The primary marketing channels the modern marketer uses today affords us something we haven’t had access to in years gone by – data.
We can track what’s working, what’s not, how much a new lead costs, where a sale has come from, how far our ads are reaching, what that reach is costing us and so much more.
We’re no longer reliant on the print ad sales person giving us hammed up metrics about distribution or readership, and with that trying to guess (or worse – not guess) what it’s going to cost us to get our message in front of a new audience.
We can quite easily put in place tools to help us track where our next online ticket sale, booking, subscription or lead came from. If we’re clever about it, we can even track how we acquired our latest offline walk-up customer.
Here’s the thing though. You’re not looking at the data, are you?
The very thing that should be leading your business decisions and YOU are not utilising it. Instead, you’re relying on gut feel or other subjective signals biased by a cloudy lens of how you see your own business; because you’re too close to effectively assess it objectively.
Why aren’t YOU using data for decision making?
We find, it seems to be one of or a combination of;
- Don’t know
- Don’t need to
- Too hard
- It’s my business, I know better
If you don’t know, I understand that. You’re spoilt for choice in digital marketing with so many platforms and marketing channels to choose from you. You’re not clear on what to choose and how to get it to work for you, let alone be able to sift through the seemingly endless data available to analyse.
If you think you know better – I can promise you, you don’t. I’ve never met a business owner, which without having looked at the data, can accurately tell me what percentage of their engaged audience on Facebook is woman between 35-44 years old.
Of course they shouldn’t be able to tell you, you’re thinking! Correct, as that’s some hard core data right there. It’s not the romantic high level stuff like how many likes your most recent cat picture on Facebook got.
True, but it’s the more important data.
How can you possibly make timely and accurate decisions, without the insights data can provide?
How can you know what content to write more of for you blog, if you don’t know what current content is performing the best? Solution – Google Analytics > Time on Page Stats
How can you know what marketing channel to invest more in, if you don’t know which one is generating the most leads to your websites? Solution – Google Analytics > Goal Tracking
How can you know what Facebook audience motivations to target, if you don’t know exactly who you’re speaking to? Solution – Facebook Insights > People Stats
All the clues are there. You just need to know where to look and have the humility to park your own opinion for a moment.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. – Socrates
If you only utilise a little data, make it this….
Website (using Google Analytics)
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that gives you everything you could possibly need to know about your website traffic. But it can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re new to it.
The good news though? It’s quick and easy to install on any website and if you know what you’re looking for, you can keep it simple and get some great insights at the same time.
Monthly traffic – Go to Google Analytics > Audience > Overview
It’ll tell you if traffic to your website is going up, down or sideways. Use this as an overarching signal on how you’re doing attracting an audience and building your overall digital presence. On its own however, it’s far from the performance metric on how your business is going.
Where traffic is coming from – Go to Google Analytics > Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels
Knowing where traffic is coming from, can tell you a lot about what’s working and what’s not. Drill in by social channel, partner referral websites, or other mediums you might use for promotions.
Couple this with setting up Google Analytics Goal Conversions and you’ll be able to tell exactly what referrers are leading the most qualified leads or conversions on your website. This might seem like a complicated or abstract principal to you now, but I guarantee once you have it set up, you’ll wonder why you ever lived without it.
What people are looking at when they’re on your website, and where they’re spending most of their time – Go to Google Analytics > Behavior > Site Content > All Pages
Assessing where people are spending the majority of their time tells you what they’re looking for from you and what they’re interest are – with this information in hand, your job is to continue to refine your website content (or business strategy) over time, to provide more valuable content; to create trust, inspire them or solve their problems, so your front of mind when they’re ready to buy or take further action.
Facebook (using Facebook insights)
Who is your audience – Facebook Insights > People
When you know 83% of your fans are women, with over 50% of them between aged 25-44 years, you can be pretty damn targeted with your messaging. Enough said! Get on it!
What’s your best performing content – Facebook Insights > Posts (ordered by reach, or engagement)
Bearing the aforementioned audience in mind, review what’s working on your Facebook page by assessing your best performing posts. Your aim is to see if you can identify some overarching trends that may be helpful to lead new content creation decisions moving forward.
Here’s our guess: We think you’ll find the best performing content is in line with your brand, is VERY social and taps an emotional connection with your audience. It’s personal and makes them laugh, cry, entertains them, gives them a sense of pride e.g. is nostalgic, or inspires them. Simply put, in some way, it connects with them or moves them.
What content leads to new page likes – Facebook Insights > Likes (selecting a range of the last 3-4 months)
When you work in social as much as we do, you get a pretty good feel for the Facebook algorithm. You get a sense when momentum is gathering on a piece of content, when it is waning, and when its driving reach or new page likes.
Using at the graph below you can highlight key moments in the timeline that drove spikes in new likes on the page. This may or may not line up with some of your best content identified earlier. Once you do that, hover over that moment in the timeline, and note the rough date for when the spike happened.
Go for a scroll down your timeline and identify the pieces of content that were active at the time driving those likes. Pay close attention to these. This is the type of content that drives new likes on your page and what you want to be doing more of.
Facebook Ads Manager
It’d be remise to talk about important Facebook metrics, without tipping our hat to the amazing insights you can get from the data in ads manager.
If you’re running Facebook ads for your business, you may have seen it. Reach, cost per 1,000, cost per lead etc. are all very tight, relevant metrics which can tell you what’s working, what’s not, and how much new business is costing you.
That’s said, Facebook Ads Manager deserves a blog post all of its own. We simply couldn’t even cover the basics in this post as well.
So there it is. The data is all there. You have all the clues for what your audience want, where the momentum is in the business and what you should be focusing on. You just need to park your own opinion at the door for a moment, and objectively assess what the data is telling you, before deciding what to do with those new found insights.
Tim Davies, Director, Hyper Social
A Geelong local, Tim is a serial SME business leader with a proven record in digital marketing and business growth.
Tim’s experience includes taking an Australian company to triple digit annual growth worthy of a place on BRW’s fastest 100 growing private companies list (2007-2009). He holds a Bachelor of Technology, has marketing agency experience and a deep passion for business growth.
Most recently, Tim helped local investors create and open one of Australia’s biggest indoor trampoline and climbing parks. The park has quickly established itself into one of the must-do tourist experiences in the Geelong & Bellarine region.