By: Samantha Scott, APR
How many times have you had a great idea, went with it, and then thought – “hmm, I’m not sure if that really paid off. I ‘think’ it did, but I can’t be certain.” Or maybe you’re in marketing director role and you have to report to the C-suite about the performance of your efforts. Sometimes qualitative measures alone don’t cut it. Well, I have good news.
YOU CAN (AND SHOULD) MEASURE EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF YOUR MARKETING COMMUNICATION.
I speak nationally and one of the most popular topics I’m asked to present on is related to determining the ROI of marketing. That could be specific to social media alone or overall. I love busting myths like:
” You can’t really measure the value of social media.
” Email marketing is dead or no longer valuable.
” I’m getting engagement on social media, but it doesn’t translate into business/leads.
Have you ever uttered those words? Then this these four points are really going to blow your mind!
You CAN determine the best content, the day of the week and time of day to reach your audience.
Virtually every social media channel provides free analytics for business accounts at this point. This probably isn’t news to you, but what may be is the valuable data they provide. Your audience will tell you everything you want (and need) to know – if you know where to look.
Look at what content is resonating with them – what’s getting the most reactions, comments, shares? Is it how-tos, photos, videos, or something else? Which days and times are getting the most engagement? If it’s Tuesdays at 7 pm then you need to start publishing then to meet them where they are when they are the most interested!
TIP: The peak time of day and day of the week will vary by channel. This is not a one size fits all scenario. For example, the best time to post on Instagram is between 2 and 3 am while the best time to post on LinkedIn is between 10 and 11 am.
You CAN identify HOT leads from email marketing.
Email marketing is a powerful marketing tool because it offers one-to-one communication. You can segment your audience (and you absolutely should!) and provide specific calls to action related to their interest, purchase behavior, and value level (priority, a newcomer, etc.).
When it comes to generating hot leads from your list, you need to look at the Click-Through-Rate (CTR), not just the surface metric, Open Rates. Your CTR indicates who not only looked at the email you sent but then took further action to learn more (clicked). You led the horse to water. Looking even further, you can check the Conversion Goals in your Google Analytics to see if those individuals took the desired action on your website – signed up, contacted you, requested a quote, etc. Those horses drank. They did what you wanted – generated leads or even possibly sales.
If you don’t have Conversion Goals in place, don’t worry. You can still capitalize on your CTR. Organize the recipients who clicked by category – did they click on section 1, section 2, or the coupon at the bottom? Then, match their email address to your customer database. Now you know customer A is interested in whatever you were promoting in section 1. Have a salesperson follow-up with them. “Hey, Jim. I noticed you’re interested in item X. Do you want to come in and check it out in person?” Those who clicked are hot leads – convert them!
TIP: Keep your customer database clean and up-to-date! If your data isn’t organized or current, you won’t be able to match leads or make critical, deal closing follow-ups. That means validating your list periodically and confirming with customers that their info is correct.
You CAN ascertain customer interest by product/topic and channel.
If you’re getting 1,000 leads from social media each month that’s great. It might make you feel good to know that what you’re publishing is generating interest and traffic to your website. But, do you know WHY?
By using UTM codes for campaign and/or content tracking you can confidently answer that question! UTM codes allow you to insert a code, unseen by your audience, into your links so you can determine which content (type or topic) and which channel is performing best. Was it the February campaign, corporate messaging, or the career posts you shared that generated the most interest? Knowing what your audience is engaged with allows you to create more and therefore increase that engagement and web traffic going forward!
TIP: UTM codes seem complicated but are actually very easy. Check out our blog post that explains how to set them up – including a template – and how to track them.
You CAN determine quantifiable sales leads from social media (and other marketing channels).
If you have Conversion Goals in place on your website you can follow your visitors and see where they went once they visited your website. Hopefully, you’re sending them to a landing page or interior page with content specific to the post that led them there (not sending them to your homepage). Did they bounce (leave without visiting another page)? Did they visit other product/service pages? Did they complete a form, signup, request more info, or purchase? That is valuable information! It indicates how your website is performing, what content your audience is interested in, and how many actually converted based on your efforts.
TIP: Conversion Goals are free and easy to set up in Google Analytics. We recommend having one in place for every form on your website to track specific behaviors and provide follow-up capabilities. I.E. I want to know how many people checked out our eBook page vs. how many actually downloaded it, and then I want their email address to I can follow-up with those leads.
So, how can YOU do this? Set yourself up for success. Start with a plan that follows the GOST model: Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics. If you need a little help, check out our FREE eBook of the month. It outlines all the key components of a strong marketing plan for both businesses and nonprofits. Or, if you’d like to talk about how we can help, get in touch today.