By Shalini Pal. (Shalini is a student of Advertising at Symbiosis College, Pune)
Gone are the days, when all we would be hooked up to in our free time for entertainment or to increase our know-how about the world were radio, TV and newspapers. With the advancement in science and technology, the emergence of extremely influential and powerful new digital era has overtaken all the other forms of media. Just like air, water and sunlight, today internet has become a quintessential part of our life and it’s impossible to imagine our life without internet!
In the present day, all our life revolves around is text messages, phone calls, google search, e-mails, tweets, Facebook status updates and game consoles. Clearly, we are way too overwhelmed with the new digital era and this is the prime reason why marketers are increasingly shifting from traditional marketing methods to digital marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing refers to promotion of a brand, service or product by using digital media which incorporates various digital channels like social networks, emails, cellular phones, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), banner advertising, pay per click (PPC), SMS, voice broadcast, smartphones, tablets, game consoles, fax broadcast, video streams, podcasting, etc.
The reason why digital marketing is in the lime-light nowadays and is grabbing the eyeballs of most of the marketers, is because digital marketing is a form of direct marketing which allows marketers to directly interact with their customers, stakeholders, investors etc., thus allowing them to get instant feed backs and lets them discuss about their brand promotions, services, products and business progress. This helps in catering to specific needs of the customers and therefore increasing their brand loyalty as the customers get personal attention from the marketers.
Moreover, digital marketing is one of the most cost-effective and efficient tools of marketing and advertising. At anb entry level, it can be practiced by any and every one as it doesn’t require any prior knowledge or acquisition of any professionals for launching successful campaigns. One of the nonpareil advantages of digital marketing is that it consents us to measure qualitative plus quantitative performance of the campaign at an individual level and helps marketers identify nature of the user, who was exactly exposed to the campaign, at what time, whether visitors turned into leads or conversions etc. This helps marketers analyse how effective their campaign was and whether their campaign pitching was done in the right direction.
It is rightly said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Measuring effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns is very crucial to a marketer in order to understand his target audience, measure campaign’s cost effectiveness, to know various touch points that visitors interacted with, analysis of the amount of time spent by each visitor and the activities conducted by him which in turn helps marketer find out effective means of digital marketing that could be optimized in future in order to achieve their goals. Hence, we must know various ways to measure the effectiveness of DM campaign.
To evaluate digital marketing campaign effectiveness various tools and means are used depending upon the type of digital marketing campaign. But before you look into these tools and means, the first and the foremost thing is to determine the goal of your site or campaign i.e. what do you intend to do with your campaign? Is it to increase number of conversions and leads or increase membership or increase ROI or sales or increase brand awareness etc.
Then, in order to find out the worth of the goal, its cost effectiveness and whether the goal was achieved, we need to adopt various methods to measure the effectiveness of our digital marketing campaign like:
• Display advertising is measured generally through planning, performance and visitor metrics. Planning metrics is achieved through cost per click, cost per action, cost per mille, counting number of ad impressions or Click Through Rate (CTR). Performance metrics includes engagement metrics, brand awareness and direct response metrics. Visitor information metrics measures visitor’s information and helps in forming customer profiles which can later be used to design specialised and personalised services for those customers. This can be made possible by profiling website visitors and cookies.
• In order to measure the effectiveness of affiliate marketing which is a part of DM, cookie based tracking method is used. It is easy to quantify and measure it because under affiliate marketing expenses are gained only when there is conversion, be it signing up for memberships clicks, downloads, registrations etc.
• If you are specifically using Ad words for promoting your brand, Google Analytics is one of the most preferred options to help you analyse diverse data which encompasses scrutinizing the text of the ads, positioning on landing pages, overall effectiveness of a page etc.
• Heat maps also aid in finding out where visitors are clicking in your site.
• Side by side comparison of landing page effectiveness that will give you a deeper insight into your target audience.
• Measuring ‘hit counters’ is also one of the ways to measure your campaign’s effectiveness
• Apart from Google Analytics some other web analytics tools are Yahoo Web Analytics; 4Q which assists in collecting direct user feedbacks; and Clicky that offers real-time tracking.
• Try finding out the sources of traffic in order to find out which medium is drawing maximum traffic to your website or ad and then accordingly improvise upon those specific mediums.
• Calculate Bounce rate i.e. the percentage of visitors who just visited first page of your website and left it.
• Examine ‘top keywords’ i.e. try to identify the keywords that pull maximum traffic to your website. Key words and rankings can to some extent tell you about the effectiveness of SEO campaigns.
• The main aim of marketing is ultimately to gain financial benefits out of it. Hence, measuring financial effectiveness of your campaign is very vital. This can be done by:
• Keeping a track of number of conversions, the conversion rate, and frequency of use of landing page, the source and cost per conversion.
• Examine your earnings per click which will tell you about the worthiness of the site visitors
• Most importantly, see if your campaign is resulting in positive or negative ROI (Return on Investment). Make sure your ROI is improving to safeguard success of your campaign.
• Calculating pay per click will also help in determining financial success of your campaign
• There are many other ways too, like tracking order value on an ecommerce site etc. which can help measure financial success
• Last but not the least, the degree of engagement and involvement of your brand with your customers and stakeholders is a strong determinant of your campaign’s effectiveness. This can be achieved by tracking online social media activity i.e. things like facebook likes, fans and page views, You Tube video views and subscribers, twitter followers, klout and tweets, social bookmarks and shares and Alexa which provides free traffic metrics, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Paying heed to these points will give us a clear direction into various ways in which one can measure the effectiveness of a digital marketing campaign. A digital marketing campaign is like a cake without cream unless we measure its effectiveness and try to analyse our audience, sales and hence draw conclusions that could help us expand our business and ultimately help us in earning skyrocket profits.