by Diana Evans | Jun 5, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
Although digital marketing is not new, keeping up with the latest trends and best practices can feel like an overwhelming, full-time job. Trying to ‘figure it out as you go’ is not for the faint of heart or budget savvy individuals. There’s a reason why large corporations and independently owned businesses hire professionals to handle their digital marketing.
At DAE & Co., we’ve found that an expertly crafted combination of strategy and creativity is the digital marketing sweet spot that yields the best results. Digital marketing typically involves the planning and execution of public-facing online content in a way that builds trust while boosting brand awareness and engagement among consumers. That being said, there are many questions surrounding the concept of digital marketing services. Let’s take a moment to go over some of the most frequently asked ones.
What does a digital marketing agency do?
This is a loaded question that could be another blog post in and of itself. There are so many moving parts involved in a digital marketing agency’s deliverables. A full-service digital marketing agency offers end-to-end solutions for a company’s online presence. That includes branding identity, website creation, blogging, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhancements, mobile marketing, email funnel marketing, social media content, pay-per-click advertising, videos, fully integrated digital marketing campaigns, and more.
There are agencies who solely focus on digital marketing efforts while others, like DAE & Co., have omnichannel marketing capabilities designed to complement any digital marketing tactics. We love a well-executed omnichannel campaign that brings a brand to life online and offline, creating opportunities for increased brand recognition and authentic connections among consumers.
It is common for a digital marketing agency to work on both short-term campaigns and long-term maintenance. Either way the ultimate goal remains the same — to help a business boost their conversion rates among new customers while retaining existing ones. Equally as important as the digital marketing strategy is having the ability to determine its effectiveness. This brings us to our next question.
What are the best ways to measure digital marketing campaigns?
There’s a lot that goes into launching a digital marketing campaign. From securing a budget and outlining a strategy to creating content and optimizing for an increase of clicks to conversions. The one variable that ties everything together is knowing how to measure whether or not the digital marketing campaign was successful. In order to truly understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you need to start by identifying SMART goals. These are goals that are:
- Specific – Easy to understand, your goal should clearly define what you want to achieve.
- Measurable – Choose KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that allow you to track progress. For example, say you want to gain 100 new subscribers as opposed to a generic goal of increasing brand loyalty.
- Achievable – Set yourself up for success by keeping budget and resources in mind. Consider where you are today in order to set future goals that are realistically within reach.
- Relevant – You always want to stay true to your brand identity and overarching mission. Consider your reason for setting a goal and how it will positively impact the longevity of your business.
- Time-bound – A deadline acts as a source of accountability that makes a goal more effective. If your focus is on increasing your social media following, specify the amount by which you want it to increase and a fair timeline in which to achieve that growth.
After defining your SMART goals, the next thing you need to do is identify your target audience. Knowing who you’re speaking to is critical to creating a digital marketing campaign that resonates. As much as people get hung up on demographics, DAE & Co. pays close attention to psychographics. After all, an individual’s values, emotions and state of mind have the ability to transcend characteristics such as age and gender. Especially when you’re selling an experience.
Once you know what you’re trying to achieve and who you are trying to reach, you need to choose digital marketing metrics that match the goals you’ve set. This is not the time or place for estimations or guesswork. You want to rely on hard data. Being that there are so many KPIs to choose from, we’ve compiled a list of some foundational digital marketing metrics.
Website Traffic Metrics:
- Traffic By Source
- Bounce Rate
- Page Views
- New Versus Repeat Visitors
- Session Duration
- Conversion Rate
Email Marketing Metrics:
- Open Rates
- Bounce Rates
- CTR (Click-Through Rate)
- Conversion Rate
PPC (Pay Per Click) Campaign Metrics:
- CPC (Cost Per Click)
- CPA (Cost Per Acquisition)
- ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
Social Media Campaign Metrics:
- Social Reach
- Social Media Follower Growth
In addition to choosing the right KPIs, you also need to set up a way to track them. Google Analytics and Tag Manager, other website analytics tools, and built-in social media analytics are great starting points. Tracking your results is only part of the equation. You’ll need to determine where your digital marketing content should live — including social media platforms.
Which social media platforms are best for business marketing?
According to Statista, Facebook remains the most important social media platform for many digital marketers. That being said, each social media channel comes with its own set of pros and cons. Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn…they can all prove beneficial to your digital marketing goals depending on where your target demographic is most likely to be found and what type of content matters most to them.
We are merely scratching the surface when it comes to the inner workings of the digital marketing world. It’s no wonder searches for digital marketing services have seen a 40 percent increase according to Google Trends. Here’s another question you might want to ask yourself if you haven’t already.
Is it worth it to invest in a digital marketing agency?
Choosing to work with a professional digital marketing agency is an investment that will pay off for your business in the long run. In addition to saving you time and unnecessary stress, you’re likely to see a greater Return on Investment (ROI) than if you were to handle everything in-house or DIY it.
The dedicated and experienced team at DAE & Co. have built a trusted reputation for consistently delivering on client’s expectations thanks to the following capabilities and approaches.
Removing ego from the equation. We are believers in collaboration and are committed to working with you in your digital marketing efforts. Always doing what is in the best interest of your brand, pride will never get in the way of exceptional results.
Never resting our laurels. We don’t get caught up in feeling comfortable. In fact, we love a good challenge! We have an insatiable desire to stay on top of the latest digital marketing trends and constantly seek ways to enhance our skills. And even though there’s no such thing as perfection, we see no harm in aiming to achieve it.
Offering a new perspective. Sometimes it can be hard to get out of your own head. We’ve experienced it ourselves. That’s why it never hurts to have an experienced agency come in with a new set of eyes and objectivity that can lead to an effectively innovative digital marketing approach.
Refining the process. Since inception, our marketing agency has continued to improve upon the way we do things. What that means is that you benefit from our growing pains and take comfort in knowing we’ve overcome that initial digital marketing learning curve so your business doesn’t have to do the same.
This collective experience has allowed us to determine what works and what doesn’t. It sets us apart from the competition so that we can do the same for you and your business. One of the many things we have learned is that it never hurts to explore the possibilities. Let’s talk about what we can accomplish in your future digital marketing campaign ventures.
by Diana Evans | Apr 27, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
Imagine this: You’ve put together an incredible marketing campaign that’s driving traffic to your website. Your audience is hooked by your messaging on social media or your latest commercial. But as soon as they arrive on your website, excitement dwindles.
They’re disappointed by the disconnect between what they saw before and the lackluster copy on your site. This leaves a sour taste in their mouth, and they may choose to take their business elsewhere.
This is where the power of words comes in. Crafting compelling website copy is vital to the success of your business, as it affects your site’s search engine rankings, user engagement, and ultimately, your conversion rates.
But how can you quickly revamp your website copy to maximize potential and ensure a cohesive experience for your visitors?
Website Copywriting Tip #1: Brush up on writing basics
Writing is a skill that takes time and focus to develop. If you haven’t done much writing lately, take some time to review writing basics before tackling a website copywriting overhaul.
- Browse popular writing resources like Purdue Owl, Associated Press, Grammar Girl, and your own internal style guide for a refresher on punctuation, sentence structure, and other writing fundamentals.
- But don’t stop there! Writing for the web requires a unique set of skills that differ from traditional print media. To ensure your web copy is engaging and accessible, check out these Best Practices for Web Writing from the University of Maryland, Baltimore to get started.
By mastering the basics of writing and understanding the nuances of web writing, you can create content that is polished and compelling. Take the time to refresh your skills and elevate your writing to the next level. Your readers (and your conversion rates) will thank you.
Website Copywriting Tip #2: Use writing tools wisely
By utilizing editing tools, marketers can save valuable time and resources while producing high-quality content that resonates with their target audience.
Let’s look at a few of our favorite editing tools — and how to get the most value out of them.
Clear, concise writing is key to helping your customers and search engine bots understand your content. Hemingway Editor will highlight common writing issues like passive voice and complex sentences to help you improve readability.
Simply copy and paste your unique content into the app and Hemingway will give you a readability score and other helpful metrics. You can look at the highlighted areas to remove jargon, shorten sentences, and simplify your writing.
Keep in mind that the tool doesn’t know who you’re writing for. You have to use common sense when deciding what readability score is appropriate for your target readers.
Say you’re writing a post about the benefits of a new prescription drug. If the post was geared toward medical professionals, a higher readability score makes sense since you’d be using complex scientific terms a professional would be familiar with.
On the other hand, those complex terms may confuse the average consumer dealing with a medical issue. You’d probably want to aim for a lower readability score when writing for that audience to ensure they will understand.
Grammarly is a cloud-based typing assistant that looks at spelling, grammar, punctuation, and more. It’s a great defense against blatant errors in your content.
Much like Hemingway, you copy your writing into Grammarly. The free version allows you to just see major mistakes and a few other key metrics. The paid version will offer you additional insights and writing suggestions, as well as a plagiarism checker.
Take each suggestion with a grain of salt. While Grammarly can provide helpful suggestions, it also has a fair share of inaccurate and unnecessary changes. Only choose the ones that make sense for your brand and your audience.
It’s also important that you don’t use Grammarly as a replacement for a human editor. Things still slip through the cracks. Whenever possible, have someone else review your work as well.
Website Copywriting Tip #3: Act like a reporter
Put on your journalist cap and act like a reporter as you dive into your website’s content. Interviews, keen observations, and a structured approach can make a big impact on content quality and conversions.
Reporters spend a lot of time interviewing and use quotes to make articles more balanced, engaging, and accurate. You can use that same approach to boost your website’s content.
Spend time talking to employees, industry experts, and customers. Their perspective can help you craft content that’s easier to understand and better addresses key pain points.
Reporters are also on the front lines of newsworthy events, taking in the sites and sounds. You should also step away from your computer screen and observe your company in action.
Use your product. Pretend you’re a customer and go through the sign-up or check out process or visit your manufacturing facility and retail locations.
Whatever the case may be, you’ll find a lot of valuable insights and ideas to make your content more engaging.
Journalists also use headlines and the inverted pyramid writing structure when crafting news stories. The idea is to put the most newsworthy information — such as who, what, where, when, and why — first, then work your way into more detail. This approach works well with online content too, since most readers are skimming rather than reading every word.
Make it easy for your customers to find the “need-to-know” information about your product or service.
- What does your product do?
- How does it benefit customers?
- How do they buy it?
- How much does it cost?
- How do they contact you?
If customers can’t answer these questions within a couple of seconds looking at your site, they may lose interest or move onto the next thing.
If possible, have someone not associated with your company take a look at your site or blog and see if they can answer basic questions at a glance.
Website Copywriting Tip #4: Create an outline
Before you dive into writing your website copy, take time to put together an outline. Outlines help you focus and hone the structure and overall flow of ideas in your writing.
Outlines help you avoid going off on random tangents that interrupt the flow of your piece. You’ll also minimize time wasted on researching and writing content that gets deleted or reworked later on.
An outline should include potential headers and 2-3 bullet points of what you plan to talk about in each section. Don’t worry about spelling or complete sentences at this point, just focus on the main ideas and flow.
Ideally, you’ll let this sit for 24 hours or so and then come back to it with fresh eyes. It’s also helpful to have an editor or fellow colleague to review your outline and offer feedback.
Website Copywriting Tip #5: Hire a professional
Sometimes the quickest and most effective way to improve your website content is to hire a content marketing professional. If you don’t have the time or energy to dedicate to content, bringing in an agency can be a great start.
Crafting high-quality web content requires a keen eye for detail, a deep understanding of language, and years of practice. Professional copywriters, bloggers, and content marketers have honed their skills over countless hours of research, writing, and revision.
These professionals can quickly assess a piece of content, identify key themes and messages, and optimize it for maximum impact.
But what if you prefer to write your own web content? That’s where an editor or content strategist can be invaluable. These professionals can provide an outside perspective, helping you identify areas for improvement and craft a cohesive content marketing strategy that aligns with your goals.
By working with an editor or content strategist, you can elevate your writing to the next level and achieve even greater success with your content marketing efforts.
Start writing today!
Ready to take your website copy to the next level and drive more conversions? Don’t wait any longer. Start implementing these tips today!
With a focus on crafting high-quality content, you can attract more visitors, engage your audience, and ultimately, grow your business.
And if you need website copywriting support, we’re here to help! DAE & Company has a proven track record of success. Our talented team can help you craft compelling, conversion-driven content that resonates with your target audience.
by Diana Evans | Mar 22, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
Most entrepreneurs we meet have an unrivaled passion for their businesses, products, and services. They have incredible stories about why they started their business, how their work makes a difference, and know better than anyone why their goods or services are the perfect fit for their audience. Where many of these business owners fall short is having the time and resources to turn that passion for their business into an efficient, effective marketing strategy.
Strategic marketing is often the last thing on your to-do list when you have many things to do and hours a day. When you’re so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of a business, tasks like managing employees, handling finances, and ensuring customer satisfaction often stand between you and developing a successful marketing plan. Maybe you throw up a random Instagram post or send an email update when you have time. Or perhaps you’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
Trust us when we say you’re not alone. We’ve worked with plenty of solopreneurs and small businesses in the same boat — and we’re here to help.
With the right approach, you can maximize your limited time and resources and reach a wider audience with your marketing. Let’s shine a spotlight on your brand and help connect your unique offerings with the wants and needs of your target audiences.
Here are a few marketing tips to help you thrive as a solopreneur:
Set Clear Marketing Goals
The first step to effective solopreneur marketing is goal setting. With limited time and budget, goals are key to helping you focus and prioritize your marketing efforts.
Start by thinking through and documenting your marketing goals and aligning them with overall business objectives.
Not all goals are created equal; some will be more important or time-sensitive than others. Consider which goals will have the most significant impact on your business, and focus on those first.
Once you’ve prioritized, set specific deadlines for each goal to hold yourself accountable. Consider breaking down large goals into smaller milestones to keep yourself on track. For example, you may have a yearly sales goal you’re hoping to hit. Break those numbers down monthly so you can track your progress and pivot your marketing as needed.
We also recommend that you keep your goals visible. Use a goal-setting app, post them in your office, or set check-in reminders on your phone.
Get to Know Your Target Audience
Every solopreneur and small business owner has one key thing in common — they understand their customers’ needs and pain points. Take that a step further to do some market research that lets you know what they need from you before buying. Learn about their shopping habits, where they like to spend their time online, what questions they typically have for salespeople, and who they trust regarding reviews.
Here are a few ways you can get to know your customers better without spending a ton of time or money:
- Send out polls and surveys. Create an Instagram Story or Twitter poll that allows customers to share their thoughts about your product or service. An automated popup or email survey shortly after a purchase is also a great way to get quick feedback from customers.
- Read comments and reviews. If you only have an hour a day to devote to marketing, use it to read your mentions, comments, and reviews. A social media listening tool, like Brand24, can help you efficiently track and respond to your customers online.
- Scope out competitors. Take some time to dive into competitors that work with similar audiences. What are they posting about on social media platforms? What are customers saying in reviews and comments? You can use that info to make your brand and messaging more relevant and engaging.
Create & Share Valuable Content
Once you know who your audience is, you’ll be able to create high-quality content to attract, engage, convert, and retain customers.
By providing valuable information or entertainment, you can position yourself as an expert in your field, build trust with your audience, and gain brand awareness through targeted search engine optimization.
Embrace your personal experiences and expertise
Customers are buying you and your story as much as they’re buying a product or service. Whether creating a blog, social posts, video content, or podcast, everything should tie back to you, your values, and your mission. It’s more important than ever that your brand offers connection points with your target audience. People aren’t just looking for a product or service these days. They seek a brand or business that resonates with their values, lifestyle, and beliefs. Showcase the story behind your brand, your team, and the values and missions that drive your business.
When customers connect with a brand on a personal level, they are more likely to become loyal customers and advocates for the brand. This is why small business owners must understand that customers are not just buying a product or service but also buying into the brand. Marketing through storytelling allows you to build a stronger connection with your customers and differentiate your business, no matter how saturated your market is.
Optimize your content
You can create the most relatable content in the world, but it means nothing if people don’t read it. You’ll get the most bang for your buck with every post if you take the time to optimize it for search engines and your readers.
Small business owners and solopreneurs often get intimidated when they hear “search engine optimization.” While there’s a lot that goes into SEO, here are a few basic steps to get you started:
- Identify target keywords or phrases. You want to use relevant words or phrases that your customers would use to search for throughout your blogs and website copy. A search engine optimization tool like Semrush can help you find keywords and create targeted posts.
- Make the content easy to read. Use subheadings, bullet points, lists, and short paragraphs to break up big blocks of text. Formatting will make it easier for your customers to read your content across devices. Writing tools like Grammarly can also help improve readability.
- Link to relevant pages. Include links to relevant resources to support your content. Linking to other pages on your site and other trustworthy sites on the web helps search engines understand the context of your content and makes your website more accessible for customers to navigate.
- Use images and videos. Use high-quality photos and videos to support your content. Optimize the images by compressing their size, using descriptive filenames, and using alt tags that include the target keyword.
If you follow these tips every time you post content, you’re off to a good start.
Focus on quality over quantity
When it comes to content, we know your time is limited. That’s why we tell solopreneurs that it’s more important to focus on posting relevant content sparingly than it is to post a lot of mediocre content.
With that in mind, here are a few tips for posting content on your website and social channels.
- Pick a sustainable posting cadence. Maybe you can commit to one blog post or social post a week. Or perhaps it’s just one a month. Either way is acceptable if you’re consistent so your followers know what to expect.
- Create an editorial calendar. A documented posting schedule will help you stay on track and determine when and where to post. Use a free template online or a project management tool Monday.
- Schedule your content. You can’t be at your desk all the time. Many social platforms and tools like Hootsuite and Later will also allow you to schedule posts and maximize your time.
Stay on brand
The key to any business is to build a strong, recognizable brand that resonates with your customers. However, it can be challenging to maintain consistency across all aspects of your business when you’ve got so much on your plate.
If you haven’t already, we recommend investing in a brand strategy to ensure all your marketing efforts are visually aligned. The right branding partner can help you achieve a more impactful and cohesive brand.
Your brand strategy should provide an overview of your brand’s personality, values, and visual identity. It’ll also include details such as your logo, color palette, typography, tone of voice, and messaging.
Review these guidelines whenever you create content and share them with external partners so everyone is on the same page.
It’s also helpful to have your branding partner perform a brand audit every quarter and make adjustments as needed to ensure consistency. When you choose DAE & Company as your branding partner, you can rest assured that we’ll always have your back when it comes to putting your brand’s best foot forward.
Get marketing support when you need it
Running your own company can mean long hours and never-ending to-do lists. After all, you’re responsible for every aspect of the business. You can’t (and shouldn’t) do it all alone.
Working with a creative marketing agency can take some of the stress and marketing to-do’s off your plate, allowing you to focus on customers and running your business.
At DAE & Company, we love working with solopreneurs and small businesses, from brand strategy development to marketing campaign launch and optimization. That’s why we designed small business marketing packages specifically for you.
Whether you’re looking to launch your business or want ongoing marketing support, our tiered-pricing structure means we have something to suit every budget. Let’s talk more about how we can help you!
by Diana Evans | Feb 16, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
The hospitality industry felt the pinch of COVID-19. But in 2023, we’re starting to see a comeback and business is looking up for our clients and partners in the travel and hospitality industries. The past few years have changed us as humans and impacted how we travel. Understanding these shifts gives hospitality businesses an opportunity to adjust how they connect with their current and potential customers.
Let’s look at some of the most recent data and research from Skift’s State of Travel 2022 report and discuss how your business can update your brand positioning to align your marketing and messaging strategies with the emerging traveler preferences and industry trends.
Inflation is impacting travel
We’ve all felt the sting of inflation recently. Recreational travel may be challenging as people battle rising costs for necessities such as groceries and gas. Data suggests that global inflation has hit its peak, but consumers will feel the impact for at least a few years to come.
According to Skift’s research, “few are outright canceling trips, but many are downgrading spending to cheaper alternatives.” The travel report showed that travelers are cutting costs by spending less on food and activities, utilizing alternative transportation options, and looking for deals and cost-effective destinations.
As you look to connect with these budget-savvy travelers in 2023, here are a few marketing strategies to implement:
Adjust your geographic targeting
Adjust the target geographic area in your advertising campaigns, focusing more on travelers within driving distance. As you adjust your geographic targeting, consider your messaging as well. Focus on drivable vacation searches, quick getaways, last-minute trips, staycations, and other key phrases indicative of the drive market. Align your marketing messaging with the concept of getting away without the cost of airline flights.
Highlight cost-saving amenities/opportunities
As customers look to save money on food and activities, highlight your amenities that budget-savvy travelers can utilize and consider adding value-added packages.
If your rooms have kitchenettes or the ability to store food, let your potential guests know they can bring their own food. Complimentary breakfast buffets, discount on-site dining cards, and discounts/freebies at local restaurants will also grab their attention if they want to save money on dining out. Low or no-cost activities — such as free access to the hotel pool or fitness center, walking tours, group activities, free transportation, free parking, and games — should also be front and center in your marketing efforts.
A blog highlighting how much fun they could have on-site and in the area without spending anything extra could help put you on the visitors consideration list.
Run sales and promos
During slow periods, discount codes, sales, contests, and giveaways can appeal to travelers feeling the pinch of inflation. Maybe they’ve been dreaming of warm California beaches, and a flash sale is just what they needed to make it work in their budget.
Planning these strategic discounts throughout the year can help boost bookings, increase exposure, and increase revenue when things are slow. And remember, once you have them as a past guest, it is much easier to reach them with additional offers.
Embrace Work from Anywhere
We’ve seen a considerable upswing in remote working. The idea of “work from anywhere” is becoming more of the norm. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people primarily working from home tripled between 2019 and 2021. And now that travel is back, people are looking to take advantage of their work freedom.
As such, hotels, short-term rentals, and hospitality businesses have an opportunity to connect with the 27+ million people with remote work flexibility. According to the Skift data, “bleisure” (blended business and leisure trips) is the new normal. Many of these blended travelers extend their trip by 3-6 days and bring their families. Capture these bleisure travelers by adjusting your marketing campaigns to focus on both work and play.
Highlight your business amenities
On-site business amenities can be a big draw. Monitors, printers, and fast and reliable internet access are essential to remote work and are not always accessible or easy to pack along on trips. Keep these amenities front and center across your marketing channels to attract business-focused travelers. Consider and stay, play and work package that includes business amenities along with amenities for family.
Partner with other businesses
On-site or nearby coffee shops, cafes, and coworking facilities are also excellent selling points worth promoting to potential bleisure visitors across your marketing efforts. Hospitality businesses might consider collaboration or partnership opportunities to connect with digital nomads and WFA travelers better.
For example, a hotel and coworking facility might team up to offer a complimentary shuttle service. Or a coffee shop may provide a discount for guests at a nearby partnering hotel.
Plan after-hours activities
People often bring their family along on these extended bleisure trips or want to explore/relax outside work hours. By highlighting nearby and on-site attractions in your marketing efforts, you can showcase your venue as a well-rounded WFA experience.
Things like on-site spas or scheduled fitness/meditation classes can be a huge draw for those dealing with work burnout. Scheduled Happy Hours or other activities can also be a great way for colleagues who have never met in person to connect or for solo remote work travelers to meet like-minded folks.
Boost your hospitality marketing 2023
If you’re a hospitality business looking for some brand positioning and marketing expertise as you tackle marketing projects in 2023, we can help. The creatives at DAE are staying up on all the latest 2023 travel trends and would love to help you connect with travelers in a meaningful way. Let’s chat.
by Diana Evans | Feb 2, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
Online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia, Booking.com and Hotels.com, can be vital to your hotel — especially if you are an independent hotel. But at what cost? Typically, it’s a 15 to 30% commission per room booked, but can go higher depending on your agreement with the OTA.
To minimize these costs, the ultimate goal is to have a guest book directly with your hotel. This alleviates commission fees and allows you to market to the guest in the future.
Securing reservations through your own advertising also builds brand loyalty, increases your database, and saves you money. It also helps further develop the relationship with your best customers, returning guests, allowing for future revenue that costs you zero dollars.
We know all this because we’ve done it. DAE & Company has worked hard to establish strong digital campaigns that allow hotels, resorts, and short-term rentals to book more customers directly on their websites and establish a database for future low-cost marketing.
Create campaigns that maximize your return on investment and create opportunities for future marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, and revenue.
The marketing plans we develop for our resort properties typically feature fully integrated campaigns that utilize both digital and traditional marketing strategies and mediums. A well-rounded marketing plan ensures that you will be seen no matter where your customer is in the booking process — dreaming, searching, or ready to book.
For this case study, however, we will analyze and compare digital advertising spend only, as digital is easily tracked, and we can attribute revenue to each ad.
Our digital campaigns are carefully researched and designed to invest in targeting and key phrases that drive bookings, not just clicks. We develop copy andcreative that maintain brand integrity by utilizing a strong call to action. We carefully monitor results and shift our spending to maximize revenue throughout the campaign, reporting stats to our clients along the way.
Based on a 10-month campaign, our average Return On Ad Spend (ROAS) is 8:1, which means for every $1 spent in advertising, we generate $8 in revenue.
Cost for media per reservation is approximately 12 to 14% of revenue, a savings of 7 to 16% over OTA commission.
Real Numbers Results
Revenue earned: $800,000
Cost for DAE advertising: $96,000 in media and agency management fees
Cost for OTA commission: $160,000-$240,000 in commission (20%-30%)
DAE & Co. just saved you $64,000 to $128,000.
Want to see how our team can help your hotel or hospitality business? Let’s talk.
by Diana Evans | Jan 24, 2023 | DAE & Company, Marketing
When you first learned about the marketing funnel, you probably learned the acronym AIDA, which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. These steps outline how customers learn about your brand or product and eventually complete a purchase. The AIDA marketing model was first developed back in 1898 and remains a foundational lesson for marketers today.
While fundamentally accurate, today’s savvy and complex customers go beyond those four basic steps. As we look ahead to the new year, we want to help you develop a more modern marketing funnel that also accounts for what happens after a purchase and how to keep customers coming back for more. After all, loyal, returning customers are often the best source of revenue.
Stages of the Marketing Funnel
Let’s take your marketing further In 2023 and plan for a marketing funnel that includes the following:
- Awareness. This is where new customers first learn about your brand. At this stage, the focus is simply on capturing your target audience’s attention and warming them up for future interactions.
- Consideration. At this stage of the funnel, you’ve got the potential customer’s attention — but they’re not quite ready to buy. They’re likely still researching and weighing your product/service against other alternatives.
- Conversion. At this point, a customer is ready to buy, and your brand is on their mind. Now it’s all about making it easy and worthwhile for the customer to complete the purchase.
- Loyalty. Your relationship with the customer doesn’t end after they’ve made the purchase. This stage is about their ongoing happiness and enticing them to buy more.
- Advocacy. At this stage, it’s all about turning customers into life-long fans and encouraging them to share their experiences with others.
While we call it a “funnel,” today’s savvy customers don’t always take the straight and narrow path. Your customers are human, meaning they have unique preferences and experiences. Sometimes customers jump back and forth between stages or take one step forward, then two steps back. Depending on the products or services you’re selling, certain stages of the funnel might require more time and attention than others. While there’s no one-size-fits-all journey through the marketing funnel, there are some tried and true ways you can align your marketing campaigns and budget to keep people moving toward conversion!
Let’s look at strategies that guide customers at each stage of the funnel to get more sales and boost revenue.
Awareness: Up your game on social media
If you’re looking to increase revenue in 2023, social media is where it’s at. With more than 4.26 billion people using social media, it’s not something your business can ignore or embrace haphazardly.
Too often, businesses treat social media as an afterthought because the path between a comment, like, or follow to actual revenue isn’t always clear or linear. But remember, the awareness stage isn’t about revenue. It’s about grabbing attention and standing apart from competitors, so your brand is first on their minds when a customer is ready to buy. After all, they can’t buy from you if they don’t know (or remember) you exist.
Optimize your social profiles
Before you go viral with eye-catching and memorable social content, your profile must be optimized to make it easy for customers to move to the next stage of the funnel once they arrive. The more barriers there are, the more likely you’ll lose them, or they’ll move on.
How you optimize your profile will vary depending on your brand and customers. Here are a few quick updates to consider:
- If you have a physical location, include your address on your profile so customers can easily get directions.
- Keep profile links updated and use LinkTree (or a similar tool) so customers can access multiple resources with one click. This is especially important on platforms like Instagram and Tiktok that only allow for one link in your profile.
- Tag relevant partners and influencers, so customers learn more about them without additional searching.
- If you sell products, set up and maintain your Instagram or Facebook Shop so customers can easily see products featured in your posts.
A good habit is to take on the role of “follower” or “customer” and think through how you might respond to each post, then optimize accordingly. Put yourself in the shoes of your customers. What will they want to do next once they come across your content or profile?
Maybe it’s just to give a like or comment for now. Great — now you’ll see more of the content. Or maybe you want to find out how to get to your location so you can shop or book an appointment. In that case, you’d visit their profile page for a link to their website, an address, or a location finder. Overall, look for ways to make ongoing engagement with your brand as simple as possible.
Embrace social trends
Many brands are still operating with a “Read our blog!” and “Check out this new product!” type social strategy that is boring and overly promotional. By taking advantage of trends, you’ll increase your likelihood of getting seen and share your message in a memorable, creative way that people won’t just gloss over.
Look for trending audio, memes, and discussions that you can approach authentically. To do this effectively, you must understand your customers and the meme/trend itself. A great way to spot and wrap your head around popular social trends is to follow other businesses and influencers in your industry and use tools like Google Trends or the Explore/Trending pages directly on the platform.
Kwik Trip, a Midwest-based gas station, is great when it comes to connecting with customers on social media. Check out this post using a viral audio clip from Soulja Boy.
While they could’ve posted an image with a caption that says, “Stop by Kwik Trip to grab some snacks after work,” they took a more creative approach and used trending audio and a bit of humor to tap into something customers can relate to. While it doesn’t push a particular Kwik Trip product or encourage visits directly, the video got more than 2,500 likes. And you can bet that Kwik Trip was top of mind for thousands of hungry commuters who saw the video and wanted a quick bite that day.
Consideration: Build confidence with great content
In most cases, customers need more than one social post before buying or converting. Creating content and resources that answer questions and help customers better understand your company, products, and services will help them feel secure in your brand and future purchases.
Copy that’s too short, or that doesn’t address customers’ questions can create a lack of confidence. Why should they buy from you if they’re not 100% sure your brand is a good fit for them? If they can’t find what they need, they’ll likely jump to a competitor that does address their questions.
Share relevant product information and highlights
Update your product pages and website to include any, and all relevant information customers would likely need to know before purchasing your product or service. This can vary depending on your offerings, but ultimately customers need to be able to see if your business meets their needs and how it stands apart. Make sure the content is in-depth but skimmable.
Again, it helps to put yourself in your customers’ shoes here. What information is critical to know before purchase? Things like product sizing and dimensions, color options, materials or ingredients, pricing details, and shipping information are must-haves. Those details should be easily accessible on your product pages or other locations on your website.
If you really want to up your game, follow the lead of brands like Ikea and Sherwin Williams that use advanced augmented reality features to allow customers to see furniture and paint colors in their homes before buying. This helps build confidence that the product is a good fit.
Comparison content is also helpful so customers can weigh your product or service against other options. While it may seem counterintuitive to mention competitors and alternatives, providing these details upfront keeps customers from navigating to a competitor’s site while they weigh their options. And it allows you to shape the messaging and narrative.
La-Z-Boy has a great comparison piece highlighting differences between their furniture and Ashley Furniture, another popular brand. The piece builds up La-Z-Boy’s strengths without tearing the other brand down. On a B2B side, Slack opted for a webinar that highlights the benefits of their communication platform over alternatives like Skype and Microsoft Teams.
Collect reviews and user-generated content
You can talk about your product as much as you want, but it doesn’t hold nearly the same weight as what customers have to say about your business. If reviews and user-generated content aren’t part of your ongoing marketing strategy, 2023 is the time to start. Reviews and user-generated content are vital to building trust with customers and guiding them further through the funnel process.
According to yearly research from Brightlocal, 98% of people read online reviews for local businesses. And the growing popularity of product recommendations, unboxing videos, and 7+ billion “TikTok Made Me Buy It” searches highlight the importance of recommendations and authentic feedback from peers.
Here are a few ways to boost your reviews and user-generated content moving forward:
- Ask customers directly. Send an email to your customer list asking for reviews, testimonials, or case studies in exchange for a small discount code or incentive.
- Respond to reviews you get. Actively responding to reviews and reposting customers’ content on social media shows you’re engaged and indicates to customers that it’s worthwhile to leave a review of their own.
- Make it easy to leave and find reviews on your site. Include spots for people to leave a review directly on your website, such as on product, content, and testimonial pages. Optimize your profile on third-party review sites, such as Google Business and Yelp, so that customers can engage there as well.
Torrid, a plus size closing brand for women, puts reviews and user-generated content at the forefront of the shopping experience. They include customer reviews — and the option to post your own — at the bottom of every product page on their website. Customers can even include important details such as their size and when they purchased the item.
Conversion: Make it easy to complete a purchase or sign-up
Customers are ready to buy or take the next step at this stage. Your job now is to make that as easy as possible. Optimizing the purchasing or contact process across platforms will help minimize cart abandonment before purchases are finalized.
Offer one-click checkout
One-click checkout is a great way to simplify the purchase process to ensure that customers don’t drop off out of frustration or time constraints.
Businesses generally need a lot of information to complete an online order — credit card info, shipping info, delivery instructions, email for confirmation, and more. One-click checkout means customers only have to enter all this information once — and then it’s stored and easily accessible for future orders. This one-click capability is built into a lot of ecommerce and website platforms.
Shopify notes that one-click purchasing is especially beneficial for low-cost, “impulse” buys, such as kitchenware items and books. People looking for more complex and expensive purchases like hardware and B2B technology may be more wary of quick purchases.
Use chatbots and stellar customer service
Supporting your customers through the purchase process is key — and chatbots and knowledgeable customer service are two helpful ways to do that . These features allow your business to address last-minute hesitations that may cause customers to change their minds and abandon their cart.
Thanks to ecommerce, customers can opt to buy whenever and wherever. Chatbots allow you to assist customers at all hours without keeping employees available 24/7. Bots can answer common customer questions, provide updates on orders or product availability, and even offer personalized product recommendations. And if there’s a question the bot can’t answer, it can connect the customer with a knowledgeable human representative.
Feebi is a chatbot designed to automate up to 80% of a restaurant’s online conversations. It can handle reservations, menu requests, and more. The chatbot helps secure reservations and revenue while allowing restaurant staff to focus on patrons currently in the restaurant.
Loyalty: Offer perks in exchange for ongoing support
You’ve made the sale, and customers are happy. Now it’s time to show them how much you appreciate them — while enticing them to spend more with your business. Discounts and personalized upsells are the top way to turn someone from a one-time buyer to a repeat, loyal customer.
Who doesn’t love a good deal? According to a survey from Hawk Incentives Research, respondents noted that shopping for deals provides “emotional satisfaction.” And 40 percent of respondents said they “feel smart” when they find good deals.
You can tap into that emotional satisfaction by incentivizing customers to keep shopping with your brand. Maybe it’s 10% off their next purchase, a free item after they spend a certain amount, free shipping, rebates, and more. Or perhaps it’s an upsell with a product that goes well with the one they just bought. The goal is to get customers excited and keep them engaged with your business.
Kohl’s, a popular retail store, connects with customers at this loyalty stage with its popular Kohl’s Cash program. Promotions vary, but the gist is the more customers spend at Kohl’s, the more money they can earn for future purchases at Kohl’s. Starbucks is also known for Starbucks Rewards, a loyalty program that allows customers to earn “stars” that can be used for future purchases. Starbucks patrons also receive personalized promotions and recommendations through the app to encourage future orders.
Advocacy: Create referral campaigns
Loyal customers will continue to buy — but true advocates will get their friends, family, and colleagues to buy too. Referral and partnership programs are a great way to engage your customers and allow them to do some of the hard work of recruiting new customers for you.
Referral programs provide incentives to customers who get others to buy your product, sign up for your service, or engage with your brand in some way. Because people tend to associate with others with similar needs and interests, they probably know people who would be the perfect fit for your business. And, of course, these new customers mean more profit for your business with minimal effort on your part, so referral programs are a win-win.
When it comes to referral programs, the important thing is to choose an incentive that makes sense for your customers. SoFi, a financial company, offers a variety of referral programs for different products like loan refinancing, credit cards, and checking/savings accounts. If customers refer someone to sign up for a credit card, for example, they’ll earn $100. However, the cash reward is higher if the referral goes through the more complex loan refinancing process. Instead of a cash incentive, Dropbox, a cloud storage platform, gives you extra storage space in exchange for referrals.
Improve your marketing funnel in 2023
Are you ready to upgrade your marketing funnel and campaigns for the new year? We’re here to help! Let’s chat about how we can improve your marketing funnel and boost revenue in 2023.