5 Ways to Successfully Track Your Marketing Efforts
Take Full Control of Your Campaigns
Let’s take a little trip down memory lane… Do you remember getting report cards back in high school? Whether you dreaded having to disappoint your parents with less than stellar grades or happily showed off your grades because you were genetically blessed, report cards provided a way to track your progress as a student.
Imagine if your teachers didn’t provide you with feedback in the form of grades and comments. How would you know if you were improving and which subjects needed work? What’s the point of investing hours into studying, writing a test, and not knowing how well you did? It’s pretty obvious that students need to track their progress one way or another. The same is applicable in marketing, but for some reason, tracking doesn’t even cross the mind of many business owners and managers.
From online marketing to print and billboards to radio ads, every aspect of your marketing is trackable if you can just get creative. Let us show you how.
Before You Get Started
A powerful and effective marketing campaign is built on a strong foundation. Make sure you…
- Track the traffic coming to your website. Google Analytics is free.
- You will be able to find out the average amount of traffic on your site, where it is coming from, average time spent on your website, and how many pages each visitor views.
- Set up vanity URLs.
- Through GoDaddy, you can buy domains for as little as $10
- If your website is AcmeChiropractor.com, buy WeWillFixYourBack.com. Direct the vanity URL to a page that already exists on your site.
- By analyzing the traffic that comes from a vanity URL, you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of your campaign. E.g. com is used for your door-to-door flyer.
- Note the dates that your ads will run so you can see how long your ads resonate with your target market
- Watch your website’s traffic closely for the first two days of your campaign. In many cases, it is during this period that you will first notice a spike in traffic.
Direct Mail: Show Up at their Door (but Not in a Creepy Way)
With the speed at which things are changing in today’s digital world, direct mail might be seen as an archaic method to reach new customers. This isn’t true whatsoever. If you get your creative juices flowing, you’ll be surprised at just how effective it can be.
- Drive potential customers to a unique page on your website using their first name
- Direct mail works out really well in B2B situations
We helped one of our clients target busy CEOs by executing this kind of campaign. She shot 45 videos for each one of the CEOs that she wanted to reach. Each video lasted about 40 seconds and most of the content was the same for each person, with the exception of minor changes to make it unique for the individual it was intended for. All in all, it took about 75 minutes to shoot the videos and an additional 60 minutes edit. Using WordPress, she then created a page on her site for each person, which took a total of 30 minutes.
Once this was mailed out, she was able to see if these CEOs were landing on those specific pages. If they did, she called them right away. With this campaign, 40% of the targets followed through and watched their personalized video. These results are fantastic considering that the average follow through on a direct mail piece is only 3%.
Print Ads: Make Your Audience go “Flippin” Nuts Over You
Being able to quickly pull up an article or blog on your mobile device is the epitome of convenience, but there are many who will tell you that there’s nothing like the feel of paper between your fingertips. If your Best Buyers (link to best buyer blog) are still flipping through print publications, here’s how you can reach them.
- Buy a vanity URL for each magazine or newspaper that you advertise in
- Those vanity URLs will point to specific pages on your site
- You’ll discover which publications are sending traffic to your site and which ones are not
- Find out how many people are coming to your site, how many pages they viewing, and how long they remain on your site
- This will give you an idea of how valuable the publication is
- Are the numbers high? Keep running your ad. Are they low? Cut it out of your budget.
- NOTE: Not everyone that is interested in you will type in your vanity URL. However, it is enough will for you to see traction and gauge what is working and what is not.
We worked with a client that had already decided on their media buys for the year. They came to us to help them figure out which ones were working and which ones were not. When we set up vanity URLs for them and used Google Analytics to examine the traffic, we discovered that about 40% of their spend failed to receive any engagement and 20% of their placement was getting 80% of the total print traction.
Our recommendation for the following year was to eliminate everything but that 20%. This lead to a cost savings of an impressive $24,500 for the next year. This then allowed them to double down on the marketing that worked and simnifically increase their overall marketing ROI.
Online Campaigns: Use Consumers Online Behaviors to Find Them
The trackability of an online campaign is generally easier for people to understand as the internet gives us the power to instantly track online behavior. Keep the following in mind.
- NEVER send them to your homepage with your paid ad campaigns. Always direct them to a page inside of your website.
- Oftentimes, we will create landing pages (separate from the main website) that can only be accessed by clicking the ad
- This allows us to see what they do once they land on that page (e.g. fill out a form, click a button etc.) and how much traction those ads are gaining
Pro Tip: One of the most important things that you should be doing, or the agency that you hired should be doing, is UTM tracking. No need to bore you with the details but UTM tracking communicates directly with Google Analytics and breaks down what your audience is doing through each specific ad that you run. It helps to identify engaging copy, relevant images, the right sexes or ages to target, and which source is driving the most quality traffic. If you are outsourcing this or working with an agency, you MUST ask them to set up UTM tracking. If they don’t know what that is, save your money and go elsewhere.
Billboards: Catch Your Audience’s Attention
Whether they’re seen while cruising on the freeway or walking around in the bustling downtown core of a city, you want to know if the big statement your business is making is actually creating an impact.
- Tracking billboards is largely like tracking the other media; use vanity URLs
- Take note of the first day that it goes up
- Normally, you will start to see a nice bump in your website traffic within the first 5 days
- Examine how long the lift lasted and if it remained past the date that the billboard was taken down
- Most of the time we recommend rotating locations every six weeks
- Allows for fresh eyes to view the ad
- People are more likely to pay attention to it
- If you leave it in the same spot for months on end, people will tune it out
One of our tourism clients that we consulted with placed 3 new billboards up all at once. They each had a different vanity URL to help track which billboard produced the best results. After 6 weeks, we moved them to different locations while keeping the same vanity URL. After monitoring the results, we made comparisons to determine which messaging and location drove the most traffic. In this case, there was a clear winner with regards to the best message and location. With this information, the company was able to make smarter purchases when it came to billboard space.
TV & Radio Ads: Make them Remember You
While many businesses have migrated towards online marketing efforts, traditional methods like television and radio can still be successful depending on your business. For example, local car dealerships might fare well with radio ads. And let’s not forget those Super Bowl ads.
- Again, use vanity URLs
- In the beginning, we recommend running TV ads at different times than radio
- It helps you see the impact of each one individually
- You can also promote special offers or give customers a discount if they mention the ad
- Great to track at the local level to see if people can remember the ads or not
- The listener/viewer is to repeat a code or keyword that was mentioned in the radio or TV ad
- The key is to make the code simple enough to recall immediately
We worked with a retailer that had a nice spike in business. The problem was that most of the new customers that visited the store didn’t remember the “code” they were supposed to say. As a result, we simplified the code the following month and continued to track the ads impact successfully.
Et voilà! There you have it, five different marketing methods and how to track each one. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand whether or not your marketing efforts are bearing fruit, but it requires time, diligent examination of your website’s traffic data, and a whole lot of creativity. If you would rather outsource these tracking efforts to a trusted marketing agency, there are plenty of companies out there with the expertise that can take your business to the next level.