Marketing is a data-driven industry, especially today with the increase in the use of social media platforms and the continued advancement of analytics available for marketing campaigns. But how does a brand leverage this data to its advantage? What data is necessary to compile and analyze? The answer will be different for each brand, but the general best practices for marketing analytics should still be followed.
Which Analytics Matter Most
Data matters, but not if it’s gathered and analyzed inappropriately. In fact, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when logging in to an analytics dashboard and seeing the swarm of numbers on the screen. Where does a marketing coordinator even begin to break all of this information down?
Luckily, most platforms have tried to make their analytics as user-friendly as possible, though the process will take some familiarization regardless.
First, determine what analytics are best used for your brand’s purposes and think of the goals the business has set forth. Perhaps it’s a newer brand that is just trying to position itself in front of as many eyes as possible. Or perhaps it’s a larger, well-established brand with a hot new campaign intended to drive revenue and sales. Or maybe the business is targeting a social media platform more than anything else, attempting to reach a younger demographic to diversify its audience.
With the end goals in mind, it becomes clearer what data should be gathered. For a campaign looking for visibility and brand awareness, calculating users reached and post/page engagement is a good place to start. This will tell analysts if people are viewing content pushed out by the brand, and how well or poorly that content is received.
For a brand seeking to drive up sales, tracking conversions will be vital. Using ad campaign trackers such as Google Ads or Facebook Ad Manager, a user can find out exactly how each ad and each link is performing as far as conversions are concerned. This does require a link to the website or e-commerce site for the business, but this is easily set up.
And finally, for businesses seeking to diversify their demographics reached, collecting data on the type of people visiting a website or clicking ads will give insights on the audience and what demographics are being drawn to the business page.
Strategize for the Future
Analytics and insights from ads, page traffic, and marketing campaigns should be tracked regularly. However, be cautious of making too many changes in too little time. When a campaign or ad is tweaked, give it some time to make an impact before making any judgements on data.
For this reason, it’s often helpful to set parameters for a campaign and then leave it alone for a couple of weeks to get a full cross-section of results. Making too many changes too fast can skew results and not show the full picture.
Using results gleaned from analytics and data, a marketer can then make forecasts for the future success of campaigns, and they can also learn from efforts that did not yield a sufficient return on investment.
By smartly assessing data, marketing campaigns can be even more effective and successful. Having the ability to read and analyze data is an important skill that any marketing professional should work to improve at all times.
It is a simple question that becomes harder to answer the more you investigate it: why did this customer buy from you?
Did they see an Instagram post or story that particularly resonated with them, or search for a product on Google? Or perhaps they opened a promotional email and made their decision then.
The bigger your business becomes, the more complicated this question is to answer. Between your website, social media channels, influencer program, in-person interactions, and a host of other touchpoints, understanding the behavior of your shoppers can seem impossible.
Even so, it is a good idea for your brand to garner as clear an understanding as possible of all the different interactions and touchpoints that consumers have with your brand, from the first impression to becoming an official customer. This helps you know which channels and specific campaigns contributed to their conversion, and guides the decision to invest further money and attention.
In practice, however, marketing attribution is a tricky game. In the world before iPhones, tablets, and laptops, most people only had one device with which to access the internet. Marketing attribution was much simpler as a result. Today, there are a number of factors to consider:
Privacy and tracking
Europe’s recent GDPR regulations and global privacy concerns mean consumers increasingly have to opt in to be tracked online. This is rapidly changing the landscape of digital marketing.
Attribution is mostly click-based
Since most attribution and reporting are based on tracking click-based behavior , it doesn’t account for the impact of merely viewing ads or content without clicking on them.
Modern internet use is multi-device use
Many consumers today typically use a combination of smartphones, tablets, computers and smart home devices to shop online. Each of these may be recorded as a unique visitor to your site when they actually belong to the same customer. Fortunately, there are a number of specific marketing attribution models brands can take to fill in these gaps in marketing attribution. These include:
This model gives all conversion credit to the last clicked ad and corresponding keyword, and is the most commonly used model on most marketing platforms.
This model views the first touchpoint as the most important step in the customer journey. It is useful when prioritizing your market spend on building traffic and finding new audiences.
This model spreads conversion credit equally across all clicks during the customer journey, and is the simplest form of multi-touch marketing attribution.
Similar to the last click, this model gives some credit to interactions that lead to the final click, with more credit given to clicks that happened closer in time to the customer conversion.
This model gives equal weight to the first and last click while attributing a smaller share of the credit to interceding interactions.
Multi-Channel Marketing Strategy
This model is often referred to as customer attribution. With the right data, machine learning can dictate which touchpoints deserve the most credit.
There is no right way for a brand to tackle marketing attribution, but it is a vital step in your assessment and planning nonetheless. The more you understand the consumers, the smarter your campaigns will be.
Marketing is only as effective as the effort put into it. Dave owns a small digital marketing agency, and while he generally has a robust customer portfolio, he is always looking for ways to expand and grow his revenue. But the mistake Dave has made with his marketing strategy is that he has focused all of his budgets on Google Ads. In his mind, Google Ads have a high potential reach, are easy to manage, and he’s seen good results from utilizing this service.
But what Dave doesn’t realize is that effective marketing often requires a bit of a multi-pronged approach. What does this mean, exactly? Instead of dedicating all of his marketing resources to Google Ads, even with success, Dave may see even more success by adding some new platforms into the mix. For example, with nearly 1.5 billion daily users accessing Facebook, Dave could reach more new customers who spend most of their time on social media.
Social media advertising revenue has skyrocketed in recent years. Why? Because the ads can be integrated into a consumer’s feed much more organically than a standalone sidebar ad on a website. These ads, similar to Google AdSense, can also be targeted. If anything, Facebook offers the most robust targeting options, allowing brands to identify demographics of consumers they may not otherwise be reaching.
In Dave’s case, he could target customers in a part of town that he has yet to infiltrate or go after those with small businesses who may be in need of digital marketing services. The high amount of targeting that platforms such as Facebook offer opens up a new world of possibilities. In addition to social media, smart speakers have also seen an uptick in recent months. Along with this increase in consumer support comes an influx of brands looking to grab a piece of the advertorial pie.
Smart speakers are seamlessly integrated into consumers’ lives, making it easy for them to access things such as news, recurring product orders, or music with a simple voice command. Because of this ease of use, brands see the opportunity to reach new customers who are, essentially, captive audiences. By running ads on digital platforms such as smart speakers, podcasts, or even video series, businesses such as Dave’s can further expand their reach beyond just the internet itself. An all-encompassing marketing campaign can be costly, however. For this reason, it’s important to analyze the results as they come in to ensure that there is a sufficient return on investment from each expenditure.
Not every platform will be a good fit for Dave’s business. For instance, advertising his services on Pinterest likely won’t get a lot of leads. However, advertising on LinkedIn may net some professionals looking for services such as those he offers.A multi-channel marketing approach can diversify the customer base and increase the overall reach of any business.
Even with a small budget, multiple platforms can be brought into the fold with strategic budgeting and management of assets.
Digital Strategy for Conversion Rate Optimization
The vast world of digital marketing can be overwhelming. In today’s age of information and immediately-accessible data, it can be difficult to identify the best metrics to track and the best place to direct attention and resources to.
One metric that is highly beneficial to keep track of and strive to improve is the conversion rate of any marketing campaigns, ads, social media posts, and emails that a business produces and publishes.
Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is a metric that not every marketer focuses on. However, conversions can be costly if they are too few and far between. For this reason, each marketing asset should be evaluated for its conversion rate and there should be a strategy in place for improving this metric. Paying closer attention to conversion rate optimization can help increase a brand’s return on investment as well as eliminate wasteful assets that are underperforming.
But how can conversion rate optimization be achieved? Getting started with this process is simple. All that needs to be done initially is an audit of all marketing assets that are a part of a brand’s sales funnel.
This includes (but isn’t limited to) social media posts, ads on Google and other search engines, landing pages, and email marketing campaigns. Take a look at each of them, and then take a look at the results and analytics from each.
This process can be time-consuming, but it’s a worthwhile investment because this information will tell a full story of how a brand’s marketing strategy is working when it comes to actual conversions.
Next, take a look at the assets that are underperforming. Perhaps the landing page to which all external marketing links are redirected lacks personality or has too much copy. Remember: consumers don’t like to get bogged down in bad content.
Even adding a stronger call to action — perhaps a “Buy Now” button or a persuasive line of copy — can help improve conversions, just a little bit of a push to get the consumer to complete the purchase.
Much of conversion rate optimization is simply fine-tuning. Take the time to go over the copy on the website. Is the copy always “funneling” the consumer to take action, or is it just taking up space? Are there sufficient calls to action on the ads that are circulating, or do they simply give information about the brand?
Believe it or not, a strong call to action is often all that’s needed to really make a marketing campaign take off. Consumers sometimes need just a bit of a subliminal push to take the plunge, so a call to action often accomplishes that goal.
Website traffic and social media reach are important, but at the end of the day, conversions are what will bring in revenue and boost the profile of a brand. Conversion rate optimization is often under-utilized, but it’s relatively simple and does not take up much time to keep track of.
Some simple tweaks and changes can make a difference in conversions. Make sure to track the changes in conversions as these small changes are made to copy, ads, and SEO. This will paint a big picture of exactly how the conversions are performing and what can be done to continually improve them.
Digital Marketing Strategy Example
There’s no doubt about it: in the modern marketplace, a major part of every firm’s marketing strategy is going to be its approach to digital. Consumers and businesses spend more and more of their time on the internet, and understanding their behaviour online is now the key to a marketing campaign success or flop.
But when it comes to planning a digital marketing campaign, the ever-evolving online landscape can be quickly overwhelming. Creating, fine-tuning and maintaining an agile digital marketing strategy can sometimes seem an impossible task. As such, here are three digital marketing strategies to learn from.
Now a household brand name, GoPro rose to fame thanks to a rapid fire release of breathtaking point-of-view style action footage, all marked by the company’s timeless fisheye lens. What many do not know, however, is that most of the video content shared on the GoPro YouTube channel wasn’t actually shot by the firm.
That’s right: GoPro’s loyal following of daredevil consumers are responsible for curating one of the most extensive collections of user-generated content (UGC) on the internet.
This isn’t merely a cost-cutting strategy on the part of GoPro. By populating its YouTube channel with a wealth of UGC, GoPro has championed the use of video to market the GoPro product line. The success of this strategy is testament to the power of UGC.
Delta Air Lines
An airline isn’t the most obvious choice for being a leader in creative digital marketing, but don’t underestimate the power of the stories Delta Air Lines has curated on social media.
Delta Air Lines has a firm handle on its social media use. This is especially true for the firm’s Twitter account, which it uses to engage a range of potential passengers in a variety of timely and evocative ways.
In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for example, Delta Air Lines shared emotional personal stories from Delta employees, directly onto the company Twitter. The stories of customer care supervisors, flight attendants and pilots alike all battling the same disease was a powerful message, and humanising for the Delta Air Lines brand.
When one hears the word “Geico,” they’re likely to immediately remember a chance to save 15% or more on car insurance. The reason for this is simple: Geico has launched a series of pre roll ads on YouTube, a form of paid content wherein companies pay the platform to roll 15-20 second ads for target audiences.
While this isn’t new, Geico’s approach to the ads is a novel one. While some businesses try to squeeze as many details and as much messaging into the tight slot as possible, Geico used the slots to make fun of itself for interrupting users in the first place. In this way, Geico managed to keep their ads entertaining, and better retain the attention of online audiences.
Every business should aim to adopt a digital marketing strategy that is the best fit for its own unique strengths. There are countless paths to consider, and innumerable new ones that have yet to be forged. Therein lies the beauty of digital marketing!
Sarah is a marketing consultant who has built an independent business by helping grow the digital marketing efforts of brands within the beauty niche. By creating a dynamic portfolio of strong work with case studies showcasing her results, Sarah has been able to get quite a few clients, both large and small.
One aspect of work that Sarah particularly enjoys is streamlining, allowing her to take on more work without running herself into the ground. For this reason, she begins creating a template for a marketing strategy that she feels can be applied to each of her clients.
This template will take the guesswork out of each month’s strategy calls with her clients and allow her to free up even more time as she automates as much of her workflow as possible. She can’t wait to see how much this new plan improves her work/life balance!
But after a few months, Sarah notices that the results aren’t pouring in as they were before. Her clients are still happy with the results, but they make a few comments that things could be a bit more creative and edgy when it comes to their digital marketing and social media presence.
What went wrong here? What happened is that Sarah tried too hard to fit all of her clients into one box, into one plan that was supposed to work for each one. Perhaps she felt that since her clients were all within the same industry — beauty — finding a similar plan for each one wouldn’t hurt.
And while she still did have some favorable results with her plan, the truth is that there truly is no cookie cutter template for marketing strategy. What works for one brand may not work for another, and so on.
Of course, it’s easy to want to streamline and make the work process as efficient as possible. This is certainly attainable without shoehorning each client into the same box. While automation has become a larger and larger part of the marketing professional’s workflow, not everything should be done the same.
Instead of trying to make each client fit the mold, Sarah could still save time but make sure to create unique digital content and promotions for each brand. Even elements such as the posting schedule that the client was on should be tweaked according to when each page’s followers are active and engaging with the content. This will not be the same for each brand Sarah works with.
Consumers are intelligent, and they notice when something is amiss. If three brands are posting similar content on social media or running nearly identical ads, this becomes a problem. While Sarah was still creating unique content, she failed to think outside the box that she was attempting to shove all of her clients into.
Instead, Sarah could have automated her reporting process or scheduled her content in advance on each brand’s own unique schedule. Rather than copy/pasting content, she could still have unique and engaging material for each brand to benefit from — and her clients would have been ten times happier with the results, rather than just mildly satisfied.
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