Stay ahead of your competitors - Latest insights from the Making Western Sydney Report now available
Most B2B buyers perform 8-12 online searches before interacting with a vendor’s website and are already 57% of the way through the buying process before they speak to a sales representative. So how does your brand perform online?
The latest Making Western Sydney Greater report explores the different ways businesses are using digital and social media to drive value. With 86% of the world’s population using the internet for an average of six hours per day, connectivity has become part of everyday life. Our latest survey results uncover what you can do to leverage your brand’s online presence to have an advantage.
In today’s digital world, being able to access information on a business or brand influences how someone feels about your services or products. Your business’ online existence is just as important as its physical existence.
The latest results told us that many businesses are using digital media without a clear strategy to guide them. Businesses that indicated that they are actively tracking and measuring their ROI (return on investment) are using the data to drive higher conversions. They have a general idea of the value of each customer based on a campaign (lead conversion rate) along with non-revenue conversions (specific call to actions i.e. mailing sign up). Businesses that calculate ROI are 72% more likely to have an effective marketing strategy (Blue Corona).
There are big opportunities for businesses that use their analytics to understand their client base and tailor their digital marketing to reach their ideal audience using the right channels and language. Compared to traditional marketing, it costs significantly less to put together a digital marketing strategy and with the presence of a global audience online, it makes it easier to interact with existing and potential buyers.
Before you consider your digital marketing plans, it’s crucial to know which platforms are best for you and your industry along with having an in-depth understanding of how your business currently performs online.
Know your brand’s social performance
It’s impossible to know if your efforts are having the right impact on your target market if you’re not measuring the right metrics. Understanding your core KPIs helps to adapt your campaigns to suit your goals. Take the time to audit your digital media performance over the past year and assess the metrics for each channel. Look and where and how you have generated leads, driven traffic to your website, pushed social follows, and increased conversions. Ensure these results align with your goals.
A high number of likes and shares for a campaign can be encouraging but it’s important that every activity is achieving its pre-defined objective. The most important areas you can measure are reach (how many people see/hear your brand), engagement (shares, likes, comments), conversions (leads/sales) and advocacy (reviews and repeat interactions/referrals).
A few essential metrics that can be used to evaluate your online performance are:
- Reach – Look at your follower count, impressions and web traffic. Followers tell you how broad your reach is while impressions show many people could connect with your brand (this measures the number of times your post appeared). Web traffic from social media campaigns is a good indication of potential customers and if your ‘call to action’ is working.
- Engagement – This is your clicks, likes, shares and comments. These metrics start to show how many people are interested in your product or service and would recommend you to others. If your content is interesting and relevant, it will spark a conversation.
- Conversions – Your goals will determine these measurements (i.e. increase readership times, generate sales lead etc) but not all visitors complete a conversion on their first visit. Checking out Google Analytics is the easiest way to get an insight into your lead conversion rate, website traffic improvements or you can refer to your CRM for new leads and sources.
- Advocacy – Brand loyalty and referrals can be measured through various ways. You can look at cost per lead (cost per campaign divided by your qualified leads), the number of reviews and endorsements and understanding the customer lifetime value (revenue earnt from a customer minus money spent on acquiring and serving them).
After you have audited your brand’s online performance, you’ll be able to determine the effectiveness of your campaigns and which channels are the most successful.
Focus on what people need and want
73% of B2B buyers say they want a personalised, B2C-like customer experience (Accenture, 2017). Every part of your digital journey and content creation should be carefully designed around your audience’s interests and needs.
The Making Western Sydney Greater report showed that industries are relying on digital media to achieve various goals:
- Manufacturers – using newsletters and their website to promote content (i.e. articles, videos, case studies) & improve search engine optimization (SEO)
- Property / Construction – sharing content with networks (via LinkedIn, Facebook) to reach shared connections and drive referrals
- Professional Services – integrating website with social media channels to share content quickly, drive brand awareness and identify key decision makers
The key to getting the balance right is making sure you don’t focus on what the technology can do but instead look at how you can create mutual value at every opportunity. Every piece of content you create – eNews, blogs, white papers, case studies – is a chance to increase your reach and generate leads.
The 2016 Demand Gen Report highlighted that 96% of B2B buyers want content with more input from industry thought leaders. With the online world flooded with information, influencer marketing has become one of the most powerful ways to market a business and build trust with your networks. B2C have been using ‘influencers’ to promote products and services for years and now B2B organisations are catching on. By collaborating with an industry influencer or using a brand ambassador you get exposure to a meaningful demographic.
Social media platforms are major contributors to buying decisions. Leading businesses are using analytics to know customer behaviours and target their online marketing efforts to suit their audience. Sharing content across the right social media platforms can add scale to you campaigns and help to drive higher search engine rankings. Take out the guesswork and look at tools such as Google Trends and SEO programs that can help you discover the most searched, valuable terms for your location and industry.
In the next edition of Making Western Sydney Greater, we’ll delve deeper into the real benefits of social platforms and how to assess which will be the best fit and value for your brand.
Making Western Sydney Greater (MWSG) is a collaborative project between William Buck, St. George, Western Sydney University and Western Sydney Business Connection, and forms part of our long-term commitment to drive positive change in the region.