3 Tips For Creating A More Measurable Marketing Campaign: Whether you’re the kind of person who reads every article pumped out by AdAge or you have every form of ad-blocking tech known to man installed on your devices, marketing is one thing no entrepreneur can live without.

Regardless of how you feel about advertising, you’ve doubtless seen marketing campaigns that impress you with their wit, targeting or some other element. On the other hand, you’ve undoubtedly seen many campaigns that leave you wondering, “What were they thinking?”

When it comes time for your own marketing campaigns, the ability to understand whether or not they are delivering meaningful results is crucial. Quality marketing can deliver big-time ROI, while lousy marketing is just another way of wasting money. By measuring your campaigns, you can determine if they are doing what you need.

1. Set The Right Goals

You can’t get much measuring done if you don’t know what you want to measure in the first place! And while you might be sick of hearing about SMART goals by now, they’re still relevant here, too.

Just like any other goal for your business, quality goals for your marketing campaign need to be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. Goals that fit these criteria give you clear performance benchmarks for your campaigns — like increasing your number of leads by 10 percent by the end of the campaign.

While increasing sales or leads are obvious goals for a campaign, they aren’t the be-all end-all of marketing. Some campaigns focus entirely on increasing web traffic, while others focus on improving the conversion rate.

The right goals line up with what will benefit your business the most. This shouldn’t just guide what you want to achieve with your marketing campaigns — it should influence the content of the ads, as well. Thoughtful goal-setting will dramatically improve the success of your marketing.

2. Make Sure You Know How To Collect Data From Your Target Platforms

Digital marketing tools have given entrepreneurs more options than ever before for advertising their business. Perhaps even more importantly, the vast majority of these tools provide data insights to help you measure performance.

While Facebook and Google get most of the attention for their analytics offerings, other digital marketing platforms also provide tangible, concrete data to help you track clicks, conversions and more.

When deciding which platforms you should use for your digital marketing campaign, you’ll naturally want to focus on the platforms your target audience actually uses. But before you launch your campaign, you should also make sure you understand how these platforms report marketing data.

Your ability to access — and understand — this information will be key to drawing useful insights about the success or failure of your campaign. Don’t forget your own website, either. Tools like Facebook’s Pixel allow you to embed code directly into your website for more effective tracking.

3. Have A Plan For Leveraging Your Data

All those numbers aren’t going to mean much for your business if you don’t know what to do with them. As Ohad Ben-Artzi, co-founder of Fork, explained to me in a recent conversation, “The need to manually check on your advertising data can be remarkably inefficient. We either forget to check as frequently as we should, or we don’t know how to interpret the data when we do see it. Machine learning algorithms are making tremendous headway by automating much of the work of identifying a campaign’s strengths and weaknesses, and making key improvements to increase its effectiveness. But you still need to take charge. Properly using your marketing data is how you will reach your goals.”

There’s a lot you can learn from your marketing numbers. Obviously, you can get some idea about whether your campaign was any good. A/B testing can go a long way in helping you figure out what phrases, images or targeting options perform best with your audience. If a particular ad is a total flop or a major success compared to others in your campaign, you need to look carefully to determine what the differences are.

Of course, your campaign data can also tell you a lot about the health of your website — or your business itself. If you get a lot of ad clicks, but few leads or conversions, your landing page may not be optimized for the campaign. You’ll need to dig deep to find the disconnect between your ads and the rest of your content.

These kinds of insights aren’t going to happen by accident. You need to have a plan for analyzing your marketing campaigns before they go live. Whether you’re checking in weekly or at the end of each day, regularly evaluating campaign results will help you make crucial adjustments for the next round.

From that next campaign, you’ll get new insights, and the cycle continues…

Marketing Measurement Leads To (Real, Repeatable) Success

When you can effectively measure the results of your marketing campaigns, you will quickly see if they are delivering the results you want. Sometimes, your results will help you make a few minor adjustments to make a campaign even more effective. Other times, you might find yourself going back to the drawing board.

Regardless of what the numbers tell you, the fact that you’re measuring your marketing campaigns already puts you one step ahead. By helping you make smarter decisions for future campaigns, you’ll be better positioned to attract and retain quality clients.

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