Strategies for quantifying the performance of your digital marketing campaign.
By Paul Salley, manager of marketing and business development
The age of digital marketing has made it easy for business owners to reach a new audience—a digital one. Gone are the days of relying solely on flashy billboards or rectangle ads in the local newspaper. Technology has allowed business owners to reach their intended audience using popular display networks and social channels. We now have the ability to predict behavior and an algorithm to attract new customers. While this is great news for any business owner, there are some questions left unanswered.
As digital marketing professionals, we are often asked the best way to quantify the performance of digital marketing campaigns as well as how to track return on your investment (ROI). While there is no silver bullet when it comes to tracking the success of any digital campaign, there are things you can do to monitor performance.
Above all, set your objectives early. Is your goal to increase brand awareness? If so, you’re probably less focused on metrics such as click-through rate (CTR) and more focused on reaching as many people as possible (impressions). On the other hand, if your goal is to convert as many clicks into leads as possible, then you have some strategizing to do. While I won’t dive deep into conversion tracking, you should make sure your site, or at the very least the landing pages you’re using for your campaigns is optimized for conversion tracking. I recommend implementing as many lead-capture opportunities as possible without creating a poor user experience (think simple calls to action with enticing lead capture forms). Make sure you have a Google Analytics tag installed on your site and, if necessary, a conversion pixel implemented and tracking on your chosen marketing platform.
Aside from conversions, other important performance indicators will help you understand the effectiveness of your campaigns. Here are a few to consider:
1. Traffic to Your Site. Regardless of your chosen objective, only positive things can come from driving more people to your site. Of course, the age old rule quality over quantity still applies here, but your site traffic can play a big role in truly understanding your marketing efforts. If your traffic increases 20 percent, that’s great! Now, harness that traffic and establish a strategy for capturing leads once your visitors land on your site. Pay close attention to which pages are driving your traffic to increase. If they are campaign related, chances are your digital marketing efforts are paying off.
2. Average Time on Site and Bounce Rate. If you’re driving more traffic to your site, your goal is to keep them there as long as possible. Pay close attention to the number of clicks your campaigns receive; the page users land on and how long they stay there. If the bounce rate is high, chances are visitors are landing on a page that does not accurately reflect information for which they were expecting or looking.
3. Monitor the Traffic Sources to Your Site. Mobile users are increasing and slowly taking over as the No. 1 device used when browsing the web. However, this may not be true for certain sites or even specific pages on your site. If your driving traffic to a page that is not optimized for mobile and your campaign traffic is primarily mobile; you have a problem.
The old metrics are still important, as well. Make sure you understand the numbers generated from your campaigns. Metrics such as CTR and Impressions are still important and must be evaluated. Understand the averages for your particular market or industry, as well as campaign type. Display campaigns will usually have a lower CTR than search, so do your research before jumping to conclusions when evaluating campaign reports.
This article originally appeared in the November 2016 issue of the REAL Trends Newsletter and is reprinted with permission of REAL Trends Inc. Copyright 2016