Tracking the impact and ROI of your online marketing is a challenge. Many different pieces are involved in the puzzle, and because of this, you need to have a strong understanding of the goals of your campaign, as well as what specific aspects need to be tracked and analyzed: increased lead generation, sales, and/or conversions. One basic condition is to establish what platforms you are going to utilize in order to successfully meet the objectives. If you skip this step you will end up with data that doesn’t relate to anything impossible to put into any context. As the impact of social media on online marketing campaigns increases, the number of tracking tools available increases as well. The following basic tools and metrics enable you to measure your online presence while employing a multitude of platforms to integrate all sorts of statistics.
The basic metrics to look at are click through rates, total time spent, number of conversations started and the frequency of visits. Below are some useful analytics software to track website data like traffic, visitors, pages per visitor, and traffic sources.
Google Analytics – generates detailed statistics about the visitors to a website, tracks visitors from referrers, to search engines.
Omniture – a publicly held online marketing and web analytics company; the leading solution to optimize ad spend and conversion.
Woopra – a comprehensive and information rich hosted analytics service. It is similar to Google Analytics but provides real time stats and a number of additional features, such as the ability to chat real time with visitors to the site.
There are a number of various tools for analyzing your social media efforts as well. If the main objective is to track the frequency of visits to your Twitter page and the click through rates of your posts, make sure to let the following tools do the analysis for you.
HootSuite – manage all aspects of your Twitter account including scheduled tweets, record statistics and organize followers.
TweetMeme – tracks the most popular links on Twitter every five minutes; aggregates all the popular links on Twitter to determine which links are popular by analyzing links that users have “tweeted;” organizing and categorizing them.
Bit.ly – a URL shortener that provides you with analytics information like number of clicks, traffic sources, and what time clicks occur.
TwitterAnalyzer -analyzes your influence on twitter, filled with comprehensive stats that calculate daily tweets, users who are retweeting your messages, and their unique reach.
No matter what you are looking to achieve, keep in mind that every step in your campaign, from determining objectives and platforms, to measuring success and analyze the results, is a interrelated wheel where synergy needs to be created in order to experience increase conversation, brand recognition, and ultimately sales.
The final stage of your campaign is actually the most important one. The analysis. Taking a close look at the outcome of your efforts will help you to make adjustments that will help you use more cost-effective solutions, thus making you more profitable and to develop a greater community in which you reach with every new campaign that is introduced. When reviewing the results of a campaign, the analysis should be directly in line with the original goals you had in mind when putting the campaign together.
Determine a metric for success
While reviewing the results of your analysis, you’ll need to have a pre-determined set of metrics by which you can calculate the success of your campaign. Whether it is sales, impressions, new followers, clicks or conversations generated, success metrics will help to sustain consistency and reliability in your analysis.
If you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, one key metric to focus on would be uncovering who is visiting the site and where they prefer to go while they are there. There are numerous sites that can provide this information for you, Google Analyticsbeing one of the most popular. This platform gives you extensive insights into your website traffic, and if utilized properly, will lead to an increased number of converted visitors. Another great tool that will help you track your website in real time is Visistat. Their slogan reads; ‘Turn your website into an ROI machine’, which is possible as long as you keep track of and understand the connection between clearly defined metrics and results.
Looking at the data from a number of perspectives
Once you’ve taken the time to gather as much information as possible, using tools and resources that you know are accurate, it’s critical to take an objective view of your data and think about the outcome from as many perspectives as possible. If the numbers seem surprising or inaccurate, make sure to look at possible factors for this; Who has been involved in the campaign? What external factors could have affected the results? Did you use the most appropriate platforms? This brings us to the last step in analyzing the results of a campaign.
Using the results
Now that you have your fair share of graphs and metrics sketched out and a good understanding of where your campaign falls on the success scale, don’t discard the results. A large part of your analysis should involve determining what else could have been done better and how you can improve. Whether you keep this information on hand until your next big campaign, or use some of it immediately, remember that what you’re learning is valuable and will put you ahead of your competitors.
When you are trying to determine how successful your campaign will be or is, you must first determine what metrics makes the most sense for your specific needs. These metrics may be in the form of either quantitative or qualitative measurement. Quantitative metrics can be used to track and measure your results in social media based on pure numbers; followers/fans, tweets, etc. You can view results immediately by tracking the increasing number of fans or followers participating in your campaign. Tracking analytics that show click-through rateswill determine how effective your campaign has been at converting those fans to consumers.
While sales are often the main goal, it is important to remember the value of increased viewership to your site. Although they may not be immediately converted, you may have sparked the interest of a new visitor, causing them to return to your site, and thus increasing the chances of a purchase.
The qualitative results of a social media campaign are the customer engagement and brand awareness you build. What direct interaction with your consumers allows is trust building and feedback. Products and services can be shaped by this feedback and thus produce a positive return. What you do with the quantitative results of a campaign, your fans followers and site visits, is just as important as the numbers.
Qualitative metrics, also known as user-generated content, is in fact measuring the word-of-mouth marketing your brand is receiving. Often times, this is the main factor in a purchasing decision. With social media being the new word-of-mouth, using social media for marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools. This organic conversation about a product and/or brand is viewed as unbiased genuine opinion from consumers and holds great value in the marketplace.
Whether you’re looking to track numbers or create brand loyalty, quantitative and qualitative measurement has the same goal: increase sales. Each is important, but what’s more important is to know how you will define success.
Determining your objectives sounds simple. But do you really know what you want? Success only comes after you’ve taken the steps to get there. You want people to recognize, trust, and choose your brand. On top of that, you want consumers coming back for more. Online marketing campaigns can help you reach your objectives; whether those goals are brand recognition, customer engagement, lead generation, or increased traffic to your website.
The swoosh, golden arches, and apple are just a few examples of how companies have effectively built their image in our minds. Strong branding allows your brand to stand out among competitors. Through online marketing, you increase your view to consumers, prominently displaying your brand’s message and engaging them. With the need for transparency being a priority today more than ever before, online marketing is one of many avenues used to remain present in your consumer’s everyday life.
Businesses have three main objectives: make money, save money, and build brand equity. Having access to consumers at your fingertips, literally, will allow you to make an impression on your target audience in real time, actively generate and convert leads, and act in a more cost-effective manner than when utilizing traditional marketing techniques; thus maintaining the main objectives.
As Social Media has taken the stage with many brands, coordinating between your company’s Traditional Online Media and Social Media aims can be confusing. Social should be viewed as online PR coupled with brand management, engagement and active advertising and messaging. When defining your goals or strategy, engage a mediator that will help you keep on target while educating you on key concepts that you or your company may be unfamiliar with. Also, keep in mind that there are both Quantitative and Qualitative metrics within online Media and Social Engagement. They vary by industry and company – you’ll want to define them as a baseline for your projects.
Obtaining your objectives, once you have clearly defined what they are, can be a simple process. If your online marketing campaign raises brand awareness, generates leads, converts leads, or engages your consumers, then you have met your metrics for success.
Talking to people is a free marketing tool. It can often lead to meaningful connections, referrals, or at the very least, beginning a rapport with someone as you enhance the credibility of your business or brand. Nothing is more effective than building relationship, having conversations and making connections.
So get out there! Develop a monthly networking calendar, go out with the right mentality, build your network, jump into the conversation, and put a friendly, receptive face to your brand. If you are feeling really ambitious, host a meet up event and bring the people to you. By distinguishing yourself as a go-getting networker, you will put yourself in great a position to get more business.
With that said, it is important not to forget about your current customers. Developing a relationship built on trust through honest interaction and clear responsive communication, your clients will see your worth and value your advice. People are more likely to work with someone they trust and have a personal relationship with, than those they do not.
2010 is the year that online marketing trends really take off. Businesses, moms, companies, vendors, consumers are all out there cruising the web. Twitter, Facebook, Google, iPhone apps, Bogs, YouTube: are the new vernacular and everybody using it and doing it. If you are out to market your goods, turn on your computer and get to work.
With real time benefits, more interaction and connectivity, and audience engagement, online marketing has become more hands on than ever before. For the first time, business can begin to understand their audience in an up close and personal manner. Who they are, where they spend their time online and how they spend their money–and use that knowledge to create strategy accordingly. Business have already started to employ SEO, RSS syndication, bookmarking, pull marketing, and audience sourcing through Social Media platforms to get their products/services directly to their market.
It is important to remember, although marketing is taking a turn to digital, creating synergy between online and traditional campaigns is still crucial to effectively reaching your marketing aspirations. By employing traditional techniques like using a consistent brand and message identity across all channels and understanding objectives and metrics, utilizing these tools to the online sphere will boost any marketing campaign.
One of the most cost-efficient ways of entering into the New Year is developing a solid business and marketing strategy. While it may be time consuming, the time spent developing a strong plan of attack, will not only save you money all year long, but it will give you a clear vision of how you will reach your revenue goals.
Developing an approach is a lot like performing detective work; you have to become the Sherlock Holmes of strategy. Asking the right questions, uncovering clues of the market, understanding the players involved all in order to obtain the correct answers to solve your business case.
Strategy begins with research. Good ole’ fashion research it acts as your magnifying glass for analyzing the market, recognizing and learning from competitors and having a thorough understanding of your target audience and how to reach them. By defining your customer, identifying who they are, how they make their purchasing decisions, what demographic they are in, will allow you to strategize an effective plan around how you will reach them and secure their business.
After discovering the aspects of the market you can then determine a realist budget
Thinking like Holmes
for your marketing campaigns and prioritize where you should focus your assets and attention on.
Sherlock gets it when he says, “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. (A Scandal in Bohemia)” So go out there and get your data and form your theories of how you will succeed in this New Year.
It’s one of the biggest challenges companies face. They spend a large portion of time and resources to get it right and it’s ever-evolving: reaching your target market. But, there are some ways to make this process easier, less stressful and more educational along the way.
Research is the keystone of developing successful ways to reach your market. With accurate research in place, choosing the most effective way to reach your audience becomes an easier, less painful process. Often times when confronted with a vast amount of information, it’s easy to lose track and focus. Here’s a list of questions that will get the ball rolling in the right direction and help you reach your target demographic:
Who is your target audience?
Where are they located?
Are you using the most efficient platform to reach them?
How do you want them to feel about your brand?
Who is your competition?
Are they doing anything you’re not?
In answering these questions, you will have a solid foundation off which to build your next marketing move. Having a strategy and positioning in place will help your company garner their desired results from marketing.
Online marketing will help you find networking events that will generate in both business and buzz! Using online marketing to uncover offline networking has proven to be a success for any business, no matter what size. Investing in online marketing will increase your network, but make sure to stay updated about face-to-face networking opportunities. A great way to do this is by attending networking events related to your industry and primary objectives.
Here are some great sites that offer a wide range of industry related seminars, news and most of all networking events.
Mediabistro: Offers seminars, webinars and networking events for media professionals all over the country. Also a great resource for new trends, jobs and news related to media.
Manhattan Chamber of Commerce: Provides extensive website and source for research with a separate events section that collects and presents a number of events cross a wide variety of industries.
Meetup: The world’s largest network of local Meetup groups. Allows anyone to start a group where the objective is to meet face-to-face and cultivate common interests.
Starting your own Meetup group is a great and cost-effective way to promote your business, engage in more personal conversations and cultivate relationships that could possibly lead to new business ventures. Use your online marketing channels to promote your group’s meetings and events. Increase engagement and conversation about your business by utilizing both offline and online networking!
Apart from connecting with potential opportunities at networking events, your online network can also provide you with feedback so you can adapt to the market and your consumer’s behavior. Let the online network function as a market resource that informs you what works and not before the information does any harm to your business!
The monetary benefits of online marketing have recieved a lot of attention lately. Sure, online marketing can increase your ROI and expand your market share–but there are other benefits to taking your marketing to the online world. Marketing online vastly increases the scope and diversity of your audience, but decreases their attention span. So here are a few quick tips to make generating buzz about your compay online a breeze.
1. Bee Consistent
Make sure that everything from your branding to your content is on point. Since audience members have many different opportunities to interact with your brand, you want to make sure that your brand message is clear, concise and consistent. You don’t want to confuse your audience by sending mixed signals!
2. Bee Everywhere
With so many new online outlets and networks, it can be hard to keep up! But it’s crucially important to use as many marketing channels as possible to your advantage. Determine what platforms are right for you, and be sure to keep updated and relevant information on all of them.
3. Bee Engaging and Interactive
Online marketing provides you with the opportunity to engage with your customers on their turf. Don’t be afraid of this unfamiliar territory. Dive right in–explore, interact and, most of all, have fun getting to know your consumers! They’ll appreciate your time and attention.
4. Bee Unique
With so many other brands out there, you want to make yours stand out! Your audience now has the power to determine their brand experience, so creating a fresh, unique and relatable perspective is key. Following these tips will help your brand bee a winner on the online market!