For anyone who’s not an expert in this field, marketing strategies, SEO or social media can be like a maze. If that’s the case, navigating through it can get super difficult sometimes. However, that’s okay! Marketing agencies exist exactly for that reason — to help business owners and entrepreneurs efficiently use their business’s potential in the name of marketing. Naturally, you want your business to grow. You decided that it’s time for you or your firm to start working with a marketing agency. Good for you! But where do you start? How can you make sure that you choose the right one? There are so many questions that might seem tricky, but this list of things you should avoid will answer the most crucial ones.
All of us have been there- Not knowing what to do and what to look for in a field that we don’t really know that much about yet. It can feel that way in this kind of situation, as well. Of course, your choice needs to be wise because you are aiming for good results. Nobody ever hired a marketing agency thinking it wouldn’t be a gain. Spend your time looking through the internet. Don’t just go for the first link that pops up on Google because that’s usually not the right one. There’s a difference between organic and paid search results. Once you find an agency that catches your eye, don’t only go through their website. Look for customer reviews, use platforms like Quora to find information, read their blog if they have it, maybe even talk to someone they already work with or have worked with. Not doing your research could seriously hurt your progress. Learn more about them and make sure they offer exactly what your business needs.
Almost everybody has heard this saying and let’s just say it applies in marketing as well. “No marketing agency is perfect.” There isn’t any special key to SEO, Facebook Ads, emailing or any other marketing channel, that only they understand. Do they promise you’ll have “super fast results”? All the offers that seem way too good to be true ARE most likely too good to be true. Making your marketing strategies work is a process that takes some time. No agency can offer “the secret” to efficient marketing because there is no secret. Every business needs a different strategy and that’s a fact. Your marketing agency has to be the one that can do the most for your business specifically. They should be eager to learn about it and then work with it based on the business’s character.
When it comes to buying things, it’s not a rule that choosing the cheap product is always a bad idea. But with marketing? Absolutely. You get what you pay for and it usually doesn’t work the other way round. If you find an agency that’s very cheap next to the other ones and offers amazing results and attractive service, but doesn’t have anything to prove it with, run away. These things don’t just happen. They most likely use black-hat techniques that could do more harm than good to your business and might get you penalized. It’s definitely better to pay for quality instead of going the way that looks easiest at first, but it almost always gets more complicated later.
Once you choose an agency and reach out to them, don’t hesitate to ask questions. Yes, it seems obvious, but this is actually a common mistake that many people do. Maybe they feel like they should know the answer, and asking about things they don’t understand could make them look like an amateur, but there’s nothing wrong with not knowing the answers. Be curious. You want these people to help your business prosper. You should know who you’re dealing with, just like they need to know as much about your work as possible. Before you come to the first meeting or do the first call, prepare your questions and everything you want to know.
Your business may be local, but that doesn’t mean the marketing agency has to be too. Being good at the job and being from your city has nothing to do with each other. I’m not saying that your local marketing agency can’t be the best one for you, but if there aren’t any around that can meet your goals, don’t worry. The great thing about “online” is that it’s reachable from everywhere. Of course, face-to-face communication is precious and it’s certainly better if you can do it that way, but it shouldn’t limit you. Choosing your online marketing agency doesn’t depend on meeting in person. You can arrange a video call, write emails and use many different tools (like Google Sheets or Cyfe) that make the work easier.
It’s not necessary to know the exact amount of money you’ll be spending on online marketing, but you definitely need a clear budget before working with an agency. Services of most agencies are expensive, so that’s something you should think about before you engage with one of them. Going for an agency that’s too expensive isn’t the best choice, because businesses simply have to manage their budgets in order to thrive. On the other hand, hiring a marketing agency for their low price can cost you much more in the end. Quality takes time and time costs money. If you decide to work with an agency, make sure the price/ performance ratio meets your expectations.
Nobody can give you the exact guide to choosing a marketing agency to work with because every business is different and every business has specific priorities. First, you have to know what these are and then find the agency that can work with your priorities best. Think of everything you want to accomplish by collaborating with the agency. If your vision is clear, searching for your perfect marketing agency gets much easier. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a while because the result will be worth it.
There are hundreds of metrics you can measure today. That's the biggest advantage, as well as, disadvantage of digital marketing.
The truth is you can measure almost anything. You can build a detailed report with real time data, refresh and make those business decisions based on precise data, visualize insights in all those bar charts, funnels, pie charts, cohorts, heat maps, numbers, percentages, etc. That's what the theory is about.
And I partially agree with that, but the reality may be a bit different. Yes, this is important for large companies that, thanks to comprehensive measurements and reports, can optimize their processes and save a significant amount of money.
However, at the SMB level, the situation is quite different. You probably don't have an IT department full of specialists and data analysts who are able to invest hundreds of hours to set up your data platform, connect dozens of data sources, transform the given data and from that, build strong reports. Also, you probably don't deal with a billion dollars in revenue, so sophisticated analytics can be counterproductive because you don't have enough quality and precise data to optimize individual processes and earn a significant savings.
I'm not trying to say that you should completely ignore data analytics. Rather, it is about finding the right balance between not getting overwhelmed with data and gaining valuable insights that can help your business.
In this article, I’ll cover the most important metrics that actually give you valuable insights into your business and online marketing efforts. At the same time, I will highlight the metrics that are less effective and easy to misinterpret.
Klipfolio, an analytics tool, says: Marketing Metrics are measurable values used by marketing teams to demonstrate the effectiveness of campaigns across all marketing channels.
Sounds a bit complicated, but in other words, marketing metrics are numbers that tell you how effective your marketing efforts are. You set a goal, and your metrics tell you, whether you have achieved it or not. Based on this you can make a change and try a different approach.
Example: My goal is to get 100 website visits per 50 USD invested in Facebook ads. My metric in this case is Clicks. Two scenarios could take place:
Metrics can tell you, how effective your efforts are and help you to make changes before you spend hundreds of dollars.
Digital marketing is unpredictable, and a strategy that worked well the last couple of months could eventually become less effective or stop working entirely. Metrics tell you immediately if your efforts are paying off.
Setting the wrong goals and misinterpreting engagement metrics is pretty rife. Let's check out some common scenarios. Maybe you will even spot some of your own mistakes.
You probably wouldn't speak English in Portugal. The same principle applies when it comes to social media. Every platform works in a slightly different way, has a different user base, and people behave differently. Your message shouldn't be the same for all platforms. We wrote an article about demographics and the specifics of individual social media networks, so make sure you read it to understand how all those platforms work and what makes each one different.
Tip: You don't have to be a marketing PRO to master campaigns across multiple channels. Try tools like groost that simplify this process.
I'm not saying that likes are not important. But in and of itself, they mean nothing. Nowadays, it is possible to buy likes for posts or a page for a few dollars, but it doesn't help your business at all. It usually does the opposite. It is necessary to look at the number of likes in context of the given situation.
You can measure almost anything you can think of and probably much more. I understand the allure of this idea, because in the beginning it sounds amazing…the theory about having precise real time data on a beautiful dashboard... but reality is usually different. In most cases, you can end up with an over-complex dashboard where you could easily get lost. It takes a great deal of time and energy to make this work.
The extreme opposite of measuring everything is measuring nothing. With the vast amount of information around us, it's understandable that one would just want to ignore everything. But with this approach, you are probably losing your money and throwing its potential out of the window. You can't tell if your spending on social media advertising is effective or if you are losing money, if you're not analyzing what is working vs. what is not. You don't need a complex dashboard with many metrics to keep proper tabs on this.
You know it already, there are hundreds of metrics out there. But you should focus on those that are most important for you and your business. From our perspective, these are the ones which you should be keeping track of:
Reach tells you, how many people were able to see your content. It doesn't mean real views, rather it refers to potential views. If someone with 1,000 followers retweets your tweet, your reach increases by those 1,000 different people, but not every single one of those people may see it.
A higher reach is better, but if you don't get enough leads or engagement, something could be wrong.
This metric tells you, how many direct contacts you got. A lead is a person or even a company that is ready for a follow-up. This person has usually reached a stage where they are ready to become your customer.
Engagement measures the amount of likes, shares and comments your content or ad received. This metric tells you, how much your content is resonating with your followers. It's an important metric to check when optimizing your content strategy.
The engagement rate is influenced by many factors like platform, number of followers, industry, time of posting, etc.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This metric is an exact number of how many people targeted, eventually became paying customers. Remember, that this isn't just about this exact number. It has to be compared with the Conversion Rate, which is a percentage metric that shows you a ratio between visitors and converted customers.
Conversion rate may vary across industries and required action.
Tip: See our article on What to Expect from Social Media.
This is a monetary metric telling you, how much revenue your ad has generated. At the end of the day, this is what counts.
ROI demonstrates how your marketing time, energy and money spent are contributing to your company growth. You always have to know how much money you spent on advertising and how much money it has brought. It tells you, if and how effective your advertising efforts are.
ROI (%) = (income/spend)*100
Your ROI should always be higher than 100%, otherwise a given strategy was ultimately, a waste of money.
Well, now you should understand the basics of Social Media Metrics. But the most important thing to understand is how to implement metrics in real-life scenarios. These are 4 steps to successfully start your measurements.
In the beginning, find some time to write down your goals. All social media platforms could be used in many ways. What do you want to accomplish? The more specific you can be, the better.
Here is a list of examples to help you brainstorm:
Tip: We made an article about defining goals, where you can read all about the process behind it.
The next step is to understand which metrics to use, to see if you are achieving your goals or not. This process is quite easy. Basically you are trying to find those numbers, so you can recognize how effective your efforts are. Your goal should fit into the following categories:
Awareness – Use metrics like volume, reach, exposure, and amplification. How far is your message spreading?
Engagement – Look for metrics around retweets, comments, replies, and participants. How many people are participating, how often are they participating, and in what forms are they participating?
Traffic – Track URL shares, clicks and conversions. Are people moving through social media to your external site and what do they do once they’re on your site?
Advocates and fans – Track contributors and influencers. Who is participating and what kind of impact do they have?
Share of voice – Track your volume relative to your closest competitors. How much of the overall conversation around your industry or product category is about your brand?
Social media platforms usually do provide some basic analytics. For most cases it's enough, so if you're new to analytics, start small. In our case, we built groost. analytics right inside the app.
Tip: If you want to see groost in action, sign up here for free.
Keep in mind that social media interactions happen in real time. Look for a tool that allows you to access data immediately, without delay. You can't afford to wait weeks or even days for a report. Having real time data allows you to react and make quick changes, in order to stay effective.
To make all previous steps valuable, take a data-based action. Don't forget to see data in a wider context and compare it with industry benchmarks.
These questions will help you optimize your social media analytics process.
Instagram, one of the most famous social media platforms based mainly on visuals, is currently used by more than one billion users and the number is only growing. That, needless to say, represents a great opportunity to reach the audience you haven't reached yet. One of your marketing goals might be to generate quality leads and Instagram may be the channel you want to use. Now the key question is how to effectively leverage this platform so that you generate valuable leads at a reasonable cost. There are ways.
First of all, you need to consider if Instagram is a channel for you and your type of business. If you can't think of a way to showcase your products or services, show your personal story or share something from “behind the scenes” in a VISUAL way, Instagram may not be a good fit for you. Similarly, if your audience is not present on Instagram, consider other channels for your communication mix. Try to look deeper into LinkedIn or Facebook which represent opportunities to generate leads too.
On the other hand, if you figure out a way to leverage its visual style, Instagram is a great fit for connecting your potential customers with your brand. 62% of people say they have become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories. That's just one placement. If you effectively leverage all of what Instagram offers, people will love you (and your brand).
Let's finally jump straight into ways to effectively generate more quality leads through Instagram!
If you are running your own small business, it is only right to have a website. With everyone being on the internet it is almost impossible not to take advantage of it. Unless you do not want your business to grow and succeed it is essential to build up your online presence and having a website is one of the ways to do it. Thanks to the evolution of technology and free website builders like Webflow, building your own personal website has never been easier. You do not need to be a computer engineer or know computer programing. Free website builders enable you to build a personal website to your liking. There are so many positives to having your own business website.
So, here are the benefits and advantages of having your own website:
The world around us has become digital. More than half of the people living on Earth are connected to the internet. That's almost 4.5 billion people. The interesting thing is that this all happened in only 28 years. Yes, 1991 was the year, when the World Wide Web, today's internet, was publicly launched.
But the biggest internet usage increase came with the arrival of social media platforms. 80% of internet users (January 2019, Hootsuite) are also active social media users. The leading platform, with 32% market share is Facebook. Combined with ownership of Instagram and WhatsApp, it makes 66% market share. Globally. In any case, YouTube, with 27% market share can be considered the second largest platform.
Facebook's market capitalization was 632.43B USD as of January 16th, 2020. This number makes Facebook the 5th biggest company in the world by the market cap. Even bigger, is the Alphabet (Google). It took 3rd place with a 1000.7 USD market cap.
You might ask, why are these companies so big, when their products are mostly free to use? The answer is advertising. Google and Facebook are the world's biggest advertising platforms. Companies spent around 170 billion dollars on Facebook and Google Ads in 2019 alone, and this number is still growing.
The fundamental difference between traditional and digital media is given by data that these platforms are generating. They capture every interaction of its users, so they know every user in detail. It allows targeting ads with many options, such as gender, age, location, relationship, income, home, interests, connections, generation, life events, ethnic affinity and much more.
You and your business can take advantage of it and use this platform to advertise your services or products to a very specific audience for a reasonable price. Usually a lower price (compared with traditional “offline” ads media) brings digital advertising closer to small businesses and freelancers.
Unlike traditional media, advertisers only pay for interactions. There are many cost structures digital advertising platforms are using and these are based on marketing objectives and overall campaign goals.
Cost Per Click is the most common cost model used by almost all digital advertising platforms. It charges you, as an advertiser, for every single click completed by a user. It means that your ad contains an external link that redirects users to your website. The average CPC on Facebook is 1.72USD, but it varies across industries.
Cost Per View is a model built for video ads. You, as an advertiser, are charged every time a Facebook user sees your video. Keep in mind that Facebook considers a video as “viewed” after only 3 seconds.
The average CPV price is relatively low, somewhere between 1c to 15c, but it varies across industries. Price per view should always be compared with other metrics, like CTR, to see if it is effective.
Cost Per Mille is a pricing model, where you are charged per 1,000 impressions. An impression is when an ad is delivered to a user’s feed. If you are looking for an increase in brand awareness, this is how you will be charged.
Cost Per Action (Acquisition) is similar to CPC. You are not charged per single click, but for a specific action a user completes on your website. It can be form filling, an app install, event registration or for scheduling a meeting.
The average cost per acquisition on Facebook is 18.68 USD.
Cost Per Like is a cost model used for gaining business page likes. It is good for building brand awareness. It is usually low cost, so this could be a cheap way to promote your business page. Keep in mind, that this is effective only when your page is active and publishing content consistently.
At first glance, it might look complicated and confusing. But at the end of the day, this is what you and your business needs. It is a groundbreaking feature, because you can focus on reaching your target audience and through that, you can make your campaigns more cost-effective.
I mentioned several times that ad cost varies across industries and platforms. There is no fixed price per click/action, it is the subject of many conditions. Now, I will explain to you how it works, so you can create better and cheaper ads.
Google's advertising platform, Google Ads, is a keyword-based PPC platform. It shows ads in a search based on the keyword the user is searching. It means, that if a user is searching “family car”, Google will show ads related to this keyword. If you're selling family cars, your ad shows up right in front of the user’s eyes.
Unfortunately, it's not that simple, because you are probably far from being the only one who is selling family cars and advertising it. Google needs to decide whose ad to show. This process is called Ad Ranking. It takes your maximum CPC bid and multiplies it with the quality score.
Ad Rank = CPC bid * Quality Score
A maximum price you are willing to pay per a single click. This setting is completely in your hands.
Google's rating of the quality and relevance of both your keywords and PPC ads. It depends on multiple factors…
The higher the Quality Score is, the better price per click you will get.
CPC = (Ad Rank of ad below you / Quality Score) + 0.01USD
Facebook and Instagram ads, unlike Google's Search ads, aren't based on keywords, as these social media platforms work on slightly different principles.
Factors, that influence the cost of Facebook Ads are:
An ad objective is a clear and specific aim of an ad. It determines who Facebook shows your ad to. This can have an extreme affect on its cost. There are 3 main objective types that are divided into specific actions.
Ads with the Awareness objective lead to increasing brand and local awareness, as well as gaining a higher reach and interest in your product or service.
If your goal is to get people thinking about your product, drive more traffic to your web or generate leads, you should focus on this category.
If your goal is to convert Facebook users to customers, then these types of objectives are for you.
The next factor that influences ad price is the maximum amount of money you are willing to pay. It's called bidding. You set a maximum price manually (or automatically, where Facebook calculates the best price for you) and then it competes with other advertisers in an auction. Take note that a higher price doesn't guarantee that your ad shows up. Facebook considers ad quality and user experience.
An audience, or target audience, is a group of people you aim your ad at. There are over 350 audience attributes to choose from, so you can be very specific.
Facebook is a visual platform and is considered to be a personal space for its users, where they are looking for creative and interesting content. So your ads should be, of course, creative and interesting. They should also be visually appealing, able to evoke emotions and they should match users' interests. This is what Facebook considers when scoring your ad.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, ad pricing varies across industries. Here is a table that you can use as a benchmark and with which you can compare your results.
Optimizing an ad price isn't an easy process. There are thousands and thousands of combinations and it can take years to find the right formula. You basically have 3 options to optimize your costs.
That's perfect advice, right? I know, this is probably not the best way to go for most people, because it takes a lot of time and energy to become a specialist. Being a social media specialist is a regular full time job, so if you are not ready to quit your current job, then this is probably not the way you want to go.
Hiring a freelance specialist or agency can be a way to effectively advertise. This option is usually more expensive, especially if you are a one-man-show and your marketing budget is tight.
There are dozens of marketing automation tools on the market. These tools simplify the whole campaign creation process for people, who have no time to learn everything necessary and don't have a sufficient budget. That's why we created app. It helps small businesses run their campaigns without extra knowledge needed. Try it here, it's free!
You can either follow a trend or go against it. The choice is yours. The truth is, nonetheless, that if you fall behind, your competitors may overcome you – steal your customers and offer a better service or product. Knowing that being a business owner is a tough job, technology is sometimes considered too hard to implement because it is costly to hire a strategic partner or IT support or time-consuming to learn new tactics yourself. These myths may not apply for your business – today's tools are made to be easy to implement and understood by non-technical individuals.
Technology influences every aspect of your business – IT, finances, logistics, sales, support or marketing. New approaches teach us constantly how to become more efficient at what we do. Saving money or time, increasing the scalability of our businesses or inventing new products and business models is backed by the evolution of technology. On the other hand, not everything that glitters is gold… We've written an article about the difference between trend and hype. Watch carefully what's going on in your industry and what your customers need or require (which is definitely the most important factor of all), but don't jump on every train that goes around. Not everyone will make it to the final station. There is a difference between what influences your business and what doesn't.
We will cover some trends for 2020 below, but before we jump into that, let's speak about the context. In 2018, 50% of the world's population was online. Today in 2019, it's more than 54%. Now, most people have jumped into the information age, where everything is moving at an unbelievable pace. Not only are things (goods and services) changing on a daily basis, but their costs are constantly decreasing. Imagine you bought a 3D printer 12 years ago. 40,000 USD is what you'd have paid. Today, the cheapest 3D printers cost around 100 USD. Yes, your math skills are up to par: 400x less.
Everything changes. We either accept it and do our best, or die.
The goal of this article is to encourage you to follow the trend and embrace the newest technology in 2020, not to speak about morbid scenarios.
Going back to where we began: YOU CAN EMBRACE TECHNOLOGY IN 2020, because it is meant to be available for you. When running a local business, you focus on what's really important, right? You don't want to spend time doing things that don't positively affect your bottom line. Being an entrepreneur, there are two key factors to go after:
To achieve one or the other, you might try tactics you haven't tried yet. To understand them, let's dive into a few trends to follow in 2020:
We are bringing you our marketing knowledge, not necessarily the overall business strategy. You know your business best, but we know what saves you time and generates more money when it comes to marketing. Automating routine tasks and delegating the costly work, that you or your agency needs to do, to tools like groost. allows you to manage your online campaign effectively and for a fraction of the price. If you rely on your sales team, CRM systems like Hubspot or Pipedrive strive to help you automate follow up emails or customer retention activities. There is a plethora of tools to use, which we have covered in this article.
"For more than 30% of small businesses is marketing the number one challenge” by Mailchimp
We keep repeating this, I know. But it simply is the Holy Grail – always put the customer in the center of your (not only marketing) activities. I can assure you this won't be relevant only in 2020, but will last for decades. The times in which Henry Ford kept saying “You can have any color as long as it's black” is over. In today's era, your customers' desires and preferences are what should keep you awake at night.
Does this apply to marketing only? Not at all. Imagine you market your product so that hundreds of people are waiting in line to buy from you. Once they approach the cashier they turn back and never come again – unwillingness to serve your customers nicely by one of your employees can be very costly. To give another example, say you run an ecommerce project. Everything from marketing to IT works great, until your logistics crash and the customer does not get what she ordered. Is this something that can badly harm your business? Absolutely! Customers have many touch points when dealing with your business – make sure every one of them is as customer-friendly as possible.
Let's stay in the marketing field for now. You probably run your profile on social media. Having 1,000 page likes brings you nothing if you only reach 20% of them. The organic reach is – and will be – decreasing constantly which we covered in our latest article. You will have no other choice, but to create truly engaging content that resonates with your audience and to invest in paid advertising. What you need to focus on is:
According to the Deloitte Small business technology trends, 80% of small businesses aren't taking full advantage of digital tools. Be the 20% of them.
There are two main communication strategies: inbound & outbound. Inbound makes the potential customer discover you by the content that you create – be it articles on your website, videos on your Youtube channel or podcasts on Spotify. Outbound is focused on push or disruptive strategies – you reach your potential customers while they scroll on their social media feeds, watch videos on Youtube or read articles. Working on your content brings you long-term results. Educating your audience, providing valuable content (and boosting your inbound marketing) is something you should be focused on throughout not only 2020, but every upcoming year.
We've come across a few basic tips to leverage technology in 2020. As stated, even small businesses can – and should embrace the latest technology (not only in 2020, but beyond).
Marketing is an ever-changing field and the methods that work aren’t usually long term. Are you having a hard time navigating the latest trends and the most efficient ways to optimize your content? Don’t worry, because most people struggle with the exact same thing. Here are 10 up-to-date tips for online marketing.