Do you know how profitable your marketing is? Can you name your highest ROI channels? Do you know which campaigns are driving traffic and conversions?
Measuring your marketing is crucial for allocating your budget in a way that helps you achieve your business goals. If you’re hoping to scale and grow this year, you need to ensure all of your efforts work in tandem toward that goal.
A 2015 study by the Forbes Insights Report shows that only 22% of marketers have data-driven initiatives achieving significant results. To be frank, that’s not enough. All marketers should show the value of their work so their clients can see the impact of their marketing budgets.
Read on to learn more about how to test and evaluate your business’ marketing strategy so you can get the results you want.
The Value of Measuring Your Marketing Efforts
Failing to measure your marketing efforts means you’re spending money without ensuring a payoff. Yet, many businesses do this time and again because they don’t know that they can measure the effectiveness of their digital marketing strategies. A disturbing survey conducted by ITSMA and Vision Edge shows that 74% of marketers cannot correctly measure or report the impact of their efforts on their clients’ businesses.
By tracking the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you’ll know how the money you’ve allocated has been used and be able to shift funds into more profitable channels. You’ll see where traffic and sales spikes are coming from and be able to note what’s working—and what isn’t.
Tracking also allows you to run tests so you can better optimize your campaigns. Since you are tracking the effectiveness of your campaigns, you can measure the effect of different headlines, copy, landing pages, images, and more to see which ones generate the most clicks, conversions, or purchases. Then, you can roll out those high-ROI campaigns across the board. This truly allows you to improve over time and consistently create high-ROI initiatives.
How Can You Track Your Marketing Efforts?
If you’re using a comprehensive digital strategy to reach prospective customers, you may need to track your efforts with multiple tools or platforms. This can be a bit unwieldy, but it’s worth the effort. We consolidate all of this information into an easy-to-read dashboard and quarterly reports for our clients so they can get all of their data in one place.
To get started tracking your digital marketing efforts, you should get Google Analytics set up and installed correctly across your site. Google Analytics allows you to see how many people are visiting your website, where they’re coming from, which pages they’re looking at, how long they are staying on your site, and more. It can help you measure the effectiveness of your SEO, PPC ads, content strategy, and more. With Google Analytics, you can see which pages are the most popular, which are generating the most clicks, and which pages aren’t performing. We often think of tracking as measuring what works, but measuring what doesn’t work is just as important. Finding these opportunities for improvement allows us to better optimize webpages and campaigns so they can become lead-generators as well.
You can use a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs to track which keywords you’re ranking for and your Google ranking over time. This is especially useful if you’re trying to rank higher for specific keywords or focus on particular pages.
If you’re using email or social media marketing, you should integrate UTM codes in your newsletters and posts to track traffic. Some email platforms and social media schedulers do this for you automatically. If yours don’t, you can use the Google URL Campaign Builder. A UTM allows you to append tracking information to the end of a URL so that you can determine where someone is coming from.
You can also use a tool like bit.ly—a link shortener that logs the click rate and analytics for each truncated link created—to track the effectiveness of social media links and other campaigns. You will need to create a separate link for every channel to do this properly, even if the landing page is the same. So even if you are doing a 20% off offer across the board and sending customers to a particular page, you need to do separate links for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc. Otherwise, you won’t be able to see your results by channel.
Marketing Analytics to Track
The value of marketing attribution is clear—so what exactly should you be tracking?
Metrics will differ based on your digital marketing plan. However, the following are some of the most important metrics to measure.
- CPC (Cost Per Click)
- CPI (Cost Per Impression)
- Cost Per Conversion
- Click-Thru Rate
- Paid Traffic
- Organic Traffic
- New Visitors
- Traffic per page
- Traffic per location
- Conversion Rate
- Click-Thru Rate
- Time on Page
- Bounce Rate
- Pages Indexed
- Referring Domains (Backlinks)
- Email Opens
- Email Clicks
- Email Subscribes
- Email Unsubscribe
- Bounce Rate
- List Growth Rate
- Top Fans
- Growth Rate
- Response Rate
You will want to track these results over time. While results for a single time frame—a snapshot—can give you some helpful information in the moment, long-term tracking can provide you with more in-depth results and the ability to track trends. Because some digital marketing tactics take time to pay off, like SEO, tracking your results over time will give you better insight into whether your efforts are helping you reach your goals or whether they’ve stalled out and need to be reworked.
Social Media Insights
Social Media analytics can help you determine who your audience is and what they want to see from you. Using tools to track your social media engagement can help recognize trends that shape strategy.
The Facebook Pixel can be very helpful for learning more about your customers. The Facebook Pixel is a simple line of code that can be embedded in your website. This tool will provide you with information about any Facebook user logged in and who visits your website.
While this information isn’t specific enough to reveal personal information, it will provide you with other valuable insights like what they do on your website and what items they place in their shopping care. The Pixel also allows you to retarget users who have previously visited your website.
Compare Targeted Demographics
Don’t just take your metrics at face value. To get the most from your data, parse it to identify trends within the data.
For example, social media marketing has given businesses the unique opportunity to refine the audience that sees their campaign. While different platforms have different privacy standards, most allow you to control which demographics will see your ad. You can run a campaign for millennial females or male boomers.
This is especially helpful in comparing the results of your marketing efforts. To quantify the overall success of each campaign, look at its success with each demographic.
Let’s imagine you’re running the numbers on a recent moderately successful campaign that prominently featured the image of a kitten.
While the campaign may have been considered moderately effective on the whole, upon closer examination, you learn it didn’t have much luck with men 34+. However, the campaign was counterbalanced by an incredibly high click-through rate with young women. This helps you see that it would’ve been more effective if you had targeted your campaign better. Now you can reuse the graphic for marketing campaigns specifically targeted at young women.
You can compare targeted demographics for PPC as well.
Identifying What Works
Let’s say your business experienced an immense boost in web traffic. This change occurred after the launch of your newly redesigned website.
At first glance, this might seem normal. However, after careful review, you realize that the data shows a huge jump in a single day. Further research could suggest that your numbers resulted from a social media mention from an influencer.
It could also indicate that the spike was a result of fake traffic. By identifying this, you’ll be able to filter the traffic for a more accurate view. You’ll be able to identify the motivation behind the increase in page views and what the click-through rates of your campaigns indicate.
Results of tracking your marketing efforts provide a good business perspective. Using analytics allows insight into your status quo and aids in creating realistic expectations and goals. Make sure to look at the whole picture, then take a deep dive into the different components to increase your understanding of your campaigns and how well they are working.
Find the Perfect Partner for Your Online Marketing Needs
Maximize your marketing budget by working with a data-driven team. There’s no reason to train yourself in Google Analytics, PPC, and more when your time is better spent growing your business. At Digital Neighbor, we’ll support you by creating a marketing blueprint that is both testable and scalable, so we can measure all of our efforts and show you exactly what is happening. When you’re ready to invest more in your marketing, we can funnel funds into your most profitable channels so you can draw more interested leads to your website.
Want to learn more? Let’s chat!