You’re leaving money on the table if you’re not utilizing your digital marketing and conversion rate optimization tools. Combined they lead to major growth and revenue for your online business.
Thanks for joining in on this Q&A! Today, we will be discussing how a consistent story and messaging across all platforms can help boost customer loyalty and conversions. Today, our guest is Hannah Westfall, an expert in digital marketing who takes a holistic approach using social media marketing, web design, SEO, and email marketing. When used together, you can showcase your company’s values consistently and build the right level of trust with your customers.
What is your background and experience in digital marketing? What led you to start your business?
My digital marketing experience comes from a variety of work I’ve done over the years - typically with a different title or role. I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2016 with a degree in Marketing and Entrepreneurial Management, which gave me opportunities to work on marketing campaigns for hypothetical and real clients. Once I graduated, I went to work for a college ministry, Campus Outreach, where I did a lot of administrative work, including updating the website, creating my own website, marketing events on social platforms, and creating regular email updates for the team and our supporters. I learned I much preferred that work to my admin tasks and quickly jumped to take on new responsibilities around those things. After leaving that job, I worked at a State Farm Agency and a Chick-Fil-A in marketing and sales. I didn’t like sales, but I LOVED the marketing work. As I was working at CFA, my mother hired me to do her social media for her business, Hera Hub DC. People were so impressed with the new posts that they commented to her about it, and as any proud mama would, she gushed about me and the work I was doing. As she shared that with her network, people began coming to me to support their businesses as well, and I decided I would much rather work for myself doing this work than what I was doing at the time. So I quit my job and launched Westfall Digital Strategies!
What are some common mistakes you see businesses make with their digital marketing efforts?
How much time have you got?
The three most common mistakes I see businesses make in their digital marketing efforts are:
- They don’t connect it to their other marketing efforts or business goals.
- They focus on vanity metrics (followers, likes, etc.) much more than engagement and sales.
- They are passive in their marketing efforts.
Overall, every digital asset you put online - whether it is your website, your social media posts, or your email newsletter - it has to have a connection to your bigger purpose and business goals, and it has to be focused on your ideal client.
There are so many ways you can target your ideal client now, but we often focus too much on the numbers that don’t matter to try to get customers we don’t want. When you create a digital marketing strategy, you want to create goals beyond the number of followers you have. This allows you to grow your revenue through omnichannel marketing campaigns, valuable engagement, and a strong call to action. When you implement all of these together, you may be shocked by how quickly your sales numbers grow! But of course, all of this takes a lot of time, energy, effort, and some serious trial and error to perfect. That’s why so many people don’t do it.
What are businesses missing out on when they do not use consistent story and branding across all of their digital marketing efforts?
Sales. They miss out on sales.
Consistency is key in marketing, not only in how often you share but also what you share. When you don’t have a consistent story, voice, and brand across your platforms, it is hard for people to trust you or even understand who you are and what you do. And once you lose someone’s trust, you have lost the sale. It is incredibly hard to win it back.
What are some misconceptions that people have about what you do?
Three common misconceptions people have around digital marketing are:
- They don’t have to stay involved.
- It provides overnight results.
- It is the solution to all their business problems.
Most business owners want to pass off their social media work to my team and me and never have to touch it again. This isn’t realistic, especially as more and more viewers see social as a way to get to know the humans behind the brand. While their involvement is certainly reduced, I remind them that there are a lot of great opportunities to gain new clients by engaging on the platform themselves. We aren’t a sales team, but a brand awareness building team. We don’t convert the followers to clients - they have to do that themselves, which can be a shock to some.
The second major misconception I get is that social is an overnight success, or creating a new website automatically means thousands of new orders and leads. With such a high level of content on the internet, it takes a lot of work to break through the noise and get noticed. It’s not a post and get paid world, it’s work hard for months and see that one follower becomes a loyal customer.
I think this third one is also the hardest one for me. Clients hire me to manage their digital marketing, but I often discover other underlying system flaws that no matter how incredible our marketing is, it won’t create results.
For example, if a client is a service-based business, but they don’t have any way to track, monitor, and manage their leads, then it doesn’t matter if I bring in 10 new leads a week, they don’t have the necessary process and optimizations in place to convert those leads into customers. That’s why CRO is just as important as any other marketing or business investment.
How do you and your clients measure the success of your digital marketing efforts?
I measure it by whatever goal we are supporting for the business. For example, if we want to build brand awareness for a new business, I will measure the success of our campaigns based on how many new subscribers or followers we get, especially those who engage regularly with our content. For a client’s goal to earn new business or sell a product, I measure our success by how many leads we provide for them. For most of my clients, a “lead” is anyone who reaches out to them for a service or to purchase a product. This could be scheduling a discovery call, filling out a form, or signing up for a newsletter. That’s why defining your goals and how you measure success is important before you begin the campaigns. For some clients, it’s simply generating more web traffic. For others, it’s about how many potential dollars I can put in their inbox. Our success is always based on how our efforts are supporting the business goals of our clients.
Where should a company start with their digital marketing efforts? Where do you usually start when working with a new company?
You have to start with the website. If you don’t have an incredible (and converting) website, everything else doesn’t matter. Why? Because all of our digital marketing content is going to be pointing back to that website. If the website doesn’t look great or isn’t optimized for conversion, those leads will disappear instantly.
For example, I have a client who wants to hire me to do her social media marketing, but her website is over 10 years old, most of the links don’t work, and it is hard to navigate. So I suggested that we start there because that’s where her conversions will happen and where people will go to learn more about her business. Even if they are impressed with the social content, the website is often the dealbreaker. Many businesses should be working with conversion teams, like Experiment Zone, to make sure that their marketing efforts don’t end up being undone by a poor site experience.
If they have a strong and high converting website, I make sure we create a strategy supporting their business goals. You have to start with a strategy. Otherwise, you’re creating content aimlessly and missing out on opportunities for new business and increased revenue.
How do your services work with CRO programs to grow revenue?
Our marketing efforts generate so much valuable data. Clients should be carrying this information into their CRO programs to boost their bottom line.
For example, I love looking at the results of a Facebook Ad or a high performing social post because it will show me a ton of information about the people who engage with it. From their general location to their age and gender, and even what kind of content made them stop scrolling and click. All of that information should be used to inform my clients’ website to communicate why their prospective customers should hire or purchase from them.
How can the work that you do be used to improve A/B test hypotheses?
The data I collect allows us to create better, more informed A/B tests. We can carry forward what we learn works, especially how we communicate with our target customers. Sometimes we even uncover new audiences that aren’t spoken to in the website content.
For example, I recently ran Facebook ads for a baby products company. We knew that our “mom”s audiences and ads would perform well, but we weren’t sure how “dads” and “grandparents” were going to go. When we ran the ads, we saw twice the engagement and interest from grandparents than dads! This showed us we want to focus more on grandparents and create A/B tests specifically to message that audience.
How important is it for a company to have a good conversion rate so that their digital marketing efforts will have the biggest impact?
Extremely important. There is only so much marketing of any kind can do. It’s whether or not the leads convert that makes a difference to the business and informs whether or not the marketing is working.
How do you know when your customers need to focus on their website and conversion rates?
If they are getting leads, but not getting sales, that means they need to take a look at their website and conversion rate.
How important is it to create a strong story across all your digital marketing platforms? Also, how does consistent messaging affect customers?
It is essential to have a strong story, no matter what platform your marketing efforts are on. The consistency of your message allows for customers to remember the most important things about you. When you share the same message over and over again, and in different places, your customers will remember what you share. Just make sure your message is the right one. That’s why I always start with a free consultation session for any potential or new client. We talk through the big picture of what their goals are, how they are currently working to meet those goals, and what they want to focus on in the next quarter. This helps determine where to focus. For anyone interested in a free session, they can schedule a time here.
Thanks for joining us in this helpful Q&A today, Hannah!