What $5K Can Buy on 3 Marketing Channels

January 18, 2017 Brad Beutler

marketing channels blog

Growth isn’t coincidental. It’s carefully crafted, highly intentional and, most importantly, it’s hard.

But in a marketing landscape as ephemeral as Snapchat, one where 140 characters qualifies as fully-formed thought processes, how can we possibly keep up with the shape-shifting terrain in marketing channels to distribute our content?

Of course, marketing needs agility. It requires a nimble combination of strategy served up with a side of creativity. But no one brain can be a conversion optimizer, detailed designer, content mastermind with time to test, measure and repeat, all at once. Instead, we look to the talents and skill sets of our peers. We follow the paths of marketers who have tackled the same customer journey challenges before us.

In the spirit of education, we’re shedding light on our distribution course. We’re bringing focus to our multichannel strategy, which highlights the need to prioritize and strategize each of your relevant marketing channels.

In the last year, we’ve implemented social media marketing through paid LinkedIn advertising, search engine marketing through Google AdWords and email signature marketing through our own platform here at Sigstr.

Let’s get real for a minute.

Now, we know the value of Sigstr, but just like any marketer – we wanted to prove it. So we ran an experiment using our own data. We wanted to know what $5,000 could buy us on these marketing channels in comparison to email signature marketing. We looked at the number of impressions and clicks. And then we measured the average click-through rate. Next, we tracked the cost per 1000 impressions and per click.

This isn’t someone else’s data. This is the data we collected in 2016, based on our campaigns for each of the digital marketing channels. We optimized each channel’s content for the highest performance possible. We are in marketing after all, and we want our content to be seen, clicked, read or watched. Here’s what we found:

marketing channels analysis

Number of Impressions

Marketing Channels impressions

Winner: Sigstr

The $5,000 budget is enough to implement 83 users at $5 a user per month for the whole year, so that’s definitely noteworthy when comparing the digital marketing channels. In comparison, the same budget paid for 4 weeks on LinkedIn and 8 weeks on Google AdWords. Using Sigstr, our content was seen 1,955,234 times in 2016. On LinkedIn we were able to garner 174,386 impressions and on Google AdWords our content was seen 46,250 times.

A couple things to note, though: With AdWords, we were seen just 46,000 times but the content was delivered to a targeted, and interested audience. That kind of targeted impression helped our click-through rates on AdWords, as you’ll see below. However, it did take a bit of time to tweak our campaigns to get the most benefit from the digital marketing channel. We were in it for about 30 to 60 minutes a day.

We were able to do some targeting on LinkedIn, but not at the same level. On the other hand, with Sigstr, the campaign is centrally managed, so our marketing department could set relevant, unique content for each department in the company. And it was delivered to a hand-picked audience through email.

Number of Clicks

Marketing channels clicks

Winner: Sigstr

This likely goes back to the fact we were able to run the Sigstr campaign for 52 weeks for the same budget we ran the 4- and 8-week campaigns on social and search media. Because the campaigns through email signature marketing were seen more often, by a more targeted audience, people engaged.

It was interesting to see the clicks did not correlate with impressions for the other channels. LinkedIn raked in more than 174,000 views but only grabbed 641 clicks. And Google AdWords, which had the lowest number of impressions, targeted 2,640 clicks.

Average Click-Through Rate

Marketing channels Avg CTR

Winner: Google AdWords

Google AdWords came out on top of the CTR category with an impressive rate of 5.71 percent.  By having a targeted, engaged audience, we could reach more of the people we actually wanted to reach. Sigstr had an average CTR of 0.46 percent and LinkedIn had a rate of 0.368 percent.

CPM

Marketing Channels CPM

Winner: Sigstr

If we charged per 1000 impressions, Sigstr’s CPM would be $2.56. We don’t – but it’s a good, relatable metric that helps even the playing field for social and search media marketing. In comparison, LinkedIn’s CPM rate sits at $26 while Google AdWords is a whopping $108 based on the results of our use on the digital marketing channels.

CPC

Marketing Channels CPC

Winner: Sigstr

Another metric simply to make the marketing channels comparable – Sigstr’s CPC sits at $0.56. We had almost 9,000 clicks on our $5000 worth of email signature campaigns last year. That’s in comparison to LinkedIn’s 641 clicks, at a CPC of $7.80 and Google AdWords’ 2,640 clicks at a cost of $1.89 per click.

So what does all of this data mean?

The bottom line is that your company will have natural growth levers – but it’s helpful to optimize when to pull and where to squeeze. A well-formed content distribution strategy is going to look at as many targeted marketing channels as possible. And then add new channels, like email signature marketing (<<shameless plug) to differentiate your brand and reach a high concentration of targeted contacts.

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