Fairly often here at Vendasta we have partners get in touch and ask us for some tips on what they could do to improve their results on posts they make on behalf of their customers. Here’s a request typical of what we receive (bold wording is mine):
“We have been posting our client’s blogs (which we have written) for years, first for SEO benefit but we are now boosting them [on Facebook] with $50-$100 a month. This is resulting in increases in their online impressions and their website traffic. However, we have not noticed many conversions into form fills. We do this as part of a package for clients who are spending $1,500–$2,000 a month for SEO services.
Do you have any suggestions about what we should or should not be doing?”
This partner shared the following screenshot from Facebook ad manager:
The results from the Facebook boost are fairly standard. They spent about $50 and received about 128 engagement and reached about 2,000 people. The outcome is pretty standard, and there’s nothing wrong with those numbers.
But, this is a pretty common question that we hear, and a pretty common problem that our partners — agencies and media companies that product local marketing services to small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) — face.
We have not noticed many conversions into form fills
It's hard to show a local business the value in the marketing that you’re providing for them, and it gets even more complicated the more channels you add.
Facebook is a powerful tool for reaching the right customers, but it can be complicated for someone to become an expert on. Combine that with the changes that Facebook is constantly releasing, and it can get daunting trying to keep up.
I’d like to share the analysis that I provided to this partner, in the hopes that this might help other local marketing agencies learn where to look when their customers come to them asking why they aren’t seeing more results from their marketing efforts.
I’m going to approach this from a social marketing perspective, but it's important to note that it all starts with good content, and that’s where a good blog writing person or service becomes really important. Developing a thoughtful content marketing strategy is the best way to get results. You can’t have great social media results if you don’t have any good content.
First thing to note is that it looks like the social portion of this conversion funnel is working — they’re driving customers to their website from Facebook — which is good, but they could be targeting the wrong audience on Facebook. Going back to the screenshot, are women, aged 35–65+ actually the audience they want to target? Is this demographic the type of customer that makes the decision to hire a landscaper? I don’t know the answer, but I’d recommend that the marketer and the landscaping business do some research here.
Facebook Tracking Pixel
Has the marketer considered adding Facebook’s tracking pixel to the business's website? This pixel helps marketers track visitors to the website and attribute those visitors to originating on Facebook. It helps report return on investment (ROI) on social media ad spend.
Landing Page Optimization
The blog post content actually looks pretty good! For privacy reasons I can’t share a link to the actual blog post, but take my word for it. Its uses a list to draw readers in and it provides useful information to the reader (it isn’t what I’d consider "clickbait").
Where the landing page fails is in guiding the visitor to do something after they read the blog post. There’s no option to subscribe to receive posts by email. That’s a real missed opportunity, considering that email continues to be the most cost effective marketing medium available.
Add a share button to the page so the visitor can re-share the post on social media, through email or a messaging app. An added benefit of this is that a marketer can then append tracking information or UTM code to the URL to give them more analytics to prove ROI to their customer.
The only call to action displayed under the post is some text that says, “Contact us today”.
I wasn’t even sure it was hyperlinked until I hovered over it. Make that button look like an actual button! Also, put that same button on the page multiple times. Put it near the top to catch readers that don’t make it through the post completely, and end with it to provide readers with a next step after reading.
Finally, add more options to get in contact with the business. Add a phone number, an email address, on-website and Facebook Messenger chat, and text message options to the page. Make it super easy for the customer to contact the business and continue the conversation. And make sure to track it all to prove ROI to the customer!
The Contact Form
Next I took a look at their web form. The one that they mentioned isn’t getting the fills that they expected. Here’s what it looks like:
Do you notice how many fields are required?! Nine fields, if you include the I’m not a robot captcha. That’s a lot of (personal) information they’re asking of their customers before they’re allowed to get in contact. It's more like a don’t contact us form than a contact us form. Get rid of as many impediments to initiating the conversation as possible. Don’t ask your customers for their address and phone number if all they want to ask is if you can do paving stone.
I can bet that if they take a look at Google Analytics for this page they’ll see a ton of visitors coming to the page and dropping off without submitting the form. This is a huge opportunity to improve conversion.
Call Tracking Numbers
One final question I would ask would be if the marketer is utilizing call tracking numbers on the website and on social media. You may not be tracking a large portion of your customer’s leads coming in if you aren’t. What happens if the customer reads the blog, loves it and promptly calls the business to book a job, but doesn’t mention that they found the business because they promoted their blog on Facebook?
And that’s it. I hope this gave you insight into some ideas you could apply to improve your own social media marketing conversion. If you have any comments or disagree with my analysis I’d love to hear from you in the comments.