Join Brad Batesole for an in-depth discussion in this video Introduction to measuring data, part of Online Marketing Foundations.
- The data you collect on your website, your campaigns, and your social media efforts will determine the overall health of your digital marketing. The data is your map; without it, you're flying blind. You'll be using your data to improve your experience, listen for untapped opportunities, and pull the plug if you have to on any failing ideas. The amazing thing with digital marketing is we can track just about every action a user takes. There are a number of tools available that help marketers understand both the qualitative and the quantitative. We can track what's happening now and even model what is likely to happen in the future.
Let's dig a little deeper into measuring data by looking at how we can capture data within our three medias: paid, owned, and earned. So the easiest place to start is with your own website. Here you can track how many visitors, where they're coming from, what pages they're visiting, how long they've stayed, and even what page they left from. By reviewing your analytics, you'll get a sense of how your users found your site, if they're finding what they want, and if your advertising objectives are driving a meaningful amount of traffic. With a resource like Google Analytics, you'll install a tracking code on every page on your website.
From there, you'll have a gold mine of data to leverage, segment, and correlate. For example, if you made a change to your website design and noticed on that day web traffic dropped dramatically, you'll have a sense of where to start looking for the problem. If you rollout a new landing page, you might see an increase in conversions resulting from that specific page. Or you may see a sudden spike in traffic and by drilling into it, you can identify the source. Say, a social media post or a mention or even an online blog. Now your paid analytics are typically tied to a reporting platform provided by the tool you're using to run those ads.
This data is extremely useful as it can give you granular details on which ads are working, what targeting makes sense, and more. However, you'll want to track as much data as you can in another tracking tool independent of that provider. This way you can check the accuracy and evaluate things from different perspectives. This is important because more often than not, the way your platform will report conversions is different than how you report them, and this works by installing a small pixel on your conversion page which informs the platform that a sale happened.
So if you have an advertisement on Facebook, for example, driving traffic to your landing page, you'll want to use campaign tracking tags or goal tracking in Google Analytics and the Facebook advertising dashboard simultaneously. This way you can compare the data, identify any discrepancies, and test if your conversion pixel is actually working. Now the final part of our measurement will come from earned media, and this one is typically the most difficult. Here, your outcomes aren't necessarily determined by spend but how interesting people think your product and services are.
Here, you're tracking things like your social media fanbase, mentions and interactions on tweets, and video views on YouTube. You may have many dashboards that you collect this data in, and you'll want to look at it alongside all your other advertising metrics. The best way to measure results with earned media is to have your own goals and objectives that you can measure against. So if, for example, you decide that 10,000 Facebook fans would increase your revenue potential by $1,000, then you can track how you're trending towards that goal and the effort you're investing.
There's an endless amount of data providers out there. Investigate them against your needs and keep a system in place that provides you with the necessary checks and balances.
This course is part of a Learning Path approved by the American Marketing Association.
Gain the skills you need to become an AMA Professional Certified Marketer (PCM) in Digital Marketing by using the industry-leading courses and resources in the Learning Path. Take the AMA certification exam to show that you have what it takes to lead the digital transformation.
- What is online marketing?
- What makes a website effective?
- Working with a designer or developer
- Creating engaging web copy
- Understanding online analytics
- Using goal and event tracking
- Exploring the conversion funnel
- Defining key performance indicators (KPIs)
- Understanding SEO techniques
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating a content strategy
- Leveraging local SEO
- Understanding who's on social media
- Marketing with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest
- Creating compelling video marketing campaigns
- Building an email marketing plan
- Measuring the success of your marketing efforts
- Setting up a blog
- Running A/B marketing tests
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 03/08/2016. What changed?
A: We updated six movies to keep current with the latest interfaces in Google Tag Manager, Google Keyword Planner, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Brad also added one new tutorial on setting up a blog.
Q. This course was updated 03/21/2017. What changed?
A. The following topics were updated: installing Google Tag Manager, using goal tracking, looking at a conversion funnel, looking at attribution models, leveraging local SEO, introduction to search and display, launching display search ads, and deciding to use remarketing.