Return on investment, or ROI, is a metric that just about every business owner should be familiar with – especially small business owners who need every dollar to count.
However, a newer concept called “return on impression” might be just as important for small business owners to wrap their heads around. After all, online marketing is becoming an ever more crucial part of almost every business’ strategy, and just like your investment in channels such as ads and brand-building, you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your online budget.
But how exactly do you figure out this new ROI?
Track Your Ad Performance
The most literal way to figure out what kind of return on impression you’re getting is to track who is viewing your ads, and what they’re doing once they see them. Are customers actually clicking on your ads? And if so, are they doing what you want them to once they click through?
Google AdWords allows you to measure things such as the click-through rate (the percentage of time people click on your ad once they’ve seen it) and quality score, which measures how effective various parts of your ad are – from the keywords you use to the landing page you send people to.
If you really want to make sure your small business’ ads are effective – and not just being served up to bots – you need to pay attention to these metrics and possibly even enlist want to enlist the help of a digital ad tracking service.
Listen to What People are Saying
Let’s say you put all of your online marketing efforts into a singular campaign that centered around what you thought was a blockbuster catch phrase. It was a slogan that you wanted your customers to remember forever – and they did, but for all the wrong reasons. You’d want to know those reason, right?
This is where perception analysis becomes important. In some cases, gauging perception is easy – if people come to your small business’ website and email you to comment or even complain, there’s little detective work on your end. But sometimes, people stick to social media to lampoon bad campaigns, so no analysis is complete without a social examination.
But let’s look at this from the positive side, too. If you monitor Twitter and Facebook and find that people are sharing your clever ad, and that correlates with a bump in traffic to your social accounts and website, you’ve got a pretty clear idea that this campaign worked — if only from a brand-building perspective.
The lesson here: Don’t just track what people are clicking. Find out what they’re saying.
Keep an Eye on the Long-Term
One important thing to be aware of when trying to measure the effectiveness of your online campaigns is that you might not be able to. Some things – such as building a following for your blog or other content, or redesigning your small business website to better match your branding scheme – are meant to solidify and strengthen your brand and make your small business look more professional.
Will these efforts help in the long term? Sure. But you’ll be hard pressed to find analytics that actually show you tangible effects similar to what a click-through rate demonstrates about ads. In other words, when searching for your return on impression, remember that an “impression” can be the one that a customer gets when seeing a well-thought-out website – and there’s no hard number that’ll ever measure that.
If you want to better understand your small business’ return on impression and work on increasing it, give Mischa a call. We can help you measure your online marketing efforts, analyze your branding message and learn what your customers are saying about your small business.