At first, social media appears to be somewhat of a personal way to interact with friends. However, it quickly became an area where millions of people are crammed into cyberspace ready to soak in what others have to say. The business and marketing side of me can't see past the access to potential customers gained through the use of social media. It can be difficult to quantify the benefits and ROI of using social media as an advertising platform although no one can deny the incredibly captive audience the internet provides.
Often I encounter clients who are looking for some tangible evidence the work put into social media (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs) and with e-marketing campaigns (Google AdWords, Constant Contact etc) was worth it to their business. It's not easy but it is doable with a little creativity.
The easiest way is to offer discounts or coupons organized in a way you can tell which coupon came from which advertisement (Facebook, Google Ad, Email etc). It is also important to narrow your audience from the world wide web down to your target markets (the narrow group of people that would benefit most from your product or service).
For instance, an apple orchard in New England is not particularly interested in spending money advertising to those in Washington state for pick your own apples. So the orchard can limit their Google AdWord campaign to those in a geographical area, say a 20 mile radius around the orchard itself.
Another example would be through email marketing with the use of Constant Contact. Everyone hates to receive the mass mailings in their inbox, however if done correctly, they can be an incredible tool.
First, when setting up a signup for email marketing also gather people’s addresses. It’s a border line call how anonymous your signup should be (just email address, or add name, address, phone number OR just their email and city/state etc). With increased information about your potential buyers, you can target them based on geographic region, interests etc.
With email marketing campaigns, the good ones keep track of several important pieces of information:
- Was the message delivered or bounced?
- If the message bounced, why? (Either the email account no longer exists or the inbox is full)
- What percentage of people opened and read the message?
- What percentage of people clicked on a link from the message?
- Which link did they click on from the message?
For those with bounced message, if you have their address, you can mail them a “We’ve missed you” postcard offering some discount for coming back.
There’s e-marketing in a nutshell, I’d like to hear your feedback.