Get Your Online Presence Back On Track with these Tips

The COVID pandemic has led to a sharp increase in time spent online. With so much of the world actively engaged online, your brand should not be an exception. Many brands, however, are left wondering what kinds of messages they should be sending, and how to stay relevant when nearly every brand is fighting for attention in the virtual space?

Building your online presence during a pandemic is no easy feat, but with the right tools and perspective you can develop a genuine connection with your customers that leads to increased online interaction even as consumer purchasing patterns fluctuate.

The Best Digital Marketing Strategies for Today’s Circumstances

If you’re looking for a roadmap to guide you through this unfamiliar environment, we can help. 

Here are our tips for maintaining your brand’s image and connecting with customers in the current climate of uncertainty.

Tip #1: Focus on Delivering Value

Be sure any message you send is one that contains some kind of value for the customer. With so many brands taking the “we’re in this together”, it’s no surprise that many consumers are starting to feel a little skeptical or even cynical about these kinds of messages. 

Rather than putting all of your efforts into projecting positive vibes, focus on serving your target audience in concrete ways. It’s through action, not just words, that you will build trust and retain attention.

Tip #2: Understand that Mistakes Happen 

We’re all new to this, and no one has a degree in marketing during a pandemic. If you do get started off on the wrong foot or find that your messages aren’t generating the positive reaction you hoped for, don’t be afraid to apologize. Listening to your audience and acknowledging that you’ve made an error is the best way to move forward.

Tip #3: Cater Content to Consumers’ Current Needs

Right now, it may be best to emphasize qualitative over quantitative data. You may need to focus on creating content that doesn’t necessarily generate the kind of outcomes you’re used to.

Instead of producing content meant to increase your ROI, you may want to ask yourself how you can provide consumers with a positive experience they’ll remember in more stable times. This could involve putting out some kind of “infotainment” that helps customers fill their time in a constructive way, or other types of creative content that are relevant to your industry but don’t necessarily promote your product or service outright.

Tip #4: Take Advantage of PPC Marketing

With fewer people out and about, more and more individuals have taken up residence in front of their screens. This means more Google searches and more eyeballs on pay-per-click (PPC) ads. 

If you’re not already using PPC marketing, there’s never been a better time to start. Thanks to a decrease in cost-per-click and increase in viewership, you’ll get the best bang for your buck with this digital marketing strategy.

Tip #5: Put an Emphasis on SEO

Don’t consider this lull a time to pull back on your SEO efforts. Instead, you should be optimizing your website and content on a very frequent basis to remain on the front page of Google SERPs.

Implementing local SEO strategies is also more crucial than ever as many families are sticking to their local neighborhoods for supplies and services. Local SEO can help ensure your website appears in “near me” searches and makes it easier for customers in your area to find your information. Not only can local SEO drive new customers to your business, but it can also help you be there for your community when they need you most.

Tip #6: Use Social Media for Its Intended Purpose

Connecting with others has always been the main goal of social media. Now is the time to take a moment to connect with your audience over the shared experience of the pandemic. 

There will be time for sales pitches and marketing pushes in the future. However, as we all begin to embrace a new normal, you have the chance to tap into the emotions your audience is feeling and let them know they’re not alone.

The New Rules of Customer Touchpoints

Some may remember the, ‘Rule of 7’. In the past, businesses relied on roughly 7 touchpoints to drive customers and prospects down the sales funnel. In today’s marketing landscape, it takes anywhere from 13 to 20 touchpoints to convert those prospects and customers, depending on your business/industry.

 

When interacting with your customer they become the recipient of an experience involving a moment of truth. This moment of truth is filled with touchpoints and other factors involving their decision whether to return, to recommend your business to a friend or colleague, or to turn their back on your business, product, and/or website. Improving the customer experience and value of touchpoints can help your business grow.

 

The new rules of customer touchpoints are not your products or services, but how you create an experience for customers and prospects as they interact with your brand. Think about how you attract your customers through ANY interaction, such as your website, social media, newspaper ad, blog, etc. No matter how small, add it to a list.

 

Identify your business goals and cross-reference the parallels your touchpoints have with the customer’s lifecycle. Keep in mind all of the earned and paid opportunities you have. Content is King and if you have that in your back pocket, it will be easy to identify how best to engage with customers and prospects and on what platforms.

 

What many forget about the customer journey is how important it is to have a strong online presence. If you’re not integrating with things like Local Listings, Pay Per Click, SEO, etc., odds are your competitors are and you’ll be missing out on valuable touchpoints that have the potential to push your customers to their front door instead of yours.

Every customer interaction is important, but some are more critical than others. The goal here is to identify those touchpoints that are most important to both customers and the company. Once you’ve identified the weak spots in your customer experience, you’ll have a better grasp on what needs to be done to create a more positive user experience which should in turn impact customer retention, referrals, and reviews.

The “New Normal” of Buyer Behaviors

The business landscape has changed dramatically over the past couple months, leaving business owners in uncharted territory. While our world has gone virtual almost overnight due to the pandemic, the truth is that it’s been heading in that direction for a long time. 

Rather than taking a step backward, we’re hurtling forward into a new reality where consumers rely on technology and digital media in new, although not unpredictable, ways. In the face of all these changes, are you ready to show your flexibility and willingness to innovate? 

Below, we’ve outlined some of the new purchasing patterns and consumer habits you can expect to encounter as you strive to meet your customers’ needs. While challenging, this “new normal” also presents an opportunity for your business to reinvent itself, cater to customers’ changing preferences, and implement innovations that lead to improved efficiency for both your team and your clientele.

What’s Changed: Consumer Purchasing Patterns

In light of the requirements of social distancing, many customers have been forced to explore new experiences they may have eschewed in the past. It goes without saying that ordering groceries online and holding appointments through video chat are now as commonplace as sitting in a waiting room or perusing supermarket shelves once were. 

Now that consumers have experienced the convenience that these new options offer, many of them won’t want to go back to the old way of doing things.

In short, consumer preferences are changing, causing them to develop new habits that will lead to new buying patterns and expectations. Even those who do choose to go back to their old ways will be more aware of the possibilities available to them through technology. They will likely also become more comfortable with the idea of trying out new opportunities in the future. 

As the marketplace is moving online, these virtual experiences are becoming increasingly important to customers. Real-time communication with brands is now a necessity, as is a fluid purchase journey. More than ever, customers are focusing not just on the quality of the product or service they receive, but the quality of the purchase experience as a whole.

Adapting to this new baseline of consumer expectations may require different actions on the part of different businesses. Whether the crucial adaptations for your business involve streamlining your website, installing a chatbot to connect users with the right department, creating an online scheduling application, or arranging the logistics of delivery, it’s now your mission to follow through on these changes so your business can rise to the occasion.

What Hasn’t Changed: The Need to Focus on the Customer

While many things have changed, one factor will always stay the same: Your focus should remain on improving your customers’ experience with your business in every way possible. Examine each point of interaction, from initial contact to returns and reviews, and don’t overlook any opportunity you have to improve their experience.  

Although it’s easy to think of customers as a category separate from yourself as a business owner, the truth is that you’re a customer in many aspects of your life, too. You can help eliminate the ambiguity of these uncertain times by analyzing your own thoughts and actions. Ask yourself:

  • What changes are you expecting from the businesses you frequent? 
  • How have your purchasing preferences changed?
  • What patterns have become habits that will stick? 

Putting yourself in the customer’s shoes will help ensure you create an environment that will make your customers comfortable in the “new normal.”

Another thing that hasn’t changed, despite the upheaval in the market, is the importance of data and measurement. As you begin to make adjustments to your business model, implement new marketing strategies, and roll out new services, be sure to review results often and gain as much feedback as possible. Not every innovation or experiment is going to resonate with your customers, but you can’t be certain until you try.

Support for Business Affected by COVID-19

Both the US Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Association have released information for small businesses affected by COVID-19.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Applications

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that small businesses owners across the U.S. are now eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.

This program is designed to provide businesses with working capital to help them overcome temporary losses to revenue due to COVID-19. Funds can be made available within 3 days and the loan advance does not have to be repaid.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program can also provide working capital loans for up to $2 million.

More information and links to apply for loans and loan advances can be found here.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans

The recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to support small businesses during this time. Designed to help keep workers employed, the Paycheck Protection Program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans.

Businesses who accept these loans and who maintain their payroll during the crisis or restore their payroll after this has passed will have their loans forgiven.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has provided this document with detailed information about eligibility, what information will need to be provided to qualify, how much can be borrowed, and more details on the forgiveness program.

Preparing Your Digital Marketing Strategy for 2020

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time to reflect on both the mistakes and successes of the past year while also looking forward to the year ahead. Make the most of this opportunity for a fresh start by creating a marketing plan that sets your company up to thrive in 2020. 

Digital marketing is a dynamic field that is constantly changing, and it’s important that your marketing plan is driven by optimal marketing tactics that reflect these new developments. In order to create an effective marketing strategy for the new year, you’ll need to do some big-picture thinking. 

Start by taking a look at the goals you’re aiming to achieve, and work backward to determine the types of tactics that can make those results a reality. This method can also help ensure you’re building a budget that enables you to maximize your efforts rather than hindering your progress.

Keys to a Successful Marketing Strategy

Because change is a constant in the world of digital marketing, it’s sometimes difficult to know which strategy changes are worth making and which elements should stay the same. Read below for some tips that can help you make the most of the many opportunities that digital marketing offers.

You company’s website can either act as an open door for potential customers or an obstacle that they need to overcome. Small details like quick load time and bold visuals can have a major impact on customers’ ability to interact with your website and ultimately connect with your company. It’s important to look at website design through the lens of digital marketing, so don’t forget to include website optimization as part of your 2020 digital marketing strategy.   

The popularity of programmatic advertising is in perpetual growth thanks to its effectiveness at targeting and converting consumers. By utilizing programmatic ads, you can accurately target consumers at a variety of touchpoints throughout the decision-making process. Multiple touchpoints allow you to reinforce the benefits of your brand’s product or service and encourage the conversion from shopper to customer.

With mobile ads outpacing desktop ads and mobile devices comprising the majority of internet traffic, making mobile your main area of focus is key. However, that doesn’t mean that desktop is dead. In fact, desktop often plays a huge role in the final purchase process. Aim to develop a marketing strategy that is fluid enough to follow users as they shift between platforms.

Location targeting has made it easier to market business services to a specific area. Of course, this tool needs to be used correctly in order to reap the benefits that it offers. For example, brick-and-mortar businesses should target a smaller radius, while companies that can deliver their services throughout a broader area, such as a lawn care company, can focus on multiple neighborhoods.

Taking the time to segment your audience beyond a few general groups enables you to personalize the messages that you send to these micro-segments and nudge them towards a purchase. After all, not all potential customers are ready to “Buy Now!”. Some need to be directed to specific information or services before they make a decision. By understanding the needs and preferences of different segments within your audience, you can increase your ability to reach a greater number of people.

Even some of the best digital marketing strategies aren’t immediately effective, and that’s ok. It takes time to make different tactics work for your business. You’ll need to go through a process of testing, assessing, and honing your strategy before you begin to see results. Avoid abandoning new methods without investing enough time for them to be fruitful.

With more and more data available at your fingertips, you may not know how to put it all to use. Hiring an experienced digital marketing agency can help you accurately assess data, implement effective tactics, and streamline your overall strategy for success in 2020. 

Digital Marketing Basics for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is a constantly evolving field, one that’s often miles ahead of the curve. But when it comes to digital marketing, healthcare brands tend to lag behind those in other industries.

There’s a good reason for this. In marketing their products and services, healthcare brands are bound by strict rules and regulations, like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

These rules and regulations limit some of the marketing tools available to healthcare brands. As a result, popular digital marketing strategies, such as remarketing lists, are unavailable to healthcare providers.

At the same time, healthcare marketers need to be cautious when adopting new marketing strategies and channels. They simply can’t afford the risk of an accidental HIPAA violation.

Despite these concerns, digital marketing is crucial for healthcare providers. Today, most consumers pick up their smartphone the instant they have questions about healthcare products or services. To reach these consumers, healthcare brands need a robust, comprehensive, and effective digital strategy.

So let’s take a look at how today’s most successful healthcare brands approach digital marketing basics, including PPC, SEO, and social media.

PPC Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare is one of the toughest verticals in the world of pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. According to one report, healthcare advertisers pay roughly 37% more per click compared to the average advertiser. What’s more, healthcare PPC ads have a lower-than-average click-through rate compared to other industries.

Yet PPC remains an indispensable tool for healthcare marketers. While healthcare leads might cost more, they’re also more valuable than leads in other industries. And even with click-through rates on the low side, roughly 1 billion searchers click on healthcare ads through Google each year.

PPC Tips for Healthcare Providers

Here are some of the ways that healthcare marketers can optimize their PPC efforts:

  • Advertise in the right places. For healthcare providers, this means advertising on Google Ads. Roughly 90% of users turn to Google for healthcare queries.
  • Create a dedicated strategy for mobile devices. According to Google, mobile searchers are much more likely to convert on healthcare-related searches.
  • Take advantage of location targeting. Roughly two-thirds of searchers choose healthcare providers based on the provider’s proximity to their home or workplace.
  • Develop protocols to avoid penalties. Google Ads enforces strict rules on healthcare advertisers, so you’ll need to be careful to avoid getting penalized.

SEO Marketing for Healthcare Brands

Healthcare brands face a unique situation when it comes to search engine optimization. In other industries, brands can generate awareness by targeting broad, informational search terms. But in the medical fields, these search results are more-or-less monopolized by WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and a handful of other major websites.

Because of this, healthcare brands are better off targeting down-funnel search terms. Don’t optimize content for broad search terms, or informational terms about medical conditions. Instead, focus on specific queries about treatments, services, and providers. If your brand is location based, you should invest heavily in local SEO.

SEO Tips for Healthcare Providers

The following tips and strategies can help healthcare providers make the most of SEO:

  • Create information-rich content. On healthcare searches, users expect clear and detailed answers to their queries, so Google rewards information-rich pages with higher rankings.
  • Tailor content to your local market. Local SEO requires tailoring your content to include geographic keywords and making sure that these terms occur prominently on each page.
  • Invest in local listings management. To make sure that Google displays the right information about your business, you’ll need to make sure this information is consistent across the web.
  • Manage your online reviews. Local search results are largely determined by the volume and quality of your online reviews, so take a proactive approach to review management.

Social Media for Healthcare Brands

Social media’s a bit of an obstacle course for healthcare providers. While users are eager to share content from certain types of businesses, they’re less likely to get excited about content from healthcare brands.

At the same time, healthcare brands face tricky situations in areas like HIPAA compliance and public relations. A social media misstep from a well-meaning intern can have costly consequences, so it’s important that these risks are mitigated.

Despite these challenges, social media can be a gamechanger healthcare providers. Social media’s core strength lies in its ability to showcase the human side of brands and businesses. That’s an especially valuable asset in a field like healthcare, where brands often struggle to build trust and personal relationships with patients.

Social Media Tips for Healthcare Providers

When it comes to social media, healthcare brands can find success with these strategies:

  • Use rigorous social media protocols. Develop rigorous posting protocols with input from legal, PR, and social media experts to minimize the risk of HIPAA violations.
  • Respond promptly to feedback. Take advantage of social media to ensure that users receive timely, accurate responses to any questions, comments, complaints, and feedback.
  • Share advice and raise awareness. Leaning too heavily on promotional content will turn off social media users, so use your platform to promote awareness about topics related to health and well-being.
  • Showcase the people behind your brand. Humanize your brand by using your social media feed to showcase the faces that make up your organization.

Trick or Treat: Is Bad Data ‘Ghosting’ your local marketing efforts?

When national brands engage in local marketing online, their location data can play Trick-or-Treat with the results. If data is well-managed, brands are rewarded with an effective campaign. However, if location data is inaccurate, inconsistent, or incomplete, these campaigns can suffer serious problems.

 

In the worst cases, local marketing efforts can be “ghosted” by bad data. You run a locally targeted PPC campaign, yet your ads never appear the in right market. You invest in local SEO, yet your locations are nowhere to be found in search results.

 

While any business can suffer from problems with location data, larger brands tend to have the most trouble managing this data. So if you operate a brand with several locations, or you’re running a smaller brand with big plans for expansion, it’s important that you invest in effective location data management.

How Mismanaged Location Data “Ghosts” Ads & Search Results

In the world of digital marketing, there is nothing more frustrating than a “ghosted” ad or search result. You invest time and money in a marketing campaign. You think you’ve followed all the right steps. And yet, when you try to find your ads or search for your page, the results never appear (or, in some cases, they never appear where they’re supposed to).

 

When this happens to national brands with multiple locations, mismanaged location data is often the culprit.

 

If location data is managed at the corporate level, mistakes in your database can migrate into your local marketing campaigns. This can happen:

 

  • If franchisees enter their data incorrectly
  • If a mistake is made when transposing data from one database to another
  • If location data isn’t properly updated

 

While corporate-level management tends to be more accurate, the sheer volume of data can make it difficult to identify and correct mistakes.

 

If location data is managed at the franchise level, there is a very high risk of inconsistent data management from one franchise to the next. Franchisees end up using different systems and different practices for managing their data. This makes it extremely difficult to coordinate brand-wide campaigns that rely on location data. To make matters even more difficult, this data is often managed by employees or the franchisee: i.e., someone without a background in digital marketing.

 

Inaccurate, incomplete, or inconsistent data can end up neutralizing an otherwise flawless local marketing campaign. Here are three examples of how this can happen:

 

  • PPC Advertising. A lot of brick-and-mortar businesses run PPC campaigns with a geographic footprint tied to their physical location. This requires accurate longitude and latitude figures. If either of these figures is entered inaccurately, your campaign could end up targeting an entirely different location.

 

  • Local SEO. Google and other search engines tailor their results according to users’ locations. So, if your website is feeding faulty location data to users, your site might disappear from local search results. Another issue: incorrect or inconsistent data can reduce your site’s quality score, resulting in lower SEO rankings.

 

  • Local Listings. If your internal database contains inaccurate location data, these mistakes are likely replicated in external listings. Inaccurate or inconsistent local listings can lead to major headaches for brick-and-mortar businesses. Google could display the wrong address or phone number for your locations, confuse two of your locations for one another, or remove some of your locations from search results entirely.

Solutions to Local Data Mismanagement

All of this leads to an obvious question: If your brand has problems with location data, what should you do about it? We suggest two important steps…

 

First, re-evaluate your current location data management practices. If you don’t have a proper central database for this information, establish one. If you do, perform a detailed audit to eliminate errors, fix inconsistencies, and fill in missing data.

 

Second, establish a set of brand standards for entering new data or updating existing information. Make sure these standards are compatible with digital marketing best practices. It may be helpful to hire a digital marketing consultant for help establishing these standards.

 

Third, partner with a digital marketing company that specializes in local marketing for national brands. These companies are familiar with the pitfalls of inaccurate location data. They have systems in place to keep location data consistent, and they can troubleshoot multi-location campaigns much more quickly and effectively than other digital marketing companies.

 

Digital Marketing for Restaurant Franchise Brands

One of the best things about being part of a restaurant franchise is the brand name recognition that individual locations receive. The franchisor leads the overall marketing initiatives, to which franchisees contribute, thereby relieving the stress and time it would take for them to go it alone.

But, don’t forget you will need to pepper in a little local flavor that speaks directly to each location’s community of foodies! This local approach along with the support of corporate marketing efforts will help locations to generate new and repeat business.

 

A Six Course Meal

For multi-location restaurant brands, having the right pairing of digital marketing tools is vital to building a strong localized online presence. With current and potential customers all searching in different ways, it can be an ongoing challenge to stay top of mind and visible to your audience. Ensuring that your digital marketing efforts are driving more hungry consumers to your front door requires a comprehensive strategy that includes:

 

Pay Per Click

SEO

Social Media

Local Listings and Reviews Management

Website

Programmatic

Seasoning with SEO for Multi-Locations

There is a lot to unpack in the six course meal so today we’ll focus on a couple of the most important elements, SEO and Local Listings.

 

For multi-location businesses, challenges with localized SEO often arise at the corporate level. A common strategy is to list all their locations’ information on one master landing page. This is not really the best idea for effective SEO. It is recommended to create separate, optimized pages for each restaurant location because, let’s face it, the favorite appetizer in New York City may not be the same in Phoenix.

 

Your franchisees’ individual location page is a sort of microsite giving them a community brand that can be used to create relevant content to entice the locals to come in for a taste! So, keeping that in mind you want to include location specific information on each location page including:

 

  • Location information, directions, and a Google map
  • Food specialties
  • Local testimonials – people want to be heard
  • Social media connections (be sure to include local listings such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Big Places, Apple Maps, and City Grid)
  • Restaurant affiliated or sponsored events at the local level

 

You’ll also want to focus on adding localized content on a regular schedule. Any content should be focused on keywords and geographies that are relevant to each location. If day to day operations keep your franchisees too busy to develop content, you can hire a professional writer. Many digital marketing agencies, including Qiigo, offer professional writing services as part of their SEO package.

 

Confirm Listing Information for Full Flavor Results

After location pages have been optimized, there are some additionals things that should not be overlooked. Directory site listings for each location should be claimed and all information should be verified. Look for the following points:

 

    • Verify each location’s information (Name, address, phone number) and ensure it matches across all directories
    • Confirm operation hours
    • Respond to reviews (Flattering or not, reviews can be your benchmark between “good” and “great” customer satisfaction)
    • Current photos. Take photos of a “full” restaurant with people enjoying themselves.

 

In the End – Digital Marketing Is a Delicious Dessert

You now have an excellent foundation to get your restaurant’s locations noticed. Be sure to continue to link to other businesses, local and community events, and most importantly update your content often! Nothing turns off foodies like the sale old, same old.

 

Local SEO for multiple locations can be a lot of work to set up and maintain, but the payoff is worth it. There are lots of tools out there to help you manage your efforts and a qualified digital marketing partner can help you to refine your strategy.

 

Bon appétit!

 

Learn more about digital marketing solutions for Franchise Restaurant Brands and schedule your free demo.

 

Developing a Winning Local Digital Marketing Strategy

Mastering local marketing can be a challenge for franchise brands. While the digital revolution has made some marketing efforts easier, with four in five consumers turning to their phone first to shop, it has also highlighted the need to intercept consumers on their new digital paths to purchase.

For a prioritized head start, here are six local digital marketing tactics that can help franchisors drive local sales and increase consumer awareness:

 

 

Manage Local Listings and Location
According to Google, location is one of the top factors when determining relevant search results. So while it may seem basic, updating and maintaining online business listings is extremely important for franchisors. This includes your business name, hours of operation, address, phone number, and description on main sites, including Google, Facebook, and others. Enter complete data, verify your locations, and keep your hours of operation accurate, especially around the holidays or other special events. Ensuring your information is accurate will give potential customers confidence that directions to your location will be accurate, and that you’ll be open when they get there.

 

Use Local Landing Pages Within Your Corporate Site
Many franchisees like to have independent sites because it makes it easy for them to provide personalized local content, but these pages often lack the authority needed to get to the top of a results page. Having a local landing page, or microsite, off a corporate website can give franchisees a nice boost in search authority, and if franchisors provide franchisees the flexibility to localize their landing pages, this partnership can elevate the value of the entire site.

 

Understand Your Industry’s Top Aggregator Sites
While showing up in search results is important, it’s just as important to show up in popular apps and tools that consumers frequently turn to when searching for your type of products or services. Mobile apps such as TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and Yelp are popular destinations for consumers, and since these sites employ their own marketing efforts, targeted consumers return on a regular basis for fresh content. Position your franchise within your industry’s top aggregator sites to capture a great source of consumer traffic and local branding.

 

Employ Paid Search
Bidding on relevant keywords continues to be one of the fastest and most effective ways to engage with consumers looking for your type of goods or services. Franchisees looking to highlight their locations can utilize Google’s Local Extensions option. Other options include Customer Match and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, which allow brands to use previous behavior and consumer insights to change bids and messaging. However you decide to tackle paid search, remember to measure and monitor the success of your efforts by using call tracking, analytics, or unique option codes.  

 

Drive and Monitor User Reviews
Online reviews are modern day word-of-mouth, and one consumer’s negative experience can be magnified in today’s digital age. Franchisors can help their brand and franchisees by monitoring brand mentions on popular sites such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook. It’s also important to drive consumer feedback. Franchisors can provide tools to spark social engagement, including digital tools, traditional printed materials, point-of-sale signage, table tents, or mail inserts. While every business strives for positive feedback, not everyone has something great to say, and that’s okay. Most consumers realize that it’s impossible to please everyone all the time, and if someone has had a bad experience, feedback provides you with an opportunity to remedy the situation if warranted, while demonstrating to potential customers that you care about their satisfaction.

 

Drive Loyalty
The cost of converting a new customer is usually far greater than retaining a current customer. To drive loyalty for your brand and keep customers coming back, there are a variety of tactics that can be used by franchisors, including email campaigns, engaging with consumers via social media, and delivering on the brand promise.

 

These digital marketing tactics can drive local sales and increase consumer awareness, but to truly know what works for you and your franchisees, always measure results and adjust to optimize your efforts.  

 

 

How to Use UTM Codes in Your Digital Marketing Campaigns

how to use utm codesAny successful digital marketing campaign is powered by data. But data-driven campaigns are only possible when you collect that data properly. One essential tool used by digital marketers for data collection and segmentation is UTM codes. UTM codes help you build unique URLs for different marketing campaigns, making it possible to properly segment campaign traffic in platforms like Google Analytics.

Below, we outline how you can quickly and simply set up and use UTM codes within Google Analytics for your digital marketing campaigns.

UTM Codes: The Basics

A UTM code (short for Urchin Tracking Module) is a piece of code that is attached to a page’s URL. This code makes it easy for analytics programs to track where users are visiting your website’s pages from. By creating a new, unique UTM code for each campaign that you wish to track, you can easily isolate data to compare one campaign against another.

UTM codes are composed of five different elements, also referred to as parameters. Three of these parameters are required for all UTM codes. Two are only used in certain cases.

The five parameters are:

  • Campaign Name – utm_campaign: This is the name of your campaign. (i.e. “summersale”)
  • Campaign Source – utm_source: This is where you are running your campaign (i.e. “facebook”)
  • Campaign Medium – utm_medium: This is the type of link used to direct traffic to your site (i.e. “bannerad”)
  • Campaign Term – utm_term (optional parameter): If you are running a PPC campaign, this is the keyword term used.
  • Campaign Content – utm_content (optional parameter): If you are running multiple campaigns with the same name, source, and medium, you can add an extra keywords with this parameter to differentiate them.

Setting Up UTM Codes

Getting a UTM code set up for your campaign is simple, thanks to Google’s URL Builders and other similar tools. With Google’s URL builders (available for web and email ads, as well as mobile-app ads), you simply enter your website’s URL and each of the parameters you are using. Google’s tool will automatically generate a unique URL with the proper UTM parameters for your campaign. You will want to create a unique UTM code for every campaign that you are tracking in Google Analytics. This way, you can isolate each campaign individually.

One important point: make sure you use the same spelling for shared parameters. For instance, if you are running multiple campaigns for your summer sale, make sure to use “summersale” for the Campaign Name of each campaign. If you are running multiple campaigns on Facebook, you will want to spell “facebook” that same way every time in the Campaign Source parameter. Note that UTM parameters are case-sensitive, so capital letters matter.

UTM Codes & Google Analytics

When you’re in Google Analytics, you can easily track and compare different campaigns based on their UTM parameters. Simply go into Traffic Sources > Sources > Campaigns to see an overview of all campaigns listed by the Campaign Name parameter. In other areas, like the Explorer, Ecommerce, and AdSense sections, you’ll be able to drill down by additional parameters, like Campaign Source and Campaign Medium.

UTM codes make it easy to track and compare how social media campaigns perform on Facebook vs. Twitter, whether you’re seeing more clicks from banner ads vs. sidebar ads, or how different ads perform within the same campaign. This way, you can go ultra-granular when fine-tuning your digital marketing efforts, helping you build smarter campaigns and optimize results.

Get more out of digital marketing by choosing the digital specialists at Qiigo. Call (888) 673-1212 today to learn how you can unlock your brand’s digital potential.