The first step to improving anything is knowing its current situation. Without first setting a benchmark, you will have no way to look back and see if your efforts resulted in a positive or a negative.
For digital and content marketers, metrics aren’t hard to come by. However, the abundance of metrics in the digital marketing environment has also caused a problem. Too many metrics making it more difficult to measure content digital marketing effectiveness. What metrics do you choose?
What to start tracking
Measuring and improving your digital marketing efforts varies depending on goals of the marketing campaigns. Each campaign will have different micro- and macro-conversions to measure that can help determine if the campaign was a success or not. The first step marketers need to take, is determining how they will measure their campaign.
Common metrics to measure are
Visitors/Users – A visitor or user indicates web site performance. A visitor/user is simply a person that have been on your website. Ideally, you will want to measure unique visitors/users because then duplicate visits aren’t counted.
Page views – A page view is an indication of how interesting your website is to a visitor/user. The more pages they visit, the more likely they are to become a customer is generally the idea.
Search Traffic – This is important as search traffic can be largely made up of unknown visitors/users and can be seen as growth in an audience.
Bounce Rate – This is another indication of how interesting your website is to a visitor/user. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors/users that start on a page but leave before visiting another page on the site. Ideally, a low bounce rate (less than 40%) is preferred.
Better metrics to measure are
While the metrics above can provide a marketing analyst with an understanding of how the users the campaign is attracting are behaving. These metrics don’t tell the story that most business owners or c-suite executives want to hear. Metrics that would impress them are:
Investment – Document all cost include salaries put towards marketing campaign. This will help calculating future metrics to measure and report on.
Conversions – Set up web conversions and record each conversion. Assign a value to each conversion once you know the estimated value. This will help with calculating ROI and revenue.
Cost per X – This is a simple statistic, however, not always easy to find as it requires a system in place that includes documented cost towards the campaign. However, sharing a cost per session, pageview, conversion, or customer is a quick indication the campaign is performing ideally, or poorly.
Customer Lifetime Value – By measuring customer lifetime value you are able to project a cost towards acquiring a customer over time. Combining this with the cost of X, you should be able to predict cost for future marketing campaigns and estimate traffic, conversions, and sales.
Lifetime Revenue – This metric can be measured even without access to the CRM or sales sheets. One way of sharing lifetime revenue is figuring out what a conversion is worth and simply multiply total conversions by worth. While this number may not be the exact revenue the company has generated. Knowing this will help connect the dots between web metrics and finances providing a deeper understand and appreciation for the work that is being done.
Lifetime ROI – ROI (return on investment) goes hand-in-hand with lifetime revenue, and rightfully so. Measuring revenue is great, but it doesn’t provide the right context in the sense that the company might have spent more than revenue generated. ROI provides the amount of money earned, after cost.
How to track marketing effectiveness
After determining your metrics to measure, ask yourself “do these metrics support my key goals?” and “can I action these metrics?”. If the answer is yes to both of these questions, then you’re on the right track.
Document all cost include operating cost, salaries, ad cost, etc. This will help understand how effective your marketing efforts are for the success and life of your company.
Next, figure out how frequently you want to review this data. Then, put a system in place to collect and store your data. We suggest adding Google Analytics to your website and selecting a digital marketing dashboard that has the right metrics in place and provides a user-friendly experience for those who aren’t savvy when it comes to marketing data. Be sure to select a dashboard that includes the metrics that your team is looking to measure.
If you aren’t ready to commit to a digital marketing dashboard, record data in a simple spreadsheet for reporting. However, the time that it will take you to do this adds up, so automating this process is recommended providing you with more time for analysis.
After collecting the data and performing a complete analysis, share your insights with your team providing actionable items to tackle in the next campaign.