How to Effectively Measure a Digital Marketing Campaign
August 18th 2020 | By Emma Grant
When engaging a digital marketing agency, UK businesses really do need to understand how their campaigns will be measured. Because without metrics to measure against, how will you know if you are getting a return on your investment? How will you know whether your budget is being used wisely, and whether you are getting true value for money?
Here we are taking a look at the things every business should know about digital marketing reporting, including how to set and understand goals and key performance indicators (KPIs), what metrics you should be tracking (or your online marketing agency should be tracking!) as well as the most common methods used to measure results.
What is digital marketing measurement?
First things first, let’s look at what digital marketing measurement actually entails.
So, you’ve invested in a digital marketing campaign. It’s been running a while. How have things improved for your business? How many leads have been generated? How many new customers have you acquired? How has your brand loyalty improved? Have you achieved any of your business goals? What’s your return on investment?
The only way to answer these vital questions is through digital marketing measurement. Now, you can either do this yourself. Or you can engage an online marketing agency that will include reporting as part of its service. Either way, you need to understand how the measurement techniques work.
There is ample data produced from any digital marketing or SEO campaign. Enough to make it clear what is working, what is not working, and what is delivering the best results. There are various ways of gathering this data, which we’ll look at later. For now though, the first step has to be goal setting. It’s time to set those KPIs.
What are KPIs, and how to set them?
KPIs (key performance indicators) are values used to measure and track the performance of a marketing campaign. Working with an online marketing agency, London businesses will see that a variety of strategies are put in place to promote their services and products. KPIs, providing they are specific to the campaign, make it more straightforward to determine targets and goals, and then in turn measure performance based on those set values.
KPIs are usually connected with a conversion. As a general rule, they should be easy to define and measure. They should also be of considerable benefit to your company, and align with its goals.
Increased leads or sales are typical KPIs. Some organisations also use business growth to measure the success of a campaign, and do this in terms of new account acquisition, as well as increase in revenue and profit. Volume of repeat business is also a good one, as are overheads, cost of acquisition, and time to purchase.
What are metrics?
Metrics are more specific than KPIs. These are the actual parameters digital marketers use to measure the facts of what’s happening as part of your campaign.
For example, someone completes your online enquiry form, responds to an email campaign by clicking on a link, or lands on your site having clicked a link from an externally posted piece of content, such as a social media post or a blog.
It is very important that you avoid ‘vanity metrics’. These may look good, but in reality they are not going to guarantee a return on your investment. What you want to focus on are ‘value metrics’. Take a look:
Examples of vanity metrics:
- Overall web traffic (this is like measuring business success on turnover rather than profit)
- Time spent on a website as a whole
- Social media followers
- Keyword rankings
- Page impressions
Examples of value metrics:
- Conversion rates
- Sales-qualified leads
- Cost per acquisition
- Customer lifetime value
- Subscriptions to mailing lists (newsletter sign-ups or eBook downloads)
- Content shares
- Email click-throughs and forwards
- Social mentions and engagement
Vanity metrics aren’t entirely useless, because they do show that digital marketing efforts are having an effect. It’s just they shouldn’t be used as an end goal.
What metrics should my digital marketing agency be tracking?
Here are some examples digital of the most common digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO) metrics:
- Referral – visitors finding your website by clicking a link elsewhere rather than finding it via a search engine
- Social – visitors who land on your site from social networks
- Email –visitors landing on your site having clicked a link in an email
- Organic – people landing on your website from organic search traffic rather than paid ads
- This is the number of visitors who land on your website, take no action, then leave. It usually indicates that the page quality is low, or that it didn’t match search intent. It’s important to track this as a metric as if the bounce rate is high, it will indicate that action needs to be taken.
Click through rate
- The frequency at which your search listings generate clicks through to your website
- For non-paid digital marketing campaigns, goals for conversions could be the likes of subscribing to a newsletter, submitting an enquiry form, or downloading an eBook.
- Other goals may include booking a consultation, signing up for a demo or trial, or creating a new account.
- Per-channel conversion rates show you which channels are attracting the majority of your website traffic. The more accurate this metric, the better you can allocate your resources to the channels that are best serving your goals.
There are many, many, many other metrics that digital marketing agencies use to measure the effectiveness of campaigns. Some strategies will have their own specific metrics, such as those used for organic SEO, YouTube marketing, etc.
Top tip: Don’t be bamboozled by data, or blinded by science!
What you DON’T want is to be bamboozled by reams of data so that you can’t see the wood for the trees. A good digital marketing agency should be one that UK businesses feel comfortable approaching for a jargon-free, plain English breakdown of how their campaign is performing.
At the end of the day, if your KPIs are not being met over the agreed time period, then individual metrics quite simply won’t matter at all. But what should that time period be?
Top tip 2: Give it time
In reality, you can’t expect to start seeing a return on investment for digital marketing for a few months. A digital marketing agency that knows its stuff will advise you to measure your investment in terms of annual return, because typically, many campaigns won’t start to pay off for a year. You may wish to set short term and long term goals therefore, so that you don’t abandon ship too early.
Monthly reports will show you the incremental improvements that are being made, so you can see things have started moving in the right direction. Success factors will be shown in terms of metrics, whilst ROI comes in the shape of KPIs.
There may be some early wins, and the best online agencies will know how best to maximise the budget and optimise the campaigns so that you start to see results faster.
Time for help from a digital marketing agency London businesses rely on for sales-boosting results?
If you are seeking a digital marketing agency Surrey and London businesses recommend, look to Figment. When it comes to achieving results that fall in line with our clients’ KPIs and business goals, our track record is well proven.
As a results-driven team, we remain focused on the outcomes that really matter. The ones that increase sales, grow businesses and enhance reputation.