Many businesses now are trying their hand in using digital marketing tools for promoting, creating awareness for their brands. Many have studied how these digital marketing tools work or how to conduct an effective digital marketing campaign – and yet many fall short of their expectations and fail to reap a successful outcome from all their efforts.
In many cases, the reason for failure is not that the campaigns lack creativity, quality materials and qualified personnel – but because of their failure and monitor the success and performance of their digital marketing campaigns. This reflects the sentiments of respondents surveyed by Adobe Systems and Research Now where only 29% believed they are doing the process of measuring marketing performance well.
These doesn’t have to be that way as digital marketers can effectively measure the performance and success of their digital marketing campaigns. The following delves into this to help readers understand the measurement analytics process and apply these effectively into their own digital marketing campaigns.
Step 1. Identify and Set Your Business Objectives
One of the keys to success in Digital Marketing is to get everyone in your organization or business directly involved with your campaign efforts, from top management down to every employee or member of your organization. Senior executives and top management may not take an active part in the actual marketing activities, but they are key to identifying and setting up your organization or companies business and digital marketing objectives.
At this point, the business objectives you set may still be at the broadest of parameters, but it may require deeper thinking and brainstorming than one might expect. It may answer questions like why you are performing digital marketing, why you have a website or why you have a social media page and presence. These are real world objectives that are achievable and can bring great benefits to your organization in both the short term and the long haul.
SalesForce recently released its 2015 State of Marketing survey results and among the many information presented there include the Top 5 Digital Marketing Metrics for Success which gives readers an idea of what marketers from around the globe are setting up as their primary business objectives. This can serve as guide for you in setting up your own business objectives that really matter.
Step 2. Identify and Set Targets for Each of Your Business Objectives
Once you’ve identified your business objectives, you can now set specific goals for each of these objectives. Top management should still be part of this process of identifying the goals of your digital marketing campaign as this will involve a critical thinking process that involves leaders, analysts and the marketers who will execute the campaigns to reach these goals.
Target setting for your business objectives should take into consideration all the activities, products or services presented in your website or online presence. This can range from simply creating awareness and brand identity, or it can be results oriented like generating leads and highlighting promos and events.
For example, if your goal is Email Marketing Success, you can break it down into key targets that you can easily track and measure. The 2015 State of Marketing survey from SalesForce provided this chart of how marketers prioritize their Email Marketing targets, and this can again serve as a good guide for your own campaigns.
At this point, it is important to emphasize that goals and targets differ from one organization to the next. A goal set by one business may not necessarily be the same need or goal of another. One may be going for brand awareness while the other is actively looking for leads or sales. Identify targets that are important to your business and organization and are in line with the business objectives you have set in Step 1.
Step 3. Identify Target Segments to Focus On
Once you have a firm target or targets for your digital marketing campaign, it would be necessary at this point to identify the target segments that your campaign will be focusing on. Segments can be people or groups of people from a certain demographic or you can focus on certain businesses or organizations involve in a particular undertaking or niche.
One of the sources of failures many digital marketers encounter is their lack of focus in their targeting. Many go for a broad, shotgun approach in an attempt to reach as much mileage as possible, only to end up with a stream of traffic that doesn’t generate leads, or low-quality leads that do not convert. You need focus in your targeting if you want to achieve positive results.
KissMetrics gave some good tips on how you can use Facebook Insights for your segment targeting. Facebook Insights gives valuable information on your social media presence traffic, such as identifying where majority of your “likes” come from. It would be to your advantage to know that most of the likers in your page are middle-aged men or women. This will allow you to streamline your marketing campaigns to cater to these numbers.
Step 4. Establish Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
While specific objectives provide you with pinpoint accuracy to guide your campaign, you will also need to establish Key Performance Indicators or KPI as your overall digital marketing performance gauge. These metrics can help you monitor and identify your performance against the goals and targets you set in your objectives. Key Performance Indicators that you can establish for your digital marketing campaign includes:
- Search Engine Rankings – good ranking can deliver tons of traffic to your website, and traffic is where you can generate leads and sales. Measure your rank and position before and after your digital marketing campaigns
- Traffic – as mentioned earlier, traffic is your source for leads and sales. There are however different types of traffic that you can monitor, and these include:
- Overall Site Traffic – This is the baseline information of all visits to your website or landing page
- New/Returning Traffic – New and returning traffic are good information to track and will give your business importance depending on your specific goals, particularly in what kind of traffic you want to increase in your campaigns
- Mobile Traffic – The recent Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2014 – 2019 highlighted that there will be 5.2 billion global mobile users in 2015. It has already reached what comScore refer to as the Tipping Point, or where mobile users overtake desktop users in terms on numbers. This infographic from SmartInsights gives an overview of how mobile traffic will be very substantial in the very near future – and this should be taken well into consideration in your digital marketing plan
- Traffic Sources – This will provide you insight as to where your website visitors are coming from, so you can shift your campaigns to exploit this opportunity
- Average Stay per Visit – How long visitors stay in your sight and in particular pages matters as this can give you insight as to whether your content is generating engagement or not
- Conversion Rates – Turning website traffic into leads or sales is an important aspect in digital marketing that should be at the core of all your efforts. Monitoring conversion rates of your campaigns will give you a good overview of your marketing performance, more so if you break down this information further into pages, particular content and products/services
- Return on Investment – ROI is an important KPI every business should track as this spells the survival of the business if all your efforts do not contribute to the realization of your ROI
Step 5. Identify Targets for Your Success Indicators
Once you’ve identified the KPIs you will track and monitor, you need to set specific targets for each of your KPI. Targets are numerical values and measuring performance against these values can help you measure success in quantifiable terms. The key is to set a starting point which you can determine by following industry benchmarks as well as averages from your existing analytics data (3 months will do).
Do not put targets that you do not know is good or bad from your business perspective. You might be putting targets that are too farfetched and is impossible to achieve with your existing resources. You might also be setting up targets that are too easy, making you waste valuable resources when you can get more results from what you already have. Set, measure, monitor and make adjustments as you gain more experience in your digital marketing campaigns.
Step 6. Choose and Use a Good Analytics Platform
Monitoring and measuring these metrics would be too tedious (or nearly impossible) to do manually. You need good programs and applications, both free to use or paid, that will help you facilitate measurement. Some of the more popular applications are listed below and are categorized according to their intended measurement index:
- Google Analytics – This is a free application provided by Google itself that allows you to track various information about traffic and other information about your website
- HubSpot – This is a good analytics platform that can help you measure traffic and inbound marketing that is ideal for use by small businesses
- Adobe Marketing Cloud – This integrated platform can provide you with good real-time and predictive analysis of your website performance
- GoSquared – This is another platform for real-time performance monitoring which also features a good eCommerce reporting channel to help you track revenues and ROI
- Moz – Moz is a comprehensive analytics platform that combine search, social, social listening and inbound marketing analytics
- Webtrends – This platform can provide you with multi-channel measurement that includes web, mobile and social analyticss
- Google Analytics – You can get great SEO reports when you link Google Webmaster Tools into your account at Google Analytics
- Moz – Moz provides good insights on how social presence and its impact on SEO is correlating or behaving
- HubSpot – The SEO tool from HubSpot can be integrated into your content for easy monitoring and optimization
- RavenTools – It can give you an interactive list of where you can improve with your ranking, with data coming from both Google and Bing
- Simply Measured – Get in-depth measurement data from various social networks which you can also integrate with Google Analytics
- Socialbakers Analytics – Provides social analytics and other comparative analysis data with your competitors
- Falcon Social – Provides various applications that includes social listening and social media management of various social networks
- Adobe Social – This is a good and comprehensive tool for publishing, social listening, and social media measurement
- Hootsuite – One of the more popular social media management suite available, Hootsuite can provide you with good real-time social media performance
Step 7. Execute Real Time Improvements Based on Measurement Results
Once you have good and substantial analytics and measurement data available, you can now make adjustments and changes to your digital marketing campaign to cater to the insights presented by these gather information. These insights should trigger immediate action and should be executed promptly should the situation calls for such kind of actions. But do not get too excited with every data you receive. Track only what you can take action on and get sufficient data before you jump in and make changes.
At this point, business owners should realize that Digital Marketing is not just a trend that will go away. It is here and it is now and those not practicing digital marketing campaigns will get left behind by their competitors who do. But jumping into the Digital Marketing bandwagon also calls for proper measurement and analytics work that will help you track the performance of your campaigns. With these tools available, all the guesswork is removed and you can streamline and execute your campaigns with precision – and success.