According to a 2018 Forbes report, organizations report that the greatest challenge they are facing in 2019 is how to measure the effectiveness of digital marketing. I have spoken to a number of clients who decided to work with growth-driven HubSpot certified digital marketing agencies as opposed to relying solely on their own internal marketing efforts, and indeed almost every one of them confessed to the same quandary: how do we know our current marketing efforts are really working?
This article is intended to not only help CEOs and marketing managers see the value in working with growth marketing agencies that know how to generate measurable results, but also assist internal teams with a new approach to creating quantitative tactics that have a direct impact on bottom line reporting.
Give Your Vanity Metrics the Boot
All too often, organizations and businesses allow themselves to be teased by surface-level numbers that give off the impression a digital marketing strategy is working. But in order to get a realistic portrait of your efforts, you need to consider a number of actionable metrics that span a wider landscape. By doing this, you leave no room for making vain assumptions about your digital marketing efforts.
In regards to Google Analytics, you will want to consider the following metrics:
- Page views
- Traffic by channel
- Traffic by device
- New visitors to returning visitors ratio
- Session duration
- Bounce rate
- Goal completions
If you are using an advanced CRM with analytics and reporting tools, you will want to consider the metrics that help formulate lead magnets. These include:
- CTA rates
- Conversion rates
- Freemium or free trial conversions
- Pop-up conversions
- MQL to generated leads ratio
- Leads to close ratio
If you are investing in a custom Growth Stack (a set of tools and strategies synchronized to achieve the same goals) the inbound marketing methodology will likely be a strategy you utilize and therefore email marketing will be an ongoing investment. When running email marketing campaigns, pay attention to these metrics:
- Open rate
- Unsubscribe rate (abandon cart rate if you are an ecommerce business)
- Open rate by device
- Bounce rate
Once you have noted these metrics, combine them together to paint a picture that tells you exactly what your target customers think of your brand, products and services based on these metrics. Ask yourself big questions like, “do my web pages with the highest bounce rate have anything in common with the email content that generated the highest unsubscribes? Do the emails with the highest engagement rate share any commonalities with web pages that have the highest session durations?
The best digital marketing agencies use these metrics to fuel such questions, but they don’t stop there. Though these numbers matter, they only represent one side of the coin. Once you are able to use numeric fallout and data to construct a snapshot of your buyer audience, see how that portrait stands against your buyer personas, as well as the metrics that reside in niche content like blogs or social media posts to get a clear view of buyer needs, pain points and what an ultimate solution to those needs looks like.
Your Blogs Have a Goldmine of Data
Because good blogs focus on precise topics within a niche branch of your overall products or services, the data you can extract from them will speak more directly to buyer needs than say the data extracted from your website’s homepage.
Take the previously mentioned analytics and apply them to your blog pages. Then note your top visited blogs and their topics, which buyer persona they speak to, and is you are running a Growth Marketing strategy with a hubSpot partner agency, look to see if the blogs played a role in the buyer’s journey that led to a conversion. Once this data has been pulled you can optimize your future blogs and even optimize your main web pages with more targeted content that will better perform.
Start with your top pages that had the lowest engagement metrics. After the pages have been re-written make sure to re-submit these to Google’s search console through WebMaster Tools. Then allow for three months to pass and compare the current quarter’s engagement metrics to last quarter’s to see if the optimization brought improvements.
Need a Digital Marketing Strategy that Farms Data and Creates Measurable Growth?
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