The 2022 Digital Marketing Trends You’ll Run Into

In today’s digital era, online marketing has become crucial for businesses. People can browse articles, email friends, and search for information on the web, so sharing content and interacting with the content is a large part of digital marketing.

With today’s technology, so much is possible. From SEO to email marketing, successful digital marketing strategies aren’t just something that should be read or heard; they should be seen, felt and experienced.

Here are some emerging digital marketing trends that may be useful to your campaign:

1.  The Use of AI and Automation

Automation has changed the way many websites are designed. People can now schedule posts, send emails and update social media accounts without human interaction. Through automation, businesses can build trust, create leads and retain customers without worrying about the time investment or human error.

On the other hand, the use of AI is becoming more advanced, making it an essential aspect of digital marketing. AI can help you to market better by providing you with information and data that can be used to improve your SEO and reputation management, among other aspects.

2.  Storytelling in the Digital Landscape

People keep scrolling down their Facebook or Instagram feed and are exposed to a variety of posts from brands that they love. However, most of them don’t even see the post. The reason? Too much clutter. Brands are constantly creating content that is not relevant and doesn’t target the right users.

Brands should focus on the three key elements of a story to create the perfect story instead of just publishing content. The three key elements are characters, plot and perspective.

3.  Influencer Marketing Getting Stronger

Influencer marketing is an important part of any digital marketing strategy. Companies can to hire influencers to promote their products to their followers. This allows them to reach their desired audience and build long-term relationships with their customers.

Influencer marketing is growing fast, and companies are finding it hard to choose the right influencers. The influence score has been introduced as a way to measure an influencer’s social following and the quality of their content.

4.  Shorter Videos

YouTube and other platforms have made it possible for brands to create videos that are shorter than 15 seconds. These videos are called micro-videos, and they have gained popularity in the last few years because they are quick and easy to produce.

They are similar to the old-fashioned GIF, but they are better because they are more attractive to viewers. While they may appear to be a bit strange at first, they are actually good for brands since they will help connect with audiences faster.

Conclusion

As the digital landscape is constantly changing, the way brands market themselves is also changing. New trends are popping up all the time, so it is necessary for you to follow the right digital marketing trends to keep your customers engaged and coming back to your website.

This is why you need to work with the best if you want to achieve success for your business.

Get the results you want from your digital campaign, with the help of a digital marketing agency in Calgary. We’ll help you come with a clear strategy that will help you reach your goals.

Connect with us, and cut through the noise!

Essential Digital Marketing KPIs To Track In Your Next Campaign

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Nowadays, there are more metrics than ever that marketers can use to track and measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns or broader marketing efforts. Choosing the right digital marketing KPIs, then, is a critical first step in terms of measuring the return on investment of your various marketing efforts. From SEO to bounce rate, customer lifetime value, marketing ROI, customer acquisition cost, click-through rate (CTR), and many more, we asked several of our key partners and experts in various marketing activities to offer their thoughts on the essential key performance indicators for your digital marketing in 2022 and beyond.

Importance Of Choosing The Right KPIs For Your Marketing Goals

Our panel consisted of experts from several fields, including marketing strategy, social media, PPC, SEO, email marketing, and numerous other digital marketing categories. And most of them started their KPI advice for 2022 (and many years to come) by pointing out the importance of setting goals for your digital marketing metrics before you began measuring and analyzing the results. 

“One of the most important things to consider when tracking and measuring KPIs is how clear goals and objectives are to the entire process. Without a clear sense of what you want to achieve, it will be difficult to properly interpret the data. And KPIs should be used in conjunction with other data points to get a complete picture of your marketing efforts.” – Natalia Osorio Quintero, Digital Marketer at NataliaOQ

There can be as many KPIs and metrics as there are types of marketing collateral and outlets. If lead generation is your goal, for example, there may be different measures that help paint a clear picture of your campaign success than those you’d use if retention rate or brand awareness is the goal. Regardless of the specific goals, you have for your marketing investment, clearly establishing your goals will often dictate the right mix of KPIs and measures of success. 

“A business can’t accurately assess whether a marketing investment was viable or wise if there isn’t an observable benchmark for what kind of dent the campaign made for them. The right KPIs, collaboratively established during discovery, quickly and succinctly give business owners a clearer picture of the campaign so they can observe growth, then scale or pivot if things aren’t converting as they want.”

– Max Zoghbi, Founder & Creative Director at Loupe Theory

“Campaign success, while generally subjective, is based on whether or not a brand can meet or exceed its goals. KPIs are put in place to measure progress, hence the term. They’re meant to be adjusted over time.”

– Ceara Milligan, Social Media Manager at STIR Advertising and Integrated Messaging

And while your organization may tweak the important digital marketing KPIs that you set for your campaign, the types of campaigns you plan to run will help you narrow down the list of important metrics that matter. 

“It depends on the type of campaign you are running. For search engine optimization campaigns, it is important to measure the site health, organic keywords, organic keyword position, organic traffic, keyword ranking position, and so on. For ads, you want to know the impressions, clicks, conversions, and cost per conversion. And these are just two examples of how different KPIs vary depending on your campaign type.”

– Masha Kaprian, Principal at iMedPages, LLC

While different types of campaigns and marketing channels can have different goals, businesses still need to drive revenue. And measuring digital marketing KPIs for any kind of campaign will tell you exactly what’s working, what isn’t, and where you can make changes that strengthen your campaign.

“Even if the main goal of a campaign is not sales or conversions, the ultimate goal of any business is to make enough money. The ad can be beautiful, the landing page can be breathtaking, and the copy can be engaging, but if new customers and established customers are not taking the action you want them to take, the campaign is not generating the results you need.”

– Blake Nolan, Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Storm Brain

“Everything can be measured, whether it be phone calls, emails, form fills, account signups, app downloads, product sales, and cart abandonment. But many businesses and agencies are only reporting on total-number site metrics such as time on site, page views, new users, and so on. Proper conversion mapping will not only showcase real-time results (including customer engagement and sales), it will also show lost revenue opportunities and areas where conversion rate can be improved.”

–  Dave Taylor, Cofounder of In Front Marketing  

In addition, measuring your digital marketing campaign goals is important not because it will point out failings, but because they tell you about the opportunities that exist and ways that you can improve performance. 

“KPIs should come with goals that you want to reach. That will ultimately tell you whether or not your campaign is a success. But if you do not meet your goals, that does not mean your campaign is a total failure. Rather, it shows that you have an opportunity to continue to improve your campaigns, so next time you run a campaign you know to make small tweaks that can lead to incremental improvements.” –

Nick Mattar, Founder, and CEO at Digital Detroit LLC 

Specific Digital Marketing KPIs And Metrics To Consider In Your Marketing Campaigns

As you can see, our experts agreed that goals will play a huge factor in determining which KPIs matter the most. Just like your digital marketing strategy overall, choosing the right measures of success requires spending some time evaluating what your metrics for achievement are. From there, however, many of the panelists and marketing experts did have specific recommendations for the key marketing metrics and measures to consider for your current and upcoming campaigns. 

“Start with Customer Lifetime Value. CLV will dictate which prospects you should be focusing your campaigns on. From there you can move on to tactical KPI metrics, such as Return on Ad Spend (RoAS) and Cost Per Acquisition (CPA). CLV is key guidance in regards to determining who your campaigns should be targeting, while RoAS and CPA will empower you to judge the effectiveness of the campaigns.” – Alonzo Foreman, SVP of Marketing at OppGen Marketing      

Measuring the effectiveness of channels was a key takeaway from our conversations with marketing leaders and digital experts, as it fed into several other metrics and it can help determine the best places to increase or decrease spending. 

“Two metrics that help determine which channels are most effective are ROAS (return on ad spend) and CAC (cost of acquiring a customer). These metrics help us determine the LTV, or lifetime value, of a customer. Since we know how much it costs to acquire them, we can measure that against the average life of a customer or how much a customer spends with us. This helps us know how profitable each channel is.” –  Nicole Denson, Marketing Manager at Big Leap

Just as was the case with our discussion of goals above, your KPIs are very dependent on what you want your campaign to achieve, and what you consider to be a measure of success. Ecommerce campaigns will undoubtedly call for different metrics than a brand awareness campaign, for example. 

“From an SEO firm’s perspective, two primary KPIs to track in a digital marketing campaign include search engine keyword rankings and organic website traffic. If a company is executing a sound on-page optimization strategy, complete with value-add SEO tags that align with relevant industry terms and detailed, long-form content on landing pages, these factors can help improve search engine rankings.” – Asad Kausar, CEO at Dabaran Inc.                 

“I think that link CTR, CPA, and CPM are three of the most critical metrics to track in all digital campaigns. Your link CTR is the gauge that allows you to truly see if your creativity and messaging align with your market. Your cost per acquisition will help you determine if your campaigns are profitable and worth running depending on what a client is worth to you. Finally, your CPMs can help dictate if you have a fair bid in your advertising campaigns.” – Ashley Monk, CEO of Onya

With many different options and different places to start, the metrics you choose to track most closely may shift and change as you continue to develop and implement new campaigns. But certain measures provide anyone with a solid assessment of how your marketing campaign is impacting your business goals. 

“Total revenue and average conversion rate can act as the anchor of your marketing initiatives. When doing A/B testing, a simple comparison of these macro metrics will spotlight which campaigns performed better overall. It’s essential to track, define your goals, and build them out in your preferred analytics system.” – Edan Ben-Atar, Founder of WebLime

“Website traffic and lead-to-visitor conversion rates are two of the most important KPIs for digital marketing campaigns. It’s important to have a healthy mix of new and returning site visitors, as well as to make sure that the traffic we are driving is relevant traffic based on search intent and keyword targeting. And while website traffic on its own is a great metric, it only tells half the story. If you are seeing an increase in site visits but not an increase in conversions, this could mean that some adjustments need to be made.” – Ashley Ismailovski, CRO & Operations Manager at SmartSites

“My top nine most important and most essential KPIs that every digital marketer should use to measure the success of their campaigns are: Web Traffic Sources; Leads; Page Views; Cost per Lead; Returning Users; Conversion; Goal Completion Rate; Click-Through Rate; and Customer Acquisition Cost.” – Joe Smith, SEO Expert at Market Media Connect

Some of the most valuable metrics for your campaign may not be strictly numerical, too. There are some insights that you may not get from Google Analytics, but which are incredibly important for helping you see how well your marketing budget is being put to use. 

“Lead sources. You should investigate the source of your sales. This is one of the most crucial marketing KPIs for your company’s long-term success. If all of your leads originate from one source, a server outage or a store closing could be disastrous for your business. Diversifying your lead sources now may help secure your business in the future.” – Luca Tagliaferro, SEO Consultant at Luca Tagliaferro SEO Consultancy

“Qualified website traffic (or qualified leads) is always a primary KPI for any online campaign. This metric measures the number of website visitors (and potential customers) that result from your marketing efforts. By tracking website traffic, you can gauge the overall reach of your campaign and compare it with other marketing initiatives.” – Andre Kay, CEO at Sociallybuzz

And the quality of your leads, if that’s one of the metrics you choose, is even more informative than the raw number of people who found your site or the number of leads your form generated.

“Consider Profit Per Action rather than cost per action. Cheap leads are not guaranteed good leads. To assess the performance of a campaign, we should be looking at how much profit the campaign is bringing in, instead of focusing on the raw number of leads.” – Justin Chan, Senior Business Developer at Coding Bull Web Redesign Agency

“When looking at conversion rate, it is helpful to look at how many actions were real leads and not just bots or spammers. We look at where traffic is coming from, which pages they are taking action on, and what types of action are most often taken (e.g. phone calls, contact form submissions, email sign-up, etc.).” – Charity Maddox, Owner of Carve Digital Marketing

Finding Out How Your

Campaign Measures Up

Whether you’re launching an organic search effort, upping your content marketing game, or simply ramping up your social media efforts, the bottom line is that you need to be able to see your marketing performance in terms of what’s working and what isn’t, and then adjust with that information in hand. Our experts here have provided some great examples of key metrics and KPIs for you to begin your planning and strategy with, but this is only the beginning. Whether you need help with an inbound marketing campaign, lead conversion, or any other digital marketing and analysis project, our group of expert digital marketing partners is available to help you make the most of your marketing spend and see the results.

The Power of Organic Social for your Business

Social media trends move so fast it seems like the only people able to keep up are in middle school.

Facebook turns into Instagram, then Snapchat and TikTok and now Clubhouse and House Party are joining the, well, ahh, party (?).

It’s enough to make your head spin.

Brain GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

via GIPHY

The good news is, your business doesn’t have to chase the trends to make the most of your social media presence.

To help you get the most out of your social media, we talked with Tarila Uti, our Social Media Maven.

“Social media is basically about community building,” she said.

Why creating a community through social media is essential

Traditionally, media and advertising was unidirectional. Businesses created messaging to sell their brand and their product/service, but the person on the receiving end had no ability to respond.

But without extensive research with each step, this method can lead to a general disconnect from your clients that affects your advertising ROI.

But with social, it’s different.

“Social media is a two-way street,” Tarila said.

That makes it a very powerful tool for businesses as it can be used both to convey and gather information. 

According to Tarila, five of the greatest benefits of staying up-to-date with social media are:

#1: Establishes a solid online presence

With social media, you can create a richer experience for people who are looking to reach out to your brand.

“Your social media is like a second website,” Tarila said. “So when people first learn about your brand, they go to your website. After that, most people go to social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, wherever to learn more about the company and understand it a bit more.”

That gives your business extra time to create a relationship with customers, build your brand, and walk a lead down the path to a conversion.

#2 Builds a stronger, more connected community

Every business works within a community or niche, and finding that community is one of the best ways to really make your advertising shine. When you know where your community is, how they talk about themselves, and what they’re looking for, you can not only improve your messaging – but laser-focus that messaging accordingly.

“Posting on social media is basically speaking to your followers and speaking to your community,” Tarila said. “So, with social media, you can build a good community, and build some hype around your business and about your brand.”

Social media also allows you to be a part of building that community to create new potential customers. Through search and hashtags, you can grow your audience by introducing your brand to new people.

#3 Allows you to truly listen to your customers

To build community, you cannot treat social media like advertising. Instead, you need to treat your community like a community, which is where that two-way street comes into play. Where before you simply talked to your audience, with social media, you need to equally learn to listen to what they’re saying – and let them know you hear them

“Social media is super duper important for listening and learning,” Tarila said. “Through comments, feedback, and looking at your insights, you can tell what people like and don’t like about your brand or about your products.”

This can include both responding in the comments section, following and interacting with the right people.

So, while a great website is a one-and-done experience, great social media requires consistency.

#4 Offers a direct communication tool 

As social media companies streamline direct messaging (DM) across platforms (like Facebook merging Messenger and Instagram Direct Messages), more and more people are using social media to speak directly with companies.

“Many customers today will go straight to a brand’s page to comment to say they had an issue,” Tarila said. 

With phone and email, this may seem redundant, but it’s often the first choice, and the choice they feel most comfortable with, especially for the younger generation. By giving your customers, and prospective customers their preferred option, you open a door they’re more willing to step through. That increased communication will give you greater engagement – a key performance indicator on social media.

#5 Creates a cost-effective approach to advertising

Perhaps the greatest reason to focus on social media is its ROI. With a wide reach and little upfront cost, social media can offer a striking return on investment for those who take the time to learn its secrets.

“If done properly, organic social can help you reach new audiences and increase your engagement rate which in turn leads to conversions,” Tarila said.

And that’s without paying for ads. That means your only cost is the time it takes to post and communicate with your community – which can be very enlightening anyway.

Our data-heavy approach to social media

Of course, the problem is: social media is so vast that it’s incredibly easy to get lost in the shifting seas of information.

For our clients, we combat this by front-loading our work with intensive research to ensure we’re headed in the right direction before we even begin.

“My approach is first of all understanding the business, what kind of business it is, and if they have any social media pages already,” Tarila said.

After talking directly to stakeholders in the business, and surveying any social media presence it has, the research phase begins.

Our social media team takes a deep dive into:

  • Follower demographics 
  • Competitor’s strategies
  • Ideal posting times and strategies
  • Hashtags
  • Brand voice
  • Which channels are right for your business
  • Who your business should follow

With a complete understanding of how to move forward, Tarila and the team then execute on it. 

“The goal is to drive engagement,” Tarila said, “loads of engagement. So, likes, comments, feedback, which in turn increase in leads and conversions.” 

The value of the right team

We talk with so many business owners who are ready to give up on social media because it requires such a diverse set of skills, such a consistent effort and, at the end of the day, it isn’t moving the needle.

Employing the right team changes all of that, and makes social media make sense. Currently, our team includes copywriters, photographers and researchers who consistently work to ensure our client’s social media is found by their ideal audience..

“We have dealt with a lot of businesses, and we know what works and what doesn’t,” Tarila said. ”We have the data, we have the research, and we have the experience to help.”

For more information on how you can take one item off your (very full) plate and make your social media presence shine, email Tarila or contact her on social media now or reach out to the IFM right now ~ Click Here.

Social Advertising Adds Value to Your Organic Reach!

Almost every business owner at some point will close their Instagram app as angrily as one can close an app and call the whole d*mned thing useless.

It’s impossible to get followers.

Even when you get followers most of them don’t see your posts.

And, even when they see your posts, they don’t convert.

However, just because you’ve hit these walls in the past doesn’t mean social media can’t work for you indefinitely.

Start with a strategy

Without a cohesive marketing plan, posting on social media is a bit like yelling into the void.

But with a proper plan, you can utilize both organic posts and paid advertisements on social media to work for you.

Last month we looked at the importance of organic social media, so this week we’re covering how paid advertising plays a unique role that’s equally critical for your business.

“It’s one of the easiest ways to generate a direct return on your investment through an advertising platform,” John, our ad guru, said.

The unreal reach of social media

Social media has an almost unfathomable reach in our current culture.

If you combine the US and Canada, there are less than 150 million television viewers – and that audience is chopped up among hundreds of channels and costs thousands to access.

Those numbers don’t come close to the behemoth of Facebook, which has 2.7 billion active users that can be accessed at almost any budget.

“On social media, the potential for your audience is nearly limitless,” John said, “but, your budget isn’t.”

While you can start to access that immense reach with even simple organic posts, the days of finding a huge following using strictly organic posts are gone.

Today, there’s too much noise.

You’ve got to pay to play

Social networks aren’t designed to let you cut through all that distracting noise made by those billions of users organically. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, whatever social network pops up next, they all cater to the pay to play crowd.

It used to be, if you posted at just the right time, when people were typically on their phones and scrolling their chosen social media – you would pop up.

But, posts aren’t dictated by timing anymore. That serendipity has been replaced by an algorithm that no one can predict – an algorithm that’s not there to serve your posts to your people, but to make the social media giant money.

So, they only deliver your message to those who want to see it.

“Facebook is only serving organic stuff to your highly engaged, participating user or follower,” John said. “But, with paid you’re going to hit people based on your specific targeting.”

So, if you want to find new audiences to fill the top of your funnel and introduce your brand to people who have never heard of or interacted with you (or haven’t interacted much) to drive traffic to take action, you’re going to need to pay.

A great spot to dip your toes

While organic social isn’t the place to go to grow your audience from zero, paid social advertising is.

“It’s one of the best places to start advertising,” John said.

With all the information social platforms have on their users, it’s incredibly easy to find the audience you want on almost any social platform. So, if you know your audience, which is critical for any successful campaign, you can make sure you’re talking to them whether they follow you or not.

And, best of all, you can do this no matter your budget. You can start with a meager $500/month and carefully track your success. When you nail down your advertising and start seeing a positive return on advertising spend (ROAS), then you can start to ramp up your investment.

Paid plays well with others

Though paid social advertising is a great place to start, it’s very rarely where you want to keep all your proverbial eggs.

The truth is, your audience is constantly switching between search, websites and social, and advertising is more effective when it follows users across all three. And, the good news is, paid social works really well in tandem with other advertising.

“Social is nimble – it can be a primary part of your ad campaign, or just a reinforcement of your total campaign,” John said.

Now, this is when advertising tends to get a little more tricky, as simply adding more dollars to your ad spend won’t create a cohesive campaign. But, with the right key performance indicators (KPIs), an understanding of which platform is the best primary for your product, and a tight focus on the right audience, you can really start to fuel your campaigns.

The future is murky

We touched on the death of the pixel in an earlier article. If you haven’t read it already, we highly recommend it, because it will be one of the biggest changes in online advertising since the pixel first appeared.

And, it’s going to have a major effect on paid social.

“The targeting and the impressions and the reach is still going to be there,” John said, “but we’re losing a lot of the functionality in terms of some of the tracking and the results of the analytics – for now”

Facebook has a plan to deal with this loss of granular data, but they’re not revealing what it is, or how it will work.

So, for those doing their own advertising campaigns currently, that means the ROAs of social advertising is going to get a little more hazy.

The IFM Advantage

The key to making your social media campaigns truly perform is to use an advertising partner who understands how to create clarity in ad planning and execution – especially as the tremors from the death of the pixel shake up the social world. Then, together you can maximize your ROAS on a social platform.

At In Front Marketing, we work with you to give you transparent results that allow you to make the best decision for your business.

We help you find the right audience, the right platform, then work with you to spread your advertising dollars through search, organic and paid social media advertising to create the most effective advertising campaign – and the greatest return for your advertising budget.

Looking Past The Click – Non-Unique Conversions – Know Your Data

The Importance of Non-Unique Conversions

Everyone’s after that unique click. It’s a simple, clear and easily trackable KPI for business owners and advertising firms that really makes it feel like digital advertising is moving the needle.

But, advertising isn’t that simple. Though it may feel good to look at all those brand new customers rolling in, a good advertising firm will help you drill down further to get the most out of every campaign.

Without digging deeper into your analytics, you’re only looking at the tip of the iceberg.

And we all know how that worked out for the Titanic.

Poor Leo…

If you look beyond the ‘click’, you’ll discover reams of data that will help you hone your online presence.  

Understanding non-unique conversions is the first step to drilling down into your data to create the better web presence.

Before we delve any further into non-unique conversions, let’s take a quick step back to see how digital advertising interactions are typically tracked.

The different types of ad interactions – drilling into your data

Users can interact with your ad in a variety of ways. Sometimes, that means they see your ad, click and make a purchase. That’s the simplest road to conversion from an ad but it’s hardly the only one.

Everyone tracks the see, click, buy crowd. But, a good advertising firm goes beyond that, breaking down ad interactions into two, broad categories:

  • Post click or click through is when someone sees your ad, comes to your site, but leaves and then comes back later.
  • Post view or view through is when someone sees your ad, but doesn’t click. Instead, they find their way to your site at a later time through other means, such as a web search or coming directly to your site.

Each of these categories of ad interaction then lead to two, broad categories of conversions (whether that means purchases or calls).

  • Unique conversions: which are actions taken by first-time visitors to your site.
  • Non-unique conversions: which represent return business, or visitors who’ve been to your site multiple times before taking an action.

Whether post click or post view, unique conversions are often the most coveted, as they represent new customers. However, tracking only unique visitors creates a very shallow perspective on how your advertising is actually performing.

The importance of non-unique conversions

By tracking how non-unique visitors are interacting with your site and what actions they are taking, you can get a deeper, more holistic view of your web presence.

Wading through all that data can reveal:

  • How often buyers come back to interact with your site
  • Points of friction on your website that are causing you to lose sales
  • The impact of your full campaign, including retargeting ads
  • How strong your relationships are with your customers

This understanding gives you the ability to refine your whole online presence, from advertising to specific web pages. 

The key to understanding an abandoned cart – an example

Perhaps the easiest way to show the importance of non-unique conversions is the very common abandoned cart scenario. 

Let’s say you run an ad campaign for an e-commerce website. Someone sees the ad, fills their cart up with goods, then at that crucial moment of click to purchase – they get cold feet and nuke the tab. Perhaps they want more information on the products they purchased, or maybe they want to shop around to see if they can get a better price – either way, they’ve left a cart full of goodies just waiting for that final click to make the purchase.

If they come back to hit that button, that’s a non-unique conversion and if you’re not collecting that data, you’ll never know why they came back. 

  • Did they see your retargeting campaign? 
  • Did they shop around only to discover that you have the best price?
  • Did they just need some time to think it over before making a big purchase?

All of this information is invaluable because it can help you hone your retargeting campaigns, abandoned cart emails and more. It also allows you a backstage view to see if this scenario is playing itself out over and over again. 

From website tweaks to new ad campaigns, all this extra data gives you the ability to pivot your digital presence to create more conversions.

After all, that’s why you started advertising in the first place.

More data = smarter advertising 

At In Front Marketing, we’re big fans of data. 

We track every action on our client’s websites so they can understand how prospective customers are interacting. 

But more than that, we comb through that data to make sense of everything that’s going on,  then give you feedback not only on your advertising, but your digital presence as a whole.

For us, that means a lot of back end work for us so we can create a clearer view of how your advertising is performing.

For you, that means a better understanding of your advertising ROI and a clearer return on advertising spend.

Take a deeper look at your web presence with In Front Marketing.

Let’s Talk.

[email protected]

Dave Taylor       /  John McColman
(403) 891-9295 / (403) 861-9727

Suite 401 – 255 17 Ave SW
Calgary, AB, T2S 2T8

The Flexibility of Google Ads The IFM Way

Search drives sales.




Whether it’s a search inspired by billboards, banner ads, podcast placements, if you don’t pop up on the search engine results page when your audience looks for you, your ad isn’t as effective as it COULD and SHOULD be.

The flip side is if your business runs well-placed ads, you can be there at every stage of the sales funnel, walking with a prospective client from initial want/need all the way to purchase. 

This ability to tie together the whole digital ecosystem of advertising makes search ads an integral part of any ongoing campaign. Done right, your campaign will excel, done poorly and the ad will cost more than it’s worth.

Search is essential

Every ad in the digital ecosystem – the whole advertising ecosystem – drives search. That’s because people navigate the internet with search – overwhelmingly, with Google (who owns around 87% of the market).  

That means most buyers’ journeys begin with a Google search. Looking for a product? Google. A service? Google. Want to know when you have a better chance at getting into your favourite restaurant on a Saturday? You guessed it: Google.

So, when someone sees your banner ad, a video on YouTube featuring your product, even a traditional billboard that grabs their attention on their morning commute you can bet their next step typing, texting or talking to Google. 

We see this every time we place an ad for a client. The audience may not click the first time they see it – or even the second time –  but when we follow that traffic long enough and we see the true value of banner ads laid out in search traffic. 

Suddenly, all those people we’ve targeted and re-targeted with ads are searching for that thing you sell.

But if you’re not there, those ad dollars spent essentially driving customers to search for you are much less effective. In fact, they may end up driving traffic to your competitor simply because they appear at the right time on the results page. 

The bottom line is, you have to be at the right place at the right time, i.e.: when someone searches.

Finding the right keywords

The power and problem with Google Ads lies in how flexible they are. Whatever search terms you want to appear for, Google gives you the chance to bid and make it happen. 

Choose the wrong keywords to bid on and it will get expensive fast – especially in a bidding war over big-ticket words. Done correctly, you can leverage every dollar you spend to outperform any high-dollar keyword. 

The first step to creating that high ROI campaign is to understand what your customers search for. This can include:

  • Terms from your ad campaigns
  • Branded words
  • Competitors
  • Information they need before making a purchase

You can try to guess what your client will be looking at based on your knowledge, but the best way to ensure you’re where you want to be is research. That means utilizing every piece of data you have access to in order to track and understand what your clients are looking for. So, when it finally comes time to secure your keywords, you can make data-based decisions you can be sure about.

Flexibility to stay within your budget

While Google Ads can get very expensive, very fast, they can be remarkably effective even on a tight budget.

With the proper plan in place, you can place hard lines around your ad spends, then track the ROI of each campaign to make sure each is effective. If you find one campaign isn’t making the return it needs to, you can change it quickly, without penalties.

Touchpoints throughout the funnel

One of the most powerful aspects of Google Ads is its ability to find your customer at the very end of the funnel – just before they make a purchase. But, that shouldn’t be your only goal when setting up a Google Ads campaign. 

Properly utilized, Google Ads are there with your customer on every step of the buyer’s journey, from the initial idea, through research to the final purchase.

If, for example, you own a furniture business, you may target young people who are moving out on their own with an ad for a coffee table. Your ideal client may see this ad two, three, even four times before deciding they need a coffee table.

Then they search, and you’re there. Now they’re browsing your selection of furniture, along with other stores, and you can see where they go, and what they seem to like. Now, you’re retargeting with the understanding they’re looking for a tasteful, but inexpensive coffee table. 

Each step of the way you’re there, so you can understand what they want, and offer it to them. Then, when they’re ready to purchase, and make that final search, they’ve already interacted with your website. They’re familiar with you, and how you work, making you the frictionless choice.

Optimizing your campaign – the IFM advantage

At In Front Marketing, we love Google Ads because we love data. 

The reams of data that come through Google Ads allows us to constantly tweak and optimize every keyword and KPI created. From the moment someone clicks on an ad, we can track their behaviours with a pixel, which helps us understand where they’re going, and what they want. Using this data we can optimize your Google Ads campaigns as well as your ads throughout the entire digital ecosystem.

And of course, because we believe you have a right to your own data, we share it all with you.

Then, once we can see there’s traction, we work with you to create goals and KPIs that will guide us through the process of further optimization.

So, if you have a superstar sales team boasting a high rate of conversion over the phone, we can make that first call a priority. If you’re a brick and mortar shop that just needs more foot traffic, we can build your campaign around that goal. Whatever your need, we can track and optimize KPIs to ensure your campaign does its job.

By understanding the process, and doing all the research and heavy lifting at the very beginning, we can work with you to create goals and optimize your campaigns constantly. So, whatever your advertising spend, audience or purpose, we can add lift with Google Ads. 

Like what you hear? Reach out, call us for a free no obligation discussion or just to chat. We look forward to hearing from you.

Dave Taylor – 403.891.9295 – [email protected]
John McColman – 403.861.9727 – [email protected] SEARCH

Google Analytics: The Most Powerful (Free) Tool Available

Google Analytics: The Most Powerful (Free) Tool Available

Before you start reading this article, we have one question:

Do you have Google Analytics?

If you answered ‘yes’, read on to get a better understanding of your analytics. 

If you answered ‘no’ or ‘I don’t know’, stop reading and call or text us. We can check whether you have an account set up for your business, and, if not, set one up for you – often on the same call and always for free.

Some of you probably answered the above question with a shrug, but are still forging on, trying to understand why you should have Google Analytics. The answer is: your online presence needs Google Analytics just like your house needs a foundation.

You can build your online presence without Google Analytics, but just like a house without a foundation, it will be weak and ineffective. To create a robust digital footprint, Google Analytics is no longer an option – it’s a requirement. And, because it’s free, there’s absolutely no reason to put off activating your account right now.

So now that everyone knows they have Google Analytics set up on their website, we’ll walk you through its benefits and the best ways to get those benefits.

Benefits of Google Analytics

Go back a couple of decades in advertising and campaigns were based on gut-feelings and guesses. Large ad agencies full of executives in grey flannel suits talked clients into big ad spends based on little more than their own enthusiasm and salesmanship.

But, in the new world of digital marketing, data is king. With today’s technology, we can get a clear picture of how effective every dollar of an ad spend is doing. This allows marketers to tweak successful campaigns to become even more successful, plan future campaigns around past successes, and (most importantly), cut any marketing with a low ROI to free up more budget space for marketing that works.

That makes today’s advertising much more effective.

The first step to getting the all-important data that can bring your advertising out of the Don Draper-era and into today’s more effective advertising is setting up Google Analytics so you can start using it. 

With the variety of tools available through that platform, you are able to track how users are interacting with your website, where they’re coming from, and what they’re looking at (and so much more). Not only can those numbers show you how healthy your digital presence is, they can also reveal how well your marketing, both digital and traditional, is doing.

Whether a prospective client/buyer sees an ad online, or a billboard on the side of the road, their buyer’s journey usually goes through your website. That means, if that radio ad you paid for is doing well, you’ll see it in your web traffic just like the effects of the banner ad you’re running or other digital marketing you’re doing.

But, of course, when you start looking at your digital footprint, Google Analytics becomes even more powerful. By tracking your visitors you can tell:

  • If your social media presence is bringing buyers
  • If your website is effective at converting 
  • Who is interested in your product
  • How each small change you make increases or decreases your traffic

These numbers will give you the information you need to make the best decision for you in your media-buys, so you can be confident in your ad ROAS (Return on Actual Spend).

The most important step in using Google Analytics

If you’ve worked with a developer or ad agency in the past, there’s a chance they set up your Google Analytics and still own, or have access to it. While it’s fine to let people and agencies into your analytics so they can pull data from it to better focus your advertising efforts, you should never allow any other business to control your data.

If you have control over your data, you are free to change marketers at will, and take that all-important information with you to your next marketer. However, when another company owns your data, moving becomes a tricky negotiation. Somehow, you have to cut ties, while maintaining access to your data, which is often impossible. So instead, you lose all of it, which puts you back at square one with your new agency. And there’s no reason for that to happen. 

So, before you go any further, jot down a note to yourself:

*Make sure I’m in control of my data.”

Because, the earlier you take control of your data, the more information you’ll have if you decide to move.

Effective practices 

Now that you know why it’s important to both have and control your Google Analytics page, let’s take a look at how to make the most out of this by going over a few frequently asked questions:

1. How often should I be logging into my Google Analytics account?

The more often you log in, the more effective you can be in tweaking your digital footprint. However, few business owners have the time, or employees, to check their analytics daily. 

At a minimum, we recommend logging into your Google Analytics account 2 to 4 times a month. If you have the time, a couple times a week is even more effective. After that, you’ll hit diminishing returns.

2. What are UTM codes, and how can I use them to make Google Analytics more effective?

Simply put, UTM codes are small bits of code added to the end of links that tags traffic coming through that link. It might be easier to grasp to think of UTM codes as door-greeters asking visitors where they’re from and then recording it.

So, if you started a Facebook campaign, you could create a UTM code, then paste it onto the end of the url link in that campaign. That way, your analytics can tell when a visitor came to your site via that link, allowing you to measure how effective it is.

With UTM codes you can track five different parameters, including:

  • Source
  • Medium
  • Campaign Name
  • Content
  • Keyword Term

UTM tracking can help you understand which ad campaigns are working to drive traffic to your website, and which ones need to be tweaked, or cut completely. 

What should I be looking for on Google Analytics?

Logging into Google Analytics can get overwhelming quickly, especially if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. For business owners who are in charge of their own analytics, we recommend tracking via four data points:

  1. Traffic levels and sources
  2. What your traffic is looking at: products, pages, content
  3. Bounce rates and time on site
  4. Where your visitors are from

*Bonus: If you have an ecommerce site, set up Advanced Ecommerce tracking to track where your online sales are coming from, and what’s bringing them in.

This gives you a good snapshot of how well your campaigns are doing, and if you’re appealing to an audience that is actually converting.

Your best snapshot of how your business is doing.

If there’s only one thing you take away from this article it is:

Google Analytics is a requirement for a modern business.

Since it’s free and easy to set up your self (and free to get us to do it for you), you have no reason to avoid it.

Once you’ve gone ahead signed up and signed in, things can get a little more difficult. With the ocean of information available. it’s easy to get completely overwhelmed by Google Analytics and give up. But, you don’t have to learn what every single number means to bring your business into the new age of advertising.. 

The two most important things to remember once you have Google Analytics is:

  • You should stay in control of your data
  • All ad campaigns, on and off-line, should move the needle on your analytics

If you can keep control of your data, and monitor where your traffic is coming from, and how your advertising campaigns affect it, then you’ve made a big jump forward in your advertising, and you’re empowering your business to do better.

The best part is, you’ve done it for free with minimal investment in time.

If you want more from your analytics, call us to get clarity with a free digital consultation with our experts. SEARCH

‘The Agency’s Dead’ Part One

Why old-school ad agencies are drowning in the ocean of freelancers

Nearly two centuries ago, Volney Palmer created the first advertising agency – a one-stop shop for companies looking to advertise in the quickly proliferating newspapers of the day. Suddenly, advertising was simple – talk to the advertising agency and you could create a campaign that could be run across multiple newspapers.

Then came the telephone, television, computers, the internet, Google, Facebook and the ever-evolving carousel of social media. Google can follow us across the web, Amazon knows what we purchase, and every click on your website can be tracked. The media landscape, and how you advertise in it, has changed drastically – but traditional advertising agencies have not.

They’re still out there charging brands exorbitant retainers for the privilege of accessing their murky marketing techniques with big promises and price tags – but with no ROI attached.

And that’s why the marketing agency Don Draper worked for is in palliative care….

An elegant solution from a less sophisticated age

In the heyday of the advertising agency, large companies employed hundreds of creatives to churn out concepts and advertisements. In the days of passive media, like print, that was the best they could do. So, agencies created catchy slogans, or jingles, and claimed any bump in profit as a result of their work, but no one knew if it was true or not.

Even with guesswork abounding, these cultural juggernauts charged retainers just for the privilege of working with them, so they could pay their vast team of creatives. But, every business owner knew the power of marketing, so companies of all types would pay monthly fees to ensure their place in the advertising agency’s roster.

But then the internet market came to be and that changed everything, or at least it should have. Freelancers, who were once restricted to large cities where they could bump shoulders with the right people, exploded on-scene from everywhere around the world. Today, the rise in freelancing even has a name: the ‘side-hustle’ phenomenon, or the gig-economy.

Then, as technology advanced, and more money was invested into advertising online, websites sprang up that could track users – where they came from, how long they stayed on pages, and if, in fact, those readers became customers as a result. Suddenly, a bright light exposed every corner of consumer behaviour, giving freelance marketers access to more data than even the largest agencies of the past.

But like many cultural titans, advertising agencies still refused to move.

Leaving behind those ‘masters of none’

As freelancers continue to grow in number, thanks to websites like Upwork, and Fiver, marketers have been urged to ‘niche down’. In response, freelancers have created new subcategories and specialties that cover a variety of business needs. By working almost entirely with clients who have similar needs, marketers and freelancers can learn to anticipate their client’s desires and better serve their niche over time.

Today, there are copywriters who focus on creating copy for contractor websites, designers who make their money creating infographics, and website developers who work with companies to create online educational tools for onboarding. Suddenly, businesses can find a freelancer who specializes in the exact product they need, and can produce an effective solution.

But agencies, with their high overhead, and large teams, can’t ‘niche down.’ Instead, they rely on a reputation built in a different era and hope they can ride their own coattails to success. This means agencies are still working with a spectrum of customers, applying the same outdated formula to each company that comes through their door.

Big names appear on the masthead but interns are doing the work

Big ad agencies, with their big budgets and big clients, attract big-name talent – the people who host Ted Talks, or have massive followings on social media. These big names, and the big ideas that come with them, draw companies back into the murky world of the traditional advertising agency to see if these miracle-makers can help them grow.

But for most advertising agencies, those big name creatives do very little work for clients. Instead, the client’s work is passed down the chain of command, given to writers, designers, and developers with no more fame or Ted Talks under their belts than any freelancer out there.

So, why pay the big price, if all you’re getting is a marketer with no more experience than your average freelancer for your monthly retainer? Instead of sticking with the tried and true, more and more companies are calling advertising agency’s bluff that they have something you can’t find through a reliable team of freelancers, or a stand-alone marketing team.

Investing in a better marketing solution

Advertising agencies are great at blowing their own horns – after all, that’s what the organization is there for. They can march out shiny, exciting campaign after shiny exciting campaign, and it looks good at first glance. They’ll impress prospective clients with amazing visuals, and stirring copy that impresses. They may even march out some metrics they created, or growth that in no way can be tied back to their advertising campaign. But what they won’t do is give you a step by step walkthrough of how their client’s customers interacted, or tell you how they A/B tested their visuals until they had the absolute best conversion rate they could get.

That’s because they don’t have the numbers – even though they’re available with the right campaign.

Taking a dip into digital ad agencies

As the shine comes off advertising agencies, and companies move toward a new model, it’s unlikely that those old agencies will keep up. Instead, advertising will move on, and catch up with the rest of the world.

As with any major transition, things may get a little rough before a new standard is reached. With freelancers popping up like dandelions in the spring, finding a good marketer you can trust on the open market is difficult. Too often, companies branch out from the traditional gatekeepers of advertising and get burned by half-schooled marketers working off the side of their desk who over-promise and underdeliver.

Without the right freelancers and the right team to track your campaigns metrics, the new ocean of freelancers can be scary. But it doesn’t have to be.

Join us for ‘The Agency’s Dead’ Part Two,’ where we’ll discuss the new, more effective way of marketing in the online world: Digital ad agencies.