Measuring Marketing ROI in the Digital World - The Edge from the National Association of Landscape Professionals

We recently updated our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use this website, you acknowledge that our revised Privacy Policy applies.

Measuring Marketing ROI in the Digital World

When you’re building out your marketing budget, do you know where you get the most bang for your buck or is it more guesswork?

Corey Halstead

If it’s a constant struggle know whether your digital marketing efforts are showing ROI, Corey Halstead, co-owner of HALSTEAD Media, will uncover some tips and tricks for better understanding which efforts — whether it’s SEO and organic search, paid social, email marketing, etc. — are driving results, and providing the tools needed for leadership to connect those results back to sales

Halstead will dive into the topic during his session “Know What Works: Measuring Marketing ROI in the Digital World” during LANDSCAPES 2021 on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. ET.

“In this session, attendees will learn how to make their marketing more data-driven, and therefore more predictable and effective,” Halstead says. “We will uncover how to map actual sales dollars back to the spend. Tactically speaking, this means we’ll look at best practices for using data to measure the short term health of SEO, PPC, and paid social, but we will also encourage moving past vanity metrics, and cover how companies are using data to map marketing spends directly to sales. Today, it’s possible to capture contact information for each lead and attribute it directly to the source they came from i.e. Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Organic Search, etc.”  

Owners and individuals in leadership who have struggled with understanding their marketing ROI will find this session insightful. Halstead works exclusively in the landscape and outdoor living industry so he has relevant behind-the-scenes information.

“There’s a ton of marketing-related information out there – no shortage to go around for every business owner,” Halstead says. “But most of it doesn’t apply to the unique industry we all work in…the point is – it’s not fluff – it’s really what works in their exact industry.”

Halstead says vanity metrics like click-through rates and cost per click are important when looking at Google and Facebook ads, but they are not all the information needed to make marketing budget decisions.

“They are not the final destination but rather the heartbeat that measures short-term success,” Halstead says. “Many landscapers get over caught up in things like likes and followers on social. It seems everyone wants to be an Instagram star, even if it makes no connection back to the bottom line of the business.”

He says while businesses may have different goals, such as landing more ideal accounts or growing aggressively, it’s still important to focus on what helps reach those goals such as conversions, contacts that turn into sales and local brand recognition.

“I’d rather an ideal client sees my Facebook Ad and fills out a contact form for a consultation than gives me a hundred likes on all my posts and disappears,” he says. “So it’s about having a clear understanding of which efforts are driving real business results.”

As for what numbers do matter and can indicate when to make a change to the budget, this depends on the strategy or the platform specifically. Rather than spending $6,000 a month in Google Ads and no social ads running or investment in organic search, Halstead says it is the well-rounded effort that always wins.

“The trick is using short-term vanity metrics to make sure things are optimized, rounding out a well-optimized system across the key platforms of search, social, and content, and reinvesting a portion of the returns back in to scale the system to the proper size for the business revenue and goals,” he says.

Halstead will also share some of the best tools for tracking marketing efforts. He says these will depend on who is using them and what they are for. He does warn that without the proper knowledge behind the tools, companies can be paying for a lot of overpriced SaaS tools that aren’t being used regularly.

“So, before tools get introduced, it’s critical that owners and leadership get a foundational level of how it works out there. Not deep, deep knowledge – but foundational,” he says.

The session will also touch on how to improve the visibility of your marketing. While the main elements are good quality content, messaging and property targeting, there are nuances involved in making that happen.

For instance, if an owner is wanting to dominate a particular service area, it’s critical to target the right keywords and locations.

“A mistake we see a lot is companies bite off more than can chew from a budgetary standpoint,” Halstead says. “They choose way too many cities and way too many keyword combinations than their budget could ever allow, which results in little to no positive return. They spin their wheels moving keyword rankings super slowly from page 15 to 12 in the Google rankings – but no one is going to page 12. So choose narrow – a few key cities and few critical keywords and dial things in.”

In the case of paid social advertising, the goal is to get repeat views from your ideal client seeing the ads over and over.

“It’s not about getting a thousand likes on an ad filled with people that will never buy from you because the targeting or the messaging was wrong,” Halstead says. “Getting a ton of action on an ad is easy – getting the right action on an ad is where the magic is.” 

This session is worth 1 CEU credit. You can earn up to 13 CEU credits by attending sessions at LANDSCAPES 2021.

Want more information about what marketing tactics move the needle? Register for LANDSCAPES 2021 and we’ll see you in Louisville!

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the senior content manager for NALP.