In my last post, Marketing Communication: A Quick Guide, I brought up measurement multiple times and with good reason. If you’re not measuring what you are doing, you have no way of knowing if it is working or not. While there are many things we can measure, I’m going to focus on only two areas in this article: your website and social media. You likely have a website and are publishing content on a regular basis which you’re then promoting on social media. Maybe you’ve even run some Facebook ads.
There is not a one-size-fits-all strategy that you should follow. There is always going to be a trial and error process. Some content may resonate with your audience while other content barely registers. If you want to be successful, measuring isn’t an option. It’s a necessity. But what should you be measuring? That’s a great question and this is what we’re going to talk about today.
Let’s get started.
The name of the game in digital marketing is to get people to your website. The more people that come, the more chances you will have to convert those people to leads.
Google Analytics (GA) is a free tool that will measure your web traffic. It gets pretty in depth but Google offers Analytics Academy (also for free) to help learn how it works. Google Analytics will give you great insight into your visitors. It gives such information as:
- Where traffic is coming from
- The bounce rate
- How are people coming to your site
- What they are looking at
Where is your traffic coming from?
If you do business in a specific geographic area, such as the Pacific Northwest, you are more than likely targeting people in that area. GA will tell you the country and the city where your visitors are coming from. It will also break down whether they are using a desktop or mobile and will go as far as to tell you what browser and operation system they are using.
A bounce is when somebody looks at only one page on your website and leaves. The bounce rate is the average number of bounces on the website divided by the total number of visits on your site. A high bounce rate is a bad thing if you want people to view more than one page (and probably most of us do). GA will also tell you the average time people are spending on your site.
There is the option to be able to see demographics. It’s not on by default and there are a couple of steps that will need to be taken to see the information. Once demographics is on you will be able to view such information as:
Social or search
Knowing where your traffic is coming from is important. Your pages should be search engine optimized so people can find you via search (also known as organic). You should also be promoting your content on social media. GA will tell you what is driving your traffic with a breakdown between organic and social.
What’s being viewed?
You will see a breakdown of what pages your visitors are looking at. Knowing what types of articles are most popular will help guide you in what kind of content you will want to produce in the future.
Social media is a great way to promote content and we want to see people engaging. We want them to follow a link, which we can see in GA, but we also want them to share with his/her followers. Extending the reach of our post is important.
Beware of vanity metrics such as likes and the number of followers. Having the most followers isn’t going to help you meet your goals. Having the right followers is, so don’t get be consumed by the number of followers. Likes are a nice ego boost but ultimately we want people to take some sort of action. However, likes can tell us if something is resonating. Just don’t obsess over them.
It’s worth noting that engagement with social media posts has been trending down over the last few years. This doesn’t mean social isn’t worth the time or effort. It’s still a great a way to promote your organization and content. Don’t forget however that you should still be engaging with people. As I was reminded recently, engaging with people helps us make friends which are important in the long term.
There are many different tools that measure social media analytics but the one I like best is BuzzSumo. While other social media analytics tools focus more on followers, likes, shares, etc., BuzzSumo focuses on how content from your website is performing on social media. It will also identify influencers on a certain topic and track your competitors content performance.
Marketing Communication is an investment and as with any investment, you want to know if you’re getting a good return. The only way you can do this is by measuring your results. Not doing so is like throwing your money out the window.