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How much should you spend on Facebook Ads?

 

This simple, logical formula will help you plan your social ads spend.

Facebook advertising offers a relatively low cost, highly effective form of advertising. For many growing businesses, Facebook ads is the most powerful advertising method available, as it allows for clear measurability, and access to very targeted audiences at a relatively low cost.

While there is no one-size fits all formula to help a business calculate their budget for a Facebook ads spend, we have created a formula below that will help businesses begin to set concrete marketing and spending projections for their efforts.

A Few Helpful Statistics to Note:

  • Average Facebook Ad Click-Thru Rate: 0.9%
  • Average Website Conversion Rate 1.0%-10.0%
  • Average Facebook Cost Per Click $0.64
  • Average Facebook Cost Per 1,000 Impressions: $5.99
  • 6 to 8 touches to make a sale
  • Conversions with remarketing is 4x higher than native efforts

(Source)

Step 1: Determine your goal for Facebook Advertising

Are you looking to build brand awareness? Consider measuring impressions or reach. Are you seeking to get online conversions such as contacts, sales, or sign-ups for your email list? Measure things like website click-thru. (Click here to view our guide to measuring marketing success for more measurement ideas.)

 

Step 2: Gather Data

You’ll need to find the following pieces of data about your own marketing:

  • How many visitors does it take to convert (contact or email sign-up) on your website?

Configure Google Analytics Goals to determine this. If you don’t have that figure, assume a 1-3% conversion rate for initial estimation purposes. If you get direct sales through your site, you’ll want to adjust your numbers below to accommodate.

  • What is your sales process conversion rate for individuals who contact you or sign up for your email list? Once someone signs up for your email list or contacts you, what is the likelihood that they will become a customer or client?
  • How much valid (non-spam) traffic does your website receive each month from sources other than Facebook, such as Google, referral traffic, or email marketing?

 

Reverse Engineer Your Path

Let’s say that you’ve decided your business requires 10 sales per month. You’ve gathered your data and figured out that:

  1. You have a 1% conversion rate on your website. Therefore, for every 1,000 visitors that you receive, 100 of them sign up for your email list or contact you for more information.
  2. You have a 25% sales process conversion rate. For every 100 people that sign up for your email list or contact you, 25 of them become customers or clients.
  3. You receive 500 visitors per month from sources such as email, search engine traffic, and referrals.

From this data, you can glean that it will take 1,000 qualified visitors to achieve 10 sales per month. (Note: this will strongly depend on your sale process, but this should bear true, as it is based on your historic performance data.)

Now…

  • 1,000 Visits Per Month x 1% Conversion Rate=100 contacts per month
  • If, of 100 contacts, 10% end in a sale – 1,000 visitors should yield 10 sales per month.
  • If you get 500 visitors per month from sources such as email, search engine traffic, and referrals, you will need an additional 500 visits from qualified, interested parties.
  • Facebook Ads yield 0.9% click-thru rate. Therefore, it will take 55,555 website impressions to achieve 500 qualified website visitors to bring you to that goal of 1,000 qualified website visitors each month.
  • Average cost per 1,000 impressions = $5.99
  • Therefore, $329.45 per month would be the LOW end of your budget, assuming that your visitors are warm, well-qualified, well-targeted leads. This is assuming that you can convert someone in just 1 impression or interaction, because they are already familiar with what you have to offer. Remember that earlier statistic, 6 to 8 touches to close a sale…
  • If your audience is not established and has not had any interactions with you in the past, you will only be reaching non-fans to sell, drive traffic, and grow your lists. That is less effective and more expensive than targeting fans who expect (and desire) to see your content. You will need to multiply the number above times 6 or 8 in order to engage each individual enough to get them to convert. Therefore, you can expect that the HIGH end of your budget would be $1,976.70 to $2,635.60 per month

 

Ways to reduce your cost

The numbers above may seem impossible to budget for. Remember that over time, you can reduce your cost by keeping your audience engaged. You can also reduce your cost through retargeting (which has been shown to be up to 4x more effective, and 50% less expensive than ads without pixel retargeting). Here are other ways that you can reduce the cost of your Facebook ads spend:

  • Quality targeting
  • Long-term relationships with a warm and active audience
  • Retargeting with Facebook Pixels (increase conversion by 4x, reduce cost by as much as 50%)
  • Increase traffic from other sources by improving your search rank, email quality, and referral traffic

If you’re looking for other ways to grow your business through a comprehensive strategy, consider our small business coaching program, available to businesses nationwide. Click here for more information on marketing and business coaching.

If you want to learn more useful information like this, consider our Liftoff Business classes, available in person (in St. Louis) or online. Click here to view our schedule.

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social media marketing 2016

10 Social Media Marketing Hacks You Need to Try

By Rease Kirchner (@IndecisiveRease)

Looking to up your social media marketing game? These 10 hacks will help you take your social media skills to the next level, not to mention get you greater reach, better engagement, and more followers.

1. Use Images

This one may seem obvious, but it’s not just about using images, it’s about how to use them on each specific platform. Did you know there is an image size that works best on Facebook and that it’s totally different from Instagram or Twitter? For example 1200 x 630 images show up best on a Facebook timeline, while an ideal Instagram post is 1080 x 1080.

Twitter is often overlooked when it comes to images, because they weren’t always supported. However, Twitter now allows images to show up directly in stream. The recommended dimensions are 506 x 253. Adding an image to your Tweet does eat into your already small 140 characters a bit, but the loss is worth the gain. Adding an image makes your Tweet stand out much better as people scroll through their feed. You can also add text to the image if you have a bit more to say than your limited characters allow.

Bonus Tip: YouTube videos can be embedded to make them playable directly on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. That means you can draw people in with a visual and rack up some views on your video, all while keeping people on the social media platform.

2. Post Blogs on LinkedIn

This is a rarely used but very valuable feature. When you write a blog post, you can also publish it directly on LinkedIn, getting it in front of the eyes of people who are connected to you and thus have a higher probability of being interested in the subject matter you are covering. You can link the post back to your site as well, giving you a chance to grab some more traffic. You’ll also have a chance to be featured through LinkedIn Pulse, which is an aggregate of all the best content published on LinkedIn in a single day. If you snag a featured spot, you could easily gain hundreds of views.

3. Use IFTTT recipes

IFTTT, or If This Then That is an amazing tool that lets you set up “recipes” that basically add up to “if this happens, then this happens” So, for example, if you often peruse the internet for great articles but never remember to share them when social media marketing, you can set up an IFTTT recipe that automatically sends those articles to a queue on a scheduling platform such as Buffer. That way, the next time you login to Buffer, you’ll have plenty of content to choose from for scheduling posts.

Another great IFTTT recipe is to use your Instagram photos more effectively. Instagram allows you to auto-post to several platforms directly through the app, but as we said in tip #1, optimal image sizes differ across platforms. Instagram photos also show up as a link, not an image, on Twitter, which is not nearly as eye-catching. IFTTT allows you to set up a recipe to share Instagram posts through different platforms, so your beautiful photo can show up as an in-stream photo on platforms like Twitter, instead a link that has a pretty low likelihood of being clicked.

4. Use Grammarly

Is there anything more embarrassing than using “their” when you should have used “there” or messing up a perfectly witty tweet with a typo? Whether you are simply not a master of grammar or you just have a tendency to think faster than you type, Grammarly can help. Think of this browser plug-in as a helpful grammar nerd that peeks over your shoulder as you compose posts and alerts you to any grammatical or spelling errors.

5. Use Iconosquare

While many people think of Instagram as a platform to share photos instantly and in the moment, that’s not a great strategy if you are looking for high engagement numbers. Generally, users only scroll through Instagram for so long before they get bored of double tapping photos, so if your photo isn’t posted during active times, it’s not likely to be seen at all. Enter Iconosqaure. This handy tool analyzes your followers and past engagements and gives you the optimal times to post for every day of the week. Once you start posting photos when your followers are actually active, you are likely to see a nice boost in likes and comments.

6. Highlight text before clicking “Pin it”

This is such a simple trick that will save you time and effort. Before clicking “Pin It” on an image, highlight any relevant text from the website. When you click “Pin It,” the highlighted text will automatically be added to description box. So simple, yet so useful.

7. Clean up your Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr with “Friend or Follow”

Social media sites are full of people who follow users in mass in hopes of getting followed back. Days or even weeks later, those mass-followers do a purge and unfollow in mass as well. Rude.

Luckily, Friend or Follow can help you weed out these people. This tool will show you everyone you follow and let you know if they are following back. You can unfollow in mass or pick and choose who is worthy of your unrequited follow.

8. Surf LinkedIn Anonymously

The LinkedIn “Profile Viewed By” feature is either incredibly helpful or super annoying, depending on which side of it you are on. If you are looking to search profiles without worrying about users knowing you were reading up on them, try using LinkedIn anonymously. Simply go to “Privacy & Settings” on your profile then choose “Privacy Controls.” From there you can choose “Select what others see when you’ve viewed their profile” and you will be given an option to be completely anonymous. This is a total win if you are doing research and don’t necessarily want the subjects to know who you are, or perfect for some light internet stalking.

9. Create a Printable Resume directly from LinkedIn

Have you ever looked at your perfectly crafted LinkedIn profile and wished you could just send prospective employers to your profile page instead of providing them with a resume? Well, you can have the next best thing. By using LinkedIn’s ResumeBuilder, you can take your LinkedIn profile and turn it into a printable resume within minutes. Boom. Updated resume, locked and loaded, no formatting requiring.

10. Join Social Buzz Club

This “club” is basically an online community that lets you earn shares by sharing other users’ posts. You can pick and choose the content you share, so you can still keep content relevant to your audience’s interests. Every time you share another member’s content, you earn “shares” that you can then use to have other users share your content on their social media profiles. It’s a great way to gain traction for content without spending any actual money.

So which one of these social media marketing hacks are you dying to try? Let us know if any of these totally changed your social media game!

 

Social Media Evolution: What Does the Future of Social Marketing Look Like? social marketing, content marketing, content media marketing, social media marketing, marketing strategy, marketing coach, business coach, small business marketing, marketing agency, st louis marketing agency, marketing agency st louis, social media coach, social media consulting, social media consultant, st louis social media, seo, st louis seo

What is the future of social marketing? 2016 predictions

 

If you’re a small business owner or marketer for one organization or an agency, we recommend taking the time to dig into this episode of Social Media Examiner, with Brian Solis. Learn more about the future of content marketing – specific to digital and social networks – including voice search, wearable technology, brand experience, user experience, and his recommendations on where you should spend your time in 2016.

As we discussed in our new year blog, 5 marketing trends to be mindful of in 2016, there are big changes afoot. Count on seeing social media networks continue to demand more content to feed the various algorithms. With content publishing shifting to Facebook, Twitter and other networks, marketers and small businesses will increasingly need to be selective about where they publish the original copies of each post – and the potential impact of their choices.

Promoting his new book, What’s the Future of Business?, Solis recalls in the interview how content marketing has shifted from the early 90’s until now. Even as he drafted an infographic for his new book, the disruption and state of constant change within digital marketing presented a challenge –  one common to those seeking to write evergreen content about digital marketing strategy.

Dig into this interview to get prepared for marketing changes in 2016. If you find the changes to come to be too much to manage, never fear. Reach out to our team for monthly coaching or active marketing support.

2016 marketing predictions from Brian Solis:

Social Media Evolution: What Does the Future of Social Marketing Look Like?

Are you amazed at how much social media has changed over the last few years? Want to discover what’s next? To explore the evolution of social media, I interview Brian Solis. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from SM Examiner. It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing. In this episode I interview Brian Solis , a principal analyst at the Altimeter Group . He’s written eight books, including Engage and What’s the Future of Business? His newest book is called […]

marketing trends 2016 digital marketing trends

5 marketing trends to be mindful of in 2016

By Danni Eickenhorst

As we look ahead at what’s to come in marketing in 2016, we are seeing that major shifts in digital media are going to shape marketing strategies big and small. Increasingly, businesses of all sizes are finding frustration and failure in their marketing methods. By being aware of these 5 key marketing trends, brands can pivot in their planning – looking ever forward, rather than engaging in another year of reactive marketing.

    1. Continued growth of video content and video ads across all major channels – with a notable strategic increase in Facebook. In fact, some experts are predicting that Facebook will outpace YouTube. In a survey by Demand Metric last fall, an astonishing 74% of businesses reported that video content outperformed other content types in driving conversions. This fact, combined with the incredible reach that Facebook and Twitter now deliver on video content, makes video a MUST for brands in 2016.
    2. Mobile traffic will continue its trend of upward growth and will be at the heart of many of our strategic planning efforts in the New Year. We are seeing mobile outpacing desktop interactions across nearly every medium. With the rise of wearable technology, we’ll be optimizing for new screens and new content experiences.
    3. “Content shock” will continue to impact your marketing strategy – with content marketing struggling to be as effective a medium for many brands. A recent study found that the amount of content being created is far outpacing our desire for it – and our ability to consume it. Brands and small businesses will have to find new ways to stand out from the crowd through higher quality content, advertising, and strategic partnerships.Far and away, we are seeing that longer form content (4,000 or more words) outperforms shorter, punchier content again and again. From a search perspective, this content is richer, and if well written and well-formatted, will lead to longer site visits, which are signals to Google that you are offering strong and useful information.
    4. marketing trends in 2016 marketing trends content creation content production social engagement marketing strategyThe role of the website will continue to change as social media channels encourage publishers to publish on-network. The role of the website will continue to change as well, as digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Google Now serve up answers to questions without sending visitors to your site – some of these digital assistants are answering questions outside of traditional search engines as well, opening a new area of optimization needs for your content. In a recent study of 8,800 brands and their marketing, Trackmaven found that brands were creating 78% more content and realizing 60% less engagement than in previous years. And that brings us to our final prediction…
    5. Your marketing will take more time. During times of plentiful business, and during times of difficulty  alike, companies tend to cut their marketing budgets – a move that will invite future failure. Brands are finding that their audiences are demanding QUALITY of content over quantity – a demand that requires more time for creative and strategic considerations. We have found that customers and contractors that we bid our time for 12-18 months ago now take 20-30% more time to deliver on, due to the increasing competition across nearly ever industry. Because of the highly competitive nature of content marketing, there needs to be more time for the thoughtful and strategic distribution of the content you create – particularly if you are looking for insightful metrics to guide your future marketing efforts. Budget your time and your resources accordingly.

If you are looking for help to develop a marketing strategy in 2016, schedule your consultation with one of our digital marketing experts – or reach out to get a quote for marketing services. Schedule a New Year Strategy session online by clicking here. 


 

Reach out for professional help navigating marketing trends in 2016

your content strategy is obsolete 2015 2016

Your current content strategy is quickly becoming obsolete.

By Danni Eickenhorst (@STLDanni) Last year, when Facebook announced their endeavors in Facebook Newswire and Journalism, we made a prediction. This prediction was somewhat controversial, but we stood by it, and it is absolutely coming true. We said that websites as we know them would quickly become obsolete and that content publishing on social media platforms would become the norm. We also predicted that these platforms would quickly provide disincentives for people to click anywhere outside of their platform, and that they would begin to give preference to on-platform content only, rather than links to outside sites, and we were right. It is all happening now. Your current content strategy is quickly becoming obsolete.

Why are platforms making this shift?

By keeping your content interactions on-platform, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google are able to track your activity, and to gather data for their strategic planning, and for their advertising revenue. Data is power. Data is money.

What’s happening now?

You may have noticed that for the past 18 months, Google has been providing preview content on search results, often answering any questions you may have right from the search results stream, such that you don’t have to click through to any of the websites that are coming up in search. Orders can be facilitated, phone calls can be made, general questions answered – all without ever clicking through to a website.

LinkedIn rolled out LinkedIn blogs – which are incredibly powerful – especially for B2B businesses and thought leaders in various industry spaces. You may even read this blog here, because as much as I wish it WASN’T happening, I have to share content where it works. (My personal rules = Publish first on my own site ALWAYS.)

This week, iOS 9 for Apple rolled out with the capability of enabling ad-blocking apps. Seems smart, right? Rather benign? Wrong. This changes everything. Every trend we’ve seen in the last 18 months has pointed to a focus on mobile marketing. Our click-thru rate on Facebook ads on mobile versus desktop has been 3 to 1 in favor of mobile. We invest accordingly. When Google rolled out “Mobilegeddon” changes in April, companies everywhere invested in making their sites quicker on mobile.

The new iOS changes will also block the cookies that track your activity online – something that we, as marketers, rely heavily on this day for predictive targeted marketing.

What does this mean?

  • If cookies are blocked, affiliate in-text links and banners will no longer function as they should. This means that people who are making their living from affiliate income will start to see a significant reduction in income – as the individuals they are marketing for will not be able to track the sources of their sales.
  • Mobile marketing campaigns will need to be closely tracked and reconsidered.
  • Rather than relying on cookies, traditional referral codes may be required. “Tell them Bob sent you by entering offer code BOB at checkout.”
  • Everything about SEO is about to change. Watch closely for more from our team.
  • Some predict that content sites, which will ultimately see a precipitous drop in traffic and income as content moves onto these platforms. Some predict that pay-gates (similar to what many newspapers are working to implement online – and often failing to implement) are the future. We’d guess that they are not.

What do we do now?

Own your own content. We strongly believe in building your business on your own real estate. So, for now, always publish on your own site first. You can always share content by republishing to LinkedIn blogs and other sources AFTER you’ve established your site as the original author source.

Give a preference for home-court advantage. Continue to drive traffic to your site whenever possible to keep the interactions and data yours – for as long as you can. Take advantage of in-text links when publishing on outside platforms. Link people back to your site whenever possible.

Watch your campaigns closely. Especially those on mobile. Be ready to pivot.

Diversify your income streams. If your business has a significant portion of income comes from affiliate or ad income – reevaluate your business model. Find other options. It’s the only prudent thing to do in a time of sweeping change.

Subscribe for the latest. We are closely monitoring the changes and their impact on marketing for the sake of our clients. Watch our blog closely for more. Sign up for our email newsletter for breaking news and updates.

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LOOKING FOR MORE ON THESE CHANGES?

Listen to this incredibly insightful episode of “Note to Self,” for the true potential impact of these changes.

 

On-Page Content is key for SEO

Business owners are constantly looking for the most effective ways to market and promote their business and without a degree or background in digital marketing, this task is becoming much harder for many. The usual methods that have worked in the past – phone books, newspapers, radio and television – are no longer as effective as they once were. Consumers now have a wider range of choices in the media they consume, and they have added podcasts, online articles, social media streams, and citizen journalism in the mix. Even traditional “word of mouth” marketing has gone digital – with reviews being curated on sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, Google, and Facebook.

While traditional marketing methods still show some success, even if limited, they are also highly untargeted – meaning that business owners that choose those means to market are casting a wide net and hoping for the best. But, when paying for advertising it is best to look for the most targeted advertising possible for the least amount of money. And, one of the most targeted methods currently available is search engine optimization (SEO).

On Page Content for SEO

While there are certainly many factors that contribute to the success of your site in search rankings, one of the most critical content areas to evaluate on your site is your on-page content. Search engines read your on-page content and file it away for future searches, making a determination about your site’s quality and content based on a variety of signals, including:

  • Use of keywords and supporting words on a theme
  • Names of images
  • Use of alt tags
  • The content of headings and subheadings
  • The length, quality, and detail of the content

 

Then whenever someone searches for a term they will go through what they have read and decide which site best fits for what the searcher needs. The initial content helps the search engine spider figure out a theme of the site or page. So, if the spider determines a certain page on your site mainly deals with LED lightbulbs, it will remember this for future searchers seeking out information on LED lightbulbs, serving up the information it believes to be most relevant to them. The most relevant site will be served at the top in the almighty #1 ranked spot for that term.

Focused content for SEO

When creating content for a single page on your site, it is best to build each page around individual terms or focuses you hope to be known for in search. For example, if you own a store with a variety of products, you would benefit from creating separate pages for each department, and, ultimately, for each product line. Each page should be focused on one key search area and it’s key phrases.

How to use keywords & search phrases

While you will want to insert keywords into your writing to some degree, it is best to focus on quality content first. Overuse or unnatural use of search phrases in your writing may cause a penalty from search engines, which would be counterproductive to what you’re work for.

 

A good rule of thumb is to utilize your phrase and it’s synonyms throughout naturally – but no more than 5 times per 500 words. Beyond your body of content, you’ll want your keyword used in the following places:

  • Title
  • Subheadings
  • Image Titles
  • Image Alt Text (along with synonyms of your keyword)
  • Meta description
  • Meta tags (if any)
  • Category title (if article)

Search engine optimization takes strategy, consistent work, and loads of patience, but the benefits are incredible. If you’re looking for someone to take this on for you, let’s talk. 314-300-6675 or info@blankpagestl.com.

 

Twitter profiles now rank #1 in mobile search for active Twitter users and influencers.

Google & Twitter: Reunited & Affecting Your SEO

By Taylor Bartley

Twitter profiles now rank #1 in mobile search for active Twitter users and influencers.Twitter and Google are working together again! Google has started indexing tweets in real time, meaning that your latest tweet will show live in any searches – currently on mobile, ultimately everywhere – as soon as it’s tweeted.

You may have heard the news a few months back that Twitter and Google decided to work together once again after their “breakup” in 2011. To give you the short story, back in 2009, Twitter gave Google full access to their to their tweets (which many call the “firehose”). In 2011, this agreement ended after Twitter’s COO stated that he wanted the company to have more control over their content. Now, after four years, Twitter has put the offer back on the table for many reasons, a main factor being that they realize how much the search engine can enhance the Twitter experience for users who are logged out.

What this means for businesses

When two colossal companies begin to work with one another, it takes time to iron out the details. This deal was made a few months back, and everyone knew that it would take time for everything to fall into place. Now, more than ever, you should be preparing your business’ Twitter account because it can affect your SEO in great ways. Once Google gets its algorithm in place for real time tweet searching, the amount of your tweets Google indexes will undoubtedly increase… as long as you know what Google is looking for.

Tips to increase your SEO via Twitter

Experts speculate that the more tweets indexed by Google, the more traffic will result – especially for active Twitter users and influencers. Those who spend time building their Twitter presence will be rewarded with higher search visibility. The larger a Twitterer’s audience and influence, the more likely you are to have a higher index rate for your tweets.

A few areas to focus on in order to build your Twitter influence are:

  • Twitter ads: Consider promoting posts and profile to build followers and interest for your brand.
  • Influencers: Twitter is an amazing place to connect with influencers and industry professionals, who can help push your content and profile.
  • Hashtags: Harness the power of hashtags to get your content seen by more interested people.
  • Quality Content: Create content intended on engagement with your audience – relevant, interesting, timely – the kind of content that invites shares, comments and retweets.

We suggest taking a look at your own clout or “klout” by going to klout.com. This site allows your to connect all of your social media channels to see how influential you are in your field. This is also a great tool to search and identify influencers. Your klout score is certainly something you do not have to live by, but it is good to check in from time to time in order to see how you are doing. Did we mention you also get perks from other businesses that see you as an influencer in their industry?

Now you need to know what other specific things Google is looking for when indexing a tweet. Not all of your tweets need to follow these rules, but make sure that important tweets have these attributes.

  • Strong images – be sure that your image fits the preview box Twitter gives, so people are more likely to click on it and engage. Images are known to be engaging, so take advantage of this. Using sites such as canva allow you to create a powerful image with the dimensions already laid out for you!
  • Hashtags – including popular industry hashtags will not only increase engagement, but will help in getting noticed by Google as well.
  • Strong links – if you are linking to something in your tweet, make sure the link is a source that has a large following and viewership. The weaker the links you refer to in your tweets, the less likely Google will index.
  • Length: Some studies claim that 100 characters is your ideal length for a tweet, while others say that longer tweets result in more engagement. Experiment with your content format to see what works for YOUR audience, and then implement your own best practices.

For more specifics on this deal, check out this helpful FAQ. If you need to ramp up your Twitter presence and need assistance, give us a call at 314-300-6675 for a free consultation.