Digital Marketing Analytics

Digital Marketing Analytics – So What?

digital-marketing-analytics

Over the past 10 years I’ve looked at countless digital marketing and social media marketing reports. Analytics, reporting, measurement and ROI are also at the top of most marketers lists when it comes to digital marketing.

The challenge is that when it comes to digital marketing we have no shortage of data. We have a shortage of insights.

Here is a scenario: Your digital or social media agency gives you a shiny report every month that shows all of the key stats about your Facebook Page performance. You are growing likes, you have X amount of reach, your page is comprised of 50% women.

SO WHAT?

The challenge is that reports don’t actually tell us anything useful. Insights do.

We need to move from WHAT to SO WHAT to NOW WHAT if we want to make sense of digital marketing analytics.

What?

The first part is the what. What does the data tell you? Most digital marketing analytics start and end here, leaving marketing executives confused as to how their digital marketing is actually performing. They get LONG reports full of data but short on insights. They see all statistics about how their digital marketing is performing but they don’t answer the fundamental questions of: Is this working? Are we improving? How can we do better?

The what is the raw information, for example:

  • We grew 50 likes on our Facebook Page
  • We generated 100 clicks from our search ads
  • Our bounce rate dropped 5%

So What?

This is where the insights come in. So what does this tell us? This is where your analysis should focus. A fancy report without insights isn’t helpful. Most marketers struggle with this part of digital marketing reporting and analytics. So what does this mean?

This is the analysis, for example:

  • We grew 50 likes on our Facebook Page, which is faster than last month (when we only grew 10). The new likes came primarily from our website, which shows that adding the like button on the site was effective.
  • We generated 100 clicks from our search ads, which is more than last month. As we’ve improved our copy and landing pages we are able to get a higher Quality Score which has improved our ranking on our key terms and is therefore driving more traffic to the site. 
  • Our bounce rate dropped 5% because we saw growth in traffic to the homepage, which then guides people to the pages they actually want to visit.

Now What?

This is the last and most important question if you want to optimize your digital marketing and get better results. Ultimately you can spend a lot of time and effort calculating the exact ROI from your digital marketing (well, you probably can’t calculate the exact ROI) or you could spend that time and money focusing on improving.

This is the next steps, for example:

  • We grew 50 likes on our Facebook Page, which is faster than last month (when we only grew 10). The new likes came primarily from our website, which shows that adding the like button on the site was effective. We are going to keep the button there and also add other social networks as this appears to be an effective way to extend our relationship with website visitors.
  • We generated 100 clicks from our search ads, which is more than last month. As we’ve improved our copy and landing pages we are able to get a higher Quality Score which has improved our ranking on our key terms and is therefore driving more traffic to the site. We are continuing to test variables to drive better Quality Score and generate more clicks for the same budget. We are also testing additional keywords to see if we can drive more clicks and conversions through additional terms.
  • Our bounce rate dropped 5% because we saw growth in traffic to the homepage, which then guides people to the pages they actually want to visit. Since we are seeing growth in traffic to our homepage where people are going to additional pages we may want to look at our conversion rates on the secondary pages visited to see if we are getting value from the traffic growth.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that when it comes to digital marketing it is easy to get caught up in the mechanics of reporting, but if you truly want to be effective focus on how you analyze the data and what you do with it to get better results. Information that doesn’t lead to insights isn’t particularly helpful. Insights that don’t drive optimization aren’t growing your ROI.

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