How measurable is your digital marketing?
By Dominique Sandwith
Reading time: 6 minutes
In the first week of every month, our team undertakes ‘report week’. It’s stressful for some, but we know it’s important for clients to understand what we’ve been doing for their brands, and what impact this has had on their bottom line.
In our opinion, it’s all very well to set up a website and social media platforms, and start using them to build your brand, but would you know these tools are working without a monthly report?
Digital marketing efforts are way more measurable than traditional marketing like newspapers, magazines and billboards. The real problem is figuring out which metrics to focus on and how to keep track of them. Each platform comes with its own analytics or insights tools which you can use to narrow down the information that is important for your brand and business objectives.
For each brand we work with, we collate statistics from the following platforms based on what their KPIs are and track their objectives.
Google Analytics is the most well-known and widely-used analytics tool for website statistics. It is cloud-based and as such you can log in from anywhere in the world to track the relevant metrics. It is also simple to set up, any web developer can add the code to your website once the site is up and running. The popular metrics are categorised as follows:
- Overview: track how many sessions your website has received, pageviews, unique users as well as their average time on site and the bounce rate (how many people landed on the site and left almost immediately).
- Audience: insights into the characteristics of your website users (visitors) such as their demographics, geolocation, the device they’re using, the browser and operating system they used to access your site, whether they’ve been to your site before, and more.
- Acquisition: how your users (visitors) came to your website, i.e. from Google search (organic), another website (referral), an email newsletter, a paid ad, social media or by directly typing your URL into their browser.
- Behaviour: information on what pages your users are visiting, the time they spent on each page, how they got their and what they clicked on.
- Conversion: tracks when a user does something that you want them to do, i.e. buy a product, submit an enquiry, etc. This needs to be specifically set up by using a piece of code on your website.
The analytics tool allows you to create your own custom dashboard, so you can just adjust the time period when you log in and immediately see the data that you want to measure. There are also other software applications available for you to collate this information into easily digestible and visual reports – check out Swydo and Databox.
One of the biggest appeals of social media is the fact that you can track customers and customer relationships in a meaningful way. However, many business owners get bogged down with the idea of tracking vanity metrics, such as the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers.
While these are nice to haves and definitely necessary to gain reach on these platforms, they shouldn’t be the only things to look at to measure your succeed on these platforms.
Across all platforms, the metrics which matter are the reach of your content, similar to impressions, the amount of engagement that it receives and the number of clicks through to your website (used to calculate your click-through-rate). While these metrics are similar for most platforms, there are some that are worth noting.
- Facebook: the interesting thing about this platform is the amount of personal information it can gather about your audience. Facebook is the number one social media tool for consumer marketing due to the fact that the targeting of content and advertising is so detailed. The metrics that are available on your page include the age, gender, location and interests of your audience.
- Instagram: the native dashboard of metrics for Instagram is fairly simple as it is done purely on your phone, however there are plenty of tools available to delve deeper into your statistics such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social. These tools allow you to track your hashtag performance, how many people engaged with the hashtags in your posts and which ones performed the best.
- Twitter: the use of hashtags is the main differentiating factor of Twitter analytics. From the platform’s analytics dashboard you can find out what the most talked about topics are such as events like Mother’s Day and big sports events. You can then join the conversation by creating a campaign focusing on one of these topics.
- LinkedIn: as one of the only business-to-business social networks available, the metrics here are a little different. The LinkedIn analytics dashboard shows the demographics of your page by industry and seniority of role allowing you to see who your customer really is and target your content accordingly.
Another important way to measure social media results is to test the content on different audiences. Conducting split testing or A/B testing with your content can be hugely beneficial to finding out what works and what doesn’t. Remember to test only one metric at a time and to give it time to get results.
Newsletters, when done well, are still a very effective way of reaching customers directly and are extremely measurable. Using platforms such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact or Campaign Monitor you can track your subscription rate, number of opens on a certain email campaign, number of clicks and where the user clicked on the newsletter as well as the number of users who unsubscribe after each campaign. You can also compare these statistics to the average in a particular industry. For example, our client Cape Fish has an open rate of 21%, which is 10% above the industry average! This is a great sign that our content is hitting the mark.
Once you have a better understanding of the metrics for each platform and how to find this data, it is important to document the information in a format which can be compared over different time periods.
Each platform should have objectives and goals in place to gauge whether the platform is bringing in a good return on investment. The goals should be realistic but should also be aligned with your business goals and should push you or your agency to achieve good results to ultimately contribute to business success.
If you’re a Yellow Door client and reading this, tell us what you’d like to see in your next report, and we’ll incorporate it for you; and if you’re new to life behind the Yellow Door and want to find out more – pop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adapted from an article published in Your Business Magazine Mar/ Apr 2018.