A large number of companies have predetermined that customers do not know what they want until they see it, however, in an age where over half the homes in the UK have access to the internet, and the utilization of smartphones to access the internet rising, consumers can research products/services they are interested in specifically. This escalates the need for two things; providing a product and/or service that people will actively search for, and online advertising.
Whilst it is a good idea to use a varied mix of marketing making use of different channels, the high use of the internet means that online marketing is an invaluable tool. In the same way that you are supplying products and/or services that appeals to people, you should also aim to have marketing that appeals to people. No matter what kind of, or mix of, online marketing you are carrying out, it is important that it is time and cost effective by reaching your audience. It is not possible to know whether your online marketing is reaching people, getting you customers and making you money without monitoring it.
There are a number of monitoring tools you can utilise to objectively measure your digital marketing. Web analytics can show you how much traffic your business website is receiving and where it is coming from, for example search engines, PPC advertising, links from online content or social media. Website analytics can also give you data on if this traffic is converting to online sales, but what it cannot measure is the amount of offline sales that are being generated by your digital marketing. You can attempt to track instore sales by providing online coupons, but a hard and fast way of tracking online to offline conversions in depth is sales by phone. Call tracking technology will enable you to view which of your online marketing channel that has triggered the call by providing each website visitor with an individual phone number, and you can connect every phone call to a website visitor; following their journey through your business’s site from the phrase or link used to find your site to what the viewer looks at before, during and after a call. Call tracking technology integrated with web analytics means you can measure how efficient your digital marketing is and modify it to give your clients what they want in the future.
In a digital era, where a majority of companies decide to advertising online, a major dispute is if there is still a place for printed advertising material such as flyers when you could send out an email, magazine advertising when you could use PPC or banner adverts, or press mentions when you could produce a guest blog. One kind of advertising, a type of marketing all around us on a daily basis, that people seem to overlook is outdoor media.
Outdoor media is all around us, from the side of the bus we travel on to the large posters we pass to the decorated phone box we walk past. There is also promotional outdoor media such as give-aways and samples handed out in a busy place such as a train station or shopping centre. Many companies carry out display advertising at shows as well, to target an audience specifically interested in their industry or people that may benefit from their products or services.
Outdoor media in public areas is designed for impact and to get people on the street talking about your business and your products and services, but how can you tell if your outdoor marketing is working? You could simply ask for people’s opinions on your advertising, or if the advert displays a web address or social media campaign if there is an increase in traffic and/or activity. If you need to attract phone calls from your outdoor marketing, as many businesses are realising that conversions are frequently higher from calls than from clicks, how can you tell if a call was instigated from your outdoor marketing? By creating an individual phone number specific to that advert and using call tracking technology you can measure the amount of calls and the amount of revenue created as a result of your ad, as well as the ROI of your outdoor media.
Call tracking is most often used to obtain an accurate picture of the Return On Investment of a company’s marketing activity, but there are some features of call tracking services that can assist a company actually make a sale. Here are some features of call tracking technology that can help you convert leads into sales:
• Dynamic Call Routing: This can be initiated so you can direct phone calls produced by selected campaigns to different divisions. This means that phone calls relevant to certain campaigns can be directed to the best department so they do not need to be redirected, givving a better customer experience to callers.
• Call Whisper: This feature allows you to create a short message that can be played to the call handler before and/or after the call. You can customise this message and choose from a variety of call or visitor based information. This means that the person handling the call will be able to see which marketing campaign drove the caller to make the call, and if it was from a search engine, the keyword that was used to find the website. The call handler is then more prepared to handle the call appropriately depending on the motivation behind the call.
• Missed Call Alert Emails: A missed call alert email feature will record information on any missed calls and then sends an email to any member of staff you choose to inform them of the missed call, their contact details where possible, and the kind of marketing activity motivated them to call, making it possible for a member of staff to contact them in an educated manner.
• Call Recording: This feature means you can record any calls made to your business in order to monitor the handling of the call, identify any issues, and perform any staff training needed.
If you are looking to get a holistic picture of the ROI of your marketing including your online to offline conversions and where your phone sales are coming from, call tracking services are a innovative bit of technology to help you with this. Call tracking has a number of applications though, and can also assist you convert leads into sales as well as monitoring the efficiency of your marketing activity.
Content marketing is when you distribute thought-provoking and pertinent content to reach your audience by leveraging your words in your company’s favour. The objective of this is to drive traffic to your website and create more enquiries, giving you leads and sales. When creating online content you should have a good fundamental knowledge of how content marketing works for your company. Here are some hints and tips on how you run a productive content marketing campaign:
• Have an ongoing strategy. You can’t just write content and release it across the Internet in one go. Content should be released consistantly throughout the year. By putting out content regularly you can maintain a constant online presence, as well as keep your content relevant to current news and new technology developments.
• Monitor your Company’s content marketing. Use web analytics and call tracking to assess the effectiveness of your businesses content marketing. By knowing which content is driving traffic, generating enquiries and turnng into sales, you can create a cost efficient content marketing plan.
• Utilise social media. Communicating with your target audience utilising social media site including Facebook is an excellent way of helping you distribute your content, plus a great way of monitoring your content marketing by viewing the amount of interactions.
• Pick Quality over quantity. Publish a few top quality items that are really interesting and relevant, instead of several reasonable articles that are a little relevant and averagely interesting. Only great content that is completely relevant to your target audience will lead them to your company.
Content marketing, when used properly and monitored on a regular basis using technology like website analytics alongside call tracking, can push traffic to your site, increase your business’s public profile and give you a professional and established online presence that will be invaluable to your company.
Offline marketing is a more conventional kind of advertising, and includes printed materials such as leaflets and booklets, television, radio and banner adverts in the form of posters or large vinyl adverts on stationary objects or buses or trucks. Some people perceive that the popularity of the Internet makes offline marketing is not required as much, but many marketing professionals and business managers prefer to utilise a wide range of advertising types so that they can reach as wide an audience as possible. When using a variety of different marketing channels, it is vital to review all of your marketing to ensure you are distributing your marketing spend as efficiently as possible.
Traditional marketing has always been harder to monitor than online marketing. With online marketing you can use website analytics for example Google Analytics to track a visitor's journey through a site; from where they found your site, which pages they visited, and if and when they buy from you online. You can also make use of a call tracking service alongside website analytics so that you can see the phone calls made as a result of a visit to your website, by giving each visitor a unique number. But is it possible to measure the success of your offline advertising?
One way is from client feedback; asking people where they found your business, what they thought of your advertising, and maintaining a log of whether that enquiry led to a sale, but this type of monitoring is subject to human error; people forgetting how they found you, as well as necessitates time and effort on both sides. When you are talking to a possible customer you need to be concentrating on converting the enquiry into a sale.
A more objective way to assess how your offline advertising is generating sales enquiries by phone at least is by further using call tracking. By providing a unique phone number for every kind of offline advertising, eg. a number for a radio advert, a different phone number for a flyer and yet another number for a poster, you can see where every phone call came from if it didn’t come from your website, giving you an accurate and easily obtainable snap shot of how your offline forms of marketing are working alongside your online marketing. This gives you an overview of all of your marketing in one place so that it is easy to see the kinds of marketing that is generating sales and the marketing that needs adjusting or reducing.
These days buyers have more choice than ever on where to shop. There are also more methods of shopping such as online, in store, by phone and using a catalogue. It is because of this that it is easy for consumers to carry out a lot of research about the various products available as well as searching out the cheapest deals. With the population spending longer than ever online and easy access to the Internet with mobile phones and tablets, it is safe to assume that much of the research is done online.
Another useful piece of information from Harris Interactive is that 54% of people still prefer some kind of human interaction before completing a purchase. This means that whilst consumers are researching online, they still crave the human touch, and this can be achieved through a variety of ways, including online chat or the most accessible, by phone.
It is because of this that it is vital to make your business easy to contact by phone. Showing a contact number clearly throughout your website allows a person to contact you easily and also gives customers more trust in your company. Greater use of smartphones means that a lot of mobile internet searches now lead to a telephone call, so making sure your website is mobile phone friendly and making it easy for people to call your company on a mobile by utilising tools like a ‘click to call’ button makes converting an online search to a call as easy as possible for a potential customer.
Monitoring the conversion rates of these consumers that love to browse but prefer to buy by telephone can seem difficult, but it can be easily achieved by using the wide range of call tracking solutions now available. Call tracking providers offer scalable packages so that smaller businesses can use call tracking as much as larger companies, and can show how call tracking technology can provide companies with an insight into what drives an website browser to call them, and what then drives a call into a sale.
The most important thing to measure in any business is the conversion rate. The beginning of online conversion tracking is by installing and using website analytics for example Google Analytics. This shows you how many sales you are getting through your website and how customers got to site, giving you a picture of which online campaigns are producing online sales. Actions such as the filling in of online formsand questions asked can be measured as well. It’s easy to think that by observing these measures you are seeing a full picture of the ROI of your online marketing, but you are forgetting an important component of conversions; phone calls.
Not every sale that are created by online advertising are actually done online, a large number are completed over the phone. It is impossible to get a truly accurate overview of the Return On Investment on your digital marketing without allocating these telephone sales to the online advertising that it derived from. However, many companies are uncertain of how to accurately measure which enquiries and sales came from digital marketing. This is where call tracking comes into play.
To start with phone call tracking could only point out how many calls were as a result of a website visit, but modern call tracking solutions can give you a lot more information than that. With the use of visitor level call tracking software you can trace a phone call back to your website, as well as how the caller found your website including which keywords and phrases they searched for if the customer found it as a result of Pay Per Click, Pay Per Call or an organic search. You can also see how a caller has interacted with your website; which pages they viewed, for how long and at what point they called you. Call tracking solutions can also help your call handlers do a better job converting calls to sales. Call tracking features such as call whisper enables call handlers to know how a caller found the business before they answer the call, and missed call alerts enables you to return any phone calls that weren’t answered and optimise the functioning of your call centre by finding out if there are certain periods that missed calls are more common.
By making use of call tracking solutions, companies can at last get a holistic overview of the value of digital marketing, in spite of how clients are buying from them.
Tracking online conversions is in no way easy, it’s not like you can just have a quick peek at your analytics every now and again, you should look in detail at which pages are performing well and which could do with some fine tuning. To complicate things, there are a number of customers that have queries they need resolving, or prefer to finish their purchase offline. If you aren’t keeping track of all the conversions that happen as a consequence of your website, you aren’t getting an overall picture of if your online marketing is creating sales.
Phone call tracking is fast becoming an important bit of web analytics and conversion rate optimisation. Using call tracking technology in conjunction with website analytics can connect clicks and calls, and give you a richer picture of how well your campaigns are converting browsers to buyers.
Compared to click-based conversions, tracked phone calls are considered a data rich source of customer feedback and the information obtained from call tracking can help a business refine both online and offline advertising materials, by allocating a unique number to each website visitor so that you can track their progress through the sales process, and give each offline campaign a unique phone number so that you can see a call originated from that particular campaign. The other option is asking each lead and customer where they found your business. if you do this you will not just get a ambigious reply, you may get an incorrect one.
The use of call tracking services to review online-to-offline conversions has in the past only been available to larger companies that have the resources available for a custom solution but now it can be scalable and run with automated and easy to view reporting options, opening it up to the small-to-medium business market. They can also provide easy integration options to work alongside your other web analytics, as well as not requiring any extra software, saving you further costs.
Using call tracking solutions supplies you with the opportunity to monitor your marketing’s efficiency as well as giving you the chance to view the areas of your site are producing leads. Telephone calls can have a greater conversion rate, and by providing a phone number you are increasing your chance of a sale, at the same time as still being able to constantly get a complete overview of the success of your marketing mix.
There is a lot of competition in any industry sector in this current economic climate, but the Internet and digital marketing means that it can be easier for smaller, remote businesses to promote to a wider audience. These lesser known companies can now advertise to people they otherwise might not have been able to and create sales leads from new people that prefer researching online before buying. The key to any company’s success is converting sales leads to sales, and with many people choosing to complete purchases by telephone after researching on the Internet, it is important for a business to know what factors are driving people to call them and how frequenly these calls lead to sales. By using a call tracking solution, you can collect data on what people were looking at before, during and after a call, and use this data to review and then adapt your online advertising, developing campaigns that are creating leads and sales, and improving or stopping campaigns that aren’t. Here are 3 interesting features of call tracking:
• Discover what produces calls – The conversion rate for telephone calls is approximately 30% - 50% but the conversion rate for a website is just 1% - 3%. By seeing what digital marketing is driving people to call you, you can further encourage these calls to get a better opportunity to convert a lead into a sale, and possibly increase the amount a customer spends with upselling or cross selling.
• Record your calls – call tracking solutions allows you to record calls. This means that if you see that a number of calls are not progressing into sales you can listen to the calls, identify potential barriers to conversion and train staff appropriately.
• Monitor missed calls – call tracking software emails you a ‘missed call alert’ if a phone call is left unanswered, allowing you to call them back to address queries and promote your business. The alert will also show you which pages the viewer was looking at prior to and during the call, allowing your call handler to be best equipped to answer specific questions.
Content marketing is the producing and distributing of relevant and interesting content, appealing to and engaging a targeted audience by leveraging your words in your company’s favour. The objective of this is to send traffic to your website and boost the amount of enquires you receive, providing you with leads and sales. When creating content, you don’t need to be an expert, but you should have a decent fundamental knowledge of how content marketing can assist your business.
The content you distribute should always be good quality; content that contains common grammatical or spelling errors may harm your SEO, irrelevant content will not engage your potential customer to the point of them taking further interest in your business, and sites will not want to publish anything of bad general quality. Purchasing lots of second rate content is poor economy and it is better to spend the same money on a few excellent quality, well thought out articles that will ‘work for you.’
As with any other form of marketing, content marketing must be carefully closely, so you can view the ROI of your content marketing campaign. You can do this using a variety of technology. Website analytics such as Google Analytics can show you the number of visitors that have viewed your website as a result of viewing your content, and the number of people that have purchased from you as a result of their visit. Using visitor level call tracking enables you to see the amount of people that have phoned you as a result of a visit to your website prompted by viewing your content. Call tracking integrated with website analytics is the secret to monitoring content marketing effectively.
Monitoring your content marketing and seeing which content leads to sales as well as visits means you can see which content is creating the most ‘warm’ leads as apposed to casual browsers. The greater number of warm leads, which progress to sales, the greater the ROI is on your content marketing.