23 Conversion Rate Optimization Tools for Research, Feedback, Analytics & More

Believe it or not, driving traffic to your website — albeit challenging — isn’t enough to sustain your business. In an effort to truly leverage that investment in traffic, marketers must use conversion rate optimization, or CRO, to convince said traffic to complete a desired action.

In some cases, these optimization techniques might be as basic as changing the color of a CTA. In other cases, there’s a lot more that can be improved.

The list below outlines a ton of helpful tools for marketers who are looking to optimize their conversion rates. To help you understand which tools are used for what, we’ve also broken this list into a few major categories: Lead capture tools, research tools, analytics tools, mouse tracking and heat maps, feedback tools, and experiment tools.

From high-level changes like landing page and email design and inspiration to in-depth insights on how your visitors navigate through your content, these tools will help you improve the performance of your site.

Ready? Let’s get converting …

Lead Capture Tools

These are the tools that you will use to capture more leads on your site, thus improving your CRO. While most conversion-focused content has a built-in form or CTA, these tools act as additional lead capture mechanisms to boost the number of leads that convert on your content.

1. HubSpot

Price: Free

Picture Google Analytics meets SumoMe meets a CRM. Sounds cool, right? It starts with an exit intent popup CTA, then sync with your website’s existing forms to learn about your site visitors and their path through your pages.

HubSpot's CTA builder.

HubSpot’s tools give you in-depth contact insights on prospects and current contacts in your database, and also pairs its contacts database with a dashboard that shows you on a high-level view of which marketing efforts are paying off and converting, and which ones aren’t.

2. HelloBar

Price: Free plan, or $29-$49/mo.

HelloBar is a lead capture tool that allows you to add a popup form to your website to grow your email list, promote your social pages, showcase a sale, or other lead generation strategies. The free version allows you to create one modal that’ll be shown to every tenth visitor. However, premium plans offer more advanced call-to-action options.

HelloBar's lead conversion tool

Image Source

3. Sumo

Price: Free plan, or $49/mo.

Sumo offers a suite of free tools to help you increase your site conversions. For lead capture, it offers a “Welcome Mat” popup CTA, a “Smart Bar” to increase email subscribers, a scroll-triggered box, and a “Contact Us” form.

Sumo's Welcome Mat exampleImage Source

Along with their Google Analytics research tools, the Sumo suite helps you gain on-page insights and increase your email list.

Research Tools

Before you create any content, you’ll want to call upon these tools to draw inspiration and check out what other smart marketers have seen success with in the past.

4. BuzzSumo

Price: $99-$499/mo.

The best content is the content that gets shared and linked to the most. So what better way to gain preliminary insights than to compile all of the most shared content on your particular topic?

With BuzzSumo, all you have to do is enter the keyword or topic. Then, it’ll pull together the most shared and linked to content on that topic. Time frames range from the last day, week, month, or year.

BuzzSumo's keyword research tool

So if you’re trying to optimize the landing page for your new webinar on cat fashion, all you have to do is enter “cat fashion,” and BuzzSumo will give the best articles, resources, videos, and more on the fascinating topic of cat couture.

You’ll then be able to dig in and explore some of the key elements that made these pages popular so that you can go back and incorporate them into your own content.

5. SimilarWeb

Price: Contact for pricing

Knowing where your website visitors came from can (and should) have a big impact on the type of content you create. With SimilarWeb, you can see where your traffic is coming from, which keywords are fueling your organic traffic, and what other sites are considered most similar to yours.

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 12.12.32 PMImage Source

With this information, you’ll be able to optimize content for your biggest traffic sources, and dig in to see what competitor sites and doing to drive conversions.

6. Land-book

Price: Free

If you’re creating a landing page from scratch, getting started can be difficult. Luckily there’s Land-book: A free collection of the web’s best designed landing pages.

Land-book's landing page optionsImage Source

With Land-book, you can explore the ways that top companies are using elements like copy, positioning, layout, and design to drive conversions. Pick and choose your favorite elements from the Land-book database, and then incorporate them into your own landing page.

7. Really Good Emails

Price: Free

In today’s marketing landscape, if you want to get your message across, you’d better know a thing or two about visual communication and design.

Don’t know a thing or two about either? Enter: Really Good Emails.

Really Good Emails' homepage.

Similar to Land-book (see above), Really Good Emails is a database of the web’s best designed emails from the world’s most innovative companies. Use this as a resource to see how you can design your email to get your message across in the best way possible, as fast as possible.

(Check out this post for even more resources where you can find great marketing examples.)

8. SubjectLine.com

Price: Free

When sending email, the subject line can either make or break your performance. Before you choose which ones to ship, check them out using this awesome resource.

SubjectLine.com's homepage and tool.Image Source

SubjectLine.com has tested over three million subject lines and has a tool to evaluate your potential options. It gives a deliverability and marketing score, plus advice on improving.

9. Headline Analyzer

Price: Free

CoSchedule’s headline analyzer gives a score of 1–100 to gauge the effectiveness of titles. The score is calculated based on word usage, grammar, vocabulary, which type of headline it is, as well as character and word count.

Co-Schedule's Headline Analyzer

The tool shows you what your headline looks like on Google and in an email subject line. This tool serves as a great litmus test to generally know how well your headline will perform.

Analytics Tools

These are the tools that you will use to measure and track your content’s performance. You can use them to fully analyze the dips, jumps, and fluctuations in your conversion rate.

10. Kissmetrics

Price: Contact for pricing

Kissmetrics is a complex tool that integrates with your email service provider to make it easy for you to analyze your audience and email them in specific cohorts.

Kissmetrics email and lead toolImage Source

With Kissmetrics, you can learn the path that your customers have taken through your website, conduct A/B tests, build data sets (without SQL), and figure out the ROI from your campaigns.

11. Google Analytics

Price: Free for basic, contact sales for premium

Google Analytics is a free way to track your website visitors. You can see how long it takes visitors to bounce from your pages, if visitors complete goals from a certain path, and which sources are bringing people to your website.

Google Analytics PageviewsWhat’s great about Google Analytics is that is allows you to see which keywords people are searching to find your page, track which device people are searching for your website on, and uncover demographic data. However, there are no specific emails/contacts associated with your site visitors.

12. HubSpot Website Grader

Price: Free

Website Grader is a great way to get a quick snapshot of a website’s overall performance. It gives insights on performance factors (including speed, page size, and page requests), mobile responsiveness and appearance, SEO (page titles, meta descriptions, headings, and site map), and security.

HubSpot website grader

Image Source

From there, the tool devises a grade and provides suggestions on how to improve, which makes it easy to come up with some quick wins that’ll help you boost conversions.

Mouse Tracking & Heat Mapping Tools

These are the tools that you will use to see how people are interacting with your content, including how they scroll and where they click.

13. Hotjar

Price: Free for Basic, $29/mo.

Once you’ve nailed the basics like landing pages, CTAs, popups, and content, you’re ready for some more advanced conversion rate optimization. Hotjar offers heat maps and screen recordings, which enable you to track how much of your page is being viewed, as well as how visitors are navigating your website.

hotjar analytics

Image Source

Like the screenshot above, Hotjar also offers analytics, so you can see how well your pages are performing. This is helpful to see what is and isn’t working, and what you can change to increase conversion.

14. Clicktale

Price: Contact for pricing

Clicktale is similar to Hotjar, as it also offers heat maps to help you determine the most valuable real estate on your pages, scroll depth (where is the “fold” on your website?), click tracking, and also link analysis.

Clicktale analytics page.

Image Source

Using these tools, you’ll have the information you need to organize content, CTAs, and page design in a way that makes the most sense for engagement.

15. Clicky

Price: Free plan, or $9.99-$149/mo.

Clicky gives you real time analytics on the visitors on your website. It tells you where people are accessing your site from, how long they’ve stayed on each page, and how many visitors are actively online. The resource also offers heat maps and scroll tracking.

Clicky's real-time audience visit formatImage Source

Clicky is an excellent one-stop shop for customer behavior. You’ll have multiple formats at your disposal to leverage for optimizing the performance of your website — so you can convert as many leads as possible.

16. Crazy Egg

Price: $24 – $249/mo.

Crazy Egg offers a full suite of heat maps and click tracking, with the additional functionality of being able to segment clicks by source and evaluate link effectiveness.The basic package is fairly inexpensive and gives great insights on how effective each page of your website is.

Example of CrazyEgg's heatmaps

17. Heatmap.me

Price: Free plan, or up to $100/mo.

Heatmap.me is a great free option for anyone looking to start exploring heat maps, responsive web design tests, and real-time page statistics. Heatmap.me can also track dynamic elements on your site in the heat map tool — think: slider bars, photo galleries, and other interactive sections.

Heatmapme.png

When you use the tool, you’ll be able to see real-time analytics. It gives you the data you really care about, such as CTR and page performance. They’re easy to analyze for beginners, and provide the numbers you need to enhance success.

Feedback Tools

These are the tools that you will use to engage and receive feedback from your visitors. Feedback tools include surveys, polls, messaging, and user testing programs.

18. Intercom

Price: $87-$153/mo.

You can use chat tools to both acquire new customers and chat with existing customers.

Intercom's chatbot tool.Image Source

As a CRO tool, you can use Intercom to communicate with website prospects to learn if they need additional help, find out how their experience is going, and learn how you can improve. It also allows you to track leads and use a shared inbox with your team.

19. Qualaroo

Price: $149-$499/mo.

Using chat windows doesn’t have to be limited to just being live. In fact, Qualaroo proves that. It offers popups to collect live feedback from website viewers.

Example of Qualaroo's chatbot tool.

Image Source

With this information, you can tailor a site experience, target certain customers, and learn what issues people may be experiencing. This tool is extremely helpful at all stages of the funnel, and is especially utilized in the ecommerce space.

20. SurveyMonkey

Price: $25-$99/mo.

SurveyMonkey has a free option for those just starting out with survey research. You can use this tool to learn demographic information, discover which types of content your prospects and blog subscribers prefer, and get product feedback.

SurveyMonkey customer satisfaction survey exampleImage Source

Survey your customers about their satisfaction. You’ll get great insight, straight from the source, about what draws your audience to your company. From these results, you can work on improving conversion methods.

21. Five Second Test

Price: $50-$100/mo.

UsabilityHub has an awesome community-fueled tool called 5 Second Test that allows users to upload a product, app experience, or design and have the community test it before launch. For example, one of the tests you can run is a click test, which will give you a heat map of page performance.

Heatmap from Five Second Test

Image Source

You get responses about recall, general feedback, and UI thoughts. This is a great way to have opinions. Five Second Test also offer click tests, preference tests, question tests, and navflow tests for other website and UI questions. You can also design surveys with the tool.

Experiment Tools

These are the tools that you will use to manage, plan, and execute A/B and multivariate tests. Some of these tools will help you turn ideas into experiments, while others will help you create the variations and run the actual tests on your site.

22. Optimizely

Price: Contact for pricing

Testing is hard: It’s hard to come up with a good control group, find a large sample, and determine if your experiment is statistically significant. Luckily, Optimizely helps a lot with all of that … and then some. With Optimizely, you conduct tests across all devices and platforms, then figure out if it is significant or not. The software offers A/B, multiple page, and multivariate tests.

Screen Shot 2020-07-02 at 2.14.56 PM

Image Source

Optimizely’s tool gives you a full, robust report of test results, like shown above. You’ll see how interactions, and best of all — sign up clicks. Your report will tell you how many leads each test variant earned, so you can choose the best.

23. Effective Experiments

Price: Contact for pricing

Effective Experiments is a concise way to track all of your experiments. If you have tons of Excel spreadsheets cross-referenced with Google Analytics data, you are probably going crazy trying to keep track of everything. This tool puts it all in one place and helps you determine statistical significance.

Example of Effective Experiment's dashboard.

Image Source

Now, you’re armed and ready to start improving conversion rates across your website and marketing efforts. These tools range from free and for beginners to robust and more advanced. Feel out which options seem right for you and soon you’ll be upgrading to the more complex tools when you’ve mastered the basics.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

A Look Back at How COVID-19 Impacted Businesses in Q2

Since COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic on March 11, businesses have had to reckon with its economic impact for over a full quarter.

For the last several months, we’ve been publishing weekly cuts of data on core performance metrics, to provide business owners with useful benchmarks as they adapted to circumstances that were changing by the day.

Now that businesses have closed the books on Q2, we wanted to take a step back and assess where our customers are, four months later. How does the state of business compare today to where it was in March? How have teams changed their behavior to adapt to the new economic climate? What’s worked, and what hasn’t? And what changes are here to stay?

This retrospective takes a deep dive into buyer interest, marketing and sales outreach, and sales outcomes (spoiler alert: there’s a lot of engaged prospects out there, but sales teams have work to do in capturing that interest). We examine how different industries, regions, and company sizes have been impacted by COVID-19, and offer suggestions for investments that make sense right now.

HubSpot can’t make predictions about what will happen, and nobody knows what the future looks like. But we hope this report from our customer base provides a helpful reference as businesses enter the next quarter, and that the insights are useful to you in some way. To explore the accompanying dataset on your own, you can find our interactive microsite here.Adapt 2020 HubSpot

This data is based on benchmarks calculated using weekly averages from Q2 vs. post-holiday weekly averages from Q1. Because the data is aggregated from our customer base, please keep in mind that individual businesses, including HubSpot’s, may differ based on their own markets, customer base, industry, geography, stage, and/or other factors. While certain data is reported by industry, please note that we do not track all industries, and that HubSpot’s industry classifications may not correspond with standard industry classifications.

What We’re Seeing Today: A Q2 Snapshot

When COVID-19 began shutting down economies in Q1, businesses that already had an online presence were at a distinct advantage. The data shows steady and sustained growth in buyer engagement, and that businesses with an online presence were ready to capture that interest.

The story gets a little murkier once buyers actually start to engage with companies. Marketing teams have risen to the challenge of keeping prospects interested in a messy, chaotic crisis and met an audience of buyers who suddenly spend all day at their computer. While email volume has risen significantly — typically a no-no for teams hoping to keep their open rates up — open rates have risen faster than volume has grown, demonstrating that teams have been successful at providing relevant and helpful content.

On the sales side, things aren’t going so well. We at HubSpot are wholly empathetic to the uncertainty of buyers everywhere and the stressful situation salespeople work in right now — and that stress has been reflected in an explosion in prospecting activity. Sales teams sent up to 60% more email than pre-COVID benchmarks. But response rates have been dismal. Marketing teams have been able to connect, but sales teams haven’t. This is a huge area of opportunity for businesses as they enter the next quarter of COVID-19.

How COVID-19 Impacted Businesses in Q2

1. Buyer Interest

Site Traffic

Website traffic has been one of the strongest-performing marketing metrics over the last three months. As buyers have moved their purchasing online out of necessity, businesses with an established digital presence have reaped the rewards. Global site traffic increased by 16% during Q2 compared to Q1. Traffic started increasing the week of March 9 and peaked during the week of April 20, at 24% above the benchmark. The metric then settled in the 15-20% range throughout May and June, and currently sits at 20% above the pre-COVID benchmark. Since we saw a similar drop for this metric at the end of Q1, we hope that site traffic will rebound again in July.

With the exception of last week, construction is one of the few industries where website traffic has risen consistently, increasing by 28% since Q1. In fact, traffic to construction websites was almost 50% above the benchmark at the start of June, before coming down a bit later in the month. Computer software followed a similar trend until late April; its positive momentum stalled during May, but rose again in early June. Both industries plateaued last week, but are still trending around 40% above the benchmark.

All other non-structurally impacted industries are following the global trend at just above or below the benchmark. But this average is a tale of two pandemics — some industries are overperforming, while others are lagging far behind. Industries like human resources and manufacturing are seeing similar traffic patterns to pre-COVID, and have remained consistent throughout May and June. Travel, an industry that was structurally impacted by COVID-19, has recovered a remarkable 40% since the week of March 30. Its site traffic is now just below the benchmark at -1%.

Customer-Initiated Chat

Since the business world has suddenly shifted to a remote setting, chat volume has soared. Sales teams have pivoted to chat to grow their pipelines, while customer service teams are leveraging this medium to manage the increased demand for support.

With the exception of two weeks, chat volume has steadily risen week-over-week since the beginning of March, peaking at 45% above the benchmark in late-May. Total chat volume in Q2 outpaced Q1 by a notable 31%. As restrictions on businesses continue to be lifted around the world, it’ll be interesting to see if chat volume maintains this steady growth.

Every industry is trending above the benchmark when it comes to live chat. This is a positive sign that buyer interest is increasing, and that people are engaging with companies more frequently. The industries that have seen the strongest performance in Q2 are construction, consumer goods, human resources, and manufacturing, which all grew by 25% or more during this last quarter. Consumer goods and construction were certainly outliers in Q2, with both industries seeing a bump of 45-50% in volume.

2. Buyer Engagement

Email Marketing

Global marketing email sends rose significantly during the week of March 9, and stayed at elevated levels throughout Q2. Marketers sent 21% more emails during Q2 than Q1, and email sends have recently peaked at 36% above the benchmark during the week of June 15. This elevated volume is the basis for one of this report’s most surprising findings — open rates have not only remained steady relative to the increased send volume, they have actually gone up. The world has only gotten noisier since COVID-19 shut down business as usual, so this is a real testament to marketing teams that have been able to remain relevant and top-of-mind in a stressful time.

Email open rates have hovered around 10-20% above the benchmark throughout Q2. Currently, marketing email open rates sit at 18% above pre-COVID levels. It’s clear that marketing email has been a reliable outlet for engagement during the pandemic, leaving it up to sales teams to capitalize on these opportunities.

It’s also interesting to see how companies of different sizes pivoted their approach to email marketing during COVID-19. For instance, companies with 0-200 employees experienced the most growth in terms of marketing email sends during the past few months. In Q2, 0-25 employees grew 31% compared to Q1 and 26-200 grew 21%. Companies with 201+ employees sent 14% more emails in Q2, and currently this metric sits at 23% above the pre-COVID benchmark.

Even as open rates reached unexpected highs, one rule of marketing email remained true — companies that sent less email got more opens. Companies with 201+ employees had the smallest increase in email volume, and saw consistently higher open rates, currently performing 25% above the benchmark at the end of Q2. 0-25 and 26-200-employee companies also showed a strong end of June, with open rates roughly 15% above benchmark. These numbers are likely trailing behind larger companies because 0-200 employees are sending a lot more emails to a smaller customer base.

All the industries we’re tracking seem to be following the same global trend for marketing email sends, with the exception of human resources, which is sending 81% more email than pre-COVID levels. However, open rates have been quite volatile since late March, calling into question how effective their strategy has been. Right now, open rates for human resources are trending 4% below benchmark, consistent with the maxim that companies should be using email to communicate with customers, but not overusing it to the point where it’s ineffective.

Sales Emails

If Marketing’s job is to identify buyer interest, Sales is responsible for finding the prospects in that pool who will eventually become customers. While sales outcomes are improving (more on this later), sales prospecting has fallen short of its potential.

The number of emails sent by sales teams experienced an immediate and dramatic uptick following the pandemic declaration. From early-March to late-April, sales teams pushed hard to generate pipelines, leading to a 42% increase in email volume. Compared to Q1, sales teams sent 44% more email in Q2. Today, global sales email volume is at an eye-popping 59% above the pre-COVID benchmark.

The problem is that customers aren’t responding to sales emails the same way they’re responding to marketing ones. Like marketing, sales teams increased their email send frequency following the pandemic declaration. But, unlike marketing, their response rates fell significantly during the week of March 16, and have hovered at 25-30% below the benchmark ever since.

Response rates dropped 24% in Q2, even as email volume fluctuated throughout the quarter. As sales teams increased email sends, customers began to tune these messages out or even mark them as spam in their inboxes. So far, it seems if email send rates remain this high, we can expect response rates to trend in the opposite direction.

Two industries — construction and consumer goods — have really stood out. In Q2, both more than doubled the number of sales emails sent compared to Q1, are still well above the benchmark despite some decline in volume during June. Their response rates have been correspondingly lower than the global decrease, with both industries receiving 33% fewer responses in Q2 than Q1.

These trends tell an important story. Email prospecting, to put it bluntly, is out of control. It’s easy to send thousands of emails with just a few clicks, and in a chaotic time, we understand why sales teams are sending so many. But volume and quality is a tradeoff — the time a team saves by sending out email blasts is wasted if that outreach isn’t personalized, relevant, and helpful. These gaps are clear in the data. At this point, sales teams should be working closely with marketing to understand how they can improve their email engagement rates, and sending far less email.

Call Prospecting

As both marketing and sales email volume went up globally, call prospecting plummeted, falling to a low of 27% below the benchmark by the week of April 6. This has been trending upward since, as call events are now at 9% below pre-COVID levels. However, the total number of prospecting activities (email and calling) has increased by 19%, and the shifting ratio between calling and emailing is revealing. In Q1, the ratio was closer to 1:1 while in Q2, sales people sent more than twice as many emails as they made calls. Sales teams will need to return to their pre-COVID balance in order to see improvements in response rates.

All regions have demonstrated overall positive momentum since the week of April 27. EMEA is the furthest below benchmark at -18%, while NORTHAM and APAC are close to pre-COVID levels, trending at 6-7% below the benchmark. LATAM is currently the closest to the benchmark at -2%, following a recent rise in call activity in June. We hope to see these numbers continue to trend in a positive direction as we move into the start of Q3.

3. Sales Outcomes

Deal Creation

New deal creation took a nosedive in March, as companies paused “business as usual” to understand what cutbacks and operating changes they’d need to weather the pandemic. Globally, the number of new deals created was at its lowest point the week of April 6, where 30% fewer deals were created compared to pre-COVID levels. Overall, the number of deals created in Q2 is 8% less than the number of deals created in Q1, and this trend is reflected in all regions and company sizes.

More recently, this metric has been on an upward trajectory globally, though this growth has been volatile. In the 11 weeks since April 6, eight weeks have seen week-over-week growth in deal creation, while three weeks have seen week-over-week decline. The number of deals created have increased for each of the last four weeks, and businesses are hoping that this trend will hold.

All regions are trending positively and are re-approaching pre-COVID levels. APAC, the region that was first impacted by COVID-19 and has to date been relatively successful at containing the virus’ spread, created 5% fewer deals in Q2 than in Q1. North America created 6% fewer deals in Q2, and EMEA and LATAM trail the group at 12% below Q1 averages.

All company sizes are on a similar upward trend, though none have returned to pre-COVID levels. Companies with more than 200 employees are leading the pack, creating just 2% fewer deals in Q2 than in Q1. Compared to Q1, companies with 0-25 employees are down 8%, and companies with 26-200 employees are down 12%.

Unsurprisingly, deal creation cut by industry is seeing the most variability. Travel and entertainment, the two most structurally impacted of the industries we’re tracking, are still far below pre-COVID benchmarks (35% below and 27% below, respectively). Consumer goods is 11% below benchmark, human resources is 10% below benchmark, and computer software is 3% below benchmark. The two industries that are outperforming pre-COVID levels are manufacturing (6% above) and construction, a whopping 36% above benchmark.

Deals Won

Globally, the number of deals won is trending upward as well, and was 8% above benchmark the week of June 22. Like deal creation, this metric has been highly variable since its lowest point — also the week of April 6, when it was 36% below pre-COVID benchmarks. Deals won has seen week-over-week increases for 10 out of the last 11 weeks.

When comparing Q2 to Q1, this metric lagged slightly behind new deals created in its climb toward pre-COVID levels. There were 11% fewer deals won in Q2 compared to Q1, with variability among regions, industries, and company sizes balancing out to that number. As deal creation is a leading indicator of future revenue, this trend is to be expected.

By region, APAC has made the best recovery, with only 6% fewer deals won in Q2 than in Q1. EMEA is the farthest behind at 17% fewer deals won in Q2, while LATAM and NORTHAM are on par with each other at 13% and 9% below Q1 volume, respectively.

Companies with 0-25 employees are closest to Q1 volume, at only 5% fewer deals won in Q2. Companies with 26-200 employees won 17% fewer deals in Q2 than in Q1, while companies with 201+ employees won 16% fewer deals.

As with deal creation, deals won is the most variable when viewed through an industry cut. Four industries are closing more deals than pre-COVID, while three are still far below. Here’s how each industry we’re tracking shakes out:

Above pre-COVID benchmarks:

  • Construction: 24% above benchmark
  • Computer software: 14% above benchmark
  • Manufacturing: 13% above benchmark
  • Consumer goods: 8% above benchmark

Below pre-COVID benchmarks:

  • Human resources: 20% below benchmark
  • Entertainment: 21% below benchmark
  • Travel: 29% benchmark

Perhaps more than any of the other metrics covered in this piece, the long-term health of both deal creation and deals won wholly depends on how the biological reality of the pandemic unfolds. It’s also important to remember that this data should be viewed not as a commentary on the overall health of the economy, but rather as a snapshot of how businesses are behaving right now. Because our data is pulled from HubSpot customers, it is not reflective of the entire economy and does not capture the economic circumstances of any individuals or HubSpot’s own business.

Takeaways

1. Invest in chat.

As many businesses move online for the first time, live chat numbers have skyrocketed in a few industries: construction, consumer goods, and manufacturing. The next few months of the pandemic are, by all expert accounts, uncertain. But we can say that there will be a significant change in how structurally affected industries operate in the future. Many companies who have transitioned online recently will remain online in the future, and this is an investment businesses will be thinking seriously about.

Investing in chat is not only a way to capture the significant uptick in online buyer interest, it’s also a long-term play to help scale your business. Even simple chatbots can take the manual work of basic qualification screening, meeting booking, lead routing, and even simple customer service tasks off your team’s plate, leaving them free to focus on higher-value activities.

Resources to Help:

Free Software to Get Started

2. Shift prospecting away from quantity and toward quality.

The ratio of call prospecting to email prospecting was almost 1:1 before the pandemic. Now it’s closer to 1:2. But response rates are historically low for the non-holiday season, a disconnect between marketing and sales performance that cannot be explained purely by the economic downturn. Salespeople are prospecting 19% more than they were in Q1, and the quality of that outreach has suffered as activity has increased.

Calling is inherently a forcing function in quality sales prospecting. It’s almost not worth it to get on the phone unless you do some research, and that background is key to building rapport, qualifying (and disqualifying), and connecting with buyers. In the age of COVID-19, your entire qualification framework should change — a product that would never have been considered pre-pandemic could be business-critical today, and vice versa. Rethink what a “good fit” looks like right now, create crisp disqualification frameworks to work through leads efficiently, and reprioritize prospecting appropriately. Sales should also be borrowing tactics from marketing — personalization through content, adding a personal touch through video, and prioritizing help over selling.

This ratio also reveals a broader principle sales leaders would do well to remember. Part of sales will always be a volume game, and it’s pointless to deny that. Adopting automation and software cuts down on the time the team has to spend manually sorting leads, and frees them up to feel secure in taking a slower approach to prospecting. Prospecting must be worked from an individual and an operational perspective, and can’t succeed without investment in both processes.

Resources to Help:

Free Software to Get Started

3. Invest in online discoverability.

As a company that sells software to help businesses grow online, we’re witness to a unique moment for our industry. Huge numbers of businesses and buyers shifted online out of necessity, many for the first time. Because this data is reflective of our customer base, which contains companies that have chosen to invest in their online strategy, we don’t have a clear picture of what these numbers look like for businesses that are still 100% offline. But one thing is clear: Businesses that already had an online presence in March were at an advantage.

For most of us right now, our business’s online presence is our business. Whether it’s through a website, a landing page, or a business run through social media, buyers need to be able to find you online. Prioritizing relevant and helpful content, investing in SEO, or taking advantage of a cheaper-than-usual ad marketplace (global ad spend is 8% below pre-COVID levels, and fewer buyers means cheaper keywords), are just a few of the many options you have to reach the right buyers at the right time.

For businesses that do not already have online presences, it may seem intimidating to think about building a website. But the ubiquity of CMS software in 2020 means that it’s possible to stand up a simple site in half a day, for free. And social accounts take even less time. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution — if a website is too daunting right now, it’s perfectly fine to start with just one account and go from there. Any move to online will be more valuable than relying exclusively on analog methods of growing your business.

Resources to Help:

Free Software to Get Started

Sign up for this week’s webinar for more insights surrounding our three-month COVID-19 retrospective.

 

Adapt 2020 HubSpot

HubSpot COVID-19 Q2 Retrospective Infographic

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

How SEO is Different Around the World, According to HubSpot Content Strategists

In 2020, brands are increasingly growing global awareness with international marketing strategies. And, one major way they’ve driven traffic from different regions to their site is through international SEO.

But, like any marketing campaign, SEO is not always a one-size-fits-all approach. In fact, every country is diverse, uses the internet a little differently, and might have different sets of regulations. Not to mention, audiences in one country might have vastly different interests, cultural backgrounds, and values than audiences in another region.

As a marketer, your biggest goal should be to know your audience. And, according to HubSpot SEO experts, this is no different when it comes to building an SEO strategy for your international or multi-language website.

“When you run a multi-language version of your website and you’re serious about delivering best-in-class, high-quality content to audiences around the globe, you should invest in an international SEO strategy that will rely strongly on a proper technical structure and global content strategy that considers local nuances,” advises Karolina Bujalska-Exner, HubSpot’s international SEO manager.

But how do you create a winning international SEO strategy? First, it’s important to identify how SEO, search engine algorithms, and search platforms might vary from region to region.

To help those interested in gaining global online awareness, I spoke with HubSpot’s SEO experts to learn how optimization strategies differ around the world. Here are four things to know.

4 Ways SEO Varies Around the World

1. Your search competition might vary in different geographies

When you’ve only marketed your brand in one country, it will take time to get a social media following, email subscribers, traffic, and other metrics from a new international audience. This is because people around the world are just getting familiar with your brand for the first time.

Although SEO focuses on search, it will similarly take time to grow awareness on another country’s Google or Bing domain.

“Every region of the world has its own Google ccTLD (for example, Google.com, Google.es, Google.fr, Google.jp, etc). Each Google domain follows similar — if not identical — algorithms, but each one is ultimately its own market with its own economy of publishers,” Becker explains.

“A different Google site doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be starting with zero domain authority if you were to expand your content to other regions,” Becker adds. “But it does mean your brand might not have the same awareness it has on Google.com. Therefore, traffic growth may be a bit of an uphill battle as you establish an audience.”

Even though you might be ranking on the U.S. version of Google, keep in mind that audiences on Google.fr in French territories might not know you exist just yet. As you create more content for these markets, they’ll get more chances to click on your content and boost your website’s authority. However, when you start with no SEO or content strategies catered to this market, it will take time to get traffic needed to rank quickly.

2. A region’s language and local nuances can impact your rankings in that territory.

If you’ve done any research on SEO, you probably know that keyword research is a vital way to create and optimize content so it ranks on Google. This is no different in other regions where English or your website’s language might not be as smoothly translated.

“When serving content in different languages, translations or localisations sometimes might not be enough to win rankings or get valuable traffic from another locale,” says Bujalska-Exner.

“Why? Even when the most amazing content is optimized for one region, it might not have a similar meaning or wording when translated to another regional language.”

To mitigate translation issues, Bujalska-Exner says, “It’s important to do your keyword research in the target language so you can find the best regional opportunities for main and long-tail keywords.”

“The same goes for search intent. One term might have completely different intent in another country,” Bujalska-Exner adds. “The way SERPs look varies across the globe. Some countries have more specific search features present than others. This should always be taken into account when deciding how to structure your content.”

As you do international keyword research, Bujalska-Exner advises, “Remember that some SEO tools offer more accurate results for search volumes in specific languages or regions than others. Test several tools before implementing one that provides the most accurate information for your target language.”

Aside from doing research, another helpful way to optimize content for one region is by writing it in that locale’s language from the start.

When you have a regional creator write your content in their language, the writer can better ensure that content is “optimized, helpful, and engaging” to the regional audiences. They can also use their knowledge of the area and audience to include “local examples and ideas,” Bujalska-Exner says.

“There are many ways to set your website for an international audience. The most common are separate ccTlds, subdomains, or language folders.” Bujalska-Exner explains. “Each of those has advantages and disadvantages. You should choose your strategy based on what you want to achieve. You have to think of your SEO needs, the resources you have or might invest in, and choose the best option for you.”

For a technical comparison of ccTlds and international subdomain options, check out this guide.

3. The top search engines in some regions might not be Google or Bing.

While search engines behave similarly internationally, it’s important to know that some of the major sites like Google, Bing, or Yahoo are rarely used or banned in other countries. When marketing web content in these areas, you might need to consider an alternative other than optimizing your site for major search platforms.

“One very clear difference that does exist globally is a search engine’s share of voice in various countries,” Becker explains. “Most search engines you’ve heard of — Bing, Yahoo, Google — have similar algorithms and ranking factors. Therefore SEO for one engine will benefit you across multiple engines. However. some national markets operate on a completely different set of rules “

As our SEO experts have revealed, you don’t have to dramatically change your SEO process, or learn about a whole new list of algorithms to rank on Google in different countries.

But, while the foundation of your keyword research and SEO strategy could be similar from country to country, you’ll still need to identify how search behaviors vary internationally, which languages will be key to your SEO, and local topics that certain international markets might be more heavily searching.

“When discussing SEO, we usually think about optimizing for Google. But, there are many countries in the world where Google’s market share is actually very low,” Bujalska-Exner explains. “Instead there are other regional alternatives that are used as primary engines. For example Yandex is used in Russia and Baidu is primarily used in China.”

Although search engines like Baidu, shown below might look similar to Google, they don’t necessarily act the same, according to our experts.

Baidu, a Chinese search engine.

 

Becker, who also points out China as one region with its own search engine, adds, “China is unique in that Google does not have a presence in this country at all. The primary source of information in China is from Baidu, which does not resemble the ranking factors that marketers are familiar with from Google.”

4. SEO isn’t that different around the globe — but you still need a strategy for each country.

Because platforms like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are still present around the world, optimizing your website for them won’t be that different from country to country. According to Braden Becker, a senior SEO strategist, there are a number of strategies that will work for these search engines in many different countries.

“SEO isn’t really something that differs globally, but rather extends globally,” says Backer. “In the case of HubSpot, we have an SEO strategy that is both native to each region, but also follows a number of universal SEO techniques that marketers need to know in order to do international SEO successfully.”

Yes. If you want to develop audiences in international territories, you’ll need to keep in mind that people in other regions will be searching for different phrases in different languages. This instantly will make keyword research and SEO strategies different in each area.

However, the ranking algorithms that major search platforms, like Google, use in one country aren’t much different in another. So, if you have SEO specialists in different locations, they might use a similar keyword research and SEO optimization strategy. However, they’ll likely discover different lists of keywords and different blog posts to optimize based on what people in their area are looking for.

Navigating International Marketing

Like any other international or audience growth marketing strategy, you’ll ultimately need to know your target audience, give them content that they enjoy, and encourage them to visit your website more often. As you gain traffic to your international website, you’ll gain brand awareness as well as ranking authority from these markets.

For more international marketing tips, check out this post on social media platforms that weren’t founded in the U.S., as well as this list of brilliant international marketing examples.

Want to dive deeper into international SEO? Here’s a technical guide on how to optimize your site for global search engines. Or, worried you’ll make a major global SEO mistake? Read this post to discover how you could sabotage global SEO.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

How These 7 Companies Thrived During the Recession

In 2008, the Great Recession was all over the news. At 14, I didn’t exactly know what that meant. However, I understood that my parents were struggling financially.

While it was the first economic crisis I was old enough to remember, it isn’t the only economic downturn we’ve seen, nationally or internationally.

In 1997, there was the Asian financial crisis. After 9/11, the New York Stock Exchange closed for four days, the first time that had happened since World War I.

The world has faced uncertain times before, and I’m sure it will again. But, how do companies thrive during financially rough times?

In this post, we’ll review seven companies that grew during the recession and see how they succeeded during economic uncertainty.

1. TeamLogic IT

TeamLogic IT provides IT solutions and consulting services for small businesses. Interestingly, IT has been a growing industry during times of uncertainty, including the 2008 recession.

Since consumers are becoming more and more dependent on newer technologies, this industry usually does well during economic recessions. Technology impacts almost every area of our life from our security to our entertainment.

In fact, sales for technology increased during the 2008 recession.

Because of this trend, TeamLogic IT weathered the storm of 2008 well.

If you want to start a business, it’s important to consider whether that industry has done well during times of economic unrest. Industries such as tech, discount stores, accounting, grocery, healthcare, and DIY/repairs do well.

2. Netflix

You might be thinking, “Of course Netflix survived the 2008 recession, it’s a huge company.”

However, in 2008, Netflix wasn’t yet the media giant it is today.

In fact, Netflix introduced a new product (the streaming service), around the time of the Great Recession as a response to dying video rental stores.

Then, during 2008 and 2009, the company continued to work on partnerships with organizations like Xbox so people could stream through those devices.

It was these innovations that allowed the company to continue to grow during the economic downturn. In fact, they were increasing memberships and subscriptions during the 2008 recession while other companies were struggling to maintain revenue.

Additionally, 2008 wasn’t the only time this company has faced a recession. Netflix was founded before the dot-com bubble and had to weather that storm in the early 2000s.

It was during these times that the brand innovated ways to continue to appeal to their audience, whether that meant introducing new products or expanding its products with partnerships and collaborations.

3. Citigroup

Every year, the Federal Reserve conducts stress tests to see how much capital banks would have if they were subjected to hefty losses.

Interestingly, in 2014, Citigroup had grown in assets, making it one of the only banks to have grown since the 2008 recession.

This bank grew in the aftermath of economic distress while others didn’t because they worked on branding and offering quality services. Citigroup started supporting certain community services which helped with their brand story.

In fact, marketing played a large role in Citigroup’s ability to grow after the 2008 recession.

4. Lego

Lego is an interesting case study because you might think that toys and amusement parks or play centers are unessential, so the industry would be impacted by an economic crisis.

However, during the 2008 recession, Lego decided to expand into a global market.

The company concentrated its efforts on building revenue in Europe and Asia while the U.S. faced economic distress.

By doing this, the company reached an all-time high profitability during a recession. This company expertly knew to expand to global markets when its main market was facing an economic downturn.

5. Groupon

Groupon is another company that you might think, “Of course they survived an economic downturn.”

However, Groupon was just a startup in 2008. In fact, the company launched in the middle of the Great Recession. How can this happen?

Well, surprisingly, startups tend to do well during recessions because they usually fill a need and are able to spend less money because of discount prices.

With Groupon specifically, the site did well because it was offering discounts.

Discounts are in extreme demand during recessions because consumers are trying to cut costs wherever they can. Discounts actually offer consumers a way to survive a recession, which is why discount stores tend to do well during economic instability.

6. Mailchimp

Mailchimp has been around for almost 20 years and has survived several economic uncertainties. The company weathered the economic downturn in 2001 (in fact, that’s when it was founded), and the 2008 recession.

So, how did the brand survive and thrive during a recession? Well, the company was founded during the 2001 crisis and was able to do well because of it.

In 2008, the company survived because they changed their entire business model. They became a freemium business, and their revenue soared after that.

Many customers wanted to use Mailchimp during an economic crisis because it was free. By adjusting to the times and offering a free product, the brand was able to grow and they’ve maintained that business model ever since.

7. Warby Parker

Warby Parker is another example of a brand that was founded during the Great Recession. The reason they were able to succeed during this time? They filled an enormous gap in the marketplace.

While you might think that you shouldn’t start a business during an economic crisis, it’s actually a good time to notice gaps and pain points in the marketplace and fill the need.

Warby Parker did that when they realized it was hard to purchase an affordable pair of fashionable glasses online.

They filled a need and customers showed up even though they weren’t spending a lot of money. The company was marketed as affordable (which was necessary during a recession) and customers needed an affordable glassware solution.

Even if your company isn’t as big as these examples, remember that a lot of enterprise companies today started during a recession.

As another example, Microsoft started after the recession in the 70s. Apple transformed its brand after the 9/11 economic downturn by introducing new products and investments.

The global economy is resilient and uncertainty has always passed. The economy will recover, but it’s important for your company to be prepared for when a financial crisis happens.

These companies succeeded because they looked for new opportunities, expanded into new markets, adjusted their offers, developed new products, and gave folks a cost-efficient alternative. Innovation and creativity can help you succeed in the next economic downturn.

Want to learn more about business growth? Check out our ultimate guide.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Use Account Mapping to Build an Effective ABM Campaign

Account-based marketing (ABM) is transforming the B2B marketing and sales world because of its effectiveness in reaching high-value target accounts — but it’s a difficult strategy to manage.

ABM has a lot of moving parts that need to move as a synchronized whole to bring success to your organization.

Fortunately, like any aspect of marketing, ABM is made easier with strategic planning.

Starting with your goals and mapping out a targeted plan is key to building an effective ABM campaign.

Here, we’ll break down the steps of how to put ABM mapping into practice within your organization and implement the right process to make it happen.

What is Account Mapping?

Account mapping involves selecting and organizing the accounts targeted within an ABM program.

After establishing goals, the next and arguably most critical step to ensuring a successful ABM campaign is selecting and mapping the accounts.

Once accounts have been selected and mapped, the sales and marketing team can build their engagement strategy and ensure both sides maximize their alignment.

How to Get Started With Account Mapping

Account mapping is an exercise in account research and documenting details that will be useful as you target an account on your journey to a successful close.

Here are the four main steps you’ll need to take when account mapping:

1. Identify Key Decision Makers and Influencers

After identifying what accounts to target through account planning, the next step is digging into the account to understand the organizational structure and how decisions are made. Starting with the top person in a functional area is an excellent place to begin mapping the functions.

The larger the account, the tougher this task, as many large organizations operate in a matrix environment where influence comes from many directions.

Nonetheless, sourcing these contacts and documenting their Buyer Role using HubSpot or alternative system of record will allow you to track and manage information related to each contact. This will also improve your ability to create unique experiences as a part of your ABM program.

It’s essential to consider buyer roles as it relates to the buying process, not a functional title.

Buyer roles to be considered include:

  • Decision Maker
  • Blocker
  • Influencer
  • Budget Holder
  • Champion
  • Legal & Compliance

Depending on the goods/service sold and the operational impact it may have in the account, there may be a need to expand the roles to meet the specific needs of the account, so you can edit or add new roles as needed.

Using tools such as LinkedIn or ZoomInfo can be helpful when researching an account and the key contacts within the account. Using the Buying Role Property within HubSpot is a great way to align your account intelligence to the contacts within the account.

During your research, you may find that one contact has multiple roles, so you can assign them accordingly as well as assign multiple contacts to the same role.

2. Gather Intel and Align Content

Understanding an account’s needs and pain points is an important input to your ABM engagement strategy. Whether it’s for content alignment or sales outreach, align relevant communications to each stage of the buyer’s journey.

While getting direct intelligence through discovery calls is an excellent way to explore account needs, you should use a wide range of sources to gather as much information as possible to fill any gaps.

Social listening, search intent, press releases, and Google Alerts are all great resources to leverage for information that can be used to gain insights into future account needs. Once well-documented, these insights can be used to map marketing content and sales playbooks to ensure each interaction with the account is meaningful.

3. Engage and Learn

Develop a plan for how and when you will engage the target account. Using a playbook for both sales and marketing engagement plans can help standardize the approach you take and identify points within the process that are working well or areas that need improvements.

Depending on where the account is within the sales cycle when you implement the ABM strategy, the engagement approach may vary. Targeting with account-based advertising may be an excellent first step to warm up the accounts if starting with cold accounts.

Many platforms can enable ABM advertising; however, using HubSpot’s Company List and its LinkedIn Ads integration provides a seamless introduction into account-based advertising without leaving HubSpot.

4. Document How Decisions are Made

Throughout the research and documentation process, you’ve been collecting data that will be useful for both marketing and sales teams. As you seek to advance the engagement process, direct outreach to contacts within the account will be required. Be sure to add value and use best practices to improve the quality of this interaction so that it’s a seamless and valuable experience for the prospect.

You have been gathering account intelligence through the planning process, so now it’s time to put those activities to work. Before reaching out, utilize LinkedIn or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to research the contact. Using the outreach activities to fill data and intelligence gaps will help improve future interactions and engagements.

Of the things you need to learn, understanding who will influence the purchasing decision is high on the list. It’s also helpful to know how the company makes a purchasing decision and their process of awarding a contract. Ensure that you’re gathering these details effectively by recording information in your CRM under the deal, company, and contact records.

Account Mapping Software

There is a long list of software applications that can assist with the account mapping process. The good news is that a lot can be done with free tools, many of which are commonly used within both small and large sales and marketing organizations.

Below is a short list of free and premium tools, along with a brief description that will get you started with ABM Mapping.

1. HubSpot

HubSpot is the centralized marketing platform that helps sales and marketing leaders execute marketing campaigns. HubSpot provides a set of tools that helps keep an ABM-centric campaign, which enables greater transparency between sales and marketing teams when compared to disparate systems.

Cost: Freemium to Paid

2. LinkedIn

The king of professional networking within a digital environment has become a dream tool for sales and marketing professionals. When targeting specific accounts, LinkedIn is a great free resource. In addition to general account research, LinkedIn also is a great integration partner for three of their paid services, which can be invaluable to ABM.

  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Sales Navigator
  • LinkedIn InMail

Cost: Varies depending on tools/service used. 

3. ZoomInfo

From prospecting to buyer intent, ZoomInfo is an excellent resource for finding and tracking companies that fit your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). In addition to identifying the account, they provide a comprehensive set of products that offer deeper account insights, including organizational charts. ZoomInfo is also a HubSpot integration partner, which makes working with the tool seamless.

Cost: Free Trial to Premium

4. 6sense

If you are seeking to take action on Buyer Intent, 6sense provides solutions that improve the transparency into the buyer’s intent using AI. It captures signals across a wide variety of channels and connects it to prospect accounts. 

When moving into the engagement stage of an ABM campaign, these tools provide the ultimate reach and scale.

Cost: Paid (Contact 6sense for pricing details)

ABM mapping can be an effective process to help sales and marketing teams navigate complex account structures. While there are great tools that provide helpful insights, the mapping process is robust and tends to be manual.

An important part of the planning process will be to gain buy in from your internal team and properly assign team members who will be part of the research and documentation process so that your organization will have access to centralized information about your target accounts and contacts within them.

The payoff can be well worth the work if you take the proper steps while developing a focused account-based marketing strategy.

Go to Source
Author: Alex Moore

Powered by WPeMatico

The Plain English Guide to Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

As a writer, I’ve never been very good at math. I know … shocking.

Most marketers can relate, because as a bunch, we tend to be better at English and history than math and science.

However, as a marketer, we need to be able to analyze data and calculate the effectiveness of an article or campaign, even though math might not be our strong suit.

One of the calculations we need to run and metrics we need to track is return on ad spend (ROAS).

Below, let’s review ROAS. In this post, we’ll discuss what ROAS is, how it’s different from ROI, and how to calculate it.

Ultimately, ROAS is meant to measure the effectiveness of a specific ad campaign, not your overall ROI — more on that below.

Besides ROAS, you’ll most likely measure other metrics such as click-through rate and ROI. By measuring multiple metrics, you’ll get a more accurate view of your results.

Of course, measuring performance and tracking analytics is an important part of any marketing campaign.

By tracking performance, you can improve and iterate on your marketing techniques. Plus, data is one of the only ways to truly prove that your department brings in revenue, which is incredibly important.

However, it’s important to note that not everything can be measured with quantitative data. For instance, calculating brand awareness and sentiment is much more difficult. And while you can calculate downloads or email sign-ups, those might not always lead to revenue.

When you’re analyzing any data, it’s important to consider context and review qualitative data as well as quantitative data.

That being said, today we’re going to dive into ROAS specifically. Before we do that, let’s review how ROAS is different from ROI.

Ultimately, this means that the only cost considered in a ROAS calculation is the cost of advertising. On the other hand, the cost of an entire project or campaign will be considered in an ROI calculation.

The goal of your ads campaign, of course, will be to generate a positive return on your ad spend. However, how can you determine what that ad spend should be?

In the YouTube video below, HubSpot details how to determine ad spend by understanding the bidding system used by ad networks.

You’d use ROAS to help you determine how you spend your advertising budget and as a signal to determine if your campaigns are successful. This would let you know that you might need to evaluate your approach to running ads.

So, at this point, you might be wondering, “How can I calculate ROAS?” Let’s review that now.

While the equation is simple, you might face difficulty gathering the data needed to run this calculation. For instance, calculating the cost of an ad isn’t always easy. You’ll need to consider the cost of the ad bid, the labor cost for the time it took to create the creative assets, vendor costs, and affiliate commissions.

But it’s important to get an accurate estimate of the actual money spent on an ad to get an accurate ROAS measurement. If your data isn’t accurate, your findings won’t be either.

Additionally, if you don’t run an ecommerce business, it can also be difficult to measure the revenue generated by an ad. For example, someone might convert from your ad because they downloaded an ebook, however they haven’t spent any money yet. In fact, they might not spend money for months.

To combat this, you can use a CRM software like HubSpot in conjunction with HubSpot Ads, to track revenue made from leads.

With a CRM and ads software, you can keep track of your data and tie it all together — marketing leads, ad results, etc.

Now, you might be wondering, “What’s a good ROAS?” and “How can I improve my ROAS?”

Well, a good ROAS is typically around 3:1. If you’re barely breaking even, it might be time to dig further into the accuracy of your metrics and evaluate your ads and bidding strategy.

However, it’s important to note that the objective of some ad campaigns might not be to make immediate revenue, but to increase brand awareness. If that’s your objective, then a lower ROAS makes sense.

To improve your ROAS, you can lower your ad spend and review your ads campaigns. You might want to optimize your landing pages or rethink your negative keywords.

Overall, ROAS is an important metric to track, but it shouldn’t be tracked in a vacuum. It’s important to look at other data and metrics to get the full picture of your return on investment.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Develop a Successful Marketing Mix Strategy [+ Templates]

One of the first things you’re taught in your Introduction to Marketing class is that marketing can be best explained using the marketing mix — also known as the four P’s.

They are — and say ’em with me, because if you took that class, you know these four words by heart:

  • Product
  • Price
  • Place
  • Promotion

One of the first things you’re taught in your first marketing internship or job, however, is that marketing entails so much more than can be simplified in a four-section marketing mix matrix.

Still, there’s an undeniable benefit of marketing teams organizing their work into the marketing mix framework.

When you stray too far away from the four P’s, it can be easy to lose focus on your purpose as a marketer.

Marketing truly is about teams and individuals working together to promote a product in the right place at the right price point. Efforts beyond this scope are essential, but they do all stem off of this foundation of the marketing mix.

Here, we’re going to dive into what a marketing mix is and how to develop a successful marketing mix strategy for your own company.

What is a Marketing Mix?

The marketing mix refers to the actions a company takes to market its product(s) and/or service(s). Typically, it acts as a framework for breaking down the four key components of marketing — product, price, place, and promotion.

The marketing mix helps companies organize their marketing initiatives by task and department for more process-driven and impactful marketing campaigns.

This framework has roots back to the 1940’s and has been evolving ever since. While some elements have been added or tweaked over the years — most notably for the modern digital age — the core elements of the marketing mix (i.e. the four P’s) have remained consistent for decades.

Featured Resource: Marketing Mix Templates

Need a way to visualize your marketing mix to share it with your employees or investors? Use these four marketing mix templates to organize your initiatives and activities by the right section. Click here to download them now.

Marketing Mix Elements

The core elements of a marketing mix are product, price, place, and promotion — known as the four P’s of the marketing mix. When perfected and synchronized, these elements provide a well-rounded approach to marketing strategy.

1. Product

Product refers to what your business is selling — product(s), service(s), or both. The bulk of the work in this element is typically done by product marketers or managers. Nailing the product element of the marketing mix means doing extensive research and development, understanding the need for the product, developing a product launch plan and timeline, and educating customers and employees — especially salespeople — on the product’s purpose.

2. Price

Price refers to the price point at which you’ll sell your product(s)/service(s) to consumers. Arriving on this dollar amount requires consideration of multiple pricing strategies, analysis of similarly priced products in your market, and insights from consumers through surveys and focus groups. Price speaks to positioning in the market, the speed at which you want to penetrate your market, and your company’s revenue goals and profit margin.

3. Place

In the marketing mix, place refers to where your product or service will be sold. For tangible products, this will include physical locations such as your own store, or a retailer where your product will be resold. It can also include the other methods where your products can be purchased, like online or over the phone.

4. Promotion

Promotional activities are those that make your target market aware and excited about what you’re selling. While this does include paid initiatives like commercials and advertising, promotion also entails organic initiatives like word-of-mouth marketing, content marketing, and public relations.

Other Elements

While the marketing mix can often be simplified down to the 4 P’s, the expansion of the scope of marketing in recent years has resulted in more P’s added to the list.

For example, Smart Insights includes the following elements in its marketing mix definition:

  • Process, or the large internal initiatives taken to support a product launch, such as including salespeople in goal setting.
  • People, which can refer to your buyer, market, and target audience, or your internal team responsible for launch.
  • Partners, or who you’ll be working with outside of your company, such as distributors or co-marketing partners.

Some of the other P’s can include:

  • Payment, or how transactions will be held and processed.
  • Physical evidence, or anything tangible pertaining to your product or service, like any materials needed to complete your service or deliver your product.
  • Packaging, or anything pertaining to the physicality of your product, like how it looks or how it’s packaged.

These other marketing mix elements should be utilized as you see fit for your projects. However, every good marketing mix should rely on a thorough exploration of those first 4 P’s of product, price, place, and promotion.

How to Develop a Marketing Mix Strategy

Because the marketing mix incorporates elements from across your department — and even your company — it’s imperative to establish a marketing mix strategy for each product you launch, or for your company as a whole. For a fully-fleshed out marketing mix, follow these steps.

1. Engage in market research and product development.

The success of your marketing work is first and foremost contingent on your product. Make sure it’s well-developed and your team can speak to its benefits and the story behind it.

Best practices in this step include:

  • Engaging in market research to understand your buyers’ needs.
  • Speaking to your current customers to see what needs to be added or changed about your current product or service line by uncovering their pain points and insights.
  • Monitoring industry trends to identify a potential demand in your market.
  • Examining the competition.
  • Collaborating with your product team during product development to ensure it meets your buyer personas’ needs.
  • Have your product tested by current customers to see how they’re using the product and if it’s actually solving for their problems.

Taking these actions ensures you’re making every effort to understand and solve for your customer, providing a solid foundation for your product to launch successfully.

Featured Tool: Market Research Kit. To make your R&D more impactful, use these free market research templates so you can better understand your customers and competitors.

2. Determine your pricing model.

A lot goes into choosing a price point — so much so that we wrote an entire guide to pricing strategies.

Luckily, you’ll be able to refer to much of the work done in the previous section. Thanks to your understanding of your market through research, you’ll have answered most of the necessary questions in this section. You’ll also need to take your costs into account so you can maximize unit sales and profit.

During this stage, make sure you do the following.

  • Speak to customers (or refer to previously completed market research) to determine the ideal selling price.
  • Work with the product team to ensure the product can be developed in a cost-effective manner that would ensure profitability at your target price point.
  • Meet with finance to determine aggressive yet realistic sales forecasts to contribute to the company’s bottom line.
  • Collaborate with sales to determine to what extent discounting should be allowed or utilized.
  • Determine how you’ll adjust price and revenue forecasts when selling through resellers.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to factor in the perceived value by the customer. Even if your product or service doesn’t cost a significant amount to make, you’ll be able to mark up your product more if you face little competition and provide an irreplaceable benefit to your customers.

Featured Tool: Pricing Strategy Calculator. If you need help selecting your pricing model, use this template to compare different pricing strategies and see which will yield your company the most profit and revenue based on your forecasts.

3. Choose your distribution channels.

The place part of the marketing mix answers where your product will be sold. Keep in mind, this can be any combination of your store, a distributor’s store, or online. You’ll want to address the following points before moving onto the promotion stage:

  • Determine if your product will fare best in your physical location, a store of another retailer, on your website, on another company’s website, or some combination of these locations.
  • Think about geographic location — make sure your supply meets regional demand, and plan for whether or not what you’re selling will be available in a certain city, a state, the country, or worldwide.
  • Come to an agreement with retailers and resellers on margins, markups, and MSRPs.
  • Figure out how many salespeople will be needed to ensure you meet your goals.
  • Set goals for retail/third-party sellers, since you may be sharing shelf space or search results with a competitor or two.

4. Select your promotion tactics.

Finally, it’s time to promote your product. While this is probably the element most associated with marketing, it’s crucial that this element be completed last, because you need the foundation of product, price, and place before determining promotion tactics.

Think about it — shouldn’t you know what you’re promoting, why you’re promoting it, and where it’s available before actually promoting it? It’s tempting to jump right to this step, but your promotion will be much better off if it’s done after everything else in the marketing mix.

Once you do have that understanding, consider the following promotional channels and choose the one(s) that make the most sense for your product, its buyers, and its price point:

  • Content marketing efforts, such as blogging, content creation, and building a website.
  • Public relations and working with affiliates and/or influencers.
  • Social media marketing — both organic and paid — on channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.
  • Search engine ads on sites like Google and Bing.
  • Ads to air on video streaming sites like YouTube, or on TV.
  • Event marketing, including attending industry events or hosting your own event.
  • Customer marketing and utilizing referrals.
  • And more. There are countless promotional ideas you can use to spread the word on your product, service, or business.

Featured Tool: Marketing Plan Template. If your promotional tactics are multi-faceted enough, consider documenting your plans in this customizable template.

Marketing Mix Examples

Every company’s marketing mix is different, placing emphasis on certain factors over others.

Some businesses use their marketing mix for a single product, while others adopt a company-wide marketing mix. However, all examples of good marketing mixes never fail to neglect the word mix. All elements of the marketing mix are important, so don’t be quick to overlook any of them, and find ways for different elements of the mix to overlap and share goals.

With so many activities happening to support a single initiative, it’s helpful to organize everything in a single template for easy reference. Here are a few examples of marketing mix templates your marketing department can use, in addition to when they might make sense to reference.

1. Simple Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

This template is a great starter for organizing a marketing mix. It’s ideal for one product and for the marketing mix’s maker to get an understanding of all the elements involved in the marketing of a product.

2. Company Marketing Mix Template

Screen Shot 2020-06-23 at 1.38.28 PM

Download this Template

For a marketing mix that applies company-wide, this template is a perfect fit. You can outline the initiatives that apply to most or all of the products and/or services in your suite.

3. Structured Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

For when you need to get right to the point with a more organized, actionable visualization, use this structured, bulleted template for quick reference and clarification.

4. Production Marketing Mix Template

Download this Template

Finally, a production marketing mix template is best utilized for internal reference. This template answers questions on the go-to-market efforts for products and services that you’re selling.

Mix It All Together

Whether you’re a student just learning to understand everything that marketing entails or a CMO hoping to clearly convey the work that your team is doing to your fellow employees, the marketing mix framework is an essential tool to help you get the job done.

Don’t forget — if you need to organize your marketing initiatives into a central location, try using HubSpot’s Marketing Mix Templates to document your activities in one place.

Go to Source
Author: AJ Beltis

Powered by WPeMatico

Gated Content: What Marketers Need to Know

As William Shakespeare once wrote, “To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Marketers have a similar classic debate and that is: gated versus ungated content.

While 80% of B2B content marketing assets are gated and lead generation is one of the top objectives for marketers, it’s not an open and shut case.

That’s why we’ve gathered everything you need to know about gated content in this post.

Below, let’s review what gated content is and how it compares to ungated content. Then, we’ll dive into gated content best practices and look at some examples.

So, how does gated content work?

Usually, users arrive at your website and see a CTA or pop-up that offers them access to a piece of content in exchange for their information.

Your CTA or pop-up could lead to a landing page where the visitor will get more information on the content offer.

It’s important to note that gated content for inbound marketing is free and not hidden behind a paywall. Users just need to submit contact information to access the content.

Now, you might be wondering, “Why would I hide my content from my audience?”

Typically, the goal of gated content is lead generation. Marketers will create targeted content for their audience and use it to attract leads. Gated content isn’t used for brand awareness or visibility campaigns because the nature of hidden content doesn’t allow for high traffic.

Below, let’s discuss the pros and cons of gated versus ungated content.

As you can probably tell, gated and ungated content both serve different purposes. But you might be wondering what the pros and cons are. Let’s dive into it now.

Pros of Gated Content

  • Increases lead generation
  • Leads to more sales
  • Provides analytics and insight into your customers
  • Allows for email list segmentation

Cons of Gated Content

  • Lack of page views and traffic
  • No SEO benefit or boost
  • The form deters people from downloading content
  • No brand visibility

Ultimately, gated content is meant to generate leads that you can nurture into prospects through your marketing efforts while ungated content is meant to increase traffic and improve trust with your audience.

Both types of content are valuable and should be included in your content marketing strategy.

After reading this list, you might be wondering, “How do I know if I should gate my content?”

Well, it all depends on your goals — brand visibility/SEO or lead generation.

Additionally, consider the type of content. Longer form content like an ebook is suited to gated content, while shorter form content such as blog posts are better off as ungated content.

Once you’ve decided to create a piece of gated content, you’re probably curious how to get started. Let’s review some best practices below.

1. Create content for each stage in the buyer’s journey.

When a prospect goes through the buyer’s journey, they’ll go through three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision.

In fact, here’s a quick graphic explaining each stage:

HubSpot's buyer's journey.During each stage, it’s important that your audience has content that’s meant to help them along the way.

For instance, visitors in the awareness stage are probably interested in reading an ebook. On the other hand, a visitor in the decision stage might prefer a product demo or webinar.

That’s why it’s important that your content offers are designed for each stage of the buyer’s journey. If your gated content is aligned with their journey, your audience is more likely to convert.

2. Complete a competitive analysis.

Once you’ve brainstormed some content ideas for each stage of the buyer’s journey, it’s time to conduct a competitive analysis.

In a competitive analysis, you’ll research what your competitors are doing. This means looking up what type of content offers they’re creating. Look at what content is gated versus ungated.

This will give you a good idea of what content of yours should be gated.

3. Provide incentive.

As an inbound marketer, you know that providing value is of the utmost importance.

Your content offers shouldn’t just be a long blog post. Instead, your gated content should provide actionable, valuable content.

Additionally, your gated content should be relevant to your audience.

When your content provides true value, it gives your audience an incentive to fill out that form and give you their contact information.

4. Build a strong landing page.

Usually, when a user clicks on a CTA for a content offer, they’ll be led to a landing page. That means one of the best practices for gated content is to build a strong landing page.

This means you’ll want to create a strong headline, write compelling copy, and generate a form.

Ultimately, a landing page will eliminate distractions and capture your visitor’s undivided attention.

5. Segment your audience.

Once your audience has downloaded your gated content and you receive their email address, it’s time to segment your email lists.

This will help you develop email marketing campaigns that are targeted and effective.

Additionally, segmenting your audience means you can send nurturing emails to move those leads to prospects.

6. Measure the analytics.

When you’ve decided to gate a certain piece of content, that means you can track conversions and measure your analytics.

As with any marketing strategy, measuring your success is extremely important. This data will help you understand your audience better and improve your content strategy.

Now that you know some best practices for creating gated content, let’s look at types of content and examples of what this will look like in action.

Gated Content Examples

1. White paper.

A great example of gated content is a white paper. A white paper is an authoritative, in-depth report on a specific topic.

Usually, these are long-form pieces of content that are interesting and valuable to your audience.

White papers make great gated content because of the value they provide. Additionally, it helps your brand become an industry expert on a topic. When you’re a trusted expert, people want to know what you have to say.

This means you’ll get more people to download your offer.

2. Ebook.

An ebook is another popular type of gated content. Unlike a white paper, an ebook is usually a shorter guide on a specific topic.

Ebooks can also give your brand authority and build trust with your audience. Usually, ebooks are used in the awareness and consideration stage of the buyer’s journey.

3. Templates.

One of my favorite forms of gated content is the template. Providing a template is a tactical, actionable piece of content.

The perceived value of a template is much higher than that of an ebook and a white paper, which means your audience is more likely to input their contact information to receive it.

Templates are a great gated content offer for folks in the consideration and decision stage of the buyer’s journey.

4. Webinar.

With a webinar, you’ll educate your audience to learn more about a topic. You’ll develop trust, build relationships, and hopefully, inspire.

For prospects who are in the decision stage of the buyer’s journey, webinars are an excellent gated content offer.

Again, webinars have a high perceived value, which makes your audience more likely to fill out that form.

With gated content, it’s important to consider what types of content you’re offering and make sure it’s suited to your audience. Ultimately, gated content should be targeted and help you generate leads.

Go to Source
Author: Rebecca Riserbato

Powered by WPeMatico

Why Marketers Should Implement User-Generated Content: 23 Stats to Know

As a Boston-based young professional, the biggest product I’ve had to invest in was an over-priced apartment.

And this year, with apartment tours going fully virtual, I’ve found it even harder to do the extreme research needed before committing to a lease. Now, as I research apartment after apartment online, my new process feels like an intense buyer’s journey.

In my research phase, I spend hours on end scouting listings, looking up addresses on Google Maps, researching neighborhoods, skimming through Yelp reviews of prospective property managers, and analyzing photos or video tours for potential problems that an unseen apartment could have.

Ultimately, I’ve found that the apartment listings I’m most drawn to have links to video tours filmed by current tenants.

When I’ve watched tours filmed by tenants, they’ll explain what they like about their apartment, note major pros and cons, and give tiny — but authentic — details that the average salesperson might not offer. For example, in one video, a tenant honestly revealed one pro and one con about a bathroom by saying, “The bathtub has a great jacuzzi, which makes up for the lower water pressure.”

After viewing a pleasant and seemingly trustworthy virtual tour, I feel like I’ve gotten an in-depth and authentic look at the product, as well as thoughts from a previous customer who is an expert on the product. Additionally, because the tenant often voluntarily offers their time to host the create video or virtual tour, I also get the sense that they are willing to help a trusted landlord find a new tenant.

Ultimately, I’m more likely to respond to an apartment listing with a great tenant-generated virtual tour than a listing with over-produced images or videos edited by an outsider.

When it comes to smaller purchases, I feel the same way about promotional content created by customers. This content shows me what the product is like in real life and proves that customers are delighted enough about their experience to promote a trusted brand.

And, I’m not the only consumer (or marketer) who thinks this. An estimated 90% of consumers say user-generated content (UGC) holds more influence over their buying decisions than promotional emails and even search engine results.

Below, I’ll highlight more stats, facts, and figures that demonstrate the benefits of user-generated content.

23 User-Generated Content Stats to Know in 2020

Benefits of User-Generated Content

  • Consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, (Stackla, 2020)
  • 48% of marketing professionals believe that content created by customers can help humanize their marketing. (TINT, 2018)
  • 34% of TINT users surveyed and 45% of marketing professionals agreed that UGC helps increase key social media KPIs. (TINT, 2018)
  • 42% of marketers say user-generated content is a vital component of their marketing strategy. (TINT, 2018)
  • Ads featuring UGC garnered 73% more positive comments on social networks than traditional ads. (Jukin Media, 2018)
  • 31% of consumers say advertisements that feature UGC content are more memorable than traditional ads without it. (Jukin Media, 2018)
  • 28% of consumers say ads with UGC content in them are also more unique than ads without this type of content. (Jukin Media, 2018)
UGC ads are more memorable than traditional ads.

Image Source

UGC Tactics

  • 50% of marketers have utilized user-generated content in email marketing, (TINT, 2018)
  • Meanwhile, 58% of marketers have implemented UGC in ad campaigns. (TINT, 2018)
  • Nearly half of marketers use UGCto support their overall marketing campaigns. (TINT, 2018)
  • 41% of marketing professionals ranked content engagement as their top KPI for tracking user-generated content. (TINT, 2018)
  • The most common types of UGC are photos, videos, social media content, customer reviews or forums, and content created with branded AR filters. (IAB, 2019)

Brand Authenticity

  • 60% of consumers believe UGC is the most authentic marketing content. (Stackla, 2017)
  • 75% of marketers believe user-generated content feels more authentic than other types of content. (TINT, 2018)
  • Although 92% of marketers think they’re creating authentic content, 51% of consumers think their favorite brands offer authenticity. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 57% of consumers think that less than half of the content brands create resonates as authentic. (Stackla, 2017)
  • Consumers are 2.4x more likely to say user-generated content is authentic compared to brand-created content. (Stackla, 2020)
  • 56% of internet users say they find out about products from friends or acquaintances while 32% rely on customer reviews. (Statista, 2020)
  • On average, 20% of consumers have unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt their content was inauthentic. (Stackla, 2017)
  • 70% of the time, consumers are able to distinguish between consumer-created content and brand-created content. (Stackla, 2017)
top user generated content strategies

Image Source

UGC Audiences

  • Demographically, more Gen Z YouTube viewers prefer UGC to professional videos more than older generations. (YouTube, 2020)
  • Globally, Gen Z and millennial generations watch more user-generated content than Gen X and Boomer generations. (YouTube, 2020)
  • More than 30% of millennials have unfollowed a brand due to inauthentic content. (Stackla, 2017)
consumers unfollow brands due to inauthentic content

Image Source

Defining a User-Generated Content Strategy

As you can see from the stats above, user-generated content not only saves you production time, but it can also make your brand more authentic and trusted.

If the data above has persuaded you to implement UGC in your marketing strategy, here are a few next steps you can consider:

  • Get inspiration from other brands: Seeing successful examples of UGC from brands in a similar industry will give you an idea of which customers to reach out to and how to amplify their positive thoughts about your product. For a few great UGC examples, check out this blog post.
  • Determine how you’ll get the content: Will you encourage fans to send you videos on social media, host a content-related contest, or directly ask your clients to promote a product via email? For tips on this step, read this post,
  • Be authentic: Remember, the biggest strength of user-generated content is that it allows audiences to see an authentic view of your product. Don’t be afraid to promote UGC that might be lower quality but highlights all the best features of your brand or product.

To learn more about how to leverage user-generated content in your marketing, click here.

Go to Source
Author:

Powered by WPeMatico

How to Create a Social Media Report [Free Template]

Social media is an undeniably powerful channel for marketing in 2020.

In fact, social networks are the biggest source of inspiration for consumer purchases, with 37% of consumers finding purchase inspiration through social channels.

However, if you’re using social media as a tool for organic exposure and brand awareness, rather than just a channel for paid ads, it can be difficult to track the success of your efforts.

As any social media manager knows, successful implementation of a social media strategy is contingent on countless factors — and all companies prioritize different channels, metrics, and criteria for success.

For example, is paid more important than organic to your business, and if so, to what extent?

Is more importance placed on audience engagement, or audience growth?

Has a posting cadence been directly tied to revenue?

With so many areas of focus for social media marketers, it’s crucial to choose, analyze, and report on your key social media metrics with a social media report.

A social media report can help you clearly convey what factors your social media team prioritizes, why those factors matter, and how you’re performing against those goals.

In this post, we’ll highlight the importance of a social media report, list the metrics you should consider including in one, and walk through a step-by-step process for building a social media report yourself.

For a quick and easy solution to your reporting woes, click here to download HubSpot’s Free Social Media Reporting Template.

Why Use a Social Media Report?

A social media report is the best way to distill the key metrics your social media team is tracking on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and/or annual basis.

Since social media encompasses so much, gathering and reporting on the data and channels that you’ve determined are most important for your business provides a lens of focus for your social media marketing team, and delivers a necessary high-level overview for leadership.

Social media doesn’t just affect marketing. Prospects ask questions, customers write reviews, and thought leaders follow you for company news. Because social media coincides with nearly every aspect of your organization, gathering and distributing the state of your social media channels is a move that shows transparency and encourages cross-company alignment.

You can also use a social media report to report on campaign-level analytics. If your social media account is serving as a cog in a larger company initiative, this report shows to what extent social media contributed to the project’s success.

Featured Resource: Free Social Media Report Template

social-media-report-hubspot

HubSpot’s free social media report template has pre-made slides for you to report on all of your predominant social media metrics. Download the template today and simply plug in your own metrics to customize a social media report for your organization.

Social Media Metrics to Report On

Your business likely values some metrics over others when it comes to social media reporting. Likely, these metrics also vary between your channels — since LinkedIn doesn’t let you retweet, and Twitter doesn’t let you click a cry-face button.

Before you start reporting on your social media channels’ performance, read through this list of options of social media metrics so you can determine which ones you should include in your report.

1. Audience Size and Growth

This metric tells you how large your reach is and how quickly that reach is growing. This is typically seen as the core social media metric, as it shows how large of an audience you can leverage with your posts and content.

2. Cadence of Posts

A rather self-explanatory example, this metric represents how many times you posted in a given time period. This metric is usually compared alongside other metrics — such as engagement rates — to help you determine the right cadence for your audience.

This metric should also be channel-specific, because it makes sense to post more frequently on some channels than others.

3. Post Engagement

Post engagement measures how your fans and followers are reacting to your posts with likes, comments, and shares. A healthy post engagement suggests you have a loyal audience — and that your content is reaching them.

You can also track engagement as a percentage of your audience to determine engagement rate.

4. Mentions

One metric you have a little less control over is mentions. You can track mentions from customers, prospects, and even news outlets to gauge perception of your business and brand online.

5. Clickthrough Rate

When a post links to a page on your website, you can measure how many people and what percentage of your audience clicked through to the page. A strong clickthrough rate shows you’re sharing website pages that your audience finds relevant.

6. Conversions & New Contacts

Conversions comes into play if you’re using social media to generate leads, subscribers, or even customers. If you want to attribute contacts to your social media team’s efforts, make sure you’re using proper tracking and setting reasonable goals, as it’s rare in some industries to go straight from social media to becoming a customer.

7. ROI

Directly tracing ROI (return-on-investment) to social media efforts can be tricky. However, if you determine it’s worth reporting on this metric, make sure you have proper expectations set and attribution models established.

8. CPM / CPC

This metric is essential for monitoring the performance on your social media ads. If you’re solely reporting on organic social metrics, you can ignore this one.

9. Competitor Metrics

To provide a benchmark, consider analyzing the aforementioned metrics for your competitors. Obviously, these metrics can vary drastically based on publicity, paid budget, and the size of the company, but it’s still worthwhile to make the comparison.

How to Make a Social Media Report

Step 1: Choose Your Presentation Method

For consistency and clarity, make sure you’re using a social media report presentation, spreadsheet, or memo template. This way, each time you update your metrics, you’ll simply need to copy over your most up-to-date metrics onto that template rather than reinventing the wheel every time.

We suggest using a PowerPoint or Google Slide Deck template, because you can share it with your team via email, use it for an in-person meeting or presentation, or both.

Need a template to get started? Try this one.

Step 2: Determine the Metrics You’ll Be Reporting On

Like we’ve established, different companies and different social media teams value different social media metrics.

It’s your job to choose the metrics that matter most to your team and your organization.

Using the list from the section above, narrow down the essential metrics you believe are worth presenting to your team at large. Remember, you can change which metrics you report on for each of your organization’s social media platforms.

If your social media report is campaign-specific, reach out to the project stakeholders to see if they’re hoping to see reporting on any certain metrics in the social media report.

Pro Tip: For your first few ongoing social media reporting presentations, ask your peers which metrics they’d like to see, or which ones they need clarification on. Making these changes sooner rather than later helps you keep your team informed and engaged.

Step 3: Gather Your Data

Once you know what you’re reporting on and how you’re reporting it, it’s time to start collecting data.

When you’re first setting up your social media reports, create bookmarks for your data sources. Make a folder for the analytics page for each social media channel you’re analyzing and/or your social media reporting software for an all-encompassing view.

If you’re tracking click-throughs to your website, make sure you’re analyzing from a single master location, such as your tracking URL builder or your traffic tracking tool like HubSpot or Google Analytics.

Step 4: Add in Some Visuals

A chart of numbers on a slide deck is, well, pretty boring.

While a numerical chart is important for sharing as much info as possible in an organized way, using visuals is a better way to convey the growth and success metrics of your social media performance. Try incorporating one or all of the following into your social media reports:

  • Linear graphs to show followers over time.
  • Pie charts to show clicks to different pages of your website (blog pages vs. case studies, for example).
  • Bar graphs to show number of engagements on each platform.

These examples are more eye-catching than numbers on a slide and further illustrate what you want your team to walk away with. If data visualization is new to you, check out our Guide on Data Visualization for Marketers.

Step 5: Think of Your Story

A running social media report should always remind people about where you came from and where you plan on going. That said, make sure your reports make reference to how your numbers have changed since the last period of time on which you presented, in addition to why numbers have changed.

Did follower growth as a percent increase drop last month? Maybe that’s because one of your posts from the month before went viral and resulted in unprecedented growth that was impossible to match. Make that clear and add context to the numbers.

Additionally, each report should contain clear action items about how you plan to continuously improve your social media performance. Social media is constantly evolving, so your approach and strategy for it should, too.

Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge to build, design, and share your social media report, download your social media report template and get to work!

Go to Source
Author: AJ Beltis

Powered by WPeMatico