Introduction to measuring data
– The data you collect on your website, your campaigns, and your social media efforts will determine the overall health of your digital marketing. The data is your map. Without it, you’re flying blind. You’ll be using your data to improve your experience, listen for untapped opportunities, and pull the plug, if you have to, on any failing ideas. The amazing thing with digital marketing is we can track just about every action a user takes. There are a number of tools available that help marketers understand both the qualitative and the quantitative. We can track what’s happening now and even model what is likely to happen in the future.
Let’s dig a little deeper into measuring data by looking at how we can capture data within our three medias: paid, owned, and earned. So, the easiest place to start is with your own website. Here, you can track how many visitors you have, where they’re coming from, what pages they’re looking at, how long they’ve stayed on your site, and even what page they left on. By reviewing your analytics, you’ll get a sense of how your users found your site, if they’re finding what they want on your site, and if your advertising objectives are driving a meaningful amount of traffic.
With a resource like Google Analytics, you install a tracking code on every page of your website. And, from there, you’ll have a goldmine of data to leverage, segment, and correlate. For example, if you made a change to your website design and noticed that, on that day, web traffic dropped dramatically, you’ll have a sense of where to start looking for the problem. If you roll out a new landing page, you might see an increase in conversionsresulting from that specific page. Or, you may see a sudden spike in traffic and, by drilling into it, you can identify the source.
Say a social media post, a mention, or even an online blog that linked back to you. Now, your paid analytics are typically tied to a reporting platform provided by the tool that you’re using to run those ads and this data is extremely useful, as it can give you granular details on which ads are working, what targeting makes the most sense, and more.However, you’ll wanna track as much data as you can in another tracking tool independent of that provider. This way, you can check the accuracy and evaluate things from different perspectives.
Also, you wanna track conversions in both platforms and this works by installing a small pixel on your conversion page, which informs the platform that a sale has happened. So, if you have an advertisement on Facebook, for example, driving traffic to your landing page,you’ll wanna track data in both Google Analytics and the Facebook advertising platform simultaneously. This way, you can compare the data, identify any discrepancies, and test if your conversion pixel is actually working. Now, the final part of our measurement will come from earned media and this one is typically the most difficult.
Here, your outcomes aren’t necessarily determined by spend, but how interesting people think your product and services are. Here, you’re tracking things like your social media fan base, likes on your Instagram posts, mentions and interactions on tweets, and video views on YouTube. You may have many dashboards that you collect this data in and you’ll wanna look at it alongside all of your other advertising metrics. The best way to measure results with earned media is to have your own goals and objectives that you can measure against.
So, if, for example, you decide that 10,000 Instagram followers would increase your revenue potential by $1,000, then you can track how you’re trending towards that goal and measure it against the effort that you’re investing. There’s an endless amount of data providers out there. Investigate them against your needs and keep a system in place that provides you with the necessary checks and balances.