How to Measure Marketing Campaigns Online
Guest Blogger – Brandon Coppernoll is the web solutions architect at Ball State University. He has 5 years of experience in web development, content management, and content management systems. He currently assesses and aligns marketing and communication needs with functional and technical requirements to ensure solutions meeting communications goals.
Recently, I have participated in a discussion on how to include measurement of analytical data from internet marketing efforts. With tools like Google Analytics, there are countless possibilities on how and what to measure. Campaigns can include a blog, social media, video, print, and even the traditional website. How can you measure all of these different tactics to create a full view of your campaign?
Tools are irrelevant. The process in which you define and measure the goal is what is important. There are hundreds of tools that do similar things to fit your style. The importance is how you want to measure your marketing data.
Here are some tips on how to set up measurements for marketing campaigns online:
Brainstorm with your team
Put a list together of all your upcoming marketing campaigns. Leave no campaigns off the table. Pick a campaign that has a variety of tactics being used: blog, print, video, social media, email marketing, or other marketing vehicles.
Take objectives and translate
What are your campaign objectives? Is it to increase sales via your shopping cart? Is it to have more users register their products? Do you want more members for your website? Are you promoting white papers? The goals you measure must be measurable through online transactions. A transaction does not have to be monetary. A transaction can simply be the exchange of information.
Now that you know your online objectives, you can define the tactics you are implementing. This can be hundreds of combinations, but the key is to identify where the tactic originates. For example, if you have a specific URL published in your print pieces, be sure to trigger your system to identify when that URL is used to append the analytical code. This is an easy way to track success in print. If you have content coming from social media, identify what networks you are using and what content you’re promoting.
You may have all your objectives, tactics, and metrics defined, but the most important step is creating the content that will get you results. Online content should focus on your target audience with a emphasis on keywords (which may be defined by your campaign). Included in your content should be the links, images, and media which will direct your users to where you need them go to lead them to your online objectives.
Measure and adjust
You’re not done with your marketing campaign yet. An analyst who understands reading web metrics is valuable in not only helping you define the metrics you wish to measure, but they are great for analyzing the data and suggesting next steps. If your campaign is short, take note on methods that met or exceed expectations. Do not underestimate the value of learning why other tactics did not work. If your campaign is long, schedule a monthly meeting with your team to evaluate the progress of the different tactics. Discuss why some may be working while others are not. Making modifications to them and execute. When you meet again you have a benchmark to measure against to see if you’re succeeding in your plan.
The hardest campaign to execute is the first. Once you run through this process a few times you’ll realize you’re measuring multiple campaigns. Eventually you may have all your internet marketing efforts in neatly wrapped online campaign format for measurement. This is why I don’t believe it matters which tool(s) you use. The most important part is the process. Find the process that works for your team, and you will have a great start to succeed.
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