Are you ready to create a digital marketing strategy for your small business? It is likely that you have thought about Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, or YouTube as potential platforms to begin your journey. Our main concern, as with most things in business, is money. We want to get the budget right — and that’s for good reason. A poorly planned or loosely tracked campaign can burn through thousands of dollars and yield no results.

So let’s get down to it and plan the objectives in our digital marketing strategy.

Set Objectives and Goals

We’re spending money. We need to make sure when we spend money we make money. Let’s break it down further to see where we can get the most return for our investment, or Return on Investment (ROI) by defining goals we can measure.

For example, let’s say we are a dental clinic and we are going to set the following goals:

  • Online Bookings
  • Phone Call Bookings
  • Phone Call Inquiries
  • 90% Impression Share
  • Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 1.5

Measure Goals and Set Conversion Values

How can we actually measure the value of these goals? First, we will put some thought into it. Our intent is to gauge performance in a meaningful way. Experience and a decent understanding of how goals are measured is going to help us to understand some of the nuances in goal reporting to make sure we get accurate information.

Goal 1: Online Bookings

An online booking is a single transaction with variable data. A patient schedules one type of appointment through a website or a third party app. Because more information is provided in the transaction — the type of appointment — we can assign different values to each.

When a patient at our dental clinic books a cleaning, we value that goal at $10, but when they book a dental implant, we value it at $100.  

The two immediate metrics which we might want to know are total value of all conversions and total number of conversions. We don’t want to spend more than $10 for each lead if all we are getting are cleaning appointments.

Collecting two data points will allow us to drill down and count each of the goal types when we want to, and we can also get a quick birds eye view of performance comparing total cost to total value of goals.

Phone Call Bookings

There are numerous ways to measuring phone calls. You can track clicks on a phone number, you can create a virtual number and forward it, and you can even setup Twilio to programmatically manage calls.

Whatever method chosen should focus on getting you the data that matters for your digital marketing strategy — without interfering with sales.

For Phone Call Bookings we want to know how many new patients phoned in to book an appointment. This means we need to filter away calls for any other reason and just focus on bookings.

We will opt for a quick "teleprompt" to say "Press 1 to book an appointment."  We will also use a virtual number and forward it to our main line to prevent existing patient who are re-booking from counting as new patients (thus skewing the information).  In other words, Calls to this number will only come from our ads.

Phone Call Inquiries

Many people call for many reasons. These calls are valuable, but we don’t want to over-complicate the process with extensive tele-prompts or burden our reception staff with additional processes so we will just count all calls that are not appointment bookings. (Everyone who didn’t press 1)

The Auto attendant will be increase just a bit to say "Press 1 now to book an appointment. Stay on the line for any other reason. [3 seconds] Connection to Reception."

Technically both appointments and other calls will go directly to the same desk, but when they do press 1 we count it. This is only one of many options, but let's go with that.

We expect the volume of these calls to be larger than actual new patient bookings so we will just count these calls using a "calls from ads" approach. We might want to consider "calls over 60 seconds" in the future, but for simplicity we will just count all calls. We will use a virtual number only for these ads and forward it to the main line and count all calls to that number.

90% Impression Share

To measure impression share, you really need to narrow down the target audience and create their “persona”. This means identifying their areas of interest, the websites they browse, and the keywords they search. All of these channels that you can advertise on become the impression space. If you show up all the time across all channels you have 100% impression share.

Impression Space: It is the total scope of all the places your ads can appear and when this is well defined and the targeting is finely tuned you can count it.

For simplicity, our local dental clinic has 10,000 impressions available in the geographical area across a few key websites and specific keyword search phrases. We want to show up in all of them 90% of the time. 

This impression data needs to be imported from the advertising platforms themselves, and the key is to not overbid to achieve this goal. We will start low and incrementally increase our bids every 3-5 days until we get there. Because there is a potential to spend significant dollars, we will cap our ad spend to $40 per day.

Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) of 1.5 – The Quick Metric to Assess Overall Digital Marketing Strategy

ROAS of 1.5 means that we get 150 dollars worth of conversions for every 100 we spend. As long as we have valued our conversions properly then we can measure ROAS.

These are the values we will get for our goals.

  • Online Bookings – Value is Dynamic based on type of service $10 to $100
  • Phone Call Bookings – Value is fixed at $20 ea
  • Phone Call Inquiries – Value is arbitrarily fixed at $5 ea
  • 90% Impression Share – Value is inferred

We should be able to read our reports and see exactly what the value is for the top three, but the fourth – Impression Share – the value is not a specific number so we might consider moving this into a completely separate campaign in our digital marketing strategy.

Next up, I will write about how to specifically setup Conversion Tracking, Campaigns, and Bidding Strategies. Stay tuned for more Marketing Strategy advice.

Learn more about our conversion rate optimization service.