Monthly Archives: October 2016

You Should Expect Transparency

Read Time: 4.5 minutes

Over the last few months, the agency world has been reeling after the Association of National Advertisers released a scathing 58-page report detailing transparency (trans·par·ent: easy to perceive or detect) issues in the advertising industry.

Although this report focused mainly on fortune 500 brands and their agency partners, the lack of transparency is a huge issue for small and medium size businesses seeking marketing and advertising services at independent agencies.

At Aleric Marketing we have seen this time and time again. Speaking to clients about their past experiences with marketing agencies, overall it has been appalling to hear some of the stories.

A client of ours, a small pest control company in Northern Michigan, was being charged over $1,000 per month for advertising services. When they came to Aleric, we asked for their AdWords account and found that only $200 of that $1,000 was being spent on actual advertising. They were being exploited by over $800 per month by the people that promised to help them.

Another example was a medium size business that spent over $10,000 on a new website to be disappointed in the end result, taking months to complete, and ruining their rollout of a new product line.

And finally, another client was spending $2,000 per month on marketing services with an agency and after four months and $8,000 later the client did not have a website, no social media marketing had been done, and the only thing to show for this investment was a few measly digital marketing photos and a very angry customer.

The list goes on and on.

Those three examples should give you a pretty good idea of the lack of transparency that pervades even the smallest agencies and clients.

The worst part about all of this, it could have been prevented.

So what do we mean when we say transparency?

Transparency is when an agency partner and client has a clear understanding of the overall process of digital design and marketing. Both the clients and the agency have a clear understanding of the metrics that will be used to measure success, how much each service is going to cost, the time frame the service is to be completed, and insight into where each dollar is going.

What you need to watch out for:

1. Lack of Reporting

If you are a client engaged in any pay-per-click campaigns including any paid social, Google and Bing advertising or display advertising, you should expect at least a monthly report sent to you by your agency.

It should include data and graphs like this:

Clicks (orange) vs. Impressions (blue)


CTR (Click Through Ratio):

 

And finally, your actual spend! You should know exactly how much of your marketing budget is going towards your ad spend and clicks:

This report should contain all the metrics that you agreed upon with your agency on the front end to measure success. CPA (cost per acquisition), impression numbers, CPC (cost per click), extension clicks, everything. This should be expected.

The examples we gave previously in this post could have been avoided if the agency had committed to timely reporting to its clients.

As a client, you should ask for a full monthly report on how much of your money is actually going towards advertising spend and not lining the pockets of the agency you are working with.

2. Guarantees

Nothing can be guaranteed in advertising. No one knows for certain how well the advertising will work. As such no, one should be guaranteeing you anything other than a timeline.

If an agency promises a certain CPA (Cost Per Acquisition), Impression number, of CPC… RUN!

These should be goals to meet and or exceed but no one can promise these. Advertising is all about experimenting, each month will be different and numbers will fluctuate. Having clear goals will help to mitigate issues, but run away from anyone making promises other than a timeline.

3. Lack of Clear Goals

As we touched on above, your agency should sit down with you and explain metrics like CPA, Impressions, CPC and any other digital marketing term you may be unfamiliar with.

The agency should also give you an idea of the industry standard for each metric. A good resource can be found here to know what your industry average is.

These goals will help to guide the agency in its efforts to drive traffic and ultimately sales to your site. These goals should be set in tandem with you, the client.

4. Lack of Understanding

The agency you partner with will be responsible for representing your business online. They are responsible for gaining your potential customers trust. They are responsible for your first impression. That is a huge responsibility and as such the agency should work tirelessly to understand you and your business.

They should understand your customer, how your product is made or how your service is delivered.

They should ask questions to get to know you better than themselves. Make sure they understand how you want to be presented to your customers and ensure they follow through with constant monitoring.

At Aleric Marketing, we are sick and tired of hearing stories from small businesses that were given false hope by a marketing agency that promised them the world and didn’t deliver anything but the initial thank you card… if that.

We believe that your success is our success and we should be able to prove that. If we can’t prove that then you should move on and work with someone else.

Your purpose is our purpose and we will live, eat and breathe it for our entire relationship. We know that through innovative and transparent marketing solutions we can increase brand awareness, drive sales, and make a meaningful impact on our communities.

4 Tips for Advertising on Twitter

Read Time: 3.5 minutes

Twitter has grown as an instantly connected social media platform since its inception in 2006. Everyone from celebrities to politicians to industry thought leaders and everyone in between use the site to voice their opinions, learn particular topics and engage with one another. Because of this, Twitter has become a place where people go to connect instantly with their favorite people and brands.

This allows brands an opportunity to connect and engage with their consumers. In fact, 85% of Twitter users report feeling more connected to a brand after following them on Twitter. There are multiple ways in which to engage these brand-conscious consumers on Twitter. Following are some tips that will help you build your following and create a better brand experience on Twitter.


1. Go Mobile:
First, you have to understand that 80% of Twitter users are using the Twitter app via a mobile device. This means that it is very important to have a landing page that is responsive and optimized for mobile devices, as well as desktop users. We talk about how important responsive landing pages are in this blog post. If you’re landing page is not responsive, you’re already behind the curve. We highly suggest using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if you’re firing on all cylinders.

 

2. Choose the right Conversion Metric:
Want more visitors to your website? Want to get people to download your app or sign up for your event? Twitter is a great way to promote these types of business objectives. This is important to know because Twitter isn’t great at getting people to fill out a forms/surveys or registering for a webinar.

One of the best conversion methods on Twitter is utilizing their website card. It is a great option to increase quality website traffic, drive app downloads, or increase engagement with your audience. Twitter website cards are great because it allows you to add both a picture and a call to action to your tweets.

 

3. Choose your audience:
Like most other social media advertising, you can get granular with your targeting. You can advertise to certain genders, devices, interests and locations.

What’s really cool about Twitter is that you can target people that are followers of specific handles. Have a thought leader or business whose followers might also be interested in you? You can target those followers with your ad. This is known as follower targeting.

So for example, if I’m selling tickets to an event, (let’s say the NCAA Men’s Water Polo Championship) I can target the followers of specific teams. Follower targeting gives you some pretty great metrics as well.

After your campaigns are live you can see which particular handle is performing the best compared to others. This allows you to see which handles are converting better and allocate funds to them as opposed to ones that are spending a lot but not converting all that great. Twitter will also suggest particular handles that are similar to the handles you are targeting which helps drive more traffic to your brand.

 

4. Set your budget:
Like all marketing budgets, you have to first determine what a new lead is worth to you. With this information, you can better determine how much you should allocate to finding and capturing those leads as customers. You should set your budget less than what the result is worth to you.

Once you have these figures, you need to divide that amount by the number of days you want your campaign to run and you have your daily max budget.

You should adjust these as your campaign runs based on your comfort level and what makes sense for your business.

 

Conclusion
Twitter offers small businesses the ability to target people in a place that is increasingly hard to serve ads to their mobile phones. Taking advantage of a platform where users are engaged and willing to share their thoughts about your brand to the world is a great practice to get started with. 

Follow these four steps and you will have great success when starting out your Twitter advertising campaign. Just remember, good advertising takes time, effort and a lot of planning and revision. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t see the results, just go back to the drawing board.

7 Facebook Advertising Tips

Read Time: 4 minutes

Today Facebook is the largest social network connecting over 1,500,000,000 (that’s billions) users PER MONTH! It’s no wonder advertisers are taking notice of the power of Facebook to advertise to their target audience. But Facebook isn’t just for the big advertisers, it’s for small businesses as well. In fact, Facebook sees a huge opportunity to offer small businesses the ability to inexpensively target their consumers.

It doesn’t take a lot to advertise on Facebook but it can get overwhelming with all the options. We have created a few tips to help you get started.

1. Set Goals, Write them Down, and Follow them:
You can talk about your goals all day every day but until they’re written down and actionable they are just words. What are the goals you want to accomplish with your Facebook Advertising campaign? Do you want more calls? More Facebook likes? More website visits? Choose your main objective and write it down. The reason you want to do this is because the Facebook Ad type you choose will depend on what goal you’re trying to accomplish. Facebook’s advertising scheme guides you to recommended ad formats based on your primary goal.

2. Call to Actions are important:
Whatever ad you choose include a call to action in the body text of your Facebook paid ad to drive Facebook users to take your desired action. A good call to action is imperative to the success of your ad. If you’re not telling the user what you want them to do your ad won’t be effective.

3. Select your bidding option:
One of the best parts of Facebook is that it’s so versatile in how you can set your budget. You can bid for clicks, impressions, or clicks. If you choose the recommended (and selected by default) option of bidding on your objective your bid will automatically be set to help you reach said objective. Bidding for clicks or impressions allows for more customization.

 

4. Choose between daily and lifetime budget:
The best part about social media advertising is that you’re in total control of the budget and how much you want to spend per day, week, month and year. A daily budget controls how much you want to spend on your ad in a given day, the ad will stop showing once you have met this threshold based on your objective. The lifetime budget lets you set a ceiling on how much you want to spend on each campaign. Remember that each campaign has a separate budget so it’s always helpful to create a marketing plan prior to engaging in any advertising initiative.

5. Mine Audience Insights:
Because Facebook is the largest social network and people are willingly giving up their location, age, gender, number of kids, family connections, race, occupation, and likes and dislikes. These insights offer powerful metrics to advertisers wanting to target very specific groups of people. Facebook’s Audience Insights allows advertisers to get a better sense of who their target market is because Facebook takes the data of people that already like your page and creates a buyer’s persona to help you better target your future ads to the right people at the right time.

6. Landing pages are important don’t overlook them:
The landing page is one of the most important aspects of any digital advertising campaign. You should not be pushing people to your website or product page without sending these visitors first to a quality landing page that mirrors the message in your ads. Landing pages are important because they help to educate users before they buy, creating smart buyers saves you time and money in the long run and helps your consumer to understand that you are the right company to be buying from.

7. Images are important:
Ads with images have a higher engagement rate than just text based ads. It’s important to show an ad that catches the eye and makes people want to engage with your ad. It doesn’t even have to be of your product, service or business just something that is relevant (if possible).

The Conclusion:
Facebook advertising, when done correctly can have a huge impact, at little cost for your business. With these 7 steps you have a good road map to make the most out of your facebook advertising.