Your marketing activities are not a chain of islands, isolated from each other and surviving separately. Your marketing is more like Chicago. A hub in the center of a complex network of marketing activities with traffic in and out, all with unique objectives but with an overall purpose – to arrive at the intended destination. The question most business owners have is: How do you know if they arrived at the correct destination?
Many people have been participating in the online marketing game simply because everyone else is. 2012 will see a surge in understanding what each activity is generating and how they are working together to achieve the overall goal. With an increase in interrelated marketing activities, the reporting, or analytics, has also evolved to work together to provide an overall picture along with reports on how each segment of the journey is performing. For example, you used to count referrals assuming it was one person referring the other. Now you want to know if a Facebook post resulted in an existing client sharing the post with their friends, which resulted in a few clicks, a couple of ‘likes’ and a resulting website booking.
A few legs in the journey, but it’s worth knowing that this process started with Facebook and with that specific post. Why? Because this tells you what topics are compelling enough to share, the post topics that are generating traffic to your website, whether those website visitors are booking an appointment, reading a bit about the salon (and what they are reading), signing up for your email newsletter or leaving empty handed. If you have a weak link in the journey, the whole system breaks down. As you can see, referrals are no longer as straightforward as before, are they? Whether you are measuring this process or not, it’s happening. The only difference is that you are blind when attempting to improve your marketing activities and you could be putting money and effort in the wrong places.
These ‘legs’ of the journey are starting to realize the importance of measuring marketing performance with recent overhauls of their reporting, including a Facebook Insights uplift and some enhancements to Google Analytics.
Overall, there are a few things you should be considering at every stage of the journey but when you are using your marketing activities together as you should, it’s imperative to look at the traffic generated on external mediums.
- How many clicks are you getting from your emails and various social media?
- Which landing pages do visitors tend to leave after viewing the page?
- How many pages are they reading (and which pages) are being reviewed?
- Which blogs and pages are receiving the most views, shares and comments?
These pages you are looking at are on your website as well as your blog and any pages whereby you are looking to complete a transaction, called a conversion. This could be a social connection like following you on Twitter, signing up for your email newsletter, an RSVP for your event or booking an appointment. Whatever you are looking to achieve, it needs to be measurable somehow and it should relate to your overall goal of getting some warm bodies in your business. Once you’ve generated some traffic to the page where this conversion will take place, you’ll be thinking of things like:
- How often are people leaving before conversion? Where do they come from?
- How much does each conversion cost by channel?
- Total return on investment (ROI) – how much are you earning for the investment?
These questions cannot be answered if you do not have a system of reporting that you can monitor activity between the various activities or if you aren’t considering all of your various activities as interrelated.
So what do you do about this?
- Install some analytics on your website if you haven’t already. Google Analytics is hands-down the best, free version of website analytics and it’s widely accepted by other systems to connect your analytics.
- Sign up for social media and blog monitoring and analytics. Sure, there are free options, but these aren’t nearly as robust or easy to compile as a system that’s designed to bring it all together. Some programs also allow you to connect your Google Analytics accounts.
- Resolve to spend a dedicated amount of time reviewing and understanding what the analytics mean. If it appears that one leg of the journey isn’t working like it should, investigate why before you simply give it up.