How long does it take to see social media marketing results, and how do you measure ROI for social media efforts?
Yikes…tricky question, but one that’s worth asking for sure. This answer is dependent on the type of results you’re looking for. Of course, revenue is the mecca of results. However, you have to take into account how long-term brand recognition and a dedicated following can contribute to purchasing decisions down the line.
You can track quantitative results through Analytics tools offered within your social media accounts, though we use several different tools to provide accurate, detailed reports for our client. You can also measure results based on followers/fan counts, traffic referrals and engagement rates. See how you stack up against your competitors and what you can offer that they aren’t. Sharing discount codes exclusively on social media can be another great way to track the source of a conversion. You can speed up the process by posting consistently and including a call-to-action in your posts.
Key Performance Indicators
It’s imperative to identify your key performance indicators (KPIs) before getting started with a social media strategy. Consider whether revenue or brand awareness is more important for your company right now. Without this base to work off, you won’t be able to measure your ROI. Once you’ve chosen your KPIs, assign value to each one of them. You can calculate monetary value for your brand based on how much each customer will spend on average, how much a potential visit is worth to you based on the percentage that converts, what the average purchase amount is from your site, and how much you would end up paying if you went with paid ads (AdAge).
If you choose to go with paid social advertising, you’re going to see a higher influx of traffic and conversions. This comes at a price though, so we recommend trying an organic strategy first. Your brand may already be popular enough to not need paid social! Brands that already have a leg up on the competition include clothing stores, brands with more freedom of voice, humorous brands and any company that deals with puppies (those cheaters).
While this may not provide an answer to the question, these optimization tips should ensure you’re seeing results as fast as possible. Just remember—you get what you put in!
It can go by many names, but reputation management is the process of shaping public perception of a person or organization by influencing online information about that entity. It’s a lot of big words, but you’re essentially working to keep your ‘cool kid’ status. Depending on your brand though, your status may actually be ‘quirky’, ‘funny’, ‘professional’, etc. All in all, you want this perception to be a positive one.
One of the key parts of reputation management is online reviews. Whether it’s Facebook, Google Reviews or Yelp, you want to be sure that the negative reviews are addressed and the positive reviews are showcased. We can even implement an automated email that gets sent out to customers after they receive their item or service. Plus, we’ll throw in a URL that links directly to your company’s Google review page and pre-program the pop-up with a five-star review. Making it easy for satisfied customers to leave a review and addressing negative reviews in a professional manner are both important parts of online reputation management, but even more important is guiding customers to the appropriate channel to reach you with questions or concerns. This can prevent negative reviews from getting out there in the first place.
Social Media Monitoring
Responding on social media and presenting a consistent personality across all platforms helps establish your brand and encourage engagement. We utilize some great tools that can track when you’re mentioned online, whether the mention is positive or negative and when you’re tagged on social media. Remain professional in your responses, and respond in a timely manner. If you’re the Wendy’s Twitter account, throw in some sassiness.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it is the practice of increasing the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results. Though we often hear it in reference to Google, this term applies to all search engines (even Bing). The goal of SEO is to bring in traffic to your website, but not just any old traffic. Traffic in the form of people who are actually searching for what you offer. This inbound marketing technique draws in high-intent visitors, and plenty of them. Organic traffic is free of charge, but it requires a few essential parts: site structure, content creation and link development.
Content Creations and Site Structure
At the base of content creation and site structure is keyword research. In this step, SEO experts compile a list of keywords and phrases related to your brand that have a high number of monthly searches and a low competition score. These keywords are then used to establish page titles, determine site structure, form URLS, etc. They’re the magic juice that makes your content creation effective; By including these keywords within the text, H1 tag, alt-tag and more, you ensure your high-quality content is ranked appropriately. Including external and internal links can help spread authority among your site and ensure the little pages earn high rankings as well. Conducting website audits can help pick out elements that might be slowing down your pages or creating errors, two factors that can hinder your rankings.
In its own category is backlinking, an SEO tactic that requires the most creativity. A backlink is any link (cannot be ‘rel=nofollow’) in or on a website page that points or ‘links’ back to your website/page. These backlinks can be gained through guest blog posts, quality content that’s worth sharing, sponsorships and more. The best backlinks are ones that comes from sites with high domain and trust scores.
We use certain online tools to determine what backlinks you already have, what their worth is in relation to your ranking, and what sites would be beneficial to target for backlinks. Backlinks tell search engines that your site is reputable, making them one of the most important ranking factors.
Unlike with paid advertising, SEO efforts can take months to come to fruition. The good part though is that the fruits are bountiful! The first couple weeks are dedicated to research, keyword strategy, planning and a website audit. Technical SEO work follows, including on-site alterations/additions, error fixes, directory listings and some content creation. If it’s discovered that the website is too much of a mess to fix, a complete website overhaul may be necessary. Because we have in-house designer and developers, this project could be completed entirely by our team.
The next step is a full-on content creation strategy—I’m talking blogs, FAQs, white papers, articles, expanded product information, etc. By the end of month three, you should start seeing a jump in your organic positions, though this can be dependent on the keyword difficulty.
From there, technical optimization and link development are incorporated. To speed up the process on your end, be sure to share content through your social media channels, avoid tampering with the website, and help with any company clarifications that may be required for content creation/site edits. All in all, SEO takes about 3 months to start showing results.
Search Engine Optimization ensures search queries related to your brand bring up your website in the organic results. Part of this optimization takes place on the website itself, which is where site structure, URLs and site content come into play.You want to be sure that your website has specific pages dedicated to certain queries. If you’re an ecommerce site, make sure to have pages devoted to different brands, types, colors, functions, etc. You also want to make sure that the URL includes these keywords. By changing the URL after the design and development process are already complete, you risk 404 errors and useless backlinks. Redirecting can help with this issue, but integrating SEO in the early stages saves you on time and work. You’ll want to consult an SEO specialist prior to indexing and launching your website.
An SEO audit gives you a better idea of what’s helping you in organic search rankings and what’s hindering you. An audit can tell you what individual pages are doing for your SEO and which tactics are bringing in the most traffic. We recommend an SEO audit at the beginning of a new project and at the start of anew quarter. You should also run one if you notice a dramatic drop in rankings, as this could be an indicator of an algorithm update.
When we conduct an audit, we cover technical analysis, on-page analysis, off-page analysis and competitive analysis/keyword research to determine your site’s SEO strength. Using tools designed for site audits, we can check your site’s load time, indexability, and keyword strength. With keywords ever-shifting to be more or less competitive, you need to be on top of your game to crush the competition.
Only 5% of website that have been penalized try to recover their rankings. This could be because penalized parties don’t know when they’ve been penalized or how to remedy the situation. No matter the reason, it gives you the perfect opportunity to get a leg up on the competition.The most common penalty we see companies receive is for bad backlinks. These are normally gained monetarily or through black hat tactics. We recommend gaining backlinks through press release pages, quality content and guest blogging instead. This types of penalty is a manual action from Google’s spam team. To remedy a bad backlink, we complete a backlink audit and disavow any backlinks that seem shady. After a week or so, your rankings should see improvement.
The other type of penalty is an algorithm penalty, and this type requires a little more research to identify the problem. You’ll need to correlate the time period when you lost traffic with the date when the new algorithm update occurred. We use this guide to the Google Algorithm Change History to identify just what issues are preventing your site from ranking well. The biggest uproar came during the mobile-first update; Sites that weren’t mobile-friendly saw a dramatic drop in their SEO. We keep up with the latest updates to ensure your site receives the lowest amount of penalties.
With the evolution of marketing comes the growth of inbound tactics. Instead of reaching out to customers, become an influencer and source of valuable information in your industry. That way, customers will come to you. Content marketing serves the dual purpose of improving SEO and creating a loyal following. When people feel they can trust your opinion/information, they’re more likely to buy from you.
Content marketing aids several different marketing strategies. With a strong content marketing strategy, larger sites might ask you to guest post on their blog. This provides a backlink to your website and boosts brand exposure. From an SEO perspective, continuous content creation also expands your site’s real estate and enhances your domain authority. New content gives you ammo for social media, and you can advertise email signups throughout an article. Another great way to leverage content marketing is to offer free eBooks or white pages in exchange for personal information that can be used to foster a lead. By featuring other brands within your content marketing, you can also create valuable relationships in your industry.
We implement certain tactics to ensure you get the most out of your content, including interlinking, frequent social sharing and tagging. We also incorporate a clear call-to-action that encourages direct conversions, giving a dollar value to your efforts. Content marketing builds your reputation—instead of telling people you know your stuff, you show them that you know your stuff.
An essential part of any content marketing strategy is having a variety of content. While blogs are the quickest type, other content options can be leveraged for lead information or to more rapidly shepherd consumers down the conversion funnel. Longform content allows you to keep a consistent readership by promising a sequel or accompanying piece of content. The best longform content is ‘ultimate guides’, though these pieces can rack up 5,000-15,000 words. Typically, they’re divided into chapters, and each chapter is given its own URL. This makes it easier to share different pieces of content on social media and aids in SEO.
Case Studies are ideal for B2B scenarios, since these purchases are normally larger and require more research prior to purchase. These in-depth examinations tell a story about a problem you fixed, and they include a description of the issues, the steps you took to resolve it, and what results you saw from your efforts. This not only shows readers that your product or service is effective, but it also promotes transparency.
White papers are information-dense, meaning they require plenty of research. They target a specific topic and offer a solution or data. In most cases, you’ll be offering up your product or service as a solution to the problem. Ebooks are similar, except they’re published in online book format. Due to the immense scope of this content type, companies often hire freelance writers to tackle the project.
Infographics take stats and translate them into a visual format, making the information easier to decipher at a glance. Infographics can be incorporated into other pieces of content and are ideal for social media platforms. We can find content that covers the same topic as your infographic and ask the publisher whether they would be interested in including your infographic in exchange for a backlink. Plus, we can add your logo at the bottom to ensure you get brand exposure every time the infographic is shared.
Videos are the most universally appealing type of content and the content that normally gets the most engagement. Just scroll through your Facebook Feed—it’s mostly videos! Videos are ideal for product reviews, tutorials and humorous content. According to one study, 4 times more users would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Talking heads are boring—we make your videos dynamic by including sound effects, different environments and action.
When choosing between a custom website design and a template, you’ll need to consider budget, scalability, features needed and design capabilities. While a template cuts out the need for a designer, it also limits where you can put certain features. A custom website design gives you an interface that is unique to your brand. If you’re worried about making changes to a custom site, we can build in a Content Management System that makes it easy to add content, images, plug-ins and inventory. Custom websites take longer to complete, but it will be easier to code the site for SEO. Plus, you’ll be able to adapt to your company’s needs. The downside to a custom site is that it costs more money, as you employ the skills of both a developer and a designer. A custom site will be able to grow with your business, though you may have to pay a developer to make the necessary changes. The upside though is that developers for a custom site can help you when needed, since they’re familiar with the system. Downsides to templates are that not all are built to be search engine friendly and some may not work on all browsers. However, you don’t need any coding knowledge to create a template site.
With more users now browsing from their phone than from a desktop, it’s imperative that you have a responsive website design. Most newer templates have responsiveness built in, but those using an older template or an older custom design will need to upgrade.
With a responsive site, your pages react to the size of the user’s screen, resizing photos, shifting content and changing menus to create the optimal user experience. Responsive sites adapt to any screen size—even tablets! A responsive site prevents redirects, uses standardized Style Sheets across all devices, and maintains a consistent look and feel no matter the device. Users won’t have to worry about scrolling or zooming to complete conversions, and you save money that would go into a dedicated site for mobile devices. In addition, you’ll be able to consolidate your analytics and reporting—no more tracking conversion paths between your mobile and desktop sites! Perhaps most important of all is the fact that a responsive design benefits your search rankings. With Google’s Mobile Friendly update, sites that are mobile optimized are given a priority in the search results. To check the current responsiveness of your site, use this tool.
Not to toot our own horn, but we’ve been in the digital marketing business for over ten years. During that time, we’ve worked with clients big and small (Dollar General, Midland Radio, Sunlighten Spas, etc.), won an award for Internet Marketing Services in 2015, and helped some of the most charitable organizations in our city.
Plus, we’re dedicated to the community where we work in. Our Midwest Business Spotlight features local companies that create jobs in our city and boost local economy. We provide a valuable backlink to their website and give them a chance to talk about their current promotions. These types of initiatives have helped establish our agency as a Kansas City staple.
We’re dedicated to giving our clients results, which is why we offer monthly reporting and train clients to manage their own website once we’ve completed the project. Our smaller office gives us the freedom to meet with clients on a regular basis and cuts out the corporate hoops that larger companies have to jump through. Due to our diverse client portfolio, we know how to cater to your target audience. If you’re looking for a digital marketing company in Kansas City that’s Google certified, Hootsuite certified and boasts a stellar reputation, we’re your llamas—I mean—guys.