Wondering how your online marketing contributes to the bottom line? ReachLocal recently added new features to ReachEdge, the Woodland Hills, Calif.- based company's lead-capture and marketing-automation software platform, to help small and midsized businesses (SMBs) gain actionable insights into the effectiveness of both their online advertising and their efforts to engage local audiences.
Large corporations can employ armies of marketing specialists and advertising agencies to help them reach customers and hone in on campaigns that work. For obvious reasons, most small business owners can't do the same.
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"We help small businesses crack the online marketing puzzle," Josh Siegel, senior vice president of software and subscription products at ReachLocal, told Small Business Computing. "They don't have a lot of internal resources" to devote to marketing, much less to monitoring social media and measuring effectiveness, among many of the tasks required to get the most of an organization's marketing dollars.
"So many clients buy search packages—spending $1,500 in search advertising—and want to understand what they got from it," Siegel offered as an example. Although powerful and insightful in its own right, digging through a Google Analytics dashboard will seldom reveal whether they earned a positive return on investment (ROI).
Two new ReachEdge features help small business owners to demystify online marketing and empower them to make more informed decisions on how and where to invest their marketing budgets.
Revealing Reporting and Custom Campaign Tracking
During a live demo of the ReachEdge's new capabilities, Siegel showed off how small business marketers can easily drill down to top referring sites, search engines, social media pages, and other marketing sources and view which ones provide the most opportunities. The company's analytics software, with the help of a bit of code that customers drop into their webpages, automatically parses traffic data, which it then presents in an easy-to-understand format with rich visuals.
The user- and mobile-friendly ReachEdge dashboard provides a modern, uncluttered look and a responsive feel. Marketers can quickly determine which referrers drive most of the traffic. From there, they can adjust their strategies to better capitalize on their traffic. For example, if Yelp or Facebook are generating healthy traffic, devoting some attention (and ad money) to company pages on those sites may be a prudent investment.
Another new feature, third-party custom campaign tracking, provides a sharper picture of the effectiveness of non-ReachLocal marketing campaigns. ReachEdge provides a custom tracking code and unique phone numbers (two tracking numbers with the base service) for this purpose.
"This report gives you the ability to track third-party marketing campaign results down [to] the exact site visit, phone call, or lead level. This provides even more insight into which marketing tactics work best for your business, and it lets you better measure your success," Stephanie Heitman, communications and content manager at ReachLocal, wrote in a blog post detailing the new functionality.
Ultimately, ReachEdge hopes to give small businesses a big return on their digital marketing investments, said Siegel. A campaign valued at "$5,000 is paltry for an enterprise, but for a small business, it's really meaningful to them."
To help small business owners make the most of their advertising budgets, ReachEdge maps out how customers and potential sales leads discover their companies in clearly visible terms, whether they filled out an online form, chatted with a representative online, or made a phone call. By taking the guesswork out of analyzing marketing data, marketers can plainly see if their social media, search engine optimization (SEO), and email efforts are paying off and adjust their strategies accordingly.
"As more and more small businesses invest in advertising and marketing, knowing what’s working is increasingly important," added Heitman. "With lead analytics software, you can know what's actually driving leads for your business and better focus your overall marketing to meet your business goals."
ReachEdge starts at $149 per month and includes lead source tracking, a lead list containing the best prospects and lead-nurturing emails. It also includes automated reminders, the aforementioned insights, ROI reporting, and call recording capabilities. ReachLocal also offers a wide range of digital advertising and web presence solutions, including in-app mobile ads, SEO services, and content marketing.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.
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