If you don’t feel like you’re as on top of digital marketing measurement as you could be, you’re not alone – proving the ROI of marketing activities remains a key challenge for 39% of companies worldwide.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however. Digital marketing offers an incredible wealth of data points that, when tracked and reviewed correctly, can offer you and your company a significant amount of value.
Whether you want to understand more about your customers, prove to your boss which channels are working and which aren’t, or simply increase conversions to boost your bottom line, digital marketing analytics can help you do all that and more.
And with well over half of the world’s population now online, you could be seriously missing out if you’re not measuring your digital marketing efforts. From SEO to PPC to content, social media, email and CRO, each and every digital discipline can be tracked, reported on, and optimized.
With over half of the world’s population now online, you could be seriously missing out.
Yet with all that information out there, it can be difficult to know where to start – but don’t panic.
Below we’ll break down:
1. How to measure digital marketing, including common KPIs,
2. The benefits of measuring digital marketing,
3. What to look for when choosing digital marketing measurement tools.
1. How to measure your digital marketing
As we’ve already touched on above, each digital channel, campaign and platform offers a huge amount of data that’s waiting to be measured. With so much available, it’s easy to get lost in the detail – or be too overwhelmed to look in the first place.
And that’s why you need to prioritize. Consider your business strategy and objectives, and think about which digital marketing metrics can help your company hit those targets. By tracking what’s valuable to you rather than recording every last thing available, you’ll be able to save time and effort and cut through to the kind of insights you need to drive your business forward.
There are numerous ways to think about measuring digital marketing effectiveness, but the traditional marketing funnel remains one of the clearest.
While the customer journey of today rarely falls into the neat path it once used to, as customers flit from one platform to another; brand awareness, engagement and conversion metrics can still give you a holistic view of how all of your digital efforts are performing.
Measure brand awareness, engagement and conversion metrics for a holistic view of your digital marketing performance.
Brand awareness metrics tell you lots about how many people are finding your brand online, and which of your digital marketing efforts are catching their attention. If a key focus for you is trying to grow your company’s market share, reach a new demographic or break into a new market, then awareness metrics could tell you how close you are to doing so.
While TV and print advertising have traditionally been the way companies have looked to boost brand awareness, these channels have always been notoriously difficult to accurately measure. With digital however, you can track exactly how many people are visiting your website, how many are seeing your ads, how your social media audience is growing, and much more.
Engagement metrics take you to the next stage by revealing how people are interacting with your company once they’ve found you. They’re useful across every platform as they effectively tell you if people like what they see, and whether they’re prepared to stick around.
Common metrics include average session duration on your website, average engagement rate on your social media posts, and click-through-rate on your PPC ads.
Conversion metrics track how many valuable actions your efforts are driving. The obvious example here is sales, but other types include newsletter signups, form fills and calls. The conversion end is where many marketers will focus their efforts, but it’s important to be tracking a mix of all three as incremental gains in each stage can help to improve performance in the next.
Once you’ve identified which metrics you’re going to measure, next you’ll need to think about setting targets and how you’ll report on them.
The best way to keep your targets realistic is to base them on your own historical data – ideally at least three months’ worth – and what your competitors are doing. You’ll also want to make them SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.
With your targets in place, it’s a good idea to report on performance at weekly, monthly or custom intervals. Choose a timeframe that works for you – but try to leave it long enough to get an overview, and not so long that you lose touch.
2. The benefits of measuring digital marketing
You may be thinking that this all sounds like a lot of hard work. You’ll get a lot of that work out of the way in the setup stage however, and once you’re up and running, you’ll have a lot to be thankful for. Here are just a handful of the ways in which measuring your digital marketing efforts can pay off:
Monitor trends over time
It’s easy to get caught up in the details when you’re checking in on a daily basis or only measuring digital marketing campaigns individually.
By comparing overall performance month to month, quarter to quarter and year to year, you’ll be able to see clear patterns and trends emerging, and create better-informed plans for the next period.
Make better decisions with your budget
Knowing how to measure your digital marketing ROI can help you make more educated decisions with your business’ money. By identifying what’s working and what’s not, you’ll be able to allocate more budget to high-performing channels and improve your return.
Digital marketing data offers lots of opportunities to make marginal gains – and these gains can really add up over time.
Provide a better experience to your customers
Digital marketing measurement ultimately offers you an opportunity to get to know your customers. By delving into the ways they’re interacting with your brand, you’ll be able to do more of what they’re responding to, and make adjustments if you spot something they’re having problems with.
If you can use your insights to offer your customers a better experience, everyone’s a winner.
Give yourself more confidence
Whatever level you work at, it’s empowering to have a sense of confidence in what you’re doing. By homing in on digital performance, you’ll be able to report back to your boss or colleagues with hard evidence, and create new strategies and plans backed up by facts rather than feelings.
3. Digital marketing measurement tools
Lots of the different digital platforms offer their own analytics tools, many of which you may already be familiar with. Some of them run automatically in the background such as Facebook Insights, while others such as the website analytics tool Google Analytics require a small amount of initial set up before you get started.
These kinds of tools can save you time while offering you valuable insights that you won’t get elsewhere, so it’s worth doing your research into what’s out there.
With free and paid options available for nearly every platform, the right digital marketing measurement tools for you will depend on what you’re looking to measure and the nature of your business.
If a lot of your business is generated through phone calls for example, your standard website analytics tools won’t cut it – you’ll need call tracking software to link sales over the phone back to the marketing activity that triggered them.
Attribution can be a bug bear for those managing budgets across multiple channels, but a digital marketing measurement model such as ResponseTap’s Smart Match can help you understand what’s really working. By linking call revenue to your organic, PPC and social channels for example, you can optimize performance based on revenue generated rather than only looking at the number of calls each campaign drove.
There are a few qualities to look for in your tools of choice. Firstly, they should be secure – you’ll be granting them access to your company’s data, so only choose ones that you can trust.
Next, look for reliability. You don’t want a tool going down when you need it most, so try to see if it offers guarantees of availability to make sure the data you need is always ready and waiting. ResponseTap’s Call Intelligence platform powers millions of calls every month, with multiple failover systems to keep things running should anything go wrong.
Finally, the best digital marketing tools are scalable. Try to assess whether a tool is capable of growing with you – does it have additional functionality and integrations that you could need in the near future?
“When choosing your measurement tool, security, reliability, and scalability are crucial.”
Time to get started
Now that you understand more about measuring your digital marketing efforts, why it’s worth doing it in the first place and the role that tools have to play, it’s time to get started – and get tracking.