How to Evaluate Marketing Campaigns: 5 Tips to Measure Success

/ 6 min read
Emma Miller

With the rise of the digital landscape, businesses are finally starting to understand the importance of investing in their online presence. We're talking websites, social media, YouTube and any other digital platform you can think of.

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.

Launching a digital marketing campaign is a great way to boost brand awareness and gain a competitive advantage. Unfortunately, investing your time, creativity and resources are often not enough to succeed. To optimize your digital marketing campaigns and achieve desirable results, you also need to evaluate their 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 campaign. Do you want to raise brand awareness? Increase conversions? Generate leads?

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:

  • Overall website traffic: the traffic you receive from the digital channels you use.
  • Traffic by source: tells you what the most effective digital channels are.
  • New visitors vs. returning visitors: shows the value and relevance of your content.
  • Sessions: the interactions with your website a user takes within a specified time frame. (Google specifically measures sessions in 30-minute interactions.)
  • Average session duration: how much time visitors spend on your site. (The industry standard is 2-3 minutes.)
  • Pageviews: the number of times a certain webpage has been viewed.
  • Most visited pages: tells you what the most popular pages on your website are so you can optimize them better in the future.
  • Bounce rate: the percentage of website visitors that land on your website and ditch it immediately.
  • Conversion rate: depending on the campaign, the conversion rate may mean different things, from ebook downloads to sales. You can set up conversion goals within your analytics tool of choice.
  • Impressions: 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: how many people have seen your ad on social.
  • Social engagement: the number of users’ interactions with your content, including their clicks, likes, shares, comments, etc.
  • Email open rate: the percentage of people that open your email campaign.
  • Click-through rate: 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.
  • Return on investment (ROI): tells you how much you spent on your digital campaign vs. how much you earned.

You might not need to use all of these metrics. Choose the ones that are relevant to your campaign. Also, keep in mind that when viewed in isolation, many of these metrics only flatter your vanity.

For example, high traffic is nearly meaningless if your bounce rates are high and conversion rates are low.

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.

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 strategy for a small business, you always need to determine whether it is reaching the targets you have previously set.

Getting your campaign timing right with a sense of urgency 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.

Read our case study to learn about the local flower shop that used Paperform to get a conversion rate of more than 10%.

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 campaigns?

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 and build a reliable digital strategy in the long run.

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


About the author
Emma Miller
Sydney
Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmarkblog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne Uni. Interested in marketing and startups.

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