Those familiar with traditional marketing tactics should be on board with incorporating a digital marketing strategy. Unlike billboards and television, digital initiatives offer the ability to track every cent. Site-side analytics make accurate measurement possible. But going above and beyond the normal measurement plan can give your business the competitive edge. Here’s how to make it happen:
What most marketers do: Using paid search analytics tools, advertisers have the ability to attribute every cent spent by a paid search campaign to a visitor transfer and, if they’re wise, a number of conversions.
How you can do it: In addition to paid search analytics metrics, there are various tools that can help you attribute value to your digital channels. For starters, advertisers can use a dynamic phone number in your paid search ads. This enables call tracking, including how long the call lasted and where it came from. This is an easy way to attribute phone calls directly to paid search ads. Secondly, a more in-depth analytics solution on your website can give you insight into year over year and month over month business trends. For example, when you were running a promotion, maybe your paid search ad click-through rate was higher than the average month, but the conversion rate was about the same. Exploring site-side analytics metrics like page exits (where people dropped off in the funnel) and pathing reports create opportunities to change elements of your site that might contribute to a higher conversion rate during the next promotion.
Lastly, go beyond number of conversions. Use your analytics solution to explore various ways people convert: perhaps they click an ad for one product, but then go to another. Maybe there is correlation between the ad they click and the other brands they purchase. Is the average purchase order higher when paid search ads are built out using long-tail keywords? These are just a few questions you can ask the data that will give you a better return on investment number. Bonus: by exploring the answers to these questions, you will inevitably end up with new tactics and messaging to test, which helps optimize any campaign.
The measurement of social media and marketing is a hot-button issue in the digital marketing industry. And many people, both novices and experts alike, believe that the goal of social marketing is to just be a part of the conversation. For this reason, many advertisers and social marketers lose out on the opportunity to assign a hard return on investment to their social channels.
What most marketers do: measure likes, engagement (retweets, mentions, comments), ad click-through rate, cost per action
What you can do: Go beyond the aforementioned “convenience” metrics. If your business’s goal is to sell more product, don’t hold social marketing to a different standard than any other digital channel. Insist that it contributes to sales. The key to social marketing measurement is connecting the dots (or disparate data). It’s not just about the likes. It’s about overlaying your social data with your site analytics data. What social platforms send the most traffic? What product or service pages are visitors from social platforms most interested in? Applying unique tracking code to all organic and paid social campaigns can help you track what visitors do on your site and help you tailor your social messaging to what they interact with most. It doesn’t start and end with Facebook and Twitter. Create innovative ways to measure YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest as well. And don’t just leave it at “referral traffic.”
What most marketers do: single attribution model (the first or last point-of-contact a consumer has with a display ad)
What you can do: Yes, it’s more complex, but to generate an actual return on investment, it’s important that you apply all of the aforementioned tactics and get creative with testing in order to fully attribute ROI to your display campaigns. The key is to ask smarter questions. Don’t just say, “this person saw a display ad and then clicked through to the website”; instead, track interactions of people who have seen the ad multiple times, or interacted multiple times and what parts of your website they visited. Assess the value of each publisher individually. Getting more granular with tracking code and ROI analysis also provides you with massive amounts of data and even the ability to predict future campaign performance across publishers. Imagine being able to equip your next client with that knowledge!
Many of these tactics, though unique to one channel, give us insight into digital marketing as a whole. It’s important that you do not settle for convenience metrics, but dive deeper into data in order to assess how to assign ROI to all your properties. The information is there; it’s waiting to be sought out.
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