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Improve Your Agency's Client Retention with Better Reporting

Published July 19, 2018
With the digital landscape becoming increasingly competitive and modern attention spans getting shorter, digital marketing has become more challenging than ever before. Clients are always looking for quick results, often switching agencies when they don't get what they expect right away. They may expect to achieve a certain set of outcomes, such as an increase in conversions, more subscribers to their service, or additional online sales, in a short amount of time. In this environment, clear goals and regular client communication are the keys to building a long term relationship and improving client retention. So, how do we ensure that clients have reasonable expectations and reassure them that we are making steady progress to achieve their goals?
 
This is where detailed client reporting comes into play.
 
Client reporting involves collecting data on the performance of digital marketing campaigns, assembling it into a readable format to share and review with your client each month. The sources of data may include Google Analytics, PPC platforms like AdWords, Bing, and Facebook Ads Manager, social media accounts, etc. Reports may include tables of lead generation data, line graphs showing the number of website visitors over time, or bar charts displaying demographic information about social media followers. Any and all of these may be included in a digital marketing report, depending on the client’s reporting preferences and desired outcomes. What's important is that you and the client agree on what to track.
 
All digital marketing agencies should incorporate analytics reports as an essential part of services for clients. Although short-term projects or those involving only a few digital platforms may seem too straightforward to require analytics, digital marketing reports should be delivered to all clients regardless of project complexity or duration. That's because delivering and jointly reviewing a monthly report engages your client in the marketing and makes them a full partner. And better engagement will improve your agency's client retention.
 
No matter the client’s industry - retail, e-commerce, entertainment, professional services, etc. - regular reporting provides mutual benefits and strengthens the client-agency relationship. The best digital marketing agencies keep a few bedrock principles of client management in mind in regard to reporting. These principles include regularly communicating with the client, choosing the best metrics to measure success, and tracking progress against goals over time.
Here are some of the best practices your agency can implement to ensure that your reporting engages clients, involves them in your marketing, and ultimately helps to retain their business for the long term.

Why You Need Multiple Channels for Website Traffic

Published July 16, 2018
As marketers, it’s important that we never allow our businesses to become too dependent on any one channel. Our brands must stand on their own, independent of any single source of traffic. Our goal should be channel independence.
We’re not talking about channels like Discovery or Lifetime – we mean the channels through which a website acquires traffic. Achieving channel independence, means deriving value, traffic and conversions from an assortment of channels so that your business is not overly dependent on any one digital channel for an uncomfortable portion of traffic or sales. In this post, we’ll review the importance of channel independence and give a few ideas for how to best leverage it. 

Comparing Your Competitors' Website Traffic Stats

Published July 12, 2018
In digital reporting, context is critical. Our marketing efforts don’t exist in a vacuum and in addition to broader consumer and economic trends, companies face fierce competition for share of voice and online sales.
 
In an increasingly competitive environment, benchmarking becomes important for any organization to properly evaluate their performance. In growing markets, it’s possible to see a rise in traffic and sales and be losing market share. In shrinking markets, you can see decreased sales while growing overall market share.
 
One of the best ways to determine which way is truly “up” is to benchmark some of your competition to provide you with the context you need to best interpret your own digital marketing results. While there is no universal source of competitor intelligence, there are a few different options at our disposal. In this post, we’ll cover the inexact science of how to compare your competitors’ website traffic stats, using Alexa, Similarweb, SEMRush and benchmarking in Google Analytics.

Understanding Business Intelligence and Data Reporting

Published July 9, 2018
Business Intelligence. Data Reporting. These two terms are so closely related that they are often mistakenly lumped together or used interchangeably in the business world. But Business Intelligence and Data Reporting are immensely different concepts that, when misunderstood can be detrimental to an organization’s strategies and growth prospects. In digital advertising, where marketing teams are expected to provide regular and meaningful reports on their efforts, the confusion can be magnified.
 
Correctly understanding the differences can help digital marketers report back to stakeholders more effectively and give them the tools and frameworks they need to create longer-term value for their organizations. In this post, we will identify some key differences between Business Intelligence and Data Reporting and provide some basic suggestions as to how each is appropriate in different scenarios.

3 Reasons Why You and Your Client Need a Monthly Facebook Marketing Report

Published July 5, 2018
If your agency is running Facebook ad campaigns for clients, you need to provide them with a monthly Facebook report. Not only do regular Facebook analytics prove ROI, but they also provide valuable intangible benefits to your clients and your agency.
 
Consider this common scenario. Your client’s sales pipeline is slowing. They come to you with a clear request: help them increase inbound leads, asap. Because you’re a savvy account manager, you’ve done your research and know that Facebook would be a great place to find these leads - not just because it’s the largest social media platform in the world, but because a large portion of your client’s target audience uses Facebook.
 
As is the case at many companies, your client is skeptical. For all its exponential growth over the last decade, many executives are still wary of putting budget and resources toward social media advertising. It seems too trendy, or maybe they’ve tried it before and didn’t see any business benefits. You successfully make your case, though, and are rewarded with buy-in (and a budget) to begin running Facebook ad campaigns.
 
Now, it’s time to put up or shut up. The best way to prove that you know your stuff, and are delivering value, is with regular Facebook marketing reports, delivered at least monthly. Here’s how your client and your agency will benefit.

How To Get More User Generated Content

Published July 2, 2018
In digital marketing, we talk a lot about user engagement. Metrics like time spent on page, likes, shares, and re-tweets are all used to measure how engaged our users are. But engagement can go deeper than single-click actions. Truly engaged users will create new content for a website. That content can have multiple layers of value. This little bit of wonderful is called user-generated content (UGC).
UGC is one of those topics that in recent years seems to have a panel or workshop at nearly every marketing and advertising conference, because who doesn’t love free new content that represents actively engaged users? But while the enthusiasm and interest in UGC is ever-present on the brand/organizational side, the same cannot always be said on the consumer/user side. So how do you make your users want to generate content for you?
In this blog post, we’ll review the “What” and the “Why” for UGC and we’ll describe four ways to help you encourage and leverage user-generated content.

ALSO IN THIS BLOG

Remember how your mom told you not to stand too close to the television because it might hurt your eyes?
The same rules can apply to data. If you’re too close, you may miss the patterns and trends that are crucial to understanding your website’s performance. You can’t judge a site’s performance looking at data in the bubble of a single day, you must consider any day’s traffic compared to the days before and after.
Google Analytics makes it fairly easy to analyze trends over long periods of time. But it also allows you to stand right in front of that TV, to look at more granular levels of time, right down to the hour.
There’s a better way to get that close to the data, without burning your retinas. We’ll cover how to analyze traffic effectively in today’s post.

 

 

When the client first came to you, you talked up the value of Google Analytics. You emphasized the importance of seeing where your traffic was coming from. You went on and on about how Google Analytics can show traffic sources to pinpoint whether people came from search, social media or a specific site referral, and how valuable this data was. You sold them on it, so much so that your client looked forward to receiving that first report, the magical day when they would finally understand where visitors were coming from.
But then the report came, and it looked like this:

 

 

It showed that 10% of your client’s traffic came from “(direct)/(none)”. What does this label mean? How do you explain Direct traffic to your client? Better yet, how do you explain “none”?
Let’s take a closer look at understanding Direct traffic in Google Analytics and how we can address it with clients.
One of the most exciting and important aspects of digital marketing is the ability to understand exactly how your customers are finding you. It informs every single part of integrated campaigns and helps determine which efforts are working and which ones need to be revisited. Google Analytics allows you to zero in on the performances of different marketing channels to evaluate everything from brand awareness to social media messaging. To get the most insight from that data, it’s crucial to understand exactly how Google sorts your traffic.
Channels in Google Analytics are high-level categories indicating how people found your site. While the Source/Medium report shows you in more detail where people came from, Channels are broader, more “user-friendly” names lumping visits together in buckets useful for high-level reporting categories.
For instance, Facebook Sessions often show up in multiple ways in the Source/Medium report. They may appear as facebook.com, m.facebook.com, and l.facebook.com, all of which are variations of the same source. The Channels report will include all of these in the Social bucket, so you can see less granular, aggregate numbers on social media performance.