When done well, advertising can work wonders for a product, service, or brand. Think of online advertising as a fishing line with a hook. You're looking for the fish to take your bait and get pulled to your site (or selling platform). But unlike with the fish, it's even better if you can entice and educate your intended consumers, too, with informative content marketing over the web. Equally important is to be able to tell when you've gotten that nibble — when your advertising processes are working and when they're not. How can a business owner refine a campaign or strategy to connect with and convert more consumers? What steps can you take on a daily basis?
Once you and your team have figured out your (or your client's) basic advertising requirements, and the creative team is displaying your benefits, it's time to measure and track the process. Here are five steps you can take to measure whether or not your campaign is boosting sales and engagement.
Tracking sales before, during, and after engagement:
Have you located where your ideal customers live on the web? Are your prospects on LinkedIn? Are you responding to comments on your blog comments? Make sure your team is checking website stats on a pay-per-click basis, or PPC. All these online activities help position your brand prior to, during, and after a campaign.
Tracking conversions and time spent on site:
Now's the time to use Google Analytics to track conversions to your landing pages and check a user's time spent on your site. You can also track visits and unique visitors (new and/or returning users with at least one session within your chosen range of dates) to your site. During the course of your business day, your team should be checking Google Analytics against your campaign goals, and readjusting keywords and/or advertising spending as needed.
Social media interactions:
Ideally, you should position social media posts for your campaign to hit the main conversion (or funnel) levels. These are top of funnel (awareness), middle of funnel (consideration), and bottom of funnel (conversion). There are different prospects at different levels of engagement checking your pages and products. Are you gauging their comments, click-throughs, and likes on your social media advertising campaign? Make sure you're using best practices on each channel to engage your prospects. Remember, what works for LinkedIn doesn't necessarily work on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
Coverage in other media:
If the initial click-throughs and site visits aren't wowing your team, then it's time to time to get creative with other approaches to boost your success rate. Can your team draw coverage in other media for your campaign? Try some PR outreach to industry publications. Use email to send campaign info to industry influencers, and create a behind-the-scenes video with your key execs about the campaign. Test these efforts over the course of 30 days around the campaign and see if they increase ad clicks.
Track levels of web traffic — direct vs. referral vs. organic:
Google Analytics offers users the opportunity to see incoming traffic to their sites. You can check this under "traffic sources" in its drop-down menu, and track direct traffic, referral traffic, and organic traffic. Hopefully, your organic traffic is working with and supplemented by referral traffic from PPC ad campaigns, and you should see some conversions and leads in your marketing mix.
Remember, at the onset you have to know the goals of your campaign. Increasing sales, boosting awareness of your company, and opening up a new market are laudable objectives. Follow these five steps to make sure your advertising campaign is working.