One of the great benefits of digital (and sometimes double-edged sword) is that it is highly accountable and measurable. Therefore there has never really been any question as to why marketers should be measuring their digital spend. But what metrics should we be monitoring? How do we know if your marketing activities are really contributing to sales and business growth, and move beyond just measuring impressions and clicks? Here are my 5 suggestions across paid, owned and earned platforms:
1. New vs returning traffic. This is an indicator on two levels; how loyal your customer user base is and whether you are growing that user database. Monitoring these levels on a weekly and monthly basis will give you insight as to how your costumers are reacting to your external marketing activities; and which database/CRM activities and are effective to bring customers back to the site.
2. Bounce rate. Benchmarking your bounce rate is key to understanding if your website is effective at holding consumer attention long enough to push them through conversion. There is no point executing marketing activity that drives people to the site but if more than 60% of them leave; you’ve wasted the opportunity to convert those to customers. Monitoring bounce rate means you can keep tweaking your site architecture, user experience and navigation to ensure you retain and convert that traffic.
3. Share of voice. We often negotiate and buy media based on direct performance currency like CPC, CPM, CPV, CPA. We can’t forget that padid platforms are also subject to advertising basic metrics of reach, frequency and share of voice. Understanding share of voice of your online messages is about how much you stand out from the clutter.
4. Sentiment. In social media, we tend to get so focussed on numbers of fans and comments and engagement but its also just as important (if not more) to focus on the nature of these conversations. Are the mentions promoting or hurting your brand? Are they even about your brand at all? Checking at your sentiment score (via a social media tool like Hootsuite) will keep track of whether your customers (and potential customers) are really saying great things about you or not.
5. Share of conversation. Another interesting measure for earned platforms, especially when it comes to comparing your efforts with competitors is that of Share of conversation. Just like share of voice in display media or TV advertising, a good measure of brand consideration and virality is to see if your brand is dominating conversations on a certain topic. For example, if you’ve just launched a new fashion product, you want to see a visible jump in share of conversations amongst your competitors everytime you distribute any piece of content about it (video, image, text etc).
In digital, its easy to get lost in numbers. What is important is to also look at what the data is telling you about consumer behaviours. These are the insights that will help brands to continually optimise and improve your digital marketing activities for the longer term.