How To Evaluate Marketing Campaigns: 5 Tips To Measure Success

/ marketing
Emma Miller

With the rise of the digital landscape, businesses are finally starting to understand the importance of investing in their online presence.

According to Adobe, more than 76% of marketers believe that marketing has changed more over the past 2 years than it did the entire 50 years before.

The Manifest claims the same, adding that 99% of companies are planning to increase their investments in at least one online channel they use.

So, if you are launching a digital marketing campaign, it's a great way to boost brand awareness and gain a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, investing your time, creativity and resources is often not enough to succeed. To optimize your digital marketing campaigns and achieve desirable results, you also need to evaluate its progress regularly.

The good thing is that digital marketing campaigns are easy to measure with the right strategies in place.

Here are a few things to know.

1. Set Clear Goals

When launching a digital campaign, you first need to set clear goals. They are like a compass to you, guiding you throughout the campaign and helping you measure its performance.

Now, digital marketing can serve a variety of purposes, so you should first determine what you want to achieve with your digital marketing campaign. For example, do you want to raise brand awareness, increase conversions, generate leads, or retain loyal customers?

Logically, each of these objectives requires specific channels to use, tactics to apply, and metrics to set. Precisely because of that, your digital marketing goals should always be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

2. Know Your Metrics

Your digital marketing KPIs are closely related to your goals and the channels you use. For example, measuring brand awareness and lead generation practices require sets of completely different metrics.

Still, there are a few fundamental metrics you should track when starting a digital marketing campaign. Some of them are:

  • Overall website traffic is the traffic you receive from the digital channels you use.
  • Traffic by source tells you what the most effective digital channels are. For example, you can compare the traffic you receive via organic search, paid search, referrals, or social networks.
  • New visitors vs. returning visitors – This metric shows the value and relevance of your content.
  • Sessions are the interactions with your website a user takes within a specified time frame. Google specifically measures sessions in 30-minute interactions, meaning that whatever a visitor does on your website during these 30 minutes is considered one session.
  • The average session duration says how much time visitors spend on your site. The industry standard is 2-3 minutes.
  • Pageviews inform you about the number of website pages viewed.
  • Most visited pages tell you what the most popular pages on your website are so you can optimize them better in the future.
  • The bounce rate is the percentage of website visitors that land on your website and ditch it immediately.
  • The conversion rate – depending on your campaign, the conversion rate may mean different things, from ebook downloads to sales.
  • Impressions are immensely important to businesses running branding campaigns. Often confused with reach, impressions are the total number of times your ad is displayed, no matter if it is clicked or not.
  • Social reach tells you how many people have seen your ad on social.
  • Social engagement is the total number of users’ interactions with your content, including their clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.
  • Email open rate shows you the percentage of people that open your email campaign.
  • The click-through rate is the percentage of users that clicked on your link, compared to the total number of users that viewed your page, email, social post, or ad.
  • Cost-per-click (CPC) tells you how much you pay for each user’s click on your ad.
  • The overall return on investment (ROI) tells you how much you spent on your digital campaign vs. how much you earned.

Sure, you don’t need to use all of these metrics. Instead, choose the ones that are relevant to your campaign and show its progress accurately. Remember that, when observed in isolation, some of these metrics may only flatter your vanity.

For example, high traffic is purposeless if your bounce rates are high and conversion rates are low. Or, the number of social shares and likes should always be compared to your overall reach (how many people saw your post) to indicate campaign success.

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3. Choose The Right Tools

Now that you have made a list of all metrics you want to focus on, it is time to find the tools that will help you capture them and monitor your results. This entirely depends on your specific needs.

For example, for website analytics and search engine optimization, you could start with Google Analytics as a solid foundation. HubSpot, Webtrends, SEMrush, Raven Tools, and Moz can are also useful tools to keep in mind.

As for social networks, there are many free and paid social media analytics tools you could use. For starters, social networks offer their own analytics features, including Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Analytics, Instagram Insights, Twitter Analytics, etc. Apart from them, you could also use Buffer Analyze, Hootsuite, Zoho Social, Socialbakers Analytics, Social Sprout, and Keyhole to measure your social campaign’s success.

The list goes on and on. The only problem? To measure the success of a multi-channel campaign, you will need to track a wide range of metrics using a wide range of tools and dashboards.

This is where you should consider automating your campaign analytics by using a digital marketing reporting tool. For example, if you are building an SEO campaign, you can centralize several SEO tools under one digital marketing dashboard and create an automated SEO report for your employers or clients.

4. Determine Clear Targets and Time Frames

No matter if you are building a massive, multi-channel digital marketing campaign or a smaller one, you always need to determine whether it is reaching the targets you have previously set. Getting your campaign timing right you with a sense of urgency and helps you understand what you have accomplished so far.

For example, if your goal was to boost conversion rates by 5% in five months. This goal is certainly specific, measurable, realistic, and timely. Therefore, if you notice that your conversion rates have increased only 2% during the reporting period, this is a clear indicator that your tactics are not working well and that you need to reevaluate them.

5. Bring It All Together

Now that you have started your campaign performance, don’t let them collect dust on your laptop. Instead, take actionable steps to optimize campaigns and fix performance issues. For starters, you could create a detailed digital strategy document where you can track your progress easily. This document will be your most valuable guideline, where you would enter your initial goals, metrics, campaign performance results, things that worked for you, major problems you faced, etc.

Based on your data, you need to map out the practices you are going to take to achieve the desired goals and optimize your campaigns. Preferably, you should make a long-term digital marketing plan. This way, you will be able to build a solid timeline for your digital marketing activities, understand your objectives and communicate them easier with your team, employers, or clients.

Ready To Start Measuring Your Digital Marketing Success?

Always remember that there is no uniform approach to digital marketing. From the goals you set to the tools you use, you will always need to tailor the aforementioned tips to your specific campaign needs. Monitoring and evaluating your digital campaigns is an immensely important step, as it lets you map out the tactics that work or don’t work for you and build a reliable digital strategy in the long-run.

I hope these tips will serve as your solid starting point.

Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications while working as Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University.

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