A recent study revealed that the biggest hiring gap in online marketing is in analytics. Many digital marketing programs are looking to strengthen their data capabilities, which will in turn ensure that their campaigns are successful.
A majority of companies employ analytics to measure and predict marketing returns, mainly against online media-based campaigns. A social media back-end system, for instance, helps marketers to understand which of their posts work best for their brand, and where their traffic is coming from. These companies also try to accumulate three-to-six months worth of data to identify trends and identify shifts in real-time for immediate action.
Defining the channels to track
According to the 2015 Forbes Insight report, most companies are employing data analytics to online media advertising (66 percent). An estimated 46 percent are applying analytics against traditional media placement activities; 41 percent to support direct mail campaigns; 35 percent for telemarketing campaigns; 34 percent for special offers, coupons, and rebates; and 27 percent for public relations or media outreach. This suggests that data analytics efforts extend beyond the digital realm.
An estimated 82 percent of companies that employ data analytics measure the results of campaigns on online media; but what exactly do they track?
1. Web content
An analysis of how effective the content on your website is at informing your website visitors and getting them to take the intended action
2. Lead conversion
Involves tracking prospective customers from the instant they come into contact with your marketing strategy to their final action: from initial contact to becoming a sales prospect, and then becoming an actual customer after paying for a product or service. This metric helps you identify the points where you lose potential customers in the lead generation process so you can enhance them.
3. Individual visitors
This refers to data collected from each client visiting your website for the first time. It helps to identify what specific marketing plan will get that client back to your website
4. Tracking new visitors vs. returning ones
This metric tries to identify the effectiveness of new content in driving new or returning traffic to your website
5. Click-through rate (CTR)
This metric identifies how effectively you can get visitors to take a certain action and proceed beyond landing on your webpage.
6. Bounce rate
Refers to data about how many visitors come to one of your web pages and leave without taking any actionable steps
7. Page views
This metric evaluates the number of pages each visitor opens on your website, how much time is spent on a webpage, and how many times each page was visited.
8. Source of traffic and its effectiveness
People could be drawn to your website through a number of channels including:
- Direct traffic: prospective customers who find your business directly without being directed by third parties.
- Referral: prospective clients who come to your website via third parties, like other websites where you’ve listed a link to your website.
- Organic: traffic coming from your SEO efforts, through engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
- E-mail: traffic directed to your website through your e-mail campaigns.
- Paid: prospective customers directed to you through an a paid ad campaign – like an ad banner or print ad in a newspaper
- Social: people who found your products or services or business ad while browsing through social network sites like Instagram and Facebook
Such marketing metrics can help you gain some perspective on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns, as well as where you need to direct more of your resources.