Fast Track to Online Marketing for SMBs and Solo Professionals
Watch the first 10-minute episode here:
Fast Track to Online Marketing Day 1 Transcript:
Welcome to the online marketing fast-track: a 60-minute training preview covering basic analytics, customer personas, paid advertising, email marketing, content marketing and marketing automation.
This training is broken up into 6 10-minute sessions each covering one of the topics listed here. The goal is to give you a basic understanding of how to successfully set up and run ROI-positive marketing campaigns. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get started.
Our first stop is analytics – many times when I’m working with new clients, one of the first hurdles we have to face is figuring out what kind of data tracking we should start, or what kind of insights we can get from any data tracking that is currently in place.
Now, there are a lot of different types of analytics software – Google Analytics is a staple of course, but then there are also analytics suites such as Clicky, or Woopra or KISSmetrics or any of a dozen other types of software I could mention. Some companies also do this in house, so you’ll have internal graphs and charts which are tracking data.
Whether or not you’ve already started tracking data, the first step I always recommend is that you look at actions on your website which directly impact your bottom line. Keep in mind any actions where people are doing something that directly relates to revenue for your company. In most instances this will either be making a purchase or completing a lead generation form.
Make a list of the specific actions and rank them in order of importance. For example if you sell multiple products on your website the purchases are obviously going to be more valuable than let’s say someone signing up for a discount via your newsletter. However, that signup is still important because it indicates that someone wants to make a purchase (albeit one for a discount).
We then take a step back and look at which actions need to come before these conversion actions or goals as Google analytics calls them. If there is that steps that someone needs to take such as adding a specific item to a cart or viewing a specific product page then these are part of a set funnel. If you have a lead generation form or a newsletter sign-up form and it’s on every page of your website then there’s no set funnel so we would just list the pages where a person could complete this goal.
In whatever analytics software you’re using, set up these goals or conversions and set up the funnels. And here’s another tricky part: you’ll need to assign a value to these conversion events, even the ones where you’re generating a lead, and not making a sale. For leads, I recommend that you take the percentage of leads that you typically close to that generation funnel and multiply that percentage by the average value of the deals you typically close.
The reason we do this is so we have a means of weighing which conversion actions are most important to generating profit for the business. If we have lots of different conversion events, this gives us a starting point – we know which portions of our website drive the highest amount of revenue, and from there we can pinpoint which pages we’ll need to test in order to improve our overall marketing funnel.
The other reason we do this is to create a benchmark or baseline. While some companies will compare their statistics to others within their industry, the only real way to know if you’re improving or not is compare recent results to past results and see if you’re making progress. This gives us an objective way to see if our online marketing is working without having to rely on anecdotal evidence.
Once you have your analytics set up, make sure you double check to be sure that events are triggering properly. If you decide to use multiple types of analytics or tracking software, you need to be sure that they do not conflict with each other and do not cause you to have inflated statistics. There’s a handy little tool for this and we’ll talk more about it in the full training.
So what other things may be tracking well data comes from a lot of different sources including social media your organic search engine results and any paid advertising that you might be using to bring in more traffic. When we break down our analytics to these different sources, we get an idea of how engaged our audiences on each of these platforms. This can help us to adjust things like landing pages to more accurately reflect the interests of the people that we are driving to that landing page. It might also give us insights that were getting better results from one type of marketing versus another.
This is exceptionally helpful when you’re trying to decide on what type of marketing to do and you have a very limited budget. For example if pay per click is getting you actual customers who come to your site and make a purchase versus social media which gets you lots of traffic but not many purchases, you may want to focus more of your efforts on scaling up your pay-per-click campaigns and optimizing nose versus your social media accounts. Being able to prioritize this way will make you more profitable in both a short-term and long-term.
Another area to consider are your tracking links. If you are running multiple campaigns at once on the same platform, such as multiple pay per click campaigns or multiple social media campaigns, you can tailor these links so that you can tell exactly which ads or which campaign messages brought in conversions.
We do this through what is known as UTM variables. Basically these are little extra pieces of data that are appended to the end of the link. It doesn’t affect where the person ends up on your website, but it does transmit some specific information to Google about what your campaign is and what your landing page is about among other things. We’ll talk about specific use cases and ways to use these variables to segment your campaigns in the full lesson.
You can generate these UTM variables using a generator which Google provides, or through a spreadsheet or some other means.
It’s important to understand what analytics can actually tell you versus what it can’t. You can track who does things what they’ve done when they did them where they did them and how they did them. This will give you insights on things such as the time it takes a customer to go from first visit to purchase, and what ultimately leads them to make that purchase. It can also tell you whether your users are mostly chrome users Internet Explorer users Safari users etc.
In the instance if you’re using something such as KISSmetrics or Woopra, you can tell what individual people have done on your site so you can send triggered emails to specific individuals based on actions that they’ve taken on your website itself. We’ll get into that more when we talk about marketing automation on day six but just know that there are ways to use data to help you both understand what people are doing on your site and to use specific cues or high-value actions to trigger other actions that will lead to sales.
But out of everything data can tell you, there’s one specific thing that they cannot: why. Analytics does not offer insight into the minds of your customers to explain why they take a particular action. We, as experts on our product or service must infer the reasons why based on the actions that the customers take. For direct answers, we must turn to the customers themselves either through surveys or through the use of detailed customer personas which is what we will talk about on day two. For now, your task is this: make a list of the high-value actions on your website and make sure you are tracking them from this day forward.
I’ll see you tomorrow when we’ll talk about customer personas and how we can use these to inform a multitude of tests and website copy as well as overall messaging strategy and outreach. Thanks for watching, take care.