Marketing has always been more of an art than a science. And just like art, it can be fairly subjective. It’s hard to be certain that one marketing approach or another is necessarily ‘better’ than another. With digital marketing, the many tracking and analytics tools available on the internet can help you be a lot more scientific when measuring your efforts. You can measure the correlation between an uptick in page views or leads following a digital marketing campaign, which is a good sign that your strategy is working.
In this article, we look at five actions you can take to check whether your digital marketing strategies are actually working. There’s no ‘magic bullet’ here. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint, and so the choices you make now might not turn into results for many months. But think of yourself as an artist, always trying to improve your craft.
1. Start with a Baseline
Marketing may be a hard thing to measure, but you should always begin your campaigns with a baseline. Only by knowing where you were when you began, can you really see what impact your campaign has had. Create your baseline by taking stock of the following.
Web analytics: There are various free (including our own Maya) or paid tools which help you measure how your website is doing. Use them to compile a report that includes:
- The number of leads you’ve achieved in the previous quarter
- Page views
- Bounce rate
Email analytics: Various email providers can help you track how well your email campaigns are performing on:
- Open rate
- Click-through rate
- Unsubscribe rate
Social media analytics: Social media analytics tools are helpful for telling you about:
- Levels of engagement
The measurements you choose will ultimately depend on your product and goals. That said, creating a list of three to five metrics will help you evaluate the impact of your marketing campaign.
2. Set Goals
It’s very important to set goals for what you want to achieve from your marketing strategy. Ultimately, you want to grow leads—but what’s your target? How many more leads is a good lead? Also, what kind of lead do you want? Ten small customers may be less valuable than one giant. The point is to define what you want to achieve and then measure your success against those goals.
3. Talk to People
It’s all too easy to unintentionally work in a marketing silo, only thinking about your campaign and your analytics. However, spending a little time talking to people in other areas of the business—as well as your customers—will give you a much better idea of the effect of your marketing campaigns. Keep these things in mind:
- Work closely with the sales team. What can they tell you about which marketing materials are useful?
- Work with other customer-facing professionals such as your account managers or frontline staff. What are their opinions on your marketing campaigns? Do they see it as relevant for your customers?
- Speak to trusted customers. If you have a close relationship, ask them for their thoughts on your existing content and campaigns. Do they read what you’re producing? What are their opinions? Their feedback is incredibly valuable.
4. Track the Quality of Your Marketing in General
So, you’ve designed a great, long-term digital marketing campaign with emails, social media and a series of blogs, eBooks, and webinars. But if you’re just pumping out hundreds of tweets that no one shares or blogs that no one engages with, you might as well do nothing at all. If content is king, quality is the crown. Track the quality of your content by asking questions like these:
- Are your blogs holding up well against industry standards?
- Are you growing the number of followers on your LinkedIn profile?
- Is your website working fast enough to keep users from clicking away?
5. Test and Test Again
Improvement in digital marketing is all about constant refinement. Because our goal is to improve the correlation between marketing efforts and leads (rather than finding the exact cause and effect) there’s nothing wrong with making frequent, small changes to your strategy. As long as you’re measuring what you do and tracking the results, this will only help you get better at working out what has an impact.
Try some of the following:
- Experiment with different length blogs
- A/B test email subject lines
- Try out some partner marketing
An Art, Not a Science
Success in digital marketing takes a lot of hard work and grit. It’s not something that will happen overnight. So, don’t get discouraged if you don’t immediately see a huge increase in leads from your marketing campaigns, but do measure the impact of what you are doing so you can track those long-term correlations.
How do you measure the success of your digital marketing campaigns? Share your thoughts and tips with partners in the comments below.