Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
– Peter Drucker
December is a month for holiday celebrations and thoughtful reflections on the year. Reflections that lay the ground work for our New Year’s resolutions and the action steps that support them. This year CDT continued its education and public awareness campaign about the benefits of Collaborative Divorce with the long-term goal of making Collaborative Divorce the preferred method of divorce in Texas. Overall 2017 was a consolidation year for our action steps implemented over the past few years. What has been the measurable impact of our rebranded and redesigned website, our consistent blogging, our paid Facebook campaign and our credentialing program?
Let’s start with the website numbers through November 2017. CDT had almost 50,000 public website page views for the first 11 months of 2017. In 2016, we were just under 28,000 views. That’s roughly a 70% increase in traffic, and maybe even more importantly almost 78% of these were first time visitors.
Looking deeper, besides the home page which received just over 30,000 hits in 2017 (versus roughly 15,700 hits in 2016), the second most visited page on the CDT website in 2017 was the “About the Collaborative Process” page. In 2016, the number of visits to that page was 273. In 2017, the number of hits was 2,573. That is an increase of 842%. Clearly Texans are responding to our messaging and learning more about Collaborative Divorce which in turn should lead to more work for CDT’s members. While our rebranded, redesigned and mobile friendly website is an important part of this increase, our paid Facebook campaign is also a big driver. Let’s look at the numbers there.
In 2017 (again through November) our paid Facebook campaign resulted in almost 713,000 impressions for CDT’s promoted posts. An impression occurs when a promoted post appears in the Facebook newsfeed or advertising section while being viewed by a person. Thus, an impression may be seen by the same person more than once. Compared with the just under 154,000 impressions in the last 5 months of 2016 (CDT’s paid Facebook campaign began in August), it’s clear the campaign is expanding its reach. Since people often need multiple exposure to an idea or product before they become interested in it, multiple impressions are a good thing. And if you have not already put it together, CDT’s promoted posts (which include a rotation of videos made by our members, blogs written by our members and ads for Collaborative Divorce) are also functioning as essentially free advertising for CDT members.
So, how many different people did we reach with our paid Facebook campaign this year? The answer: to date in 2017, more than 431,000 different people around Texas have seen a CDT promoted post. Think about that…. close to a half a million Texans saw something positive and educational about Collaborative Divorce this year! Since our funding is currently limited to the money CDT receives from its membership dues, our paid FB campaign rotates between the 5 major metropolitan areas in Texas (a different one each month) and alternates between 2 different target groups—the gray divorce with a net worth of at least $750,000 and people aged 30-50 with a home value of at least $200,000. This Facebook campaign costs CDT $24,000 annually. Considering the cost of more traditional advertising, Facebook is a great value that allows CDT to reach hundreds of thousands of Texans as part of our ongoing campaign to educate the public and create brand awareness.
Additional evidence that our paid Facebook campaign increased web traffic is seen in the more granular analytics. When CDT started its paid Facebook campaign in mid-2016 the visits to our website increased dramatically from the area in which the campaign was running and then dropped off significantly in that area after the campaign stopped. Clearly Facebook was driving traffic to CDT’s website. In the 3rd quarter of this year, CDT implemented a paid remarketing program to address this fall off in website traffic. Remarketing is essentially placing cookies on the computers of folks who visit our website which allows Facebook to push through additional pop up advertisements for CDT. While not as impactful (or as expensive) as the paid promoted posts, the remarketing campaign is reducing the decrease in traffic into CDT’s website once the Facebook campaign moves to another city.
CDT’s consistent blogging campaign using keywords that Google research shows people use when searching the web for divorce information and including cross links to other websites is starting to pay off. The top blogs in terms of views this year were both written in 2017 and used such keywords. Also, more people are reading our blogs whether through Google searches or through Facebook links.
Lastly, CDT’s credentialing program is off to a good start. 27 members were credentialed in our first year. The goal of the program is for clients to have a way to differentiate between professionals who give lip service to Collaborative Divorce and those truly committed to the practice of Collaborative Divorce. CDT hopes that all its members will become credentialed and as its marketing initiatives take hold (and increase over the years assuming budgetary constraints can be solved), demand for Collaborative Divorce will also increase making it easier for members to obtain the required number of cases to qualify.
The measurable results of CDT’s action steps are very encouraging especially since CDT’s programs are still in their infancy. Momentum, while more subjective, also plays an important role in creating buzz and demand. The anecdotal evidence from many of our members across the state also indicates that interest in Collaborative Divorce is growing. In 2018, CDT looks forward to increasing that momentum, expanding our message about the benefits of Collaborative Divorce, and continuing to work to make Collaborative Divorce the preferred method of divorce in Texas. Because how people divorce matters.
As you reflect on your own life this past year, my hope is that you remember a year full of challenges, successes –large and small—and much happiness. May you and your family’s celebrations this season be full of joy.