Committing To Calls: 5 Tips For Integrating Calls With Digital Marketing Optimization Solutions
Digital marketing optimization and bid management solutions are essential to today’s marketers’ ad tech toolbox. Vendors like DoubleClick, Kenshoo, Marin Software, Acquisio and others offer performance marketers tangible value — data on which ads and campaigns are performing and which aren’t. However, marketers who aren’t integrating calls into their solutions are missing out on a key piece of the attribution puzzle.
Being able to link inbound calls to paid search or other performance marketing ad buys helps reveal a more holistic view of online-offline lead generation results. Google has long recognized the offline influence of calls in its AdWords programs and allows marketers to auto-optimize by these conversions — whether they’re coming from ads or web sites. Calls are so central to some marketers that Google even introduced “call only” ads for mobile devices earlier this year. Marketers who evaluate offline call activity alongside click results have a much more complete picture of overall online campaign performance.
What’s more, integrating calls into a bid management platform helps advertisers optimize their ad buys for increased lead traction. This allows performance marketers to identify campaigns yielding higher call volumes and view offline and online lead generation activity in a single location.
The same goes for mobile performance. With mobile now constituting up to 60 percent of calls to businesses, according to proprietary data from Telmetrics (my employer), there are additional call insights to be gleaned — including which devices are being used, if the device is current on software updates, and additional user demographic details that can be helpful in identifying lead quality.
BIA/Kelsey recently forecast that annual calls to businesses from smartphones will reach 162 billion by 2019, more than double the roughly 77 billion calls generated in 2014 from mobile devices.
To incorporate calls into digital marketing optimization and maximize campaign opportunities, here are five best practice calls tips.
1. Start With Macro Call Data
Marketers should be cautious about tracking call data that is too granular. If you are just starting to integrate phone calls, start by tracking calls back to the campaign level, rather than starting with keywords or creative, which can be too micro for a beginner.
Once you are comfortable, then grow your call-tracking program from there.
2. Set A Realistic Evaluation Schedule
While bid management monitoring is happening in real time, there are many campaigns that don’t have the volume of website visitors/sessions to make daily or weekly evaluations valuable.
Whatever schedule you decide to evaluate on – stick to it for the most effective use of the data and historical evaluation.
3. Leverage Dynamic Number Insertion (DNI)
DNI, which seamlessly replaces phone numbers with call tracking numbers on a website or landing page based on how the visitor arrived, allows marketers to tie calls back to the specific originating digital or mobile search campaigns.
Most of these ad programs are already generating calls on subsequent click-throughs and landing pages — DNI makes the lead generation journey more transparent and provides attribution lift.
4. Go Beyond Call Quantity To Include Call Quality
Call volume and call quality indicators are the most telling call analytics. Call counts reveal which campaigns are driving the most customers to pick up the phone and connect with the business.
But the call details, including analytics and call recordings, are what really inform marketers of the quality of leads that are being delivered. For example, a campaign could drive 200 calls, but looking at the deeper details helps reveal which are wrong numbers, job inquiries or telemarketers.
5. Take Action Based On The Data
Optimizing your campaigns based on performance is one of the primary reasons to integrate call data. Analyze which campaigns are converting and leading to more transactions.
Try to find the “why” so you can move more funds to those high-performing campaigns or consider increasing the bids. Similarly, if a campaign isn’t working, does the data show why not? Is it isolated to a geographic location or time of day? Maybe it is the target market or ad copy.
As digital marketers look to increase lead generation, ad optimization and attribution, call-click integration is essential. Marketers who utilize campaign click data along with call-tracking data to identify which campaigns are converting for them are better positioned to understand the search journey and accurately measure the performance of their campaigns.