Digital marketing is an important component of any modern corporate strategy. The online arena presents endless opportunities for businesses to reach out to new audiences in creative and inventive ways. But few people can pull off a killer campaign the first time; most of us need to have a few stabs at it.
It is therefore important that we always evaluate the successes and failures of our campaigns once they are over. If you want to work out how successful your latest campaign has or hasn’t been, these are the things you need to look out for.
Set Yourself Goals Beforehand
In order to accurately measure the success of your marketing campaign, you need to have a pre-defined set of goals. Goal setting won’t just give you the metrics that you need to assess the success of the campaign when it’s over, they will enable you to precisely plan out the steps that you will take to achieve them.
Without these goals in place, you will find it very difficult to assess the merits of your campaign when it’s over. This is a valuable lesson that you can apply to many areas of your business. Whether you are planning a digital marketing campaign, a procurement strategy, or an upgrade of your IT systems, you need to know what outcomes will be indicative of success.
Consider How Long It Takes to Achieve Your Goals
Setting yourself goals will give you direction and enable you to assess the success of your plans, but these goals need to be paired with a firm time limit. If you don’t give yourself a time limit for achieving your goals, there is no urgency. Sometimes your business goals will be open-ended, but when it comes to your marketing campaigns, you need to be setting yourself clear deadlines.
For example, let’s say that you are hoping your campaign will give your sales a 50% boost. A 50% boost in sales within the space of a month or two would make a big difference to your business’s fortunes. On the other hand, a 50% boost in sales over a period of a few years might represent a lower level of growth than you would expect without the marketing campaign.
If your marketing campaign manages to achieve its goals, but not quite in the time frame that you’ve set yourself, this will give you a starting point for refining your approach for your next campaign. Alternatively, it might indicate that the time-limit you set yourself was too restrictive. Only a full evaluation of your campaign will tell you which it is.
Overall Website Traffic
The ultimate purpose of most digital marketing is to convince your audience to visit your business website. Your website needs to be able to sell your business to a visitor, something it will only be able to do if you have put the appropriate thought and care into its design. We will cover conversions (turning visitors into customers), shortly.
But your conversions are as much a reflection on the quality and effectiveness of your website as they are a reflection on your marketing campaigns. On the other hand, any increases to your overall website traffic following the execution of your campaign will tell you about the effectiveness of the campaign.
Even if a campaign refers the audience to your social media profiles rather than your website, your social media should ideally be another channel for funneling people to the website. When someone lands on one of your social media profiles, the content that they see should make them want to follow and engage with your profile, but you should always be gently steering them towards your website as the main point of contact.
New Visitors Vs Returning Visitors
Whenever you launch a new marketing campaign, you naturally hope that it will encourage people who haven’t used your business before to at least check out your website. Ideally, they will do more than visit and will end up being paying customers.
However, there is also a lot of value in returning visitors. If visitors are coming back to your site regularly, this is a good indicator that they trust you and place value in your business. Every time they come back to your website, there is a chance that they will spend money, even if they don’t initially come to your website with the intention of buying something.
This is why many businesses have added blogs to their website. A blog is a simple way of providing your customers with extra value and making your website a regular fixture in their internet browsing routine. When most of us go online, we will open up our homepage, browse that, then run through a fairly predictable sequence of other websites that we frequent.
For a case study, let’s look atIncfile.com. Incfile is a business that helps startups to file the paperwork necessary to establish their business as a legal corporate entity. Their website contains plenty of information about their services, but it also features articles that are relevant to people who might be looking for their services. For example, this article explains what a certificate of good standing is and why they matter. Someone looking to register their first business may well be taking their first steps into this world. It’s quite possible that someone looking for an article about certificates of good standing will end up landing on that article and then going on to use Incfile’s services.
It is also worth remembering that your marketing campaign may well jog a few memories and remind people who have forgotten about your business that you exist. Some of those returning visitors in the aftermath of your campaign will be there because of the campaign.
Of course, when you are evaluating the success of a campaign, you should always be asking yourself how you can improve things for next time. Don’t be disheartened if you make missteps and things don’t work. Instead, focus on turning those mistakes into learning opportunities.