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:
Profit (Net, Gross or Margin)
Operating Expense 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 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
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?
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?
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.
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’sBiznology and Mark Shaefer’sGrow 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.
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?
If your brand has a website, more people are likely to come to it from search engines than anyplace else according to Forrester.
That means Search Engine Optimization (SEO), a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to secure a high-ranking placement in the search results pages, is as essential means of marketing for anybody doing business on the internet.
Is SEO a science? Or an art? Science is facts or truths systematically arranged showing the operation of general laws. Art is the conscious use of skill and creative imagination.
Here are 11 reasons SEO is a science; 15 reasons it’s an art.
SEO is a science because it operates according to mathematical laws that are statistically reliable and predictive of human behavior.
#1 reason people come to a website is: It showed up on a search engine page when they were looking for something (source: Forrester)
80% of people click on a website that is on the natural or organic side of the search engine page (source: Search Engine Watch)
35% click through to the website that is in the #1 position (source: SEO Book)
Demand for those keywords, if is increasing or decreasing over time, is measurable through Google Trends. So, you can even predict the value both now and in the future.
Search rank of your domain or your competitors’ can be tracked for any keyword or key phrase to help understand the rise or fall in rank by Ispionage or Rank Checker.
Number of links that increase or decrease your authority in a particular area and also influences search rank can be found through Majestic SEO or Alexa.
Value of the links, whether they are high or low value authority, can be determined by SEO Majestic and Marketing Grader.
Machines, or search bots, that do the searches on Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines are programmed to even identify the underlying meanings behind by keywords to returns the most meaningful results. The is called Semantic Search; it is predicted to play a more important role with the Google “Hummingbird” algorithm.
SEO is an art because mathematical models don’t establish business goals, know why your audience buys your product or how to convince them. You do.
Search bot don’t buy your product; people do.
It is impossible to model an algorithm on the needs of human being.
Machines can’t study your niche, know your audience’s Internet surfing habit or their shopping behavior.
Keyword research takes creativity to know what is best for your audience and where there is an opportunity.
People read good content before the read good keywords.
A top rank doesn’t mean people take the action you want unless you’re clear with them on your website.
Good, relevant, quality content is what readers (and algorithms) want. If you focus on this, search visibility follows.
SEO is thinking about how marketing can encompass social, graphic design, link building, content generation, and PR to drive toward a common goal.
SEO and marketing is creating social buzz (especially with Google+).
High value links have to be placed where they are going to be most relevant and cause the most desirable actions
Keywords that flow them seamlessly into your copy are more convincing.
Machines are incapable of storytelling
Titles that convince people have clarity, creativity and imagination. The right keywords and key phrases just happen to be in them.
If you view SEO as a byproduct of good content, high search rank generally follows.
SEO can’t make your business a success, only you can.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience. The objective is to drive and sustain positive and profitable customer actions.
What companies do content marketing well? Where is is found? How do they keep it going? What are results? Why does it work?
Here’s how 15 brands create great content marketing that works.
CHARMIN (MOBILE APP): From P&G, Charmin has a mobile app that helps people find clean public toilets in any city they are at any time.
DOLLAR SHAVE CLUB (VIDEO): Spent $4,500 on a video that got 9.5 million views, 23,000 followers on Twitter and 76,000 Facebook Fans. Most important, they got 12,000 new customers in 2 days.
GENERAL ELECTRIC (ONLINE MAGAZINE): General Electric uses a content tactic called Ecomagination to tell its story of the 132-year-old brand through different content channels.. It is set up as a magazine forum with an experienced managing editor, editor-a-large and editorial staff of writers and journalists. The key metric used to determine the success of this content marketing initiative is sharing.
GENERAL MILLS (COOKING COMMUNITY): For Tablespoon.com, an online resource of cooking and recipes for all levels, General Mills watches numbers on social sites like Pinterest and Facebook. They considered it a success to move from 15 followers on Pinterest to close to 8,000 in about a year.
GOOD GREENS (BLOGGER RELATIONS): Good Greens, gluten free, dairy free, natural super bars with 40 antioxidants and 3 probiotics, was founded by Keith Pabley in 2011. Pabley didn’t have a large marketing budget. Instead, he build relationships with local bloggers to increase the number of reviews, mentions and search engine results for Good Greens. Sales jumped 50% in 4 months.
GUITAR CENTER (YOUTUBE CHANNEL): Their innovative, fun and unique videos speak to a very targeted audience in the ways they want to converse: Through music. The Guitar Center TV Channel on YouTube also seamlessly integrates with the company’s website, provides an open forum for discussions from passionate players and features company promotions.
IBM (GAMIFICATION): IBM has long been a leader in gaming-as-content, breaking new ground with its business simulation game, called “CityOne.” In this game, players solve problems in four key areas – banking, retail, energy and water. To date, “CityOne” has racked up to 18,000 players from more than 130 countries since its launch in 2010, proving simulation gaming may be a powerful new content initiative that can engage, educate and influence.
INDIUM (BLOG SERIES): Sixteen engineers from Indium have discovered content gold with their “From One Engineer to Another” blog. Through it, they produce valuable content, videos and answer questions about a variety of engineering topics (e.g., how to set up and operate the Indium sulfamate plating bath). Even if you don’t know what that means, you can appreciate what they are striving for: to bring ideas to life through interactive conversations.
MAGNOLIA (MINI-MAGAZINE): The family opened Magnolia in 1954 as a photography store. Then they started selling electronics. A fellow named Roger Parker had an idea. With his help, they launched the “Buyer’s Guide Place,” a mini-magazine that educated shoppers on electronics. It transformed their business. Magnolia sold to Best Buy for $87 million.
NIKE (MICROSITE): The Nike Better World microsite uses HTML5 to present content in a hip storyboard-style that amasses all the goodness of the brand and delivers it in an unusual, scrolling format. Best of all? The attention-grabbing “Better World” video is made from “100% recycled advertising.” How green is that?”
ORALBRUSH (VIDEO): Oralbrush had been around for 10 years, begging dentists and retailers to carry their products with limited success – they took off after they launched a $500 video around a “Bad Breath Test.” The Orabrush channel has had over 40,000,000 views, 340,000+ Facebook Fans and 5,000+ Twitter Followers.
RED BULL (MAGAZINE APP): What do you think about when you hear the word “Red Bull?” Energy? Extremism? Excitement? Red Bull has done an excellent job building its brand on a few consistent themes that permeate every aspect of the company, from goofy cartoon ads to rockin’ live events.
STARBUCKS (USER GENERATED CONTENT): Starbucks launched an online community – mystarbucksidea.com to promote communication between the company and it’s customers. The community is used by Starbucks to review and promote ideas. With 3 million visitors and 60,000 ideas from customers, “we used to launch a new product and it cost millions of dollars. Now, when we launch a new product, we already have millions of fans,” say Chris Bruzzo, Vice President Brand, Content and Online at Starbucks.
TARGET (COUPON MAILERS): These mailers, called “Haiku-pons,” contained discounts and coupons served up with brief, creative Haiku poems. This is a great example of how to use humor and a unique approach to an otherwise traditional marketing medium – print – to make your content marketing initiatives stand out. Spicing up the home mailersgave Target a bit of an edge, offering up a dose of personality to brighten up mailboxes.
Many of these examples have been going for years. It proves, when there is relevant content that your audience gets involved with and shares, content marketing is one of your productive, profitable and long standing business assets.
Do these examples help you see what content marketing can do for a business? How it can work for yours?