Data Driven Business Decisions- Understanding the Metrics that Matter.
Understanding The Digital Marketing Landscape. The Optics and How to Maximise ROI.
Digital Marketing is a powerful inbound marketing tool to have in your arsenal. Unlike traditional marketing, which is static and is usually limited to a local audience, digital marketing techniques such as search engine optimisation (SEO), search engine marketing (Google Adwords), social media marketing (Facebook, Instagram or Influencer Marketing), Remarketing and LinkedIN marketing can reach a much wider (in some cases unlimited) audience.
One particularly useful advantage to digital marketing techniques over traditional ones (e.g. billboards, flyers and TV adverts) is that it is infinitely easier to measure and trace your successes to identify what works for your business.
Numbers and volume aside, an adept digital marketing agency can literally sift through millions of active users to target leads (identifiers based on buyer persona, demographics, buying and spending habits, position titles, gender and as scary as it sounds – eating and driving habits!).
Making better business decisions – Turning Data in to Powerful Insights
Platforms such as Google Analytics are a powerful tool through which you can track the demographic of customer who responds best to your posts and ads, and help to narrow down your target audience. This can in turn lead to better engagement rates and an overall better ROI (Return On Investment) for your business.
Google’s analytics products helped us improve engagement by 33% and click-throughs by 21% for content promotions on our homepage. – Mia Vallo – Sr. Director, Marketing Analytics, National Geographic
What is Return on Investment (ROI)?
ROI or return on investment is a measure of the gain or loss generated on an investment relative to the amount of money invested, using expressed as a percentage. ROI can be calculated using this formula:
ROI = (Net Profit / Cost of Investment) x 100
The ROI calculation is flexible and can be used to measure gains and losses across many forms of investment. In the particular field of digital marketing, the first point of call for many digital marketers when trying to evaluate the success of a campaign is to track simple metrics such as conversions to get an idea of direct profit. While these can provide an initial insight in to immediate sales, conversions provide a limited view as to the overall success of your campaign as they do not take into account for example, customers who are engaged by your posts, but come back a few weeks later to make a purchase rather than doing it immediately. This is a different type of success which is still very valuable.
It can be tricky to find the right metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for which to measure the success of your own digital marketing campaign.
“Nine out of ten (90%) global marketers are not trained to calculate return on investment (ROI)” – Fournaise Marketing Group,
With a bit of research and prior thought however it is possible to come up with a specialised selection that will aid you in measuring your own ROI as accurately as is possible.
How to measure ROI for your Digital Marketing Campaign
Sweet Fish Media describes the aim of content marketing as “about leading a prospect toward making a purchase.”
This purchase (if it comes) is not always direct, often by just raising your brand awareness you lead people to make purchases indirectly.
The aim is to work out a way to measure not only your direct ROI but your wider ROI too.
This may seem like an intangible goal to measure but by being specific, setting goals for your campaign and developing your own set of unique KPIs to measure against, your ROI can be calculated more easily than you may think. Some examples of useful KPIs for measuring ROI are shown below.
Examples include website traffic, video views, page views and downloads. By themselves, these metrics do not provide much but with a few added questions to give context they can very useful in measuring a campaigns success. How many repeat hits did your page or link get? This shows people are engaged and going back for more. How do your consumption metrics match up to competition? Are you doing better or worse than similar competitors? These metrics can turn out to be incredibly useful and can be easily measured and compared through platforms such as Google Analytics.
These metrics show where customers are being successfully engaged. Examples include social media shares, email forwards and clicks on inbound links. Sharing metrics let you know if your content is relevant and help you to narrow down what specifically engages your target audience so you can build on it in the future.
Lead Generation Metrics
The two big questions in measuring a digital marketing campaigns success are often ‘how many people consume the content?’ and ‘how many of these become legitimate leads?’. Lead generation metrics examples include new subscribers, free trial conversions and completed forms. Again these metrics may not mean a lot by themselves but when context is provided, it defines their value. Google analytics is a very useful tool in providing this context and doing the comparisons for you.
Obviously its important to know what sales your campaigns have generated. As well as tracking online sales conversions, don’t forget to track offline sales too if retail is a part of your business. Take a wide look at these sales and compare them against other metrics such as social media shares to see if they correlate. If you had a spike in sales conversions when a certain post gathered a lot of shares, then they are likely to be related.
All of these metrics provide useful insights into the success of a campaign and provide you with information needed to calculate your ROI. But by adding context to the metrics with platforms such as Google Analytics, they suddenly become far more specific and much more useful pieces of information.
Analytics for Insights (Google Analytics and Google Analytics 360)
Google Analytics has fast become the industry standard for measuring indicators of success for digital marketing campaigns. It is an incredibly useful platform as has measures including all the basic consumption metrics as well as integrating advanced functions with 3rd Party platforms for ‘heatmaps’, mapping where exactly people click on a page and allowing you to create a custom analytics dashboard. Google Analytics is free to use and Google Analytics 360 is a paid for platform that offers a more in depth analytics service. Depending on what your needs are one may suit more than another.
Analytics platforms are becoming an ever more needed tool for small businesses and enterprises. It allows a business to keep up with it’s direct competitors through learning specifically what marketing works for you and identifying your personal target audience. Having a specific target audience allows a business to keep the costs of spending through large, far-reaching campaigns down by focusing marketing efforts on a particular audience that is far more likely to engage and convert to sale.
Useful Features Offered by Google Analytics
Custom Analytics Dashboards are very important for measuring your ROI. By customising your personal dashboard, you will be able to focus on getting reports on the metrics that matter to your business and not have to shift thorough all the other less useful metrics.
Real time reporting is also something offered by Google Analytics. This lets you see real engagement with your post or website as it happens. It is a great tool for testing out temporary marketing initiatives such as promotional campaigns on social media, seeing how people initially react to new content and gauge the reaction of your audience to a change in your websites design.
Re-marketing is another tool that can dramatically increase your sales and ROI. Re-marketing is the process of identifying which customers have been engaged by your content previously and are likely to convert to a sale, and then re-engaging them through targeted advertising. Google Analytics makes this easy by providing a custom re-marketing audience comprised of mobile advertising IDs or cookies that are linked to a group of users you have identified through their behavior on your sites as people that you want to re-engage.
Maximising your ROI
To maximize your own ROI, it is it therefore important to follow these three key steps
- Identify what metrics are useful for measuring the success of your own campaign.
- Give these metrics context by comparing them over time or against competitors.
- Use an analytics platform such as Google Analytics to get the best insights out of your data.
Analytic Insights and data driven marketing is a distinct advantage for a digital marketing manager or business owner.
Figuring out the right metrics to track however can be a real challenge for both. Talk to us today about your performance tracking and data analytics requirements.
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