ROI? Yes. We Can Track That.

ROI

Your community. They support you. They cheer you on. They share about what you’re doing to make the world a better place. They buy your products and services. And…they’re talking about you even if you’re not present. So why do you executives have such a hard time getting behind social media intiatives?

The answer I hear most is – “We can’t track the ROI.”

I’m pretty sure a kitten dies every time the phrase is even uttered. So if you care about kittens at all…stop using this as your reason for not investing in healthy, vibrant online community. The truth is- there are many ways to track the ROI. And there are many ways to interpret what ROI means within your organization.

Let’s break it down.

Being the source of knowledge in your field keeps you top of mind to consumers. They may not be in the market for a new (insert product here) yet, but when they are, YOU are who they’ll come to first. Why? Because you’ve created a digital community with relevant and sometimes entertaining content. You engage with your community and you show that you care when something goes wrong. What’s the value of that? It’s invaluable.

Once a consumer begins to make their way down the sales funnel – it is possible to track. There are tons of tools out there that will document the customer journey down to a single tweet. This journey can be segmented too. Are you having a sale on gold bracelets? There are technologies that will allow you to see who opened your last email with gold braceletes as the header image. Now you’re tracking gold-loving customers. Being able to segment your online customers and tailor individual messages through not only email, but also social media, use to be a pipe dream. Now it’s a trackable reality.

There are plenty of items in your marketing budget that are hard to track the ROI on. For example, it’s extrememly hard to measure the result of PR. Yet, every marketing budget has a line item for PR with no problem. It’s just something that has been accepted as the cost of business. Digital marketing – social media in particular – needs to become an accepted cost of business. According to a recent HubSpot poll – “87% of Gen X’ers (30 to 44 year olds) and even 70% of those ages to 45 to 60 think brands should, at the very least, have a Facebook page.”

So let me ask again – Why do executives have such a hard time getting behind social media initiatives?

Brands that aren’t investing in building their online community are falling further behind each day. Not only do customers expect you to respond via social media but they now expect service along every step of the buying process. Customers want a personal relationship with their favorite brands. And – if you’re not talking with them, they’re still talking about you. Don’t you want to be there to support that?

Executives – get on board. Enlist the help of a specialist, not a random intern. Start building your online community. If you already have an online presence, improve it. Grow it. Show your customer that you’re there for them. You may not be able to track the value of their respect for you, but you can track the end result of the journey.

 

*Note- My original post was published on the Creation Agency blog on 2/24/16.

Word to the Wise… Your Audience is Human

take a walk

Hey Friends!

I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus. If you follow me on any of my social channels, you’ve surely seen that the love of my life has been battling cancer. That has nothing to do with this post, but I wanted to share with you why there’s been such a gap in my writing. You know… be human with you. And treat you as actual real humans.

Now THAT is exactly what this post is about. Your audience is human. My audience is human. There is an actual person in front of the screen reading our content.

So often, I feel like that this  simple truth gets lost in marketing. Sellers get so consumed in pushing their product that they forget a real person is on the other end. And by forgetting who the audience is… the message is delivered in the wrong way.

When you think of your marketing plan, think of your best friend. You wouldn’t shout and wave your arms around like a crazy person to force your best friend to listen to you. You wouldn’t invite your best friend over on false pretenses just to get them in front of you for a few minutes. You certainly wouldn’t show up at the places your best friend hangs out in order to ambush them. No. That’s called stalking. Your best friend would likely break it off, call the police and get a restraining order!

But those are exactly the steps that many marketers are taking in order to reach an audience. They treat social media as a megaphone rather than as a 2 way conversation. They bait their audience with juicy links and promises of something amazing… only to find content of a different kind. And they invade the space of others by talking at them instead of with them on personal social channels.

Don’t be that marketer.

I’m not saying that you can’t strike up organic conversations with your customers on their personal social channels. I’ve made some of the most valuable relationships by simply conversing with people I’m interested in. But a conversation is just that. It’s a conversation. Until something more meaningful develops… don’t sell that person. Relationships of substance and of trust take some time.

I guess what I’m saying is. Your marketing tactics aren’t just going out into the Universe. They’re landing in front of real people. Human beings. Give them a reason to want to know more about you. Don’t give them a reason to file a restraining order.

*much love*

Kelly