Effective marketing is often attributed to creativity, but marketing is a science as much as it’s an art. Sure, creativity is important when you’re planning a campaign – but if you’re not on top of the numbers, you’re flying blind.
A genius ad does you no good unless you understand how it’s going to serve you, and that’s where the metrics come in.
Most businesses that advertise through online mediums either collect as much data as possible, or realise that they should. It’s pretty simple to set Google Analytics up, especially if you already use Google apps like Gmail and Drive.
Not all businesses, however, understand how to use the data they collect to optimise their marketing efforts. Analytics is complicated enough to warrant full-time hires specifically allocated to it, but the small business owner can still make vast improvements to their results by implementing a few basic ideas.
Let’s take a look at social media analytics. For most businesses, social media is the highest level of the conversion funnel.
If you’re on top of, for example, your follower growth rate (the number of followers you gain per specified time period) across all your social channels, you’re already in a position to learn invaluable things about your audience and how they perceive you. If you’re not, you can use one of many social media analytics tools (such as Buffer) to keep track of your followers and growth rate.
But what do you actually do with the data?
If you notice any huge spikes in growth rate from one month to the next, analyse what went right. Look at your content and see if it changed in any significant way. Look at your competitors as well – did they make a mistake that cost them followers? Ask questions and don’t stop until you arrive at compelling answers.
Conversely, if your follower growth rate dips, find compelling answers as to why that’s happened too.
After analysis, you can draw conclusions. If you started using more pictures in your posts and noticed a significant jump in followers and engagement, you can surmise that your audience (on social media anyway) likes pictures.
From conclusions, you can develop hypotheses about what might improve your growth rate. Maybe your Twitter page will grow faster if you ensure to use more pictures in your posts. You can test hypotheses with testing tools such as Optimizely, or simple trial and error.
Once you have your test results, analyse them and start the cycle again. Did your follower growth rate remain static even though you started using more pictures? Better get back to the drawing board and develop another hypothesis.
That’s just one very basic example of how analytics can be used to intelligently grow your business. In this example, you’re using data to grow your audience and learn more about them. Key learnings can help with other channels aside from social too.
It’s important to continually test every element of your conversion funnel. It’s not unusual for small, seemingly insignificant changes to make enormous differences in conversions, sometimes doubling or tripling them.
Of course, if you ever have any questions or need a hand, you can contact us here.