Blog Post

Weekly HubFeed: Tracking Small Business Marketing ROI


Welcome to the weekly Hub Feed where we unpack this week's digital marketing news. Today we're going to be covering ROI tracking for small business digital marketing campaigns. I'm Chad Hill and I'm joined by Adam Stetzer.

Also available on YouTube.

Yeah Chad, this is a cool topic. We're going to start off by looking at some statistics here and then Chad's going to help us interpret these a bit. So let's dive right in to some of the numbers. 97 percent of consumers, Chad, searched for a local business online. That's just startling. Just tells you where things are these days. 46 percent of searches on Google are now local, So that's also a very dramatic number, 46 percent. 76 percent of local searches result in a phone call. So if you're thinking, "Oh this is just stupid web traffic," no, not really. There's a phone call from a real person that follows 76 percent of the time. 50 percent of consumers who did a local search from a smartphone and 34 percent of consumers who did a local search from a computer or tablet then visited the store within a day.

So this is really strong behavioral data showing that when that search happens, it's followed by a phone call and then between 34 and 50 percent visit the store. 78 percent of local searches for a mobile result purchased something online. So this are really strong numbers. These are coming from RevLocal and Business 2 Community. Some other data from RevLocal. A recent survey from the Digital Marketing Agency asked 600 small businesses how effective is there online marketing currently. 62 percent of them said their online marketing was effective. 13 percent said very effective. Yet 44 percent of them said they weren't tracking ROI.

Yeah, and in a recent article that Greg Sterling put out at Marketing Land, he actually referred back to a study from earlier in the year. Thrive Analytics put together their local pulse report where they surveyed about 1,100 small businesses. And there were some really interesting stats related to ROI and reasons for clients, how people decide to continue campaigns. But 74 percent of those surveyed said they don't use any tools to track ROI and only 6 percent of those gave measurement as a reason for increasing digital marketing spend. So the question was what was the top reason? In fact in most cases, they said that their competitors were doing it and that was a strategic move and that was the reason they wanted to do it as well. So they're following their competitors end.

But at the same time, the data is showing that SMBs working with digital agencies or marketing partners tend to churn in absence of indications or perceptions that their marketing campaigns are performing. So what gives here? Because on one hand we have small businesses saying, "We don't track ROI but we're using the perception or at least indications that we're feeling about making decisions," which I'm sure a lot of us in digital marketing world can understand. And that's why it's so important that we do track ROI. So yeah, the question of course is should small businesses be tracking ROI. And our answer is absolutely. It's something that we believe in and have from day one really here at Hub Shout.

But if you don't monitor and track, you won't really know what's working and what isn't. And of course if you don't know what's working and what isn't, how are you going to allocate your marketing budget effectively in making sure...putting money into the places that have the best chance of obviously giving you more customers? So really think about and start to track things like figuring out which content that you're producing on your website engages the audiences the best. Where are you getting leads? Is it from pay-per-click, SEO, social media? And make sure you really are tracking the best you can. So if you're not tracking phone calls, as Adam just mentioned that so many of these initial searches are leading to phone calls, if you're not tracking phone calls, you probably don't have a very good understanding of your ROI. So look into that.

Of course, on social media make sure you really understand what are your objectives in social media? What ads are getting engagement and what are those turning into? Are they just turning into likes on your page or are they turning into visits and conversions on your website? Those are things that you want to really understand. So this may seem like some extra effort or at least maybe might seem like a lot of extra effort. But again, this is really important. This is what big businesses do. They really look at what the effectiveness of their marketing spend is and then use that to tweak and allocate dollars so that it ends up getting them the best results possible. So thank you very much for joining us today. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and leave a comment. We'll see you next time.