Online marketing is often classified into branding or direct response efforts. From these two, direct response provides the hardest challenge. Still, marketing practitioners love to take on the sales challenge because, if they meet or exceed the client’s expectations, they will have a great showcase for their company portfolios. Given the importance of direct response projects, we will discuss how to create and track leads from social media.
An usual scenario is one where the client has very limited or no previous social media experience. This is a a great opportunity for a marketing agency because the agency will have the opportunity to not only develop the strategy with the client but also to establish the evaluation metrics.
Such an scenario happened to the Luggage Superstore (client) and Social Media Limited (agency). The Luggage Superstore approached the agency stating that they wanted to generate awareness for the company socially and see some early signs of ROI. Also, a secondary objective was to promote the Antler and Samsonite brands because the client felt that these prime brands were not getting enough exposure on the website.
Creating and Tracking Leads from Social Media
The first critical step that the agency took was to establish a strategy. Twitter and Facebook were selected as the appropriate social media platforms because they allow better filtering of target audiences by region. The Luggage Superstore was able to offer free shipping only to U.K. residents so it was critical that all leads would be eligible.
Next, the agency and the client established clearly who would be responsible for putting together the creative for the campaign. It is important to establish a pre-approved set of images that is large and flexible enough for the agency to use throughout the length of the campaign. If the images are not available, stock images within a mutually agreed range of characteristics are an option.
Finally, the agency team made sure to use properly tagged URLs in both social media and website. Tracking leads is important because the agency needs to make sure to properly allocate sales to their efforts in a clear cut fashion. The agency went beyond tagging and established proper checks so that in-store luggage sales, specially on Antler and Samsonite, could be tracked back to social media efforts.
Evaluating the Social Media Campaign
From Social Media Limited reports, after promoting both Samsonite and Antler brands on Facebook, Luggage Superstore saw a 5% increase on Samsonite luggage sales and a 4% increase in Antler luggage sales after a 3-month period. Furthermore, the client reported that through its Facebook advertising campaign they are generating £8,000 – £9,000 monthly in sales from this channel.
This is a good example in which the strategy was mutually developed by both agency and client so that everybody had buy-in in all of the campaign aspects ranging from objectives to goals. Here is another social media campaign example from this agency.
First time direct response campaigns through social media are a great opportunity for online marketing agencies to shine and establish a long-term business partnership with their clients. Make your client shine and become their social media agency of record!