More tools for digital marketing and marketing metrics pop up all the time, but one company remains the go-to for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)...Google! Where attention to Google Analytics and Google AdWords can give any business a marketing boost.
While the last quarter of the year can mean the busiest time of the year, (especially for retailers) some industries find it the slowest time. But no matter the industry, it's crucial to turn your attention towards accessing where you're going and where you've been. Asking yourself what goals you've been able to meet thus far, what successes you've had in the integration of our marketing strategy through the previous quarters, and what needs to be done meet end of year goals.
Brick and Mortars have faced daunting challenges this year. Consumers are flocking to massive online distributors and spending less time in stores. For many storefronts without an online presence, this has meant a noticeable decrease in sales. The numbers from walk-in traffic in each new quarter are coming in lower than retailers would like, which makes the Holiday Season an essential time for retailers to drastically push sales and meet end of year goals.
Go beyond vanity metrics for better results
Using marketing metrics to measure your campaigns is a great way to find out whether your marketing tactics are effective. There’s a wide range of statistics available for measuring the success of each campaign, but the best information comes when you dig deeper into the data.
Go beyond vanity metrics to get better results from your marketing campaigns. While some of these numbers, like Followers or Likes, are low-hanging fruit, other metrics can help you identify what’s working, improve lagging campaigns and generate more leads.
When a number is just a number
When measuring their performance on social media, many companies tend to look at the number of people who have indicated an interest in their brand. A high value is placed on these vanity metrics to illustrate the success of a brand. These metrics may include Page Likes on Facebook, Followers on Twitter, or Followers on Instagram – even the number of email subscribers. While these numbers can lead to more engagement, they are not necessarily a good indicator of how many users you are reaching in your campaigns. So, it’s important to dig deeper.
For a better idea of how many users are viewing your content, look at the performance of each post. The number of Impressions will give you a more realistic look at how many users your posts have reached, and other metrics such as link clicks or engagement rates will show you how well your content is performing. If the posts in your social strategy are not inspiring users to click through to your website, it may be time to make some changes to move the needle.
Focus on actionable analytics
With so many metrics available to marketers, there’s a wealth of data to choose from when forming a strategy or writing a report. Dig deeper to find the analytics that speak to the goals of your marketing campaigns, and find metrics that are actionable for your brand. What data will tell you if you’ve been successful with your call-to-action? What metrics will give you a full picture of whether or not your marketing campaign is a success?
On social media, it may be more effective to look at the competition, and try to recruit more followers for the same types of products to your brand. On the website, you’ll want to look for metrics like the bounce rate to see what users are leaving your website, the time spent on the webpage to measure engagement, and the types of information users are spending the most time with in terms of page views. Identify what works, provide one clear call-to-action, then streamline your efforts to make your digital marketing more targeted.
Bringing it all together
Another great place to track your marketing metrics is in your email campaigns. This digital communication is the link between your brand and an individual’s inbox, and it offers a way to connect subscribers to the website, to your social media channels and to your brand as a new customer. Ensure that the email campaigns you are sending are effective, by tracking open rates, link clicks and click-through-rates. Once you get a clear picture of how well each step along the way is working, you can create more effective digital marketing and lead more potential customers to that final step of lead conversion.
Measuring Digital Advertising Efforts and Setting Goals
Digital advertising may be different than more traditional forms of marketing, but it is just as important to measure results in the digital sphere. Considering how many different types of advertising and marketing there are to pursue, it may be even more important to measure your results on the web.
The best way to get results from efforts like email campaigns, ad retargeting and social media is to start with a plan, detailing specifics like your target audience and the funds available to run a campaign. This part of marketing may come easily to your team, but it won’t mean much unless you can set measurable goals for each endeavor.
Identifying your goals at the outset can help you determine what digital platforms to advertise on, how to cater to different audiences and when to conclude your campaign. More importantly, setting goals will help you to determine when your digital advertising has been a success. As you start to think about what this looks like for your business, take these things into consideration.
Keep your Eye on the Real Prize
When you set a goal for an advertising campaign, it helps to keep it realistic. You can set yourself up for success with even large goals, as long as you keep in mind these elements of goal-setting. When you set the goal, make it specific, so that you know what data to monitor and track. Make sure the goal is also one that you can measure, whether it’s through a percent increase in sales or through a social media analytic, such as the number of times a video is played. Be realistic and set goals that are attainable, making it easier for your team to meet them. Then use a timeframe, in order to determine when the goal should be met. This will help keep your business – and your advertising team – on track.
Invest your Money where it Counts
With so many options available to advertisers, it can be difficult to choose an advertising method or platform, especially if you’re not sure the vehicle will be effective. Now, thanks to all the data at your fingertips, you can monitor your progress and gain meaningful insights into what your customers want. Use all the information available to you to track your ad campaigns. This kind of measurement will require more than just website views. You’ll also want to track new sessions on your website, the bounce rate if people are leaving a website too soon, and total conversions, which will help you see if your efforts are working. If you’re not getting the results you want, it may be time to invest your money in a different digital platform.
Recognize Digital Success When you See it
Success often means different things to different people. If your primary goal is to drive more traffic to your website where you can focus on inbound marketing, a high number of hits could be the key. But if you need sales in order to demonstrate success, it’s a different ballgame. For example, a Chicago based client that specializes in the sales of children's clothing trusts that her team at BriteIdea will make advertising decisions that are focused on converting ads to sales from the website. Once a campaign is released we use a combination of web ads, newsletters and even style guides to convert leads. The online sales journey tell us a story about how our efforts are working and if we need to make adjustments for next time based off of the store's sales.
Think about the various ways you can measure success, and use the measurements that are relevant to your business. Marketers know Return on Investment is vital, but you can also look for some newer measures of success. Watch for robust social media activity as a sign that your brand is taking off online. Take into account scalable conversion to sales, which allow you to pursue future campaigns, or the return on advertising spread, which directly measures the profit you make from money spent on advertising. Movement of product is also a great way to measure success. After all the advertising is done, how much did the campaign move your product or services? This will help you determined whether the advertising methods you chose and campaigns you ran where a valuable use of your time and resources.
Illustrate your Team’s Contribution with Focused Metrics
From the water cooler to the boardroom, marketing professionals everywhere are talking about how to measure their efforts more effectively. Studying the metrics of digital marketing campaigns can be challenging, especially if you’re not sure what data should take center-stage. A few key metrics can make the difference between run-of-the-mill analytics reports and impressing your CEO.
To make the best case for your team, consider the goal of your marketing campaigns, revisit the budget and spending for digital marketing, and delve into the numbers to show a good return on investment. You can even account for the total cost of marketing – taking program spending, salaries and overhead into account – as it compares to new revenue and new customers.
New customers for Every campaign
To illustrate the impact marketing efforts have on your company overall, you can paint a clear picture of how many customers are brought in, relative to the amount of marketing your company produces. There are several ways to measure this, including the Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) and the marketing percentage of customer acquisition.
To determine your Customer Acquisition Cost, combine the ad and marketing spend amounts with the salaries of your team and overhead for a certain time period. Then, divide this number by the number of new customers you obtained in the same time period. This will show you how the costs of marketing stack up, in relation to the number of customers gained in a certain quarter. The marketing percentage of CAC can also be computed as a portion of the CAC, compared to the overall Customer Acquisition Cost. This is another way to determine how effective marketing efforts are at a given time.
Compare the Value Customers bring to the Costs
When there is a constant revenue stream from customers, companies can also take a look at the value their customers bring to the company over time as it compares to the cost of recruiting new customers. This can be measure by the ratio of Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) to CAC, and it can also be qualified through the time it takes to earn back the money spent to acquire new customers.
To compute the first number, take the revenue the customer pays into the company during a specific time period, subtract the gross margin, and divide by the estimated cancellation rate for that customer. That will give you the Customer Lifetime Value. Now, look at the LTV as a ratio with the CAC, and see how it divides out. A higher ratio of LTV to CAC usually means the sales and marketing teams for a company are achieving a higher return on investment. If the ratio climbs too high, it may be a sign that it’s time to invest in your sales and marketing teams. You can also look at the time it takes to pay back CAC. Divide the CAC by margin-adjusted revenue per month for the average new customer, and consider the resulting number. This shows how many months it takes to earn back to cost of recruiting that customer.
Give Credit where Credit is Due
Though it may be harder to track, a simpler way to show how much marketing is making an impact for a company is to look at the work they do every day, especially as it relates to bringing in new customers. Find out what percentage of new business is the direct result of marketing, meaning a marketing staff member introduced a lead to the company.
Determine the percentage of these customers that originated in the marketing office, then compare the percentage against the rest of the company. You can also look at the percentage of new customers that were influenced by marketing at some point along the way – whether the marketing team helped to convert a lead or whether they guided the customer on their buying journey. This data can show how valuable marketing efforts are in the big picture.
once you've secured your influencer relationship, it's critical to not move forward until you've put a strong strategy in place to ensure results and a positive ROI for both parties! A truly savvy strategy should include success driving criteria that guides your campaign objectives, specific to the involvement of the influencer.
3 Key Factors that are Stealing your Web Traffic
When marketers publish content or buy ads from Google or Facebook for their clients, what is it that we're trying to accomplish?
Well simply put - we're trying to drive traffic to your website, where they can convert from a lead to a customer. "It’s quantifiable, it’s reportable and it can lead to real business outcomes like increased leads, subscribers to your newsletter or blog and of course sales." - Medium.com AMA Marketing News
According to the AMA's article we've quoted here, website traffic is getting harder to come by every day and they belive we’re in the midst of a digital marketing sea change. One that will compel businesses to reassess their assumptions about how to approach digital marketing. The reckoning marketers have to face is the disappearance of web traffic from three main forces they've outlined, here:
- Facebook Wants to Keep You on Facebook Facebook changes all the time. In the last couple years alone, Facebook has devalued unpaid marketing posts, added live streaming (aka Facebook Live), embedded video and introduced ever-more engaging ad formats like carousel and canvas.
All of these features make Facebook’s engagement machine ever-more addictive and all but eliminate the need for a user to click through to your website. That’s the first force that’s eating your web traffic.
- Google Wants to Keep You on Google Google, which has been the doorway to the internet for almost 20 years now, continues to release features that ensure a greater share of users who open that door end up in a room that Google owns.
Google AdWords, for example, has lots of features that make a click-through unnecessary. Call extensions allow mobile users to call an advertiser right from within an ad. Message extensions do the same for text messages.
That’s just one platform. Add Google Maps, Google My Business, Google Knowledge Graph and the fascinatingly creepy Google Duplex to the mix, and websites start to seem outdated fast.
- Voice Assistants Will Make Websites Obsolete My boss has Apple’s Homepod in his office. For kicks, he and I struck up a conversation with it the other day. It went like this:
Boss: “Hey, Siri, what’s the best hospital near me?” Siri: “I found two options. The first is X hospital, which is two miles from you and is rated two and a half stars. Would you like directions?” Boss: “No, thanks.” Siri: “The next option is Y hospital. It’s 3.4 miles from you and is rated two stars. Would you like more information?” Boss: “No, thanks”
And that’s where the conversation ended. Siri had no more information to offer, so she said nothing further.
Thing is, there are five hospitals within 15 minutes of where we were sitting. If we had asked the same question in a browser, we would have the option to click into those hospitals’ websites.
Conversations like this are quickly becoming common. Some reports suggest that voice assistants could reach 55% of U.S. households by 2022.
A New Model, An Old Lesson As all these shifts make web traffic harder to win, marketers will need to replace the already old mental model of how digital marketing works. At a high level, the new model looks something like this:
What’s interesting about this model is just how large the center is, where search, social and what I’ll call “owned web” overlap. It’s not crazy to think that we’re approaching a time when all your key content formats should have a presence on all three platforms.
The implication of this model is that driving traffic to a website is no longer a valid strategy. The new strategy is to simply give provide potential clients with all of the information they need across all platforms.
This new model shouldn’t surprise us. In fact, it’s just a reminder of a lesson marketers have learned and relearned for decades: We can’t expect potential customers to follow our lead. We have to follow theirs. It’s as simple, and also as complicated, as that.
Potential new customers come from all walks of life. Even though company officials may not see them in person in brick-and-mortar stores, it is still important to note that some customers may have disabilities that affect their web browsing experience. Stay up to date on how the Americans with Disabilities Act may affect your website.