Posts Tagged ‘econsultancy’

Social + Website Conversion = Success

website conversionWhat are your goals for social media? At the end of the day, what is social media going to do help drive your business?

Maybe it’s customer service, brand awareness, content distribution or, heck, generating sales leads.

In many cases, social media is leveraged to drive inbound traffic. All the time and energy spent on tweets, updates, shares and pins are intended to get people to your Website.

Then what?

In an ideal world, you’re able to meet their needs. It could be more information about your products or services, it be videos, white papers, blog posts, case studies or memberships/subscriptions.

Whatever the inbound goal, your Website needs to perform or, in other words, it has to be optimized to drive conversions.

Given the importance of conversion, it is interesting to see that 53% of companies spent less than 5% of their marketing budgets on optimization.

This news came was part of the Adobe 2013 Digital Marketing Optimization Survey, which includes analysis by eConsultancy. Adobe interviewed more than 1,800 digital marketers in North America, Europe and Asia.

In many respects, conversion (along with driving sales) is one of the dirty little secrets of social media. We spend a lot of time talking about conversations and engagement but why would a brand do anything if it’s not about boosting the business, particularly the bottom line.

Brands should not be shy about using social to get people to convert (aka take an action). Social media is marketing, and marketing is designed to get potential and existing customers to do things.

The worst thing a brand can do is cut themselves off at the knees by having a great social media program but not having a Website that can take advantage of the traffic generated.

Social media and a Website are a great one-two digital marketing punch. Both parts need to work well and be optimized to turn activity into success.

Social Media is One Weapon Within a Marketing Arsenal

Like anything new and shiny, many brands have fallen in love with social media.

I mean, what’s not to like: social media delivers the power and ability to quickly and easily engage, educate and entertain a global audience to build relationships, goodwill and, hopefully, sales.

At the same time, it is keep in mind that although social media is sexy and glittery, it is not the only game in town. It means brands need to recognize there is such thing as being too in love with social media.

Truth be told, social media is a single quiver in your marketing and sales arsenal. Yes, it is effective and cost-efficient but it is just one of the many tools brands can leverage to reach target audiences.

While social media dominates the spotlight, many traditional tools – TV, radio, newspapers, direct mail, billboards – are still alive and well, as well as the online advertising market, which surpassed $100-billion last year.

This is just anecdotal but there seems to be signs that some brands are scrutinizing their social media activity and what it’s delivering. It doesn’t mean they have fallen out of love with social media but, instead, are trying to figure out the right role within the overall marketing and sales portfolio.

Econsultancy wrote a blog post recently asking if brands were over-estimating the value of social media data. The focus of the post that while data provides good insight, it is important not to completely fall in love with it because there are many other factors that impact a brand’s performance and sales.

As brands take a healthy look at their social media activity, it is a reflection of how social media is maturing and evolving. There is no doubt social media delivers terrific insight, engagement and value, which is why it has become table stakes from a marketing and sales perspective.

At the same time, there is also the question of balance and resource allocation.

For brands to thrive, it is important and necessary for them to have the right amount of focus on the right channels to meet the needs of target audiences. Without a doubt, social media will be a key part of the mix but there are other tools that will happily sit alongside it.

What are your thoughts?

 

When Will Social ROI Become Mandatory?

According to a recent eConsultancy report, 41% of of more than 1,000 companies and agencies surveyed had “no return of investment figure for any of the money they had spent on social channels as of October 2011″, while only 8% could attribute ROI for all their investments in social media.

Translation: It means far too companies are spending money on social media but don’t have a clue about how well it’s being spent. Meanwhile, less than one in 10 companies were tracking ROI on social media.

If the lack of information about ROI strikes you as strange, it should. In most, if not all business activities, the bean-cutters are focused on ROI to see if the money being well spent, or whether it should be spent on something else with better returns.

But social media seems to be a “special” case so the normal rules of engagement apparently don’t apply. Since social media is so new and there is a lot of experimentation happening, not crunching the numbers to determine ROI is is okay-dokey. We can take a corporate pass on ROI for now because why measure something when we’re still trying to figure out how it works.

No ROI, No Problem? Hardly.

Here’s what I think: that’s a crock (excuse, the language).

What’s particularly ironic about the ambivalence toward ROI is how it runs counter to the importance most companies place on social media monitoring and analytics. One one hand, many companies don’t monitor ROI but they are pretty focused on monitoring what is happening within the social media landscape.

The problem with ignoring, dismissing or not paying enough attention to ROI is companies spend but don’t have any benchmarks to know whether it’s a good or bad thing. Without knowing where you’re coming from, it is hard, if not impossible, to know where you’re going. In other words, if you’re not calculating ROI, you may be wasting good money after bad.

Simply put, any company serious about social media has to measure ROI. It’s as fundamental as having a strategic and tactical plan.

eMarketer put is succinctly:

“In 2012, marketers will need to focus more sharply on hard metrics to gauge digital and social marketing ROI. They will be pushed in this direction by economic and competitive forces, and by rising expectations from internal stakeholders who are more interested in the bottom line than in creative experimentation. Up until now, marketers have been content to dabble in digital and social marketing out of curiosity or peer pressure. But as stakes get higher, these media will have to provide concrete business benefits.”

I couldn’t have said it better myself!

For more thoughts on social media ROI, Mitch Joel has a good read that concludes: “If you can’t measure it, benchmark it and iterate on it it… don’t do it… please.”