I feel that the most important step to any type of marketing, social media marketing included, is setting your goals. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish with any strategy or tactic, then you can spend all the money in the world and see absolutely zero real effect.
What is your plan with this campaign? There are an unlimited amount of options to input here, it really depends on what you want to accomplish.
Some of the main goals that companies look to do is increasing online conversions, or increasing their social media following. To increase your online conversions you are going to need to attract more consumer to your website which could be achieved using many different tactics including display ads, search engine optimization or adding a paid search campaign. Using display ads will bring awareness to your webpage by showing engaging images and intriguing copy to potential customers. Search engine optimization will make sure to keep your webpage relevant in searches. By linking to high traffic websites, having engaging content and keeping people on your page your quality score will increase. As people search for terms relating to your page, you will start to see it show up higher on the results page, and as more and more people visit and continue to browse and you become more associated with bigger web pages the higher you will show on the results page which will drive more consumers. Paid search can add to this by ensuring that for the terms you want to be on the search results for, you can guarantee a top 1 or 2 slot within. Assuming your terms that you are bidding on relate to the website and it is an engaging and appropriate site, paid search can only go to help your cause.
Increase Your Following
In terms of social media, how does one go about increasing a following? Including your social pages on your webpage and within all of your other advertising could spark some interest. Or you could get creative and start to utilize social media within the ads, so consumers are forced to visit your social page in order to participate. “Like our page” to be entered for a chance to win our product. Now you’ve gotten them as a follower and can continue to hit them with product advertisements as they’ve agreed to see what you post by liking the company. But without a goal, you wouldn’t know what to do because you wouldn’t know what you were aiming for. Without goals you wouldn’t know whether to add a social media link to your display ad or to pay for a search term with Google.
Know your KPIs
What are your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)? You need to have a base for your campaign. If you drive 100 new leads to your website, is that good? The only way to know if something has performed is to have some sort of benchmark or key performance indicator (KPI). Some of the more vague campaigns can have KPIs such as website visits or unique visitors. They are basing the success of their campaign on how many people have come to their website. This is great if you want people to know it exists and do nothing else, but what if you are trying to drive consumers to a car dealership? Click-thru-rate (CTR) is a pretty standard performance indicator for most companies. The .08% CTR is the industry average for display ads, but if you are thinking to yourself out of 100 people that see my ad only 8 are clicking it and who knows how many of that 8 are immediately leaving then CTR might not be the benchmark for you. Cost per activity (CPA) will show you how much you are paying for each activity that a consumer performs on your site. Without the establishment of goals how can you know if your campaign was successful and if you want to run it again or try a different route? You can’t. Establishing the goals will allow you to confirm that this campaign was indeed successful. We wanted 1,500 site conversions during the month of November. This campaign was the cause of 600 site conversions throughout the campaign. This is a failure because it did not hit the goals that you set initially. Another course of action is needed the next time you want to run a campaign.
Without first setting goals then a company is running in any and all directions without any relation to each other. The goals of a company determine the strategy that a company must use. Do they want to raise awareness, conversions, sales? This question will determine the strategy. The strategy in turn will lead to the tactics that must be used. Is this strategy best utilizing social media or display ads? Branching out form the top level goal will decide the rest for you, therefore, the most important principle in any digital campaign is to set an achievable goal.
- Catharine P. Taylor, (December 2005), Looking back at the first banner ad. Maybe. http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/looking-back-first-banner-ad-maybe-19834
- Wikipedia, (November 2013),Web banner. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_banner
(All credit and accolades for this tremendous blog post go to Andrew M. Kulaszewski who is the author and creator of this post.)