With a solid foundation in place, the correct strategy and tools utilized, a digital marketing campaign can mean brand proliferation and product success. But it’s just as important to measure the effectiveness of a campaign and provide real evidence of accomplishment as it is to implement the most appropriate campaign in the first place.
What Doesn’t Matter?
All metrics are valuable, but there are a few that speak more to pride than real marketing accomplishment, and perhaps cause us to pull focus from more significant measurements. For example, the number of YouTube views and Facebook likes achieved are frequently admired, but although they may provide some insight into the reach of a campaign, they typically provide little real understanding of improved brand loyalty, product sales, or company revenues. Metrics analyzing and influencing income generation and organization growth, however, are key.
Traffic & Engagement Metrics
Providing a view of the reach and stimulation a digital marketing campaign is able to generate, traffic and engagement metrics are the first figures to come in and should grow steadily over time. Measurements of site visits are important, as well as details of channel visits that help identify which are performing well and which might require changed tactics. A further consideration is the number of new visitors versus return visitors, with returning visitors pointing to compelling content that’s able to hold attention and keep your product or brand top of mind. Metrics around return visitors can also be related to the amount of time visitors spend on site; not only do longer stays suggest efficacious content, tracking where visitors spend their time helps optimize content to best control customer attention.
It’s also important to be aware of ‘negative metrics’ such as the number of people who click away before engaging meaningfully, or particular site points that tend to show higher exit rates. Recognizing such actions, and then attempting to understand why they’re happening, enables the necessary tweaking to close any gaps and retain visitors in the future.
The next step in the measurement of an effective campaign relates to conversion. How many visitors are turning into actual or potential customers? To begin with, any anonymous visitors who provide enough personal information to become a digital record in your marketing database amount to a conversion. Although visitors making purchases are the most sought-after conversion, those only subscribing to a mailing list offer value too. And for greater insight into campaign effectiveness, it’s necessary to measure conversions per campaign; recognizing which areas are most often seeing conversions, as opposed to those not, allows for greater perception of what is and isn’t working.
The funnel can be a highly complex measurement of conversion, but well worth the time and effort. This measures how many potential customers make it past each step of any conversion process and analyzes which behaviors and channels drive or halt the process.
And finally, the aim of marketing and the objective of business, revenue metrics analyze earnings. Though this might seem the easiest to track and understand, revenue metrics don’t only translate to dollars and cents. Visit value can measure the total spend per visit, but it’s also important to recognize the value of positive reviews or product shares which may result in further sales. Cost per acquisition is another revenue metric of significance, but instead of measuring the value of individual visits, it provides marketers with the average cost of marketing required to make a sale; the more sales achieved through spend on one campaign, the lower your cost per acquisition, the greater your marketing success. And finally, return on investment must be measured, testing that outlays in marketing technologies are resulting in profits; any marketing campaign that costs more than it earns will quickly be labeled a dud, and unless providing significant value in other non-monetary spheres, scrapped.
Just as the marketing strategy and tools employed must be carefully selected, so too should the metrics used to analyzed effectiveness be prudently chosen. Value metrics provide not only insights into areas for improvement and tools that have performed particularly well, but hard evidence of a successful digital marketing campaign often results in the desired budgets and attitudes for future digital marketing operations.
By Jennifer Klostermann