8th Step to Growing Sales: Measure Success and Reproduce Results
You’ve made it! Today, you’ll learn about the last step (to date) in Jim’s business journey — the point at which he began to measure marketing success.
But this isn’t quite the end of his journey, nor will it be the end of yours. That’s because measuring marketing success is only half of the last of our 8 Steps to Growing Sales. After which, you’ll want to reproduce the results. How do we do that for Jim and for our other clients?
Nurture the marketing content.
It’s not enough to deploy an e-mail or schedule a social post. Like “service after the sale,” you must support the content you send out into the world.
Social media algorithms are tricky; Facebook’s is particularly fussy to deal with. In late 2017, the platform tweaked its algorithm in a way that made it even more difficult for companies (especially small businesses and DIY endeavors) to gain traction.
Facebook started limiting (down to single-digits, in most cases) the number of users who would see a given post in their feeds — even among users who had “liked” that business’s page. To see all a page’s posts in his or her feed, a user now must go to the page, click “follow” and then click “see first.”
Facebook said it was responding to users’ complaints about feed clutter and trying to improve the consumer experience. It could be argued, though, that its primary goal was to incentivize businesses to pay to boost their posts.
There are ways of getting around the change, though. Facebook and other social platforms give positive weighting to posts that achieve likes, score them more positively when they generate user reactions (the emotive versions of likes) or comments, and weight them most positively when they’re shared.
Essentially, the more engagement, the more emotive or substantive that engagement and the more broadly your audience propagates it, the better the social platform’s algorithm scores it. How can you use that to your advantage?
When a customer comments on your post, comment back. Stoke their excitement. Hold their digital hands or soothe their fears when they exhibit uncertainty. Answer their questions promptly. Perform immediate service recovery, when necessary.
All of that promotes additional conversation and boosts your content’s algorithm score. When your score is up, more of your potential audience sees your content. It’s as simple as that.
Monitor customers’ interest.
Effective implementers use software that monitors open rates (the percentage of recipients who click to view the emails). They also monitor click-through rates (the percentage of consumers who click the call-to-action, or CTA, link in an email, or who click on a social post’s content link).
Doing so allows you to measure the effectiveness for the content produced. When content does well, test your hypotheses as to why. When it doesn’t, either re-tool and redeploy, or scratch and reimagine it. After you figure out why a given tactic or characteristic might have failed, avoid doing it again.
Conversely, when you discover why a post did well, augment that success-building quality in future content. Then, do it again and again!
Mind website bounce rates.
While we were monitoring open and click-through rates for our client, Jim, B63 Line also measured bounces, or visitors who left. Using Analytics, we monitored how many people were leaving without taking any action.
Some software (beyond Google Analytics) allows us to see where visitors came in from, what they viewed, where they had been before they came to Jim’s site, what company they’re with, and oftentimes, their email address. That’s valuable to us (and to Jim’s sales force), because we can often infer what those consumers were searching for and form testable hypotheses about why they left when they did.
When we can figure why they bounced, we can take several actions to improve engagement, some of which depend on the point at which the potential customer stopped taking action:
- Adjust the content (tweak the visual, reduce or add to the copy, change the wording, add a more obvious CTA, etc.)
- Adjust the page to include the information most customers seem to be looking for.
- If a customer bounces from your site after having taken several actions that demonstrate initial interest, we can alert the sales team, who can then directly approach the customer with the digital equivalent of an, “Anything we can help you find?”
- Or, likewise, if the customer seemed interested but not quite ready to buy, we can select that user for ad re-targeting, which keeps products top of mind with ads that “follow” them.
Track sales trends.
This one’s pretty easy. How are sales trending? If your integrated marketing plan has been running for a few months and the metrics show good utilization, you should be starting to see some impact on the sales report. If not, there could be some content or marketing mix adjustments to consider, or maybe it’s a symptom of operational issues that need evaluating. Look into other parts of the business, like operations, shipping, customer service, etc., to make sure they’re not contributing to the problem.
Jim’s company is back on track and growing again.
Jim came to B63 Line for help after his automotive manufacturing company’s sales had been stagnant for a very long time. After implementing 8 Steps to Growing Sales, he has succeeded in whipping his marketing efforts into shape.
Now, company sales are trending positive. He’s hired 20 more workers and opened a brand-new production line. His sales pipeline’s chock-full and Jim is very happy.
And so are we! For us, it’s not just about solidifying our reputation as a small business or as a marketing agency. Nor is it just about helping our clients to increase their profits.
It’s about helping our entire community to prosper.
When our expertise helps clients to succeed, Miamisburg, Dayton, and arguably the entire Tristate region succeeds. We all take a big step forward and that makes us feel great.
Ready to measure success on your own sales journey?
Are you trying to learn how better to measure marketing success in your current campaign? Are you looking for a conscientious, woman-owned, expert marketing agency to partner with for an upcoming project?
Or, are you, like Jim, ready to start a brand-new marketing journey and increase your company’s sales? Whatever the scenario, we’re ready to help you.