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Zager & Evans: Account Management Philosophy

Posted on by in Rants

The main questions we hear with any social media campaign reporting are, “What is the value?” and “Was it profitable?”.  Since attribution analytics are still evolving and the number of visits prior to a conversion is increasing, providing a concrete value for any social media campaign becomes more important.

The PPC advantage to Social Media Marketing:

In the CPC model we can see exactly what the cost of a visit is and the end value of the cumulative visits are.  We can definitively say that there is a minimum ROI of x percent and this is (or in some cases is not) profitable.  There are a few visitors who’s conversions may not be tracked accurately due to a few factors:

1. Call in sales (if call tracking isn’t utilized)

2. Purchase from a separate IP address

3.  Return customers that experienced a sales cycle which is longer than the duration of the PPC cookie.

4. Wrongful attribution.  Attributing a conversion that started with a sponsored click, to a different “last click” referrer.

Aside from these, there are not many questions in regards to where a PPC conversion came from.  Call Tracking is a solution for this first issue and some analytics software such as Yahoo web analytics (was Index tools) can show the behavior of past visits leading up to the final click and can answer many questions about keyword and referrer attribution.

However, in the case of social media a different set of questions go unanswered.  The main issues that exist in tracking social media efforts are:

1. What is the value of a visit driven by any social media source? This does not mean visitors or mentions.  It means actual value.

2. How do my visitor’s interact with my site, movie’s, apps or events?  Does this interaction correlate to conversions and sales?

3. Is my social media marketing driving direct sales or is it even assisting future sales?

4. What social media channel’s drive’s sales?

5. Are the behaviors of visitors from different channels unique?

6. What content works and what content fails?  How do we determine success and failure?

7. How are visitors reacting to this content away from the site?

Google Analytics is taking a shot to assist marketers in answering these questions by rolling out a Social Reporting platform.  With this platform you will be able to compare social behavior and it’s correlation to conversions to make inferences on the effect on the bottom line.  You will also be able to use a referrer string to find whether there are direct sales and assisted sales coming from your social media efforts.  The key to this reporting is the social report referral code from a particular social media channel, event tracking and the value of the conversion which is associated with the given goal.

While this report will not be available to everyone for another few weeks in Google’s estimation, you can get a head start by making sure all of your event tracking codes, social interaction analytics codes, goals and goal values are set up. It’s also important to recognize that this will not provide a complete detailed view of profit generated but should bring Social Media one step closer to having detailed profit and analytic reporting.  It’s no wonder that this was rolled out after Google+ has had a chance to grow a bit and we expect it to increase the ability for marketers to place a value on Social efforts.

Have you been placing a value on your social media efforts and results?  If so how did you determine success and failure of a given campaign?

Please let us know with your comments and give us a like, +1, RT or follow to help us test the new reports!

A quick announcement of our meetup tonight 9-25-12 at Analog bar in the Gaslamp of San Diego tonight.  Jamie Smith will be speaking on Actionable analytics and social media metrics.

Other guest speakers include Jill Addison who will be speaking on video optimization for search. Learn how to leverage video in the changing search climate.  Be sure to make the most out of your video content and learn how to turn it into a valuable lead generation tool.

We also want to extend a thank you to John Bertino for setting this event up and selecting Jamie as the Keynote.

The Meetup page has additional information available here: San Diego SEO Meetup 

San Diego SEO meetup

There are many PPC account managers out there who are so tied to their original campaign structures that their account performance remains stagnant or even falters in the ever changing landscape of search engine marketing.

Whether it be out of fear or pride, we cannot expect a campaign which was created a year or more ago to still be relevant today.  Trendy strategies which were developed under different rules (such as Quality Score), under different economic conditions and under different webpage designs may now be inhibiting the goal of continued growth within a PPC account.

When an account starts to slip, strategies no longer work, CPA & CPC increases – You need to ask yourself… When is enough, enough?

I chose a late verse out of the song ‘In the Year 2525′– By Zager & Evans, to illustrate the concept:

In the year 8510
God’s gonna shake his mighty head
He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been
Or tear it down and start again

The song has to do with the evolution of man from his original ‘design’ and how, overtime, that design lost relevance.  Ultimately towards the end of the song man is wiped away. The last verse begins with the same lyrics as the 1st verse – Thus restarting the cycle.

Visit the following links for the YouTube Video and Song Lyrics: Lyrics / Video

How does this relate? – Don’t be afraid to take your account, tear it down, and start again. Reevaluate the structure keywords, negatives, ad creative, grouping and overall account structure and begin it all over again.  You have learned many things over the past year, now re-apply that to a structure more conducive to those strategies.

Google allows you to undelete any/all campaigns which made it into an account; don’t allow fear to be the reason inhibiting you from making drastic changes.  Don’t fear that your historical data will start from scratch, if you need it, you can still run a manual.  Don’t allow your pride to get the best of you.  That masterpiece you constructed in Google over so many countless hours may now be at time in which to say goodbye to.  “Pride is a personal commitment. It is an attitude which separates excellence from mediocrity.” – Unknown

I can affirm to you – Your beloved keyword history/click-discount WILL translate into your new campaigns.  Of the dozen or so times I have used this strategy, it has been effective for me 100% of the time.  Below are the performance changes of my last rebuild. An ever increasing average CPC was our main challenge to overcome.  We rebuilt it, started our keywords at a much lower CPC, and adjusted it up form there based on its new performance starting on July 22nd, 2009.

July 1st to 21st

July 22nd to 27th

Conversion Rate

9.78%

6.15%

Cost Per Click

$11.95

$4.45

Cost Per Action

$122.22

$72.47

This is the 3rd rebirth of this account.  It is built to address the world of today, not of yesterday.