March 01, 2014 by
Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are quantifiable measurements that reflect critical success factors for an organization. They are the handful of key metrics that help you understand how your company or brand are doing against objectives. KPI’s are the actionable scorecard that keeps your strategy on track.
In the Harvard Business Review, Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup, says social media measurements are “vanity metrics,” and are a waste of time. Why? Because a million Twitter Followers or Facebook Likes is always going to fail the “so what” test with any CEO.
But even CEO’s would be interested to know social media has proven marketing isn’t a monologue, but a conversation. And marketing is more effective that way.
KPI’s prove this conclusion because KPI’s are set up to explain:
- ACTION: Revenue, sales, retention and growth rates
- INFLUENCE: Perceptions and attitudes of customers
- ENGAGEMENT: Participation, interaction and frequency that secures new customers
- EXPOSURE: Reach and awareness
Are social media measurements “vanity metrics?” Or do they pass the stricter criteria required of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that keep business strategy on track?
Decide for yourself. Here are 45 KPI’s every social media marketer should know:
ACTIONS: Key metrics that explain and recurring revenue (not on a one-time basis). Possible KPI’s include:
- Sales Volume
- Profit (Net, Gross or Margin)
- Customer Retention
- Conversion Rate
- Operating Expense Ratio
- Debt-to-Equity Ratio
INFLUENCE: Key metrics here explains insights into customers. What keeps them coming back or why do they leave. In addition to customers, employees fit into this category as actions of employees also have recurring revenue value.
- Customer Satisfaction Rate
- Net Promoter Score (NPS)
- Customer Retention Rate
- Customer Turnover Rate
- Customer Annual or Lifetime Value
- Customer Reviews
- Customer Ratings
- Customer Advocacy (testimony regarding customer experience reflected in blogs or on social networks)
- Customer Influence (impact based on Followers, Friends or Klout score )
- Sentiment Analysis (positive or negative, objective or emotional reaction)
- Text Analytics (Specific text or words that trigger influence)
- Employee Turnover Rate
- Company Reviews and Ratings by Employees (on social network or sites like Glassdoor)
ENGAGEMENT: Metrics in this area explain who is most likely to pursue a relationship with the organization or brand.
- Cost Per Lead
- Unique Visitor to Website
- Bounce Rate from website
- E-mail Open Rates and Click-Through Rates
- Social Share of Voice (SOV)
- Participation Rate (in online, social conversations and in LinkedIn discussion groups)
- Likes to People Talking About Ratio (on Facebook)
- Clicks on Links (that lead to website or actions)
- Time of Response (to people participating and engaging with organization or brand)
EXPOSURE: Measurements track awareness and preliminary interest in a company or brand
- Search Engine Ranking (SERP) by primary keywords
- Indexed Pages (on search engines)
- Links (to website)
- CPC (Cost-per-click) for paid search or social advertising
- Email List Size
- YouTube Views
Social media measurements have a role in any organization to explain influence and engagement that produces primary business actions. They also have value for audience profiling and listening.
With this perspective, maybe even Likes and Followers, could pass the “so what” test with a CEO.
Do you think social media measurements are “vanity metrics?” Do you have KPI’s in place for your business?
February 24, 2014 by
- 54% of people come to a website from a search engine (source: Forrester)
- 94% of search engine users click on organic or natural search results (source: Search Engine Watch)
- 34% click on the website in the 1st position; 95% click on search results from the 1st page (source: Prokell SEO)
These facts indicate, if you do business on the internet, a top rank on search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing) is a primary requirement.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine for particular keywords.
But even the best SEO strategy and execution takes time to achieve results – generally 2 to 6 months depending on the steps you take and the competition for the keywords you pursue.
So what are you waiting for? Here are 11 tips and tools to jump-start your SEO.
- DEFINE WHAT YOU WANT PEOPLE TO DO: Just getting to a top rank doesn’t produce sales. But subscribing to an email, downloading product information, registering for a trial offer or buying something from your site does. So be clear what you want people to do when they get to your site. The percent of people who visit your site and take the actions you want is called conversion. Define conversion activities at the start.
- IDENTIFY KEYWORDS THAT MATTER: The currency of the internet is keywords. Consumers tell you what they want in the query box of search engines. Google Trends tells you what keywords consumers use and when. For example, my friend, Ellie Badanes, founded an e-commerce business that sells pajamas called The Pajamas Company. Keyword results from Google Trends indicate pajamas is a highly seasonal business but the type of pajamas people search for has changed over the years. This is very valuable information for how to market a brand.
- FIND SEARCH VOLUME FOR KEYWORDS: Now that you know the keywords that matter, use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner, WordSteam or Wordtracker to get search volume for specific keywords. So you know exactly how many times people search for a specific keyword.
- LEARN FROM THE COMPETITION: You can compare your keywords to competitors through online resources like Alexa (free) and Compete (paid). This guides you and helps with differentiation for your brand. Let’s go back to the pajamas company. The keywords, kid pajamas, drive traffic but it may also be a keyword for big brands like Walmart or Land’s End. They’re always going to have a higher rank than most companies. You might need to add a word to kid pajamas to state a certain kind of material or emphasis a particular brand. This refers to “long-tail” vs. “short tail” keywords. It’s a way the little guys can compete with the big guys and win because the appeal is more direct to consumers looking for what you have to offer and conversion rates are higher.
- DETERMINE WHERE TO PUT KEYWORDS ON YOUR SITE: Now that you know what keywords to emphasize, you need to know where to put them on your site. The best places to put keywords are in the: URL, Title Tag, Meta Description, Headers and Subheader, Page content, Anchor text and Alt text. It’s important to give the right signals to the search engines but they don’t buy your product, people do. So, strong content is equally important to the placement of keywords.
- IDENTITY AUTHORITATIVE LINKS: Keywords provide relevance but search engine raise your rank if you’re seen as an authority in your field. Authority is gained from websites that use links to reference your site. Majestic SEO lets you know the sites that link into your site and their authority. This gives you an idea for the type of sites you should feature. Link building in an important part of your SEO strategy
- KNOW THE NUMBER OF PAGES YOUR SITE IS INDEXED: It’s important to achieve a top rank on search pages. It’s also important to know how many search pages your site is listed. This is known as the number of pages your site is indexed. Marketing Grader from HubSpot can tell you.
- USE CONTENT MARKETING TO RAISE YOUR RANK: The use of a blog on your website creates another web page with each blog post. This is another opportunity to place keywords, links, get indexed on more search pages and, most important, give information visitors look forward to getting.
- GENERATE OUTREACH AND VISIBILITY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA: Your social network pages like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ not only provide outreach but additional ranking on search pages so your business can appear multiple times on a search page.
- MEASURE PROGRESS REGULARLY: Set up a measurement plan. Look at the rank of the keywords regularly to how you’re progress. Examine the authority of the links and the number of pages indexed. In the Google Anlaytics of your website, see if more website traffic is coming from search engines.
- DETERMINE THE ROI OF SEO: Companies spend a lot of time and money on SEO but does it “show you the money?” If you’ve set up a measurement plan, defined conversion activities and worked at the execution, you have what tools to know the ROI of SEO.
These tips and tools are some of what you learn in the Biznology JumpStart Workshop on Search Marketing. It’s designed so you and your company learn the skills and see the ROI of SEO.
Did these tips and tools help you see how to jump-start your SEO?
February 16, 2014 by
Buyer Personas are examples of the real buyers who influence or make decisions about the products, services or solutions you market. They are a tool that builds confidence in strategies to persuade buyers to choose you rather than a competitor or the status quo.
Buyer Personas are extremely useful for developing and evaluating messaging, content and offers that differentiate your brand from competitors. They are a foundation for any business that relies on customer acquisition, conversion and retention which, of course, is every business.
The best personas are created from real surveys and interviews – not from ballpark guesses, conjecture or assumptions. To get you started on creating Buyer Personas for your brand, HubSpot offers a free template: Marketer’s Guide to Creating Buyer Personas.
To convince you it’s worthwhile, here are 31 business building benefits of Buyer Personas.
TARGETING AND POSITIONING
- Gives you a target for all prospects and customers
- Can’t effectively market a product or service if you don’t know who you are trying to communicate with
- Positions your products as relevant and worthy of consideration
- Provides valuable insights for prospecting, performing market research, targeting advertising, website design, usability testing and keywords for SEO
- Gives a deeper understanding and models buying behaviors of buyers and customers
- Creates higher quality lead generation
- Avoids wasting time on those less of a fit
MESSAGING AND MEDIA
- Gives you the information and perspective you need to make objective decisions about how to craft your marketing messages
- Focuses marketing and advertising efforts
- Creates compelling content and offers
- Helps determine the platforms and media you use
- Enables content to be created to meet the targeted needs of each profile and speaks directly to the needs of each persona.
- Gives a framework to have informed discussions about who your customers are, how they behave, and what they want
- Helps make better connections through a common, focused understanding of an ideal customer’s common attributes, motivations, challenges and concerns
- Helps to speak to buyers and customers in their language
- Helps to be smarter at interpreting the digital behavior of our buyers and customers
PURCHASE MOTIVATIONS IN THE BUYING PROCESS
- Gets a grasp of your prospect’s buying behavior
- Enables you to details each step in the buying process
- Are the blueprint for resources required to make a purchase decision
- Gives insight into how to foster interaction
- Relates to understanding how buying takes place and what is their critical buying path-to-purchase
- Allows you to truly tailor your marketing messages so you can get the best possible response at every touch point in the buying cycle
- Puts everyone in the company on the same page with respect to messaging and communications
- Won’t get the best return on your investment unless you conduct the fundamental research that tells you which customers are most likely to make a purchase and what you can say or do to increase the likelihood of a sale
- Allows you to develop the most cost-effective marketing strategy based on how potential customers are most likely to act
- Develops a deep awareness of their day-to-day routine, challenges, goals and other insights into the type of person they are
- Helps the marketing team better assess their segmentation, messaging and program strategies
- Aligns your sales process and communicate with prospects on a more meaningful level
- Improves the quality and quantity of conversations with your customers
- Are critical for the creation of any marketing content and campaigns that deliver conversations, especially for use with marketing automation tools and their industry-specific buying tracks
HUMAN FACE FOR SALES AND MARKETING
- Gives a human face to a collection of abstract data
In my experience, 3 to 4 Buyer Personas usually account for 90%+ of a company’s sales. This is the case with two of our clients, Global Partners and Virtual Incentives.
Do you know the Buyer Personas for your brand? Do you think it’s worth knowing them? Are you ready to develop them to build your business?
February 09, 2014 by
- 81% of marketers use email for lead generation (source: Marketing Sherpa)
- 60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI (source: Litmus)
- $1 spent on email marketing returns $44.25 on the investment (source: Experian)
These and other statistics show email marketing is a very worthwhile investment. As the numbers and chart show, most marketers see the return. Plus, it’s gratifying to build an audience that looks forward to hearing from you.
How do you create an email list that builds your brand? The most important requirement is quality content, relevant to your audience.
If you’re up for the task, here are 23 tips to a create a killer email list that builds your brand.
MAKE IT SIMPLE TO SUBSCRIBE FROM YOUR WEBSITE
- PUT AN EMAIL “SUBSCRIBE” BOX “ABOVE THE FOLD.” The best place is the upper right. They are easy to install from any email marketing service like Constant Contact, Mail Chimp or iContact.
- OFFER SOMETHING OF VALUE: Provide an incentive like an offer, free trial, video or eBook. This site offers a free eBook, 166 Case Studies Prove Social Media Marketing ROI. 90,000+ people have downloaded it. If you download it (no information is required) and like it, please consider subscribing to our email through the subscribe box right about it.
- CONSIDER POP UPS BOXES AS VISITORS ENTER OR EXIT: I’m not the biggest fan of Pop-Ups because they can scare away new visitors, but, as the chart above shows, I’m wrong. They also can be timed as visitors come or go and are relatively easy to install as a plug-in.
- SUBSCRIBE VIA COMMENTS: When someone comments on your blogs, why not ask if they would like to subscribe to your email. If they value your content, most generally want to continue to hear from you.
- SUBSCRIBE VIA CHECK OUT: If you sell products on your website, give customers the option to continue to receive news, offers and other relevant information at check out.
- KEEP INFORMATION REQUESTS SIMPLE AND VERY BRIEF: Even just an email address often reveals a lot, so limit the amount of information you request to get the maximum number or responses.
REACH NEW AUDIENCES WITH RELEVANT CONTENT
- DO GUEST BLOGGING: Gain some attention by blogging on websites that attract the audience you’re seeking. I guest blog for Mike Moran’s Biznology and Mark Shaefer’s Grow blog. We teach together on the MBA Faculty of Rutgers CMD. We’re colleagues, not competitors, and share similar audiences.
- REGISTER WITH A BLOG SEARCH ENGINE: To reach people who are searching on your particular topic, you can register for Technorati and Alltop. This website is registered with the latter for both Marketing and Social Media.
- RUN A WEBINAR: Participate in a webinar or run your own. Invite a guest. Promote on their email list as well as yours. Offer sponsorships for the webinar to gain additional email lists. Here’s an example of a webinar BarnRaisers conducted with Biznology, 12 Myths vs. Reality on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
- FIND SUBSCRIBERS OFFLINE: Don’t focus only on online followers. Potential sign-ups are people you meet at events and trade shows.
- RUN AN ADWORDS CAMPAIGN: Do some keyword research to see if your newsletter is a good match for search queries, even get free Google AdWords credits. Measure through the Google Analytics for your website.
- ADD A QR CODE TO SUBSCRIBE ON YOUR BUSINESS CARD: Or your print marketing collateral that people can scan on their smartphones to opt in to your email database. 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices (source: TopRankBlog)
- ASK YOUR CURRENT EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS FOR HELP: You could segment to ask current subscribers (e.g. highest open rates, longest subscribers or highest click rates) or you could ask your whole list. Just ask: Did this help you?
HAVE FANS HELP BUILD YOUR LIST
- ADD AN EMAIL APP TO YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE: Use a Facebook app like ShortStack to enable you to ask for people to join your email list on Facebook.
- RUN A SWEEPSTAKES, CONTEST OR GIVEAWAY ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE: There are many promotion apps for sweepstakes, contests and offer on Facebook. Some we recommend are Heyo, Strutta and WooBox. They all require email addresses on the entry form and an opt-in to receive email newsletters
- DO “FAN GATING” FOR YOUR GIVEAWAY: Many of the promotion app require “Fan Gating” where entrants have to “Like” your Facebook page to participate. This also helps email subscriptions.
- LINK FROM YOUTUBE VIDEOS: At the end of each of your videos, make sure you have an end card and a linked annotation to your website to join your list.
- PUT PRESENTATIONS ON SLIDE SHARE PRO: The premium version of Slideshare offers a Pop-Up Box to capture emails and leads. Slideshare is often underrated but can be very effective for not only creating attention about your blog but capturing leads.
- CREATE A TWITTER CAMPAIGN: Promote an offer like an eBook or a free resource to your followers that requires an email address to redeem
- TARGET OFFERS ON YOUR LINKEDIN COMPANY PAGE: Or in appropriate LinkedIn Groups, or recommend an offer as the answer to someone’s question in LinkedIn Answers.
- USE PINTEREST TO PROMOTE OFFER: Pin useful information to generate new leads and grow your email list.
- PROMOTE OFFERS AND EMAIL SIGNUP ON GOOGLE+: Make use, through your Google+ Business Page, of your Google+ updates and your Google+ about section for email subscriptions.
FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE
- JUST ASK: You’d be surprised how many opportunities to grow a list are missed simply because no one thought to ask.
Do these tips help you? Did they teach something new? Would you consider subscribing to our email or sharing this blog post with a friend or colleague?
February 04, 2014 by
More B2C and B2B companies plan to increase spending in email marketing this year than any other media channel according to StrongView.
If you’re like most people, a reason you opened this email is you look at your emails between 6 and 20 times a day. That’s just on your computer. On a smartphone, you could be checking up to 150 times a day says ABC News.
So maybe it’s not surprising so many companies are investing in email marketing. How effective is email marketing? Here are 35 stats that may surprise the sh_t out of you.
- 4325% Return on Investment (ROI). For every $1 spent, $44.25 is the average return on email marketing investment (source: Experian)
- 158% higher click-through rate occurs with emails that include social sharing buttons (source: GetResponse)
- People who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers (source: Convince and Convert)
- 91% of consumers check their email at least once a day (source: ExpressPigeon)
- 84% of all email traffic will be spam in 2014. (source: The Radicati Group)
- 82% of consumers open emails from companies (source: Litmus)
- 78% Of U.S. email users will access their emails via mobile by 2017.(source: Forrester)
- 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile (Litmus)
- 64% of decision-makers read their email via mobile devices (source: TopRankBlog)
- 77% of us want to get marketing messages via email. There’s no close second (source: MarketingLand)
- 76% of email opens occur in the first two days after an email is sent (source: Alchemy Worx)
- 72% of B2B buyers are most likely to share useful content via email (source: Earnest Agency)
- 70% say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week. (source Blue Kangaroo)
- 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimized for mobile (source: Litmus)
- 66% of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an email marketing message (Direct Marketing Association)
- 64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line (source: SalesForce)
- 61% of B2B marketing professionals worldwide said CTR was the most useful metric for analyzing email campaign performance, compared with 48% of business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers. (source: Ascend2)
- 60% of marketers believe email marketing produces positive ROI (source: Marketing Sherpa)
- 60% of marketing emails sent on Thanksgiving Day were opened on smartphones (source: MarketingLand)
- 59% of companies are integrating email and social channels together (source: eConsultancy)
- 48% of marketers don’t know what percentage of their emails are read via a mobile device. (Source: eConsultancy)
- 40% of B2B marketers rated the leads generated by email marketing as high quality. (source: Software Advice Survey)
- 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email. (source: eConsultancy)
- 35% of business professionals check email on a mobile device (source: Convince and Convert)
- 27% of consumers were more likely to say their favorite companies should invest in more email. (source: ExactTarget)
- 25% of emails are opened on iPhones (source: Email Client Market Share)
- 23% higher open rate occurs with personalized subject lines (source: adestra)
- 17% of marketers don’t track or analyze email metrics for their organization (source: MEC Labs)
- 13% of execs are now primarily checking their email via a mobile device: less than half of websites/emails are optimized for customers to view or respond to via handheld resources. (Source: MarketingSherpa)
- Only 11% of emails are optimized for mobile (source: Equinux)
- 10% more women click on mobile emails than men (source: TailoredMail)
- Only a mere 2% of marketers rated leads generated from email marketing as ‘high cost,’ representing the lowest cost channel. (Source: Software Advice Survey)
- 3.6 billion new email accounts are expected to be opened this year; by 2016, the nmber is expected to be 4.3 billion (source: The Radicati Group)
- 2X higher open rates occur on mobile devices versus desktop (source: MarketingLand)
- Monday emails had the highest revenue per email (source: Experian)
These stats prove to me email marketing is one of the most reliable investments a marketer can make. They also prove its worth taking the time to do it and measure it well.
What do they prove to you? Are they a surprise?