When you start running a digital marketing campaign you may ask yourself, “How often should I examine my reporting and make campaign adjustments?” To be totally honest, you can look at reports as often as you like but we recommend that you refrain from making campaign changes on a frequent basis. Like all good things, reports require time and some patience so allow your campaigns to gather enough data before you make any major changes. The best part about digital marketing is that it’s a measurable way to advertise your business but when it comes to reporting, be fair to yourself and create a healthy process for analyzing data. If you don’t you might drive yourself crazy and your campaign will bite the dust before it has the chance to take off.
In this post, Venta will help you figure out which metrics deserve your attention and help you determine the frequency at which you should analyze your reports.
But first, Let’s Talk About Metrics vs KPIs
One of the most common reporting challenges for marketers is understanding the difference between metrics and key performance indicators. The difference between them is quite distinguishable but they both tie into reporting and that’s why marketers tend to use the terms interchangeably. Simply put, metrics are data points and KPIs are calculations that align with your marketing goals. Think of it this way, a KPI can be considered a metric, however, a metric is not necessarily a KPI. That wasn’t much help was it?…okay think of it this way. A KPI is used to measure success while a metric is the data within a KPI. When you put your metrics to work you can create KPIs that tell you if your business is growing and achieving specific goals. Got it? Great!
The main benefit of setting up tracking and using metrics is that KPIs can help you spot trends and patterns within your reports. Once your dashboards are set up with tracking, KPIs should act as a compass and help your team understand the steps you’re taking towards your business goals.
Need help establishing your metrics for the KPIs? Here is a list of metrics that every company should track.
- Total Site Visits
- Channel-Specific Traffic
- Bounce Rates
- Time On Site
- Interactions Per Visit
- New vs Return Visitors
- Total Conversions
Making Good Reporting Habits
With all of these campaign metrics at your disposal, it’s important to make sure that you’re not overwhelming yourself with too much data. Obsessing over every micro-movement in your analytics can lead to unhealthy habits and it’s important to make sure that you’re not wasting your valuable time. Of course, it’s important to track your engagement levels but you don’t have to stare at your dashboard waiting for the leads to flow in. In fact, depending on your business some metrics don’t even need your attention and you will just waste time checking them.
Even though you have a lot of data at your fingertips it’s important to develop good reporting habits early on. One of the most common bad habits is having unrealistic expectations for the first few reporting cycles. It takes at least 3 months to gather a baseline for campaign data but many people expect to see results and conversions immediately. When people spend too much time checking their reports and expecting to see conversions, they can get burnt out on digital marketing and abandon a proven tactic out of self-induced frustration. It takes time for enough data to roll in during the first few weeks but we recommend starting good habits early and checking certain analytics on a weekly and monthly basis. Once you have enough data and can identify patterns or trends in your report, that’s when you can start establishing reasonable reporting expectations.
Below is a breakdown of the metrics that should be analyzed on a weekly versus monthly basis.
Weekly Metric Check-Ins
- Page Visits
- Landing Page Conversions
- Lead Form Submissions
- Social Media – Likes, Follows, Comments, and Shares
Monthly Metric Check-Ins
- Unique Visitors
- Blog Views & Subscriptions
- Email Newsletter Open, Clicks, & Bounce Rates
- Cost Per Conversion
- Customer Acquisition Cost
- Return On Investment
- Average Sale Price
- Net Promoter Score
In addition to these frequent check-ins, carve out some time to examine things on a quarterly basis. Quarterly team meetings are a great time to look at the trends, refocus your business goals, introduce new marketing tactics to your funnel, and discuss how you’re going to measure success.
TIP: Don’t know how to measure success? Check out our post on developing advanced marketing plans and how you can create goal-centered business objectives.
Give Your Campaign Every Opportunity To Succeed
Just like your process for reporting, you should have a process in place for your testing your campaigns with A/B testing. A/B testing is a method of when two or more campaign versions are shown to users at random and analyzed to determine which variation performs best. In addition to seeing what converts better, A/B testing creates consistency in reporting and helps you avoid taking unnecessary risks because you can see what’s working. A/B testing also allows you to fearlessly make mistakes and move on from the concepts that aren’t working, giving your campaign every chance to succeed. Testing one variable at a time will pinpoint exactly what resonates with your customers and tell you what they like about your ads. Over time, this helps increase ROI and you can combine the best components into one top performing ad.
Here are some things that you should include in your reports while performing A/B testing:
- Your Purpose: State your hypothesis and why you are running this test.
- Example: We believe our customers will respond to the call to action “Get My Free Sample” better than “Try It” because of the free value proposition.
- Your Campaigns: Show the campaign variations and include a description of the differences in imagery, copy, length, times when the test was run, etc.
- The Results: Provide the results for each ad variation and the conversion rates by variation for each concept. When possible, quantify the value of what these ads could bring in for year-over-year projected revenue.
- Lessons Learned: Share your interpretation of the results and don’t forget to explain what influenced your decision-making process.
When Should I Make Campaign Adjustments?
You know that company that hasn’t changed their advertising strategy in years? They’re using the same concept, messaging, and value offers meanwhile you’re tired of seeing the same thing year after year and wondering, “Why aren’t they changing things up?”
Well, the answer is probably a lot more simple than you think. Companies that recycle the same marketing strategy year after year are either still seeing great results or too scared to make a change to their strategy because it may not perform as well as it did in the past. Accepting the rollercoaster of success and failures in marketing is part of the process and it shouldn’t stop anyone from making strategic campaign adjustments. Whether you’re hesitant to make campaign adjustments or itching to launch a new concept, take a moment and review our best reasons for making campaign adjustments.
Venta’s Top 5 Reasons For Making Campaign Adjustments
- Your campaign is performing well but you want to increase/decrease the number of media dollars dedicated to the campaign because you know that your audience has seasonal buying patterns.
- Your campaign is performing poorly so you decide to start A/B testing new ads to see what resonates with your customers.
- Your brand just got a facelift and you need to redesign your ads. Take some time to disable the ads and refresh them with your new brand standards.
- Make sure your ads are timed correctly so your audience sees them. If your ads are running during odd times then it’s definitely time to make an adjustment and get them in front of your customer at the right time of day.
- Constantly evaluate market changes or new trends in your industry and ask yourself:
- Have the core elements of my marketing strategy been affected?
- Have the attitudes of my target audience changed?
- Can I leverage a different aspect of my business?
- What are my competitors doing?
At the end of the year, take a comprehensive look at your reports and see how your marketing efforts have impacted your bottom line. These reports can help inform your marketing strategy for the upcoming new year and help you determine if your marketing efforts are actually closing revenue for the business. If you identify a specific area of strength within your marketing you may want to focus more on that area of marketing and perform additional testing. This information can be extremely informative at the end of the sales cycle to understand where you should be investing you and your team’s time and resources.
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