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The Digital Marketing Metric That Matters Most

2webdesign-saskatoon-businessview-magazine

Published: June/July 2016. The Digital Marketing Metric That Matters Most by Mouneeb Shahid. Business View, Page 17.

 

The following article was originally published in the 2016 June/July edition of Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce’s Business View magazine. Business View is a bimonthly magazine published by the Saskatoon Chamber.

Digital marketing has taken over traditional marketing like a pandemic. Surely, there is the convenience of launching digital marketing campaigns quickly and easily, but the primary reason why businesses prefer to invest in digital marketing is due to the ability to track their Return On Investment to the penny.

To run a successful digital marketing campaign, it is important to consider the variables that influence the user journey. The user journey starts right from the point of introduction to your company, whether it is through a campaign, a 3rd party channel, or on your website. Often businesses rush to launch a campaign without thinking too much about the actions the user will need to perform to achieve the goal. As a business, you have to understand and map out the user journey right from the initial point of contact to the point they convert to a customer and begin a long-term relationship with you.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect formula or an alchemist out there that can reveal the elixir of digital marketing success. On the upside, when you do take the plunge, you can track with great detail your audience’s engagement levels to determine what works and what fails. Over time, your objective should be to continue to optimize your user journey to see what gives you the best results.

Measuring results are the key when it comes to digital marketing success. Depending on the extent of your campaigns, you can track a variety of user metrics. Before we get to the digital marketing metric that matters most, following are key metrics that you need to be aware of:

Website Analytics

The number of website visitors provides you an overview of how many people are finding your business online and which pages are most popular. It is important not to get carried away with “hits” or “visits”, you must also understand the rest of the terminology in the analytics report. Visitors landing on your we site and exiting after a few seconds can potentially have a negative impact. It would imply that the user experience on your website was simply not engaging, or you are not getting quality visitors. Quality visitors are people that are actively looking for your organization, or a product or service that an organization like yours offers.

You can use a free analytics tool like Google Analytics to understand how your website is performing. However, it is crucial that any analytics application is installed properly to give you accurate data.

Social Media Analytics

Understand that there are conversations that are occurring about your industry online, and there is an opportunity for your organization to be involved in those conversations to build awareness. You can use the mainstream social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get the ball rolling, but to make your invested time worthwhile, you need to track which conversations and content types are creating an impact and delivering a return on investment. Certainly, building “likes” and “followers” can be a key performance indicator, but social channels continue to evolve as they become saturated with content and over time you have to compete and put more effort in creating compelling content that is more engaging.

Social media is not a one-way street, but a network of connections that can spread your message rapidly. Using a tool like HootSuite that allows you to track what works and what doesn’t, so you can invest your time in what matters.

The User Engagement Metric

Without a doubt, the most valuable marketing metric is “user engagement”. If you have an audience engaged with your message, then you have hit the goldmine. A user that is engaged will spend time reading your message and act upon it. They will also visit your digital channels for new information and look forward to the next update. What drives users is mainly the type of content you have for them to consume. If your content is interactive, dynamic or in a rich media format, you will achieve higher levels of engagement. But even a simple article that is a great read with valuable information can do the trick.

It can be challenging to measure engagement and usually, you need an application that can track and evaluate user behaviour across multiple channels. A tool like HubSpot allows you to track users across multiple channels and bring all that data together in a consolidated dashboard.

If you are interested in learning more about tracking your users and building an engaging digital experience for your online audience, email mouneeb@2webdesign.com

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