team for an in-depth review on how to measure your marketing.