Podcast: Having a healthy digital marketing campaign

Gina Young, Hibu’s Director of Digital Performance, joins Chad and Ian to talk about what makes a healthy (effective) digital marketing campaign for your small business.

Gina points out some surprising things most local businesses fail to consider when looking at their digital marketing – some relatively basic things that can have a big impact on how well your campaign performs – and she walks through simple steps that have proven to dramatically increase results.

 

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[Transcript]

Chad
Hey, everyone. My name’s Chadwick. David and I’m here with Ian. Messenger are there and you’re listening to Small Business Small Talk, powered by Hibu. Today we’re with Gina Young, Hibu’s Director of Digital Performance. Gina, Thanks for being with us.

Gina
Thank you for having me.

Chad
So I guess to start, I’d like to try to get to know a little bit more about you. Let us know how you got started here. How long you been with us?

Gina
Great. Yeah. So, I have been here for… this is my 13th year here at Hibu.

Chad
13. Lucky.

Gina
Hopefully this is my best year yet. And over the course of my career here at Hibu, I’ve been fortunate enough to work on the operations side of the business and work with teams of many talented individuals that oversee our client’s digital marketing campaigns, on all of our digital marketing products. And one of the greatest things about working with this team is that the internet and marketing is ever changing. So you’re constantly learning and iterating and evolving. And over the course of that time, I have collected some little nuggets of wisdom.

Chad
That’s excellent. Feel free to jump right in.

Gina
All right. So, I have kind of a short list of five of the main things that are common themes that I’ve found when looking at a client’s digital marketing campaign. What makes a successful digital marketing campaign.

And first, I want to talk about the website. I think that it might not be the first area that many would think about when you’re thinking about a “search marketing” campaign or you’re thinking about a social campaign or display campaign. You tend to think about the campaign, of course. But the website is actually really important. And, you know, whoever I’m speaking with, whether it’s somebody in our sales team, whether it’s a client of ours, I like to remind them that you really want to put yourselves in the customer’s shoes — take that journey and try to take off your biased hat of being a business owner or being a digital marketer and, you know, really, really experience what they’re seeing. If you’ve got somebody who’s standing in a foot of water in their basement and they need a company to come out and do some restoration or some flood damage or something like that… you’re really not gonna wanna have this beautiful, aesthetically appealing – all these images flashing in front of you — they just want your phone number.

Chad
Right!

Gina
And I want to know if you can come out and service me.

Chad
You’re just trying to get dry. How do I do that?

Gina
So when the question comes to me, you know, is this campaign working as best as it should be? Or hey, my expectations are that it should be working better — what can you do to help the website? It’s really, you know, one of the places that I go to and, first and foremost, there’s the obvious — let’s make sure all the tracking is in place so the campaign is getting credit.

But really, you know, fundamentally what it comes down to is if the site itself isn’t set up to convert, the marketing campaign can send you all the greatest leads possible — and they’re never gonna call you if they can’t find your phone number.

Ian
And I think that’s something that it’s easy to overlook. I mean, there’s there are so many intricacies that go into the actual search campaign or… anyone out there that doesn’t know “search campaign” is synonymous with Pay-Per-Click Campaign… P-P-C campaign.

Gina
SEM campaigns.

Ian
Google AdWords is one of the programs…

Gina
Now called Google Ads.

Ian
Lots and lots of different synonyms here, but one of things that gets overlooked is there’s so many things that go into the choosing the keywords or the negative keywords in the ad groups and the bidding and the budget and everything. But at the end of the day, those ads are clicking through your website, and if that website isn’t, you know, airtight, it’s not going to do any good.

Chad
It’s a waste of effort.

Ian
Right! Like you said, you can have the best campaign in the world. But if they get to the destination and go “Well, that’s not what I was looking for.” It’s not, you know…

Chad
“I can’t find the phone number…” or “I have no idea… right? Are they open 24 hours a day? I don’t have the time to, like, dig through this website to find out…”

Ian
Because now it’s a foot and a half of water.

Gina
Exactly so. Well, we’re talking about phone calls… that segues right into the next tip that I have for you. And that is, you know, for certain businesses, calls were really important, you know, to go back to my example of, you know, the person that’s standing in a foot of water in their basement… you’re not going to fill out a lead form and wait for somebody to come back to you, right? Phone calls are really important. And there’s really no set standard for what is acceptable. And that’s probably the most common question that I get asked. If I may, you know, I’ll go off of my example, go into another area… if I’m a lawyer and I’m in a major metropolitan area like Philadelphia, they tend to want to know… “How many phone calls am I gonna get for my $1000 budget in Philadelphia?” And  I can’t tell you. There’s so many variables that go into it.

So, you know, really, just knowing, of the traffic that we’re sending to the website, what percentage of those clicks are converting into phone calls is a really important metric because it puts cost aside, it put some of those variables aside, and it just says, you know, of the types of people that are interested in learning more about my business, are they taking the next up and calling? So when I see a campaign that has a really strong click-to-call ratio where we’re converting a very high percentage of those clicks in the phone calls, and yet the feedback is that it’s still not working… that’s when I really say, you know, if you have the ability to listen to those calls, you should really go in and listen to them. And I have seen many examples where you know, it’s the office manager that’s picking up the phone, and there’s a disconnect with, you know, the business owner and I have this with a pest control campaign where every time we would drive clicks to the website. People were looking for, you know, raccoon removal or raccoon trapping. The office manager was like, “Oh, I’m sorry, we don’t do that.” And, meanwhile, I gave that feedback to the business owner, and he was like, “Whoa, we absolutely do that!” Furthermore, it’s on the website.

Chad
“What am I doing with all these raccoons in my office?”

Gina
Exactly! That’s obviously a pretty egregious example. But there’s a lot that can be found in listening to the call recordings. So if the client has that ability, there’s gold that we found in there and it could be anything it could be, you know, really, just understanding how long it takes from ring to answer, because in this world of immediate gratification, people want to make sure that they reach you, you know, within a respectable amount of time. So, you know, there’s really a lot to make sure that everything’s in sync there.

Ian
Sure, sure. And I imagine there’s, thinking about the number of times it rings, if you’re using the right sort of technology behind the scenes to do call recording right, you’re not only going to see the calls that were successful, but the calls where it took a long time for them to pick up. You’ll be able to listen the ones where maybe they gave wrong information or incomplete information. You’ll also see how many calls go unanswered. I mean, it might be a simple case of “Listen, we’re driving calls. You don’t have enough people answering the phones to keep up.” So that’s, you know, another factor that could make it look like it’s quote unquote “not working” when actually, the campaign is delivering everything it should. But maybe there’s something that needs to be worked out in the kind of the back office, to facilitate that turning into a new customer.

Gina
Exactly. Yeah, and, you know, and along those same lines that kind of rolls into the next tip that I have about the services that a client offers and how that can have a drastic impact on the campaign. And I think it’s all too often that you know, business owners, if they’re running a campaign themselves or if they come to us for help, there’s an exchange of information that happens. And we can assume that a personal injury attorney wants to advertise every service that they offer. That’s what they do. So why wouldn’t they want to advertise? But if you really talk to the client about “What do you do to make the most money on? What kinds of leads are you most interested in or what do you most passionate about?” You know, whatever type of business it is… and explaining that within a campaign… don’t feel obligated to advertise every service that is available on the website… is really an important factor, because it’s going to have a big weight on campaign success. And running with the attorney example… personal injury attorneys would likely be more interested in a slip-and-fall case than a dog bite case. So when you have that in mind, and maybe they don’t have the largest budget, you could really help hone the campaign into a service area that makes more profit for them and also bring them, potentially, a higher click-to-call ratio.

Chad
So from what I’m hearing, it’s like having that knowledge about your own business and knowing “These are the services or the products that I offer that are driving the most value for my business,” doubling down on those things, that’s probably more valuable to your business than, like you said, spreading it out across everything that you do. And it’s not a missed opportunity. It’s really just you accentuating what works and not sort of spending money on stuff that’s not working as well.

Gina
Exactly! Very few clients in my career have had unlimited budget to advertise and the universe of clicks that are out there… very few people could afford. So if you had to choose what type of lead that you had coming into your business, let’s go for the ones that make the most money.

Announcer
You’re listening to Small Business Small Talk powered by Hibu. Hibu is the country’s leading provider of synchronized digital marketing for small businesses, delivering more visibility, more visitors, more leads and more customers. Visit us today at Hibu.com — H-I-B-U — Hibu.com.

Chad
And we’re back with Gina Young, Hibu’s Director of Digital Performance. And we’re talking about five tips for campaign success.

Gina
So, next I would like to talk about the ad text or ad copy. This is really the wording that goes into the campaign. It’s the first thing the clients that a customer sees all of your clients, right? So when when you’re looking at the ad text, we, here it Hibu, focus on the SQOT factors — and the SQOT factors are:

  • Speed
  • Quality
  • Offers
  • Testimonials

And these factors are very important in an ad, because… to go back to our very first example about you’re standing in a foot of water in your basement… speed is obviously very important. We’re going to pass through any ad that doesn’t say that they provide emergency services or, you know, same-day service. You know…

Chad
You don’t need a free estimate.

Gina
Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. And you know, when it comes to quality, sometimes customers are always going look for quality, but it might not be the first thing they’re looking for, again, if speed is really what they need. So quality statements are important. Having offers are important. But again… you don’t need the $50 off coupon because you need somebody out NOW, then let’s focus on, you know, speed over offer. It’s difficult to put all four into an ad.

I think that that is, you know, maybe a common misconception that, uh you know, customers are going to be looking for one of the four or when they get to the website, they can find the rest. That is what’s most important. So here at Hibu, one of the things that I always advise my team is that we can, you know, set up a client’s campaign with all of the best practices, everything that our partners and Google and the other vendors that we work with tell us  (and change every day) that make a campaign very successful. But I think what really is important to remember that the competitors are all going to be doing the same thing. They’re going to be constantly iterating and changing to make sure that their ad stands out the best. So if you’re setting up your ad with all of the SQOT factors and the appropriate extensions and everything that goes into making an excellent campaign on day one… constantly revisit that. And that is where I feel like, you know, my team here, we’re able to differentiate ourselves because we constantly go in and we check the campaigns, but also consistently iterate the ads to make sure that we’re staying relevant to the competition that they’re appearing alongside of on the page.

Ian
And it’s also an easy way of considering a search campaign. Or, you know, even considering trying to run your own search campaign. It’s a great kind of gut check. It’s very easy to go to Google and say, “Hey, I’m a landscaper. I do hardscaping. Let me type that in and see what shows up.” And if you it doesn’t take a lot of detective work to see other ad words like, “Oh, well, these other guys in my area offer 20% off — I’m not doing that,” or “These guys work Sundays. I don’t work Sundays.” It’s kind of be a good a good way to just check yourself and say, “Can I compete in this space if I can’t meet or beat those other SQOT factors?”

Gina
And we’re not saying that if your closest competitors offering a $50 off coupon that you need to offer a $60 off coupon.

Chad
Sure.

Gina
We’re just saying, “Let’s change the ad to focus on another one of the SQOT factors. Let’s focus on your speed. Let’s focus on the fact that you’ve been in business for 50 years. Let’s focus on, you know that you’re the award winner for your county in the last year for best-in-class service.” So I think that it’s, you know, it’s really important that competition isn’t a 1-to-1 comparison there. It’s not who has the most percentage off in a discount. It’s who has the most appealing ad for the customer.

Ian
Right. It’s not a game of escalating ads.

Chad
Because eventually you end up at $100.

Gina
“Who’s going GIVE me the service?”

Chad
Exactly.

Ian
Eventually it’s… “I will landscape and pay you.”

Chad
And something else you said that really resonated and deserves more attention is that it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it type of situation. It’s not just like “I’ve got ads out there.” You wash your hands and you walk away. It’s this constant going back, reevaluation, seeing how it’s helped, seeing if you need to change up your approach and, yeah, I think it’s it’s important to note that it requires constant attention.

Gina
Exactly.

Ian
Especially for kind of local service businesses like we deal with. I mean, it’s not like there’s seasonal specials. I’m sure there’s probably an uptick in, you know, paid search ads after a big snowstorm, for you know, folks that do snowplowing — it’s a moving target that you have to keep your eye on. I mean, if you’re a Walmart, a Target, there probably isn’t going to be another competitor tomorrow right here in the local service sector. But there could be there someone who got a couple trucks and now they’re doing this too. You’ve really got to keep your eye on it.

Gina
Exactly. And that’s actually a nice point for me to highlight as well that when you’re a brick and mortar business and somebody’s driving down the street and you can see all the businesses you know there might be a Walmart next to a Home Depot, and there might be a Home Depot near Lowe’s in the same vicinity, but online it’s all about impression share, and who has the ability to participate in that auction of advertising in that moment, so the consumer will see who has the budget to appear in that moment. And if you’re looking for a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, there might be quite a few competitors showing that later in the day have run out of budget. And then there’s less competitors showing. So depending on the time of the day that somebody’s looking, you could see an entirely different mix of ads. So being prepared for that is important. And when I’m doing an analysis of a campaign that’s called Impression Share, too. So when you’re looking at how much budget you have, and then do you have the ability to show up for all of the searches that are happening in an area that you’re advertising in? You know, that ratio is Impression Share, and it’s really important because, as I said earlier, not every client has the luxury of having enough budget to buy every single click that there could possibly be in their universe. And what’s really important with knowing that you have low Impression Share is, then, what do you do with that information?

So there’s a couple of different opportunities that can happen when you have a low Impression Share. You could look at increasing your budget, right? Not everybody has that luxury. We know that. We also recommend that you could limit the geo coverage area. So if you’re a personal injury attorney in Philadelphia, Philadelphia is an expensive market… if you have the ability to do the suburban areas around Philadelphia, maybe you focus your budget there. Then you could gain higher Impression Share in that smaller geographic area.

Announcer
You’re listening to Small Business Small Talk powered by Hibu. Hibu builds synchronized digital marketing solutions for small businesses across America. Your website, online listings, search, display and more — all working together to maximize your results. Visit us today at Hibu.com. H-I-B-U. Hibu.com.

Chad
We’re back with Gina Young, Hibu’s Director of Digital Performance, talking about five tips for campaign success.

Gina
Ian, you brought up bids earlier, which is really important because, depending on where you’re at in the auction, you could be spending a lot of money for clicks, certain keywords, the search terms that somebody’s going to be typing into the browser. If you’re personal injury attorney, the words “personal injury attorney” are going to be a really expensive keyword. But “slip and fall” or “car accident” or something that is a little bit less related to the words “personal injury attorney” — the longer tail you go out with that, the less expensive it could be. And you could also put caps on those words. So, you know, understanding where your bids are in relation to your budget is also contributing to Impression Share. And then lastly, and I touched on this earlier, is don’t feel the need to advertise every service that you have if you don’t have enough budget. And that means you have low Impression Share. Really paring down the services that are being advertised in the campaign and focusing on, you know, one profit center or two or three or whatever you know you can afford could really have an impact on the campaign as well.

Ian
Yeah, it sounds like Impression Share is really influenced by what we were talking about earlier with really knowing your business.  “I don’t want to focus on these areas, they’re not my profit centers.” Or maybe “I don’t want to focus on these right now because I don’t have a budget or it’s not not the time of year that this is especially relevant.” You know, even things like knowing that, “Hey, I can target the suburbs because I actually get a lot of clients around there.” Or maybe “I make more money with clients outside the city limits.” So it’s interesting how many of the kind of — I don’t want to say quick fixes, but I will — quick fixes to Impression Share are influenced by really knowing both your business and kind of the marketplace that your business operates in, and to be able to adjust on the fly if you’re not getting the footprint that you want.

Gina
Exactly.

Chad
All right. So to wrap everything up into sort of a nice, neat package, we’ve gone through a lot here and looking back at the top things you mentioned:

  • You have to take a look at your website
  • You need to be aware of your click to call ratio and how how that can affect your returns
  • Take a look at your profit centers
  • Be aware and of your ad text in the copy

And with all that being said, is there anything else you wanted to add?

Gina
Absolutely. So I think that, you know, I tried to pare it down to foundationally, what are the things that could make a successful campaign? But you know, truthfully, what myself and my team here at Hibu… what we do is really dive into the analytics. Everything that we talked about today is really important to make sure that the foundation of the of the campaign is working like a well-oiled machine. But really, diving into the analytics is important, too. And there’s a whole list of other things that could go into that.

So really, I’m just grateful for the time here and to be able to share some of the expertise that my team and I have been doing here for the last decade.

Chad
Well, Gina, I can’t thank you enough for joining us. And thanks to all of you for listening to this episode of Small Business Small Talk powered by Hibu. If you like what you heard, please be sure to subscribe and make sure you don’t miss the next episode — and feel free to drop us a review. We’d love to hear your feedback, and it really helps the show. Small Business Small Talk… out!

Announcer
Thanks for listening to this episode of Small Business Small Talk, powered by Hibu. Hibu is a leading provider of synchronized digital marketing for small businesses across America. With Hibu, you get all the digital marketing your business needs, all from a single provider, all working together to maximize results. Visit us today at Hibu.com — H-I-B-U — Hibu.com.

Michael Shapiro

Michael Shapiro

Michael is Hibu’s Manager of Copy & Design. He specializes in creating digital marketing and content that speaks to the customer and inspires a response. Before coming to Hibu, he was Creative Director for Chase and Sr. Writer/Writer-Producer for HBO.

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