Without knowing how to measure marketing success it can be hard to know whether the effort you’re putting in is paying off. For all you know, you may be investing valuable time and money into campaigns that simply aren’t working.
It’s important to measure your marketing success at every level. You should consider each social media post, paid advert or email newsletter to see what works best for your business.
Marketing metrics can get complicated fast. Marketers can devote hours to analysing data. But this isn’t realistic for small business owners and nor is it necessary. Instead, keeping track of a few choice metrics here and there will provide you with all the insight you need.
Choosing the right metrics to measure the success of your marketing campaigns will save you time and help you to fine-tune your strategies. So in this article, we’ll talk you through the basics, and how you can apply them to your campaigns.
Many popular marketing metrics are based on the cost of the campaign versus how much profit it generates. But many small businesses don’t invest a great deal into paid advertising and marketing. So here, we will be focusing on measuring the success of in-house, organic marketing campaigns for small businesses.
Decide your marketing campaign’s goals
Before deciding upon your metrics, you need to outline what you’re attempting to achieve through your campaign. When beginning any new marketing campaign, you should think about how you will measure your success. Ask yourself, what is the aim of this particular campaign? What outcome do you want for your business? Your core goal might be to:
- Increase brand awareness
- Reach more customers through Google
- Encourage email marketing sign-ups
- Grow your traffic to your blog
- Create more leads
Your core goal determines what metrics you should be paying the most attention to. For example, let’s imagine that you are trying to create more leads. Measuring your Instagram likes will tell you engaging your content is, but it won’t tell you how many of your post’s ‘likers’ are potential customers. However, measuring how much of your website traffic is coming from Instagram will provide insight into whether your Instagram content is getting people interested in your products or services.
Choosing the right marketing metrics
In the marketing world, we call these metrics ‘KPIs’, or ‘Key Performance Indicators’. KPIs tell us whether we are moving in the right direction towards our campaign goals.
This is almost always going to be the most important metric for you to measure. For instance, a marketing campaign could be generating thousands of website visitors or Instagram likes. But if there’s no money coming in off the back of these things, then something isn’t right.
Has your marketing campaign resulted in an increase in the number of visitors your website is receiving? Google Analytics is a free tool that you can use to track your website traffic. It allows you to see where your website visitors are coming from, using the following categories:
- Referral: traffic that came from another website. Eg. imagine you have recently gained coverage in an article for an online publication. This might result in more website traffic if people click on a link to your website through the article.
- Organic search: traffic that comes through Google. If you are targeting keywords in your website content, you can track its success through this type of traffic.
- Social: traffic that comes through social media platforms. If you have launched a social campaign to promote a product on your website, you can see whether people are clicking through your posts onto your website.
- Email: if you include links to your website in your email marketing campaigns, you can see whether your subscribers are engaging with them.
Because website traffic helps you see where your potential customers are coming from, it’s a great metric for measuring the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across the board and seeing which marketing channels work best for you.
New customers generated
This metric is closely tied to profit, as each new customer will bring a new sale with them. Finding out where new customers are coming from will help you keep bringing them in. If your Instagram marketing is where most of your customers are coming from, you know that Instagram is the most effective platform for reaching your target audience, and can focus more of your marketing efforts on it.
If you’re using several marketing channels at once, it may seem difficult to determine where each new customer you’ve acquired is coming from. There’s one simple solution to this – ask your customers!
Include a survey in your order confirmation emails, or at the checkout. When you’re providing a quick tick-box option, most customers will happily answer.
This is the easiest and most accurate way to measure how many new customers your marketing campaign has generated. But remember that other metrics can also indicate where your customers are coming from. If a huge spike in sales corresponds with a large click-through rate on a recent email or considerable engagement with a social media post, it makes sense to put two and two together.
If your marketing campaign isn’t generating new customers, this doesn’t mean it’s completely dud. Every new email marketing sign-up is a new potential lead. Once you have a potential customer’s email address, you can easily get in touch with them and send them highly personalised emails.
In fact, many businesses launch campaigns specifically targeted at growing their mailing list. Here, measuring new customers and profit generated isn’t relevant.
Email automation platforms can help you track your new email sign-ups. In Mailchimp’s Audience dashboard, you can track where your new subscribers have joined your mailing list from.
Measuring your social media success
Social media comes with its own separate metrics which can be measured through each platform. While many websites will recommend that you invest in paid-for social listening tools, this isn’t always necessary.
Your ‘reach’ is exactly what it sounds like – how many people a given social media post has reached. You can break this down into location, type of device, and whether a user is following you or not.
There are two types of social media reach:
- Organic: the free social media reach that you achieve by sharing engaging content.
- Paid: this is the reach you achieve through targeted, paid-for adverts.
You can find the organic and paid reach of your Facebook and Instagram content and adverts through their built-in analytics. You need to have a business account to access this, so ensure your account is set up as a business. See our handy guides below:
This is probably the social media metric you are most familiar with. Engagement includes likes, shares, and comments. Tracking engagement across different social platforms will show you which platforms are most successful in engaging customers, and what types of content perform best. Like reach, engagement can be tracked through social media platforms’ built-in analytics.
However, chasing likes and shares is not beneficial in the long run. It’s always important to consider who is liking and sharing your posts, and focus on attracting your ideal customers.
Measuring your marketing campaign’s success is super important in ensuring that they are helping your business grow and thrive. How you should measure success depends on the goal of your marketing campaign and what platforms you are using to execute it.
Now that you’re equipped with the basics, take these metrics and apply them to your own campaigns.