This month I will address a key question that I often receive, about both e-newsletter and social media campaigns, “How do I know if this is working?”
When I work with a client, one of our first conversations will be about defining your goals for your online marketing efforts. I suggest that you set goals for yourself before you start your campaign so you will have both a focus for your efforts as well as something to monitor.
Maybe you want to drive foot traffic to your (brick and mortar) store. Maybe it is to drive traffic to your website. Or you might want to establish yourself as a go-to person in your area of expertise. Maybe you want to use it to announce your class or event schedule or you just want to stay on your client’s radar.
Too often, it is all of the above. And while a campaign CAN help you do all of those things (and more!) my first suggestion is to determine your primary goal. Once you determine what that is, you can make sure that all of your content, promotions and links, support this. It will clarify your message and make it easier for your clients to do what it is you want them to. It will also give you a way to determine if it is working!
Say your primary goal is to drive foot traffic to your brick and mortar storefront. You can help ensure success by prominently displaying the location, hours and directions on your website as well as in your e-newsletter. You might want to add a Google map widget. Then you could plan and promote an in-store event around a new product you are carrying, encouraging people to come in and check it out! Offer coupons or discounts on purchases made on the day of the event.
Let’s say that you will use the new line of handmade soaps you are carrying as the focus for the in-store event. On Twitter, you could tweet about the new product and ask customers to review them. You may even want to offer 2 or 3 free samples to the first customers that come in and are willing to write reviews. Make it clear that you would like to include the reviews in your e-news and/ or on your website or blog and follow through. Not only will this create great content but it will ENGAGE your customers. Tweet the links to the customer reviews and thank them for their help. Ask for feedback on the blog posts and on your FaceBook fan page.
Build interest in the product and the event by writing an article about the woman that creates the soap and post that on your website with links in the e-newsletter. Talk about it on your blog. Tweet those links. Ask the artist to ReTweet them as well. Search on the artist name and the name of the product to see if anyone is talking about it on Twitter and join those conversations. Make sure that you let people know that you carry the item and where they can find you!
More people walking through the door, especially on the day of your event, would be your first sure sign that your efforts are working. People coming in and redeeming the e-news coupons would be another. You should also be monitoring your website and blog traffic and your e-newsletter metrics to see if those links are generating interest.
And remember to make sure that you have the structure in place to follow through once those people arrive! Have enough stock on the shelves and the sales help necessary to create a positive shopping experience. Be sure to ask where customers learned about you. If they are new, make a point to add them to your e-news mailing list.
And keep in mind that this is not just about getting people to one event, it is to build awareness of the shop, to get people to know you, to come in and to bring friends. You may not see immediate results. It takes time to build your online presence, your reputation and an audience. But by being clear about your goals and consistent in your message, you will see positive, and trackable, results!