One of the most common questions we get asked is how businesses can better measure the success of marketing efforts. So often, organizations build a solid plan to leverage marketing channels to connect with their audience, but then feel lost when it comes to measuring performance and understanding the true ROI of all of the work they’ve put in.

On a similar note, many people find that while digital marketing channels have countless metrics and analytics available at our fingertips, the information can feel overwhelming and, ultimately, no more helpful than not having the data at all.

Does this resonate with you and your team? If so, we’ve got you, friend. Our firm’s approach is truly data-driven, and in this blog post, we’ve shared five tips that you can begin using right away to measure the performance of your marketing efforts.

More than likely, one of the initial goals of your marketing efforts is to help get your ideal target market to your website. If this is the case, one of the easiest things you can do to track ROI is to install Google Analytics on your site.  This free tool will collect an incredible amount of data for your website, but one of the simplest metrics you can track is acquisition (aka how each user gets to your website). From this report, you will be able to clearly see which channels are directing the most traffic to your website.

Especially on social media, there are some metrics that businesses commonly track to measure performance that are what we consider “vanity metrics.” This data can be valuable but can also paint an inaccurate picture of the true performance of a channel.

For example, we often see organizations placing too much weight on the number of followers they have. Sometimes they even list something like, “increase our Instagram followers by 20%,” as a business goal.

That, my friend, does not have enough weight to be a business goal.

Whether you have 200 followers or 2 million, the true measure of success is what those followers are doing for your business. Are they visiting your website? Are they purchasing products online? Are they reaching out to book a service with you? Be very careful to avoid getting caught up in metrics like followers, likes, comments, or shares alone. These can be a piece of what you evaluate, but make sure that you are using something like Google Analytics to understand how your audience is engaging with that channel to accomplish a true business goal like sales or leads.

If you work with any external vendor to implement marketing efforts, keep an open dialogue with them. Before working with anyone, be firm about needing to be able to see metrics for whatever work they are doing to support your business.

For example, if you’ve hired an agency to help you with digital ads (aka geofencing, targeted ads, PPC, etc.), you should be able to get full, transparent reports that include detailed metrics along with information about what the benchmark or average is for your industry. A couple metrics you should always ask for include:

  • Ad spend – The amount of money that was actually spent on the ads. This should be separate from whatever retainer or expense related to the service they are providing.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) – This is one of the best metrics to monitor to evaluate the effectiveness of an ad. It simply takes your total ad spend and divides that by the number of clicks that ad received. The lower the better here! You can also do a quick online search to see what the average is for your industry to understand how your ads are performing compared to other similar businesses.

 Partnering with external vendors can be so impactful to get the talent, access, and expertise necessary to fully leverage your marketing channels. The key is to maintain open communication with them, so it is important that you choose to partner with businesses who you feel comfortable with, and who act with integrity and transparency so that you can work together to continuously refine and improve efforts.

Along with building a solid marketing strategy and developing an impactful brand, confidently measuring marketing performance will set you up to be able to fully leverage each channel and crush those business goals!