Generating quality leads is key to business success and expansion. By using intelligent marketing and advertising strategies, there are lots of opportunities to find ideal clients and reach out to them, but it's important to have the ability to accurately track your methodology- as optimizing campaigns will further aid budgeting and company wins.
One key area worth exploring further, is the use of contact forms, and how to attribute leads to particular campaigns.
To clarify the process, we'll explore a highly used digital flow, directing clients from initial advertising to a particular online form:
Social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram are useful places to start, as the vast majority of people now use these digital hubs as an online community. Being able to advertise here, slots into a users social habits and can familiarize them with your brand in a comfortable, non- intrusive way. We'll look at social media campaigns as our 'Source A'.
Secondly, search engines are our information highways, with 'Google' gaining so much popularity that it's now integrated into our language as a verb. We are so used to 'googling' something, that we find ourselves frequently visiting search engines whenever searching for new (or familiar) information. Being able to craft attention-grabbing campaigns within a search engine platform, is therefore highly effective at driving traffic to our websites. We'll refer to this route as 'Source B'.
Our funnel may look like this:
Source A, and Source B both feed in to bespoke landing pages on our website. Our landing pages feature contact forms, with a 'submit' button sending the completed form to our e-mail inboxes. Once we receive the completed form, we are then able to use the data to respond to the customer, or store it intelligently for whatever purpose our campaign had.
Given that we are pushing traffic from multiple sources (simplified in this case to A and B), we might find that source B produces much higher quality leads, yet source A produces a much higher volume of leads. However, if we aren't able to set up conversion tracking for form submissions, then we won't be able to accurately analyze the successes of our campaigns, and how to best steer our efforts for our defined goals.
Setting Up Conversion Tracking.
Starting with Source A, we want to find a method to monitor which social media platform our leads have came from, and the overall success ratio of our advertising.
To do this, most social media platforms come with detailed analytics to track our campaigns but without further action we will only be able to track how many people clicked on the advert to divert to our landing page. The click-through rate doesn't tell the full story, as we are interested in the amount of users that land on the page, fill the form out completely, and submit the form. Once users have left the social media platform, they become disconnected from the advert campaign to an extent unless we add an additional tracking attribution. So what might this look like?
We can use 'Facebook Pixel' or a 'LinkedIn Pixel' to track user activity further. It is worth noting here that as Facebook owns Instagram, the Facebook Pixel can be utilized for both platforms. The official definitions for these 'Pixel' tools are as follows:
The Facebook pixel is an analytics tool that allows you to measure the effectiveness of your advertising by understanding the actions people take on your website. You can use the pixel to: Make sure your ads are shown to the right people.
In our advert management dashboard, we can navigate to the pixel section to set them up. If you're not tech savvy, you can simply send the pixel code to your webmaster, or the instructions given to you will help guide you through the setup. The benefit of these tools, is that the pixel will monitor how a user behaves on your landing page. It'll track how long they stay on the page, what they click, and if they successfully submit the form it'll be mark the user as a conversion. Then, all this data will be updated to show the overall advertising efforts.
With Source B, our search engine adverts, we have the same initial issue. We may have set up concise Search Ads, and are managing to drive a large amount of users to our landing page, yet we have no idea which of them are filling out the form - in comparison to any organic leads. Without this data, we can't be sure our advert campaign is money well spent, or whether to increase or decrease the budget.
Taking Google as our example, as the number one search engine, again we find useful data in Google Ads and Google Analytics but we're missing that final conversion data. Like the 'Pixels', Google allows us to insert conversion tracking tags into our website, to monitor the behavior of users that have arrived via our advertising campaigns.
To set up website conversion tracking for the first time, you'll need to add 2 code snippets to your website: the global site tag and the event snippet.
The global site tag adds website visitors to your "All visitors" remarketing lists (if you've set up remarketing) and sets new cookies on your domain, which will store information about the ad click that brought someone to your site.
Once again, this furthers our available advert data, ensuring we can accurately say how many users viewed our ads, which percentage clicked on them, and which percentage then successfully completed our contact form.
Why is this important?
If you're sitting with an e-mail inbox brimming with quality leads, you may not be as bothered about the source. However, it's important to be aware of what is working well, and perhaps more so what isn't! Many copywriters might have inspiring landing pages, yet poor irrelevant Ad copy, so the issue is getting initial clicks on the Ads - there's no use having the best copy if it can't be discovered. Inversely, if the Ad is set up fantastically, but the copy on the landing page is badly constructed, the prospective clients may simply switch off and abandon the form submission page. With the Pixels and tracking tags in place, we might identify a high volume of clients landing on our website but leaving it within five to ten seconds, which would prompt us to improve the quality of page to retain interest.
We may find that users drawn from certain social media platforms tend to stay on the website longer, which may help us optimize budgets and content styles for those users. There could be stark differences, you may test various landing pages and find that Facebook users tend to have a shorter attention span and best suit short, bold, landing pages that are extremely accessible and push them to fill out the contact form immediately. It could be that Instagram users respond best to vivid imagery, especially as they've came from a platform centered upon visual storytelling. Finally, we may find better success from professional language, and long flowing text content for LinkedIn users. In this scenario, we'd find such successes from having unique optimized landing pages on our website per social media platform, or alternatively we may have anchor links that drive users to particular sections of the page to initially grab their attention with a preferable content type.
With the Search Ads, the conversion tracking tags could lead us to discover that customers searching for particular terms are much more likely to stay on our website, and indeed fill out the contact form. When finding such success stories, we'd probably look to increase budget on those particular terms, and consider related phrases due to it's high conversion (and quality) chance; Conversely, we may discover certain search terms that simply fall flat and incur high bounce-rates. We may wish to abandon poor quality Ad sets, or consider creating further optimized landing pages that focus better on the underperforming search terms.
One example of a common underperforming search term, is the 'competitor target'. If Ebay chose to take out adverts for 'Amazon', there may initially seem a sensible train of thought whereby users are looking for diverse ranges of goods online and find Ebay meets their needs as easily as Amazon did-perhaps with a more enjoyable customer experience. However, if customers have a certain expectation for easy buy-now shopping with express delivery, and stumble into auction based purchasing and lengthy global deliveries, they'd likely be disgruntled with the time-wasting associated with Ebay's Ad set. This would then require the Ebay team to improve their Ad copy to accurately address customer expectations. For example, they may change their Ad copy to: 'Looking for more competitive pricing than Amazon? Ebay allows you to bid for the price you think is fair, rather than paying preset values set in stone. We put the buying experience in your hands!'
Data is money. Big money.
You simply can't afford to run marketing campaigns without effective measurements in place. Without being able to analyze your spending, your work becomes guess work and likely will waste budgets through lack of optimization or the ability to understand your successes and failures.
Tracking conversions allows you to dissect your flow, and pinpoint new advantages to strengthen your efforts tenfold. Extra information is useful, but only if it's paid attention to. Ensure that your team understand where information comes from, and where it goes to, so that they can deliver concise reports at regular intervals.
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