One of the biggest mistakes I see small businesses make over and over again is they do not measure the results of their digital marketing efforts.
Measuring the success of your digital marketing efforts will help you understand what works, what doesn’t, and identify areas you can reallocate funds or resources for improved conversions (bookings, signups, purchases).
Why invest money into advertising your business through digital channels if you don’t plan to measure the return on investment, especially when digital is SO easy to measure?
Below are a few tools and recommendations that small businesses can take on board and implement when advertising online.
Determine the metrics you want to measure
If you are an accommodation provider, the most important conversation metric would be bookings. If you are an online shop, sales are your most important conversion metric. If you are a regional tourism organisation, page views, time on page and newsletter sign-ups might be your most important metrics.
No matter the business, you need to sit down and give thought to what the measure of success looks like for your brand online. Once you know this, you can start putting systems in place to measure these.
Not everyone uses Google Analytics, but it is a powerful program that can tell you so much about customer behaviour on your website, how your marketing efforts are performing, and help you spot areas for improvement.
If you prefer to not use Google Analytics, other website platforms (like WordPress or Squarespace) have their own dedicated website stats sections. The point is to get acquainted with your website analytics, understand how they work, set up goals and conversion funnels (in Google Analytics) to measure your marketing efforts.
Social media insights
Yes, each of your social media channels contains stats and insights on how your followers engage with your content.
Even your social media content management systems, such as Hootsuite or Sprout Social, can provide invaluable data around customer sentiment, topic tagging (useful if your product includes customer service) and assigned posts.
Take a gander through Facebook insights, export data for the month, and if you’re an Excel junkie, use your primary and secondary access in a chart to compare impressions against engagement on posts to truly understand what content is working for you. The sky is the limit when you know how to work with data to visualise it.
Keep a record of your monthly channel growth, monitor spikes across a month or year, and what made this happen. The more you understand how your customers engage with your content, the easier it becomes to create effective social media posts.
Custom URLs for campaigns
If you launch a digital marketing campaign directing people through to your website and you promote it across several platforms (Google Display, Google Search, Facebook, Pinterest, for example), it can be useful to make unique website addresses (URLs) for each platform.
To do this I turn to the trusty Campaign URL Builder that Google provides.
This allows you to specific the channel the click came from, which campaign, name or content. By generating these UTM parameters you can then go into Google Analytics, paste in that unique URL and see how much traffic you have received from that specific channel during the campaign.
This works for print or other traditional marketing channels too, just create a short URL through your website (westcoastdigital.co.nz/shorturl for example) for each platform. You can then measure through your insights how much traffic each traditional medium sent you.
Facebook Pixel and Cookies
Lastly, cookies and Facebook Pixel are glorious tools for remarketing. They track the behaviour of visitors to your website so you can surface customised ads to them later on.
Marketing to active considers in this way can lead to increased conversions, so it’s well worth the investment.
So there you have it, measuring techniques to help you better understand the return on investment from your digital marketing efforts. No matter what, always be in a state of measure and learn.
If something isn’t working after a certain amount of time, discontinue it and reallocate that energy or budget into something that does.
West Coast Digital NZ can assist with your digital marketing campaigns to make sure that you receive deliverable results.