You can have the best small biz marketing strategy in the world, but if you aren’t measuring that performance on a regular basis — what’s the point?
Knowing where you stand with your marketing efforts allows you to identify what’s working, what’s not, and where you should invest your time and money moving forward.
If you have a robust small biz marketing plan, you’ll need to monitor it through many different means.
Here are a few places to get started.
Having a free, simple tool like Google Analytics integrated with your website will provide great insight into the effectiveness of your marketing. Within Google Analytics, you should specifically study:
Average monthly traffic: Are certain campaigns creating a boost in website visits?
Bounce rate: What percentage of users are only viewing one page and then leaving?
Source traffic: What sources are bringing the most traffic to your site?
Demographic: Who is your average website visitor?
With these four metrics, you can lay the foundation that helps you measure progress in months to come—and figure out who exactly you need to speak to in your marketing efforts.
If you include a phone number in your marketing campaigns, tracking calls help you define which marketing and advertising campaigns are actually working—and getting people to pick up the phone. After all, a phone call is 10x more likely to lead to a sale than any other medium.
An easy way to get started is to use different numbers for different marketing mediums. Don’t get carried away—start by testing out one number for your online presence (sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook) and then a different number for your website.
Once you start collecting data, really take a deep dive into the numbers. See where calls are coming from (both geographically and via online sources), which channels result in longer calls, the conversion rates for different lead sources, and then decide what steps to take to continue the trend toward higher sales.
UTM Codes to Track Offline Marketing
Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) codes are simple add-ons to custom URLs that allow you to track the source, medium, and campaign name of your offline marketing efforts. These codes then tie in with your Google Analytics to give a clear picture of which marketing efforts are truly paying off.
For example: If you have a marketing campaign focused around a Back to School sale, you’d create a UTM code as a vanity URL for the offline efforts for it, and then direct that URL to your main website. Now, you can track how the weekly newspaper ad, radio spot, or TV commercial is doing without having to make landing pages for every new campaign.
Email Marketing Dashboard
The analytics that go along with your email marketing contain vital information that need to be studied as a whole and on a campaign-by-campaign basis. Whether you use a platform like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, or Constant Contact, take the time to study the following numbers and answer these questions:
Open rate: What’s you’re average open rate? Which campaigns performed above or below the norm—and what was different about them? What day/time seems to perform best?
Click-through rate: How many people are clicking on links within the email? Are you giving the reader too many options, or is there a single, clear button that works well?
Unsubscribe rate: Are there certain types of emails you’re sending that result in higher unsubscribe rates?
By studying these trends for your email marketing efforts, you can find out how to optimize future campaigns.
Social Media Insights
No social media presence is the same when it comes to small biz marketing, but there are a few KPIs you can look at to identify effective vs. non-effective strategies:
Follower count: Is your presence growing from month to month? (Not a hugely important indicator—focus more on engagement.)
Engagement rate: Are users interacting with content?
Click-through rate: What links are getting clicked on most often?
Ads: Are your ads producing a positive ROI, or are you paying to reach audiences that simply aren’t converting?
Monitor these numbers regularly, and look for spikes (and drops) in activity. This will help you tailor your strategies and increase the likelihood that it resonates with readers.
Study The Numbers
Small biz marketing isn’t a crockpot—you can’t set it and forget it. You need to monitor it, study changes, and learn as you go. A few minutes spent in the numbers can make a dramatic impact on the success of your marketing efforts.
Anything you’d add to this list?