Marketing Analytics to make the most effective business decisions.
As a business owner, we spend a ton of time and resources in marketing our businesses online. Whether it’s through social media, content creation, lead magnets, webinars or paid ads – bottom line is – we want them to work. The only way to KNOW they work is through tracking and reviewing the analytics. Not fun (for most) BUT – would you want to throw valuable money and time into something that is NOT working?
One of the best things about doing business online is the ability to track and report all aspects of interactions regarding your social media accounts, emails and websites.
In other words, not only can you track what you do, but you can track and analyze how your target customer base responds to these efforts and which give you the best return on investment. Remember, return on investment isn’t just monetary, it is also where you can most effectively focus your time and energy to bring in new customers, enhance conversion rates and to get repeat business from your existing customer base.
But how do you know WHAT to track? I mean you don’t want to spend a ton of time on tracking statistics that just don’t matter to your bottom line do you? You don’t want to track information that is irrelevant to your business decisions and there is no need for redundancy across multiple analytics systems.
In general, most businesses will find value in having these basic analytics programs available:
- Tracking leads – knowing where you are getting leads, what social media ads or what website call to action statements are generating leads is critical. Most email services can track the lead source – plus Google Analytics will give you that information as well. Track how many are signing up for one lead magnet over another. Is it video that is capturing attention and getting more sign ups or a free report? Make sure you pay attention to WHERE they are signing up for those lead magnets too. If Google Adwords are NOT bringing in the leads but your Facebook Ads are raking them in – continue with one and ditch the other or tweak the other and do some great testing.
- Social media engagement – knowing which social media sites are resulting in interactions with your client base or clicks on your website is important. For most businesses, this will include Facebook and LinkedIn, but it may also include Instagram and Pinterest. Each platform has it’s own ‘insights’ section. Or if you are using Hootsuite for example (social media management and scheduling tool) they have analytics as well. Note how many new followers you are attracting each month, but more importantly how many folks share, like and comment on the posts. You can then see which platform is more ‘active’ and to invest more time into AND you can see which type of posts attract more attention – ie is it graphics/links/stand alone posts and note what the content is about – then do more of it!
- Website Action – Google analytics is really an all-in-one analytics program that will track all the action to a website including how long they stay on a page, how many pages they view, if they come back and even available demographics and location of those accessing your site. It can seem overwhelming when you are in there – but there are also plugins (like Jetpack) for WordPress that make it easier to focus on the stats that matter.
- Emails – if you use email marketing or newsletters, analytics that track when your emails are opened, what links get clicked, or if your emails are sent directly to spam are critical. This use of analytics can help you to craft an email that customers open, read and use to get to your website to make a purchase. Tweak subject lines, text vs html emails, content – see what gleans the best results.
- Track sales – most eCommerce platforms will include analytics for tracking sales. This includes by location, by products, by amounts, and by payment types or subscriptions. This will affect what you promote and when and can help you strategize on creating a powerful sales funnel to bring folks to your end goal.
- Tracking revenue and expenses – through monitoring expenses and revenue, analytics is effective in seeing where you have the greatest return on investment. This is not the same as visits or new customers, this tracks conversions against expenses, showing you what adds directly to your bottom line. As a business owner you want to be ‘on top of’ what your financial numbers are to make more effective decisions – like staffing, expenses to cut, what generates more revenue, what services to add etc.
- Paid Advertising – if you are using Facebook ads, PPC (Pay Per Click) marketing or other types of paid advertising, you’ll want to use the provided analytics to make the best decisions as to the value of continuing with these ads or if changes need to occur. You don’t need to sink a lot of money into, or wait a long time for an ad to run to know if it’s working or not. Test 2 different pictures for the same ‘ad’ in Facebook. The one that is NOT working after 2-3 days – make inactive – and then put more money into the one that is giving you conversions. Also look at the cost per click amount. If your cpc is $23.60 per lead that comes in – and you are bringing in 30 people to your $7000 event – well that ppc amount is worth it. Looking at the big picture and cost per acquisition is also a factor when judging the cost per click.
Without using analytics, business decisions are, at best, educated guesswork. Through the use of analytics provided through the various platforms and programs, it is possible to make informed decisions to continually improve your business based on facts and data.