So, you’re developing a kickass campaign and you’re approaching launch. Now is the time for you to make sure you are tracking the right elements so you can find out how well the campaign is performing as it happens, and tweak it if necessary.
How to Choose the Right Metrics for Your Campaign
There are a multitude of metrics out there – tracking almost everything you could ever want. The trick to finding the right metrics for you is to think deeply about your goals and match them with metrics that demonstrate success.
Say you’re running a prospecting campaign to get new fans, for one of my favorite card games: Sentinels of the Multiverse. Your campaign targets friends of existing fans on Facebook, running Google Ads to people who express interest in superhero-based card games, and running some ads in games magazines. Sales for the game are up for sure – but how do you know what caused it, so you know where to spend your money next time?
What Metrics Can Facebook Insights Give Me?
Let’s look at Facebook first. Some of the metrics that Facebook will provide include:
- Number of people who potentially saw your ad or post (impressions)
- Number of people who clicked through to your page (clicks to site)
- Number of people who liked/commented/shared
- Number of people who saw your post through social interaction (organic impressions)
- How many people RSVPed to your event
From the first two, you can calculate two important metrics – CPM and CPC. CPM stands for Cost Per Mille, a french term meaning cost per 1000 impressions (an impression is a potential view – meaning it was on the screen when they were online). Prior to digital advertising’s ability to track individual clicks, this was industry standard. CPC means Cost Per Click and it represents how much you paid for each person who clicked through to your site. (Note: Many networks use CPC to describe the number of people who click anywhere on your ad – for example, clicking through an image gallery. Make sure you are comparing clicks through to your site when calculating CPC.
If you’re trying to promote an idea or a walkup event, CPM might be a good metric. If your aim is to have someone do something – like read an article or sign up for your newsletter, CPC is a better metric.
Metrics on how many likes/comments/shares you got, as well as organic impressions, will give you an idea of how socially virulent your post is. This is the Holy Grail of social advertising because it allows your content to be seen by potential customers/clients, with a personal recommendation from their friends (a like or share, for example), without you having to pay for it.
Now, let’s talk about event responses. This is a category of metric called CPA, or Cost per Action/Acquisition. Facebook will tell you how many people RSVPed to your event, which is a metric that gets closer to your goal than impressions and clicks. However, that includes all RSVPs – yes, no and maybe – and Facebook users are notorious for “attending” events they have no intention of ever going to, so beware.
Google ads will give you similar information, minus the social component.
Both the Facebook and the Google ads had a click-through to your website. How do you know what the user did once they got there? Enter: Google Analytics.
What Can Google Analytics Tell Me About My Marketing Campaign?
Google Analytics is as easy to set up as it is powerful. If you don’t have it installed in your site already, just set up an account and drop a bit of code in your site – and voila! It starts tracking immediately.
The metrics that Google will give you about traffic on your website are absolutely gobsmacking but it’s easy to get lost in there and start collecting so-called “vanity metrics,” so make sure you keep to your goals. In this example, we’re looking for potential customers so let’s identify the following metrics:
- The number of people who came from Facebook and Google ads
- How long they stayed on the pages you want them to view
- How many signed up to our newsletter
- How many bought a starter deck
The Acquisition tab is where you’ll find information about where people came from. I find Source/Medium the easiest way to see at a glance but, as with everything in Google Analytics, there is more than one way to skin a cat. You might find the Referrals section easier to navigate, especially in this instance.
Finding out the other metrics I mentioned will involve the Behavior tab. To find out how long they spent on your product showcase pages, find the page you’re looking for under Behavior > Site Content > All Pages (or Landing Pages, if your link sent them straight there). To find out whether your Facebook ads or Google Ads encouraged people to stay longer, you can add a Secondary Dimension of Acquisition Source/Medium and compare the two (or, alternatively, create filters for only Google ad traffic or only Facebook traffic).
Events like sales and newsletter signups are not only important to you but things that (hopefully) will be happening frequently. That means you should set them up as Goals in Google Analytics and then you don’t have to keep looking for them – Google will give you a report every time you click on the Goals tab of how many people have completed these tasks in the timeframe you identify. To set them up, just tell Google the path of pages people will take to sign up or buy (ie: newsletter signup page > thanks page; or sales page > shipping page).
How Can I Tell Which One of My Physical Ads is Working?
Metrics for physical media – such as magazines and outdoor – are harder to find but they’re not impossible if you’re smart about it. The simplest way is to set up a simple web address in the ad that goes to an exclusive page – for example yourdomain.net/page, or specialdomain.com. Then the visitors Google Analytics identifies as having entered through that Landing Page represents the number of people who saw your ad and typed in the address. However, that doesn’t account for the people who see your ad and google your name instead – and that’s always a big chunk. If you’re able, you might consider a discount code, then you’ll always tell which physical ad your sales are coming from.
Do you have digital campaign analytics needs? Writing for Right offers packages of services tailored to your needs. Get in touch for info.