I covered the topic of how to know if your paid advertising is working in a Weekly Q&A post a while back. I thought it important to take that conversation one step further and talk about how to set up a process of measuring your digital campaigns. Basically, how do you accumulate the necessary data to decide the effectiveness of your campaigns?
As we know, measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns is essential to understanding if what you are doing is working and what to do if it’s not. In other words, it helps you determine whether your marketing investments are paying off and whether you should continue with similar campaigns or try a different approach.
However, knowing where to look for the data and what data you need to look at, is where things get a bit tricky for most small business owners. There are a myriad of different paid tracking software available on the market (and even more free options) that can easily collate all your necessary data in one place. Simply reading the data, however, is not enough. You need to know what you are looking at, and to do that, you need to set up an effective measurement and tracking process.
With this in mind, here's a step-by-step guide on how to do just that.
How to set up a measurement and tracking process that helps you measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns.
Step 1: Define your marketing goals
Before you can measure the success of your campaigns, you need to know what you're trying to achieve. This could include increasing website traffic, generating leads, or boosting sales. Having specific, measurable goals in mind will help you determine which metrics to track and how to evaluate your campaigns' success.
Step 2: Choose the right metrics
There are many metrics you can track to measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns, but not all of them are relevant to your goals. For example, if your goal is to generate leads, tracking website traffic won't be as important as tracking the number of leads generated from your campaigns. Choose metrics that are directly related to your marketing goals.
Step 3: Use tools to track your metrics
There are many tools available to help you track your metrics, such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, and Hootsuite. Choose the tools that are best suited to your needs and make sure they are set up correctly to accurately track the metrics you've chosen.
Step 4: Analyze the data
Once you've been tracking your metrics for a while, you can start to analyze the data to see how your campaigns are performing. This involves looking at the trends over time and comparing your results to your goals. If you see that a particular campaign is underperforming, try to identify the reasons why and make changes to improve its performance.
Step 5: Make data-driven decisions
Use the insights you gain from your analysis to make informed decisions about your future marketing efforts. For example, if a particular campaign is performing well, consider scaling it up. If it's not delivering the results you want, consider making changes or trying a different approach.
Note: You can also do some testing at this stage to see what kind of marketing activities your audience responds to the best. For example, you can use the same campaign messaging but change the content format.
What metrics should you consider?
Now that we have gone through the process of how to measure your digital marketing campaigns, let’s have a look at some of the metrics that you can track and what the data tells you.
One of the simplest and most common ways to measure the success of a digital marketing campaign is by tracking website traffic. This includes the number of unique visitors to your website, the pages they visit, and how long they stay. This is particularly important if your goal is to increase your website traffic or analyse your user journey on your website to lower your bounce rate.
Another important metric is the conversion rate, which measures the number of visitors who take a specific action on your website, such as making a purchase or filling out a form. This is important when the goal of your campaign is to increase newsletter sign-ups or event registrations, etc. The reason why we talk about measuring your conversion rate and not simply looking at how many sign-ups you received, is because conversion rate tracks user activity across platforms. For example, you decide to run paid advertising on Facebook for an upcoming event. As part of your campaign, you tell Facebook to track how many users clicked on the link in the advert AND what they did on your website once they got there. This is your conversion rate as reported by Facebook.
If your goal is to generate leads, you'll want to track the number of leads generated from your digital marketing efforts, as well as the quality of those leads. Simply increasing your leads does not equate to an effective campaign. You want your leads to ultimately turn into sales and the probability of that happening depends on the quality of the leads. This is why it is also recommended to look at how many of the leads generated from the campaign become sales. Doing this will give you a rough estimate of how much it will cost in advertising spend to generate a certain number of sales.
Engagement metrics, such as likes, shares, comments, and followers, can provide valuable insights into how well your content is resonating with your audience. These are generally considered vanity metrics because they don’t have a direct impact on sales in the same way that your conversion rate has, for example. They are important, however, in your pursuit of creating content that your audience wants to read and are generally applicable to customers who are at the interest stage of the sales funnel.
It's important to keep in mind that these metrics are just a starting point, and the specific metrics you track will depend on your goals and objectives. Additionally, it's recommended to use a combination of qualitative and quantitative data to get a comprehensive understanding of your campaigns' performance.
Measuring the success of your digital marketing campaigns is a critical part of understanding the impact of your marketing efforts and making informed decisions about future campaigns. By choosing the right metrics, tracking your results accurately, and analysing your data, you can ensure that your campaigns are delivering the results you want.