By Nick Mattar
Director of Marketing
Detroit Regional Chamber
This post is part of the Digital Marketing Boot Camp series, a new set of blog posts across different mediums designed to provide intel to people and companies looking to improve their digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing analytics should be used as a tool to improve both your marketing strategy and your business’s bottom line. However, not all statistics are created equal and it is important to focus on those key performance indicators (KPIs) that truly dictate your digital marketing success. They can also be critical when informing your organization’s top leadership or board of directors on its strategic marketing direction.
With so many different digital marketing mediums, it is important to know what exactly to measure. Thus, consider these three overarching categories:
- Website analytics
- Email marketing stats
- Social media metrics
Each category has its own set of KPIs. Most companies will be able to gather digital marketing intelligence from these numbers, but feel free to combine these with other numbers you believe to be important.
Websites should do more than provide information to visitors; they should also generate leads. One of the best stats you can measure is the number of leads brought in by your website – or the number of new customers. In terms of standard measurable numbers from a basic Google Analytics account, there are five numbers to monitor closely:
- Exit rate: Percentage of people who left your site from a specific page
- Bounce rate: Percentage of people who only visited a single page and then left the site
- Average time on page: How long visitors spent on the page
- Organic search: How many people found the page organically via search engine (Google, etc.)
- Mobile visitors: The number of unique visitors on a mobile devices
It is important to note that these numbers can be deceiving, depending on the goal of the webpage. Consider the average time on page. While you want your customers or members to spend a lot of time on a webpage, a shorter average time for landing pages or transition pages such as a homepage or internal homepage is also important.
If you recently reorganized your menu structure and subsequently notice your average time on page significantly increases, chances are your visitors are more confused rather than consuming all of your content.
Pay special attention to mobile visitors. The need to communicate with consumers anytime and anywhere is paramount in today’s world and that is measured by mobile visitors. If you receive over half of your hits from mobile devices, you should make sure to test your new pages and posts by viewing them on a phone.
Email Marketing Stats
Email has become one of the most popular forms of communication over the past 20 years. But the way email is consumed is rapidly changing. What was once checked once or twice per day is now constantly monitored. People are always online sending and receiving emails.
Three numbers are most important when reviewing email stats:
- Unique open rate: How many different people open an email
- Time and day of sends: How open and click rates differ based on the time and day
- Conversions: Number of recipients who actually took the desired action from an email
Conversions can best measure an email’s return on investment. If an email promotes an event and aims to increase registrations for that event, the total conversions would equal the number of registrations from that specific email. Marketing automation programs measure conversions, but you can also measure them via Google Analytics by setting up personalized goal conversions.
The time and day of a send is important to note because your audience may be more likely to open an email at different times. At the Detroit Regional Chamber, email recipients are most likely to open emails in the 1:00 p.m. hour and the 4:00 p.m. hour on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fridays are the weakest days and the 12:00 p.m. hour is the weakest, statistically. However, other companies have reported emails perform the best in the morning or evening.
An additional item to note is that email marketing has several statistical shortcomings. As of 2016, most email marketing programs cannot measure how long an individual views an email or inbox before making a decision on whether or not to open or click an email. Some email programs such as Microsoft Outlook offer preview windows where individuals can view the content of an email without technically “opening” it, allowing people to read an email without it counting as an open on the analytic side. And while A/B email testing is incredibly popular with most email marketing programs, there are many flaws that allow for errors and inconsistencies.
Social Media Metrics
With an ever-changing landscape and thousands of self-proclaimed experts, social media is both popular and difficult to integrate into a marketing strategy. With a bevy of eye-popping stats published every day about hot, new social media websites, it is easy to make the case for up to a dozen social media platforms.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and now Snapchat have entire books published about their successes and shortcoming. While this article will not delve into the ocean of available social media stats, there are some you can measure from your own social accounts that provide helpful takeaways.
- Click rates: How often users click on your social media posts to a third-party (often your own) site
- Follower loss: Can be difficult to measure, but is as important as follower growth
- Conversations: How often users comment or share your posts and how/if you respond
The click rate stat is undoubtedly the most important measurable number. While social media can work wonders for a brand’s awareness, it can also provide tangible new web hits and conversions. If you post a tweet with a link to an event registration page, you can measure the number of clicks that tweet received (some programs can also measure the number of clicks that tweet also turned into paying customers.)
Not all posts will have calls to action, so those posts should not be included in the measurement of this stat. By dividing the total number of URL clicks by the total number of posts that include a URL, you get a good average number of clicks per applicable post. At the Chamber, Facebook has proven to attract more organic clicks per post, while Twitter has historically struggled to attain more than a few clicks per tweet. But again, these numbers vary based on the company and the target market.
The aforementioned key performance indicators are all important, but there are many others that can measure digital marketing performance. Each company’s digital marketing footprint is different – make sure to tailor your analytics to your end goals.
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