Online analytics have become big business over the past decade, as corporate and government institutions seek to understand the growing number of communications platforms around them. Having clear goals is only part of the solution to creating an effective communications strategy.
The other part is having the right tools to help you achieve these goals.
To set up a coherent communications strategy that is centred around your business, you need strategically-focussed metrics. Businesses that use Facebook and Google to promote their services will be familiar with the myriad of data metrics available. From CPMs to click-thrus, to video views, there is a range of quantitative metrics on offer to assist you in qualitatively judging the success of a campaign.
Here are five ways to implement data metrics for your business:
There is little point in being a champion on Google if your social media presence is below par – potential clients will investigate this.
The internet, and indeed the broader media, is fragmented. It is reasonably fair to say that a well-known brand like Coca-Cola cannot be dominating on every media platform during every second of the day. The key is to take a joined-up approach to branded communications, deliver messaging formulaically across channels, and focus on return on investment (ROI). Not just ROI in terms of spend or time spent, but in figuring out where your communications are having the biggest and most influential impact
Make your branded website the heart of everything you do, and focus on sending audiences there.
This is also about owning your own messaging. Your website is where brand affinity will be built up, and ultimately where potential customers get converted into leads by contacting you. Depending too much on any given channel (e.g. Facebook) to communicate with users could mean that you lose control of both the context and the distribution of your communications. It is good to use these channels, but as a road rather than a destination. Making the branded website that destination will also help you put in place a strategic process around your communications, so there is always a set path to follow.
Google Analytics is great for measuring the success of all other aspects of your marketing communications.
Plus, it is free! In addition to your website, Google Analytics provides tangible metrics for measuring performance. “What is the overall size of your site audience?” “Is Facebook or Twitter delivering more customers?” “What percentage of site visitors are visiting the contact page?” These are simple measurements that cut out other vanity metrics and fit more congruently with metrics around your bottom line (calls, new business, monthly revenues, etc.). They can also help your communications teams to establish a meaningful place in boardroom discussions; monitoring the popularity of individual news and opinion pieces and drilling down to the very effectiveness of written communications.
Integrating key social media metrics into your reporting system can give your social media numbers a more purposeful role.
It is a good idea to focus on high-level metrics, such as Facebook page likes, Twitter followers, and YouTube views, but it is also good to cast a quick eye on lower-level engagement metrics and use them efficiently. These numbers will give you a quick understanding of what types of communications are working best and on which platforms. Like Google Analytics, these tools come free with the platforms themselves.
Taking stock of progress on a monthly basis can be the most effective – and efficient – way to monitor the success of a campaign.
Just like sales, accounting and other business metrics are often reported on a monthly basis, reporting campaign data metrics are an excellent opportunity to place communications measurement within your business strategy.
Modern media can seem like a disjointed place, but harnessing and using the data of these emerging platforms effectively can have a direct impact on overall business strategy. The key is to have clear goals, put an efficient structure in place, and focus on a few tangible metrics that genuinely assist in working out which activities are delivering the highest amount of engagement among your target audiences.