In today’s digital world, marketing strategies must evolve to stay relevant. With every new technological advancement, competitors quickly follow suit and create innovative ways to attract potential customers. From SEO and content marketing to email marketing and PPC, marketing platforms have changed, and the strategies used to succeed in the past no longer work in the same way.
To combat this, marketers are turning to data and analytics to discover what is and isn’t effective in attracting potential customers. Armed with this information, marketers can better plan and strategize to reach their target audience.
In this article, we will discuss how to use analytics to optimize your online marketing strategy. We’ll cover everything from marketing objectives and metrics, to content creation and engagement. Let’s get started.
Marketing Objectives and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The first step to planning your online marketing strategy is to set your marketing objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). The latter should be linked to specific marketing metrics that you’ll use to measure your progress and determine if your strategy is working or needs an adjustment.
Your marketing objectives should be clearly defined and should form the basis of your strategy. They should be measurable and, most importantly, should be geared toward improving your bottom line. The following table provides a list of industry-standard marketing objectives and their associated metrics:
- To grow brand awareness
- To grow web traffic
- To decrease churn and increase purchase value
- To improve lead conversion rate
- To increase click-through rates on social media
- To increase the number of people opting-in to receive email updates from your company
Why Brand Awareness?
You’ve probably heard the expression “You can’t beat brand awareness.” It’s usually attributed to Leo Tolstoy, but the adage certainly applies to marketing. After all, what is brand awareness but the degree to which a consumer is familiar with, thinks about, and trusts a brand or product. Simply put, brand awareness is the most basic of all marketing metrics because it measures the simplest form of engagement: thinking about a brand or product.
The power of brand awareness lies in its measurability. While you can’t precisely calculate the impact of brand awareness, you can determine its relative significance in comparison to other metrics. If you’re not familiar, the Google Analytics dashboard includes a metric that measures the amount of brand awareness your site has created. This is typically measured using the following formula:
- Total # of searches for brand (e.g., Google, Amazon, etc.)
- # of brand mentions (i.e., a person or website mentioning the brand)
- # of times the brand is mentioned (relative to the total # of searches)
- Brand awareness score
One of the nice things about Google’s brand awareness score is that it provides you with a visual indication of how well you’re doing. To discover this, simply perform a search on Google for your brand, and then look at the left-hand side of the results page. You’ll see a small bar graph with your brand’s score next to it.
The bar graph will be green if you’re doing well, and it will turn red if you’re lagging behind. You can track your brand’s score over time using the Google Analytics API. This allows you to analyze trends and determine, for example, if there’s been a significant increase or decrease in brand awareness since your last audit.
You can use this data to pinpoint your weaknesses and determine which areas of your strategy require the most improvement. Maybe you’ve noticed that your blog posts aren’t generating the same level of interest as your website’s search listing. You can determine if this is due to poor content or a slow blog by comparing your blog’s traffic to its search listing. If the former is the case, you may consider reworking your content strategy. Once you’ve improved on this front, you can revisit your strategy and determine if this is the right direction for your company.
Web Traffic & Click-Through Rate
If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt already on the hunt for a way to drive more traffic to your site. Chances are, you’re also interested in increasing the revenue you get from this traffic. One of the best ways to do this is through affiliate marketing.
As the name implies, affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies’ products or services in exchange for a commission. When a visitor clicks a product or service link contained within an article, the merchant will pay the writer a commission for that click. This model creates a win-win situation for both parties: the visitor gets the information they need, and you get paid for it.
One of the best things about affiliate marketing is that you’re not limited to one monetization strategy. There are literally hundreds of affiliate marketing programs from which you can choose. For example, you might want to affiliate with a dating site so that when someone clicks a product or service link on your blog, they’ll be taken to a dating site that pays you for each click.
The downside to affiliate marketing is that it can be difficult to get started. You need to find a good affiliate partner who is willing to introduce you to their networks and promote your site. Luckily, you can use affiliate marketing to your advantage. One of the best things about this strategy is that you can use automated software to find and connect with potential affiliate partners. You can sign up for a free affiliate marketing tool like ClickFunnels to grab a link to your site and begin marketing products and services related to your niche.
Conversions & Opt-in Rates
Another important area to consider when optimizing your strategy is conversions and opt-in rates. Conversions indicate the number of people who’ve taken a specific action (e.g., subscribed to your email list, made a purchase, etc.) given a certain number of website visitors. You can think of conversions as a gauge of the effectiveness of your strategy.
Opt-in rates measure the number of people who’ve given you their email address specifically to receive communications from yourself and other brands. Ideally, you want to have high opt-in rates so that when people hear about your brand, they’ll want to get on your email list. There are a few different ways to go about achieving this. You can:
- Use unique, relevant content that’ll compel people to subscribe
- Offer a free gift or discount to those who subscribe
- Use social media to gain followers who’ll then become customers
One of the most effective ways to increase your conversions and opt-in rates is through email marketing. Every day, online marketerstry to keep their readers engaged while convincing them to subscribe or otherwise action.
The key to good email marketing is to keep your emails concise, relevant, and engaging.
To Grow Or To Die
The saying “to die for” can also be applied to your business’s marketing strategy. In other words, you’ve got to kill it to make it grow. To put it simply, you need to utilize all the tools at your disposal to drive as much traffic as possible to your site.
The best marketers measure the success of their strategy using both traffic and revenue growth. That is because, as much as you want to focus on engaging with your audience, you also need to be thinking about how to profit from this interaction. There are a variety of ways to monetize a blog, but the most popular is affiliate marketing.
If you’re interested in pursuing this route, consider using a tool like Shopify to build your online store. With this platform, you can easily set up shop to sell your own products, partner with local businesses to sponsor product giveaways, and take advantage of all the affiliate marketing opportunities that exist online.
If you’ve been following our blog thus far, you know that we firmly believe in the value of a quality education when it comes to marketing. For this reason, we want to share with you the most effective strategies of the 2018 marketing year, as well as offer some tips on how you can use these ideas to improve your own performance.