When considering how and where to market your products, the main factor that springs to mind is ROI: how much am I going to have to invest, and what is the return on that investment likely to be? Business owners, however, often get skeptical when faced with costly marketing investments . . . and it’s not hard to see why. Investment capital is tangible—it has quantifiable value, and its loss is often felt deeply. Marketing efforts, on the other hand, can be illusory. Yes, they almost certainly make a difference, but how big a difference when it comes right down to public perception and the bottom line?
In an effort to answer this question—for both our clients and ourselves—we did a little research and found that the effect strategic marketing efforts can have on your business are quantifiable . . . and, as it turns out, the value is surprisingly significant.
1. OUR OWN STUDY
We recently ran a promotion for one of our clients—a Chicago seafood restaurant. Over three weeks, the restaurant discounted their menu by 10% Monday-Wednesday (their slowest days), the idea being that a discount would entice people to check the place out (and do it on a date when it would be most beneficial to their bottom line). The results we got were pretty impressive:
Week 1: The post . . .
· reached 68,347 people within local zip codes
· drew 1,200 likes and 572 overall page likes
· was shared by 450 people (not including additional tags within the comments)
· was commented on by 130, inviting additional views and spreading the word about exceptional food and service
Week 2: The post . . .
· reached an additional 28,000 people
· drew an additional 1,200+ likes and an additional 248 overall page likes
· was shared by 146 additional people (not including additional tags within the comments)
· was commented on by 38 additional people
· resulted in 206 more “check-ins” at the restaurant than usual
Week 3: The post . . .
· reached an additional 44,700 people
· drew an additional 770+ likes and an additional 338 overall page likes
· was shared by 195 additional people (not including additional tags within the comments)
· was commented on by 52 additional people
· resulted in 158 more “check-ins” at the restaurant than usual
To say that one well-marketed promotion reached over 140,000 people, brought 364 people into the restaurant and generated over 1,000 shares and comments in just three weeks is amazingly beneficial for a local establishment. In the end, this one promotion garnered the kind of brand recognition, consumer engagement and lead generation that will probably keep this business running at above-average profits for at least a couple years.
So what about other marketing efforts and the kind of ROI you can expect?
2. OTHER STUDIES
· AdWords generates about $2 per every dollar spent (up to $8 per every dollar spent when you factor in Google Search)
· 53% of paid clicks occur on mobile devices
· PPC is 1.5 times more likely than SEO to result in click-through conversions
· 14% of PPC agencies reported that an average client spends upwards of $1 million per year on paid search programs (and that was in 2012)
So, isn’t good SEO enough to land potential customers on your site? Well . . . yes and no.
In the grand scheme of things, SEO is cheaper than PPC and tends to convert sales more effectively, whereas PPC offers great flexibility, speed and expansiveness. Brands are typically limited to certain keywords , but by using a PPC campaign, they can branch out during special promotions or holidays, often reaching first-page status within a day. That being said, PPC ads are usually most effective when they’re being monitored full-time. Add this to the cost of what can quickly become multiple search term campaigns (anywhere from cents to dollars per click), and the price tag can hike pretty quickly.
The run-down in a nutshell: If you’re a company with the budget to commit to PPC advertising, it’s a great (and effective) choice, especially when it comes to moments when expedience is of the essence. If you’re a small start-up, however, your money might be better spent on outsourcing a well-managed social media marketing strategy.
· On average, consumers use 6 devices (smartphones, tablets, PCs, etc.) and 12 sources of content (search engines, social media sites, TV ads, etc.) with millennials using even more
· Smartphones ranked highest as the device of choice amongst millennials
· Seven out of ten people polled value design and how it displays on the screen as highly as quality of information
· Given a time restraint, two thirds of those sampled said they’d prefer to view something beautiful and interesting as opposed to something plain—the number jumps to 73% when only millennials are polled
· 38% of viewers stop engaging entirely when content is “unattractive in its layout or imagery”
· 40% of viewers stop engaging if a page takes more than three seconds to load
· 79% say they’re unlikely to visit a site a second time if they’re unhappy with their experience
· 40% of users never return to a site after a less-than-desirable experience, and 50% of sales are lost because of complicated navigation
The run-down in a nutshell: mobile is the future—and, really, the present—of marketing. Make sure your design is responsive and fast. Also, although you want to make sure your design is stylish and attractive, you’ll also want to keep navigation simple and design elements uncluttered for best user experience.
Tip: if you hire a designer, save money by requiring that the design be easily managed (updated) by in-house staff . . . and make sure your design has longevity—the longer you can make a website last, the more positive your ROI becomes.
· For every dollar spent on email marketing campaigns, your business is likely to see a return of $38
· One in five companies reported an ROI of 70 to 1 for email campaigns
· 44% of consumers prefer to receive emails only once per week
· 64% of consumers say they join mailing lists because of specific rewards that have been offered (discounts, loyalty rewards, etc.)
· Studies suggest that a call-to-action button is more effective in converting sales than simply inserting a text link.
· Targeted email campaigns increase conversions by 10%
· Companies using automated systems are 133% more likely to send information relevant to a customer’s wants and needs
· 77% of email ROI is a result of personalization—segmentation tends to work quite well, with an open rate of 55% for email ads sent to 35 customers or less, whereas the average open rate across the board is only 22%
· Open rates and click-through rates are 70.5% and 152% higher respectively when using automated campaigns as opposed to run-of-the-mill messages
The run-down in a nutshell: email is a low- to no-cost means of spreading whatever news that you want to put out. What’s more: it’s one of the few marketing elements that is completely in your hands. As displayed in the metrics above, automated email campaigns are also particularly effective for companies who have a budget available to dedicate to them—they tend to be far more timely, customized and effective than ordinary business emails, not to mention getting opened and converting sales far more consistently.
· Conversion rates for companies who focus on content marketing and development are up to six times that of companies who do not adopt a strong content marketing strategy.
· Over 50% of marketers say that content development has increased their brand visibility, lead generation, customer interaction, SEO and web traffic
· Content marketing costs 62% less than standard marketing tactics, yet generates three times as many leads
The run-down in a nutshell: as you look as your content development strategy, remember including informative content that can also become interactive and be used across various platforms—blogging is a great option in this regard, and DemandMetric has also found that companies who blog experience a lead increase per month of 67%. And that’s not all: 82% of marketers report that blogging has had a direct positive impact on their ROI.
· 57% of consumers admit that they’re more likely to think positively about a brand after seeing favorable online commentary or praise
· One third of millennials state that social media is their favorite means of interacting with businesses online
· Amongst salespeople who exceeded their quotas by at least 10%, three-quarters use social media to bring in new leads, nurture existing relationships and convert sales
· Social media marketers are six times as likely to close deals than those with no social media presence
· 64% of sales professionals reported that they closed at least one sale as a direct result of social media interactions
· 92% of businesses engaged in social media marketing report that they have noticed an increase in brand exposure because of their social media presence
· Consumers expect to see legitimate companies engaging on at least three social media outlets
· 78% of consumers assert that their purchasing decisions are affected by companies’ social media posts
The run-down in a nutshell: social media is perhaps most helpful to fledgling small businesses because it plays a huge role in establishing trust and gaining credibility. That being said, there’s no reason that established companies with over 50,000 employees shouldn’t be dedicating at least one or two of those staff members to engaging with their consumer base on social media.
The bottom line: strategic marketing is an investment . . . but it’s a darn good one. Get going on a concerted marketing effort today, and consider speaking with experienced professionals about online marketing management to squeeze the most ROI possible out of your campaign. Want to discuss your business and marketing strategy with a team that gets it? Contact 10twelve today for a free 30 minute consultation.