Using analytics to improve your digital marketing endeavours
With June 30 fast approaching, the coming weeks present a great time to review your digital marketing efforts as you make goals for the new financial year. Some of you may be wanting to increase your company and individual brand recognition, others may be working on finding new clients while others still may be focusing on client retention and increasing the value of your existing clients.
These will all entail different marketing strategies. But before you can properly create an effective plan for the new financial year, you need to evaluate your current marketing efforts, whether they have been successful and how you can improve.
The best way to do this is to understand the various metrics different online platforms use to measure performance. Today we’re looking at metrics across three common online avenues used by financial services professionals to generate business growth: Google, Mailchimp and Facebook.
As the world’s biggest search engine, many of you will have placed an ad on Google to increase the visibility of your business when potential clients search for financial assistance in your area. To do this, most of you will be familiar with AdWords which allows you to create ads and track their efficacy.
The metrics you should get familiar with on AdWords are:
Keywords – these are the words people are searching in relation to your ad. AdWords creates neat graphics which will help you discern which keywords are working and which aren’t. Review these regularly, and if certain keywords aren’t generating many clicks, it may be worth reviewing your ad copy.
Clicks – AdWords is aiming to get people into your website so clicks are the simplest way to measure this. You want to work out how much each click is worth and make sure that your price per click isn’t excessive. It’s worth playing around and tweaking your spend in line with copy changes until you find what works.
Once you’ve got people into your website, you want to be able to analyse what they’re doing there, which pages their visiting, whether they return to the site, and how long they spend online per visit. This is where Google Analytics comes in.
Google Analytics is a piece of advanced analytics software that provides insights on who’s visiting your website across all sources, as well as valuable information on how they use the site. In this sense, it offers a complete picture of your website’s users across the three main stages of website interaction, commonly referred to as your ABCs.
Easy as ABC
In digital marketing you’ll often hear the term ABCs thrown around, which refers to the three main stages of client interaction with your website. Here we give a brief rundown of each.
Acquisition – the first stage is acquisition. Basically, this is measuring how a person found your website – was it through an ad on google, on Facebook, or some other website? Did they search for it via a search engine, click on a twitter link or arrive there from email marketing? Google Analytics gives details on all of this and more. AdWords also has its own insights about acquisition but it will be limited to the performance of the google ads themselves.
Behaviour – once a potential client is on your website it’s really handy to know what parts of the site they’re visiting. This will let you know what they’re interested in so you can tailor the site accordingly. It will also provide some indication as to which images and copy on the site are working. If you’re contact us page isn’t getting many clicks for example, you may need to reconsider its position on the page.
Conversion – this is the most important stage, because obviously we want to convert website visits into expressions of interest and new (or return) clients. Everyone will have different KPIs for measuring conversion. For some advisers it will be a sign up to their e-news, for others it will be generating an expression of interest or a direct email to the firm. Again, google analytics allows you to measure this behaviour. If you are getting a lot of traffic to your website but people are only staying on the page a few seconds and not converting, it might be worth reviewing your page’s design and copy.
These are really just the basics of understanding your google AdWords and Analytics metrics, but the best way to get a handle on it is to have a play around yourself. Both platforms are very intuitive and the data is presented in an easy to understand fashion. If you wish to further your understanding, here and here are some great resources.
Now not all your clients will reach out to you from your website. Email marketing is equally if not more important in terms of client retention and building long-term relationships. There are plenty of email service providers out there, but considering Advant’s integration with Mailchimp, it’s the one we will be discussing today. All email service providers should however offer similar insights in their reports section.
This is the amount of people that actually opened the email. Ways to increase this are:
- making sure it’s clear where the email is coming from,
- prevent the email from being caught in spam filters by using alt tags with specific client details (aka their name),
- and ensuring you have a catchy or compelling subject line.
Mailchimp also allows you to compare an individual campaign’s open rate with your average open rate for a specific list, as well as the industry average so you can see how you compare to your peers. For business and finances this currently sits at 15.8%.
This measures the amount of links that are clicked in the email. It will help you figure out what articles people are reading or whether they’re redirecting to your website. Start by measuring your total clicks, and then go into more detail by ascertaining which links different demographics click.
If your clicks aren’t where you want them, you may need to reconsider your article choice. Go back over your past year’s campaigns and review what articles performed well. Are there any common threads, or similar topics that emerge? This should inform how you curate your newsletters going forward.
Bounces and unsubscribes
Mailchimp automatically processes all bounces and unsubscribes for you. You can also generate a report of who these people are. See if there are any trends emerging. If you are seeing a spike in unsubscribes, it may be because your communication is too frequent or too salesy. Be careful here. Mailchimp doesn’t look too kindly on lists that have large portions unsubscribing or bouncing.
If your emails bounce, it might be worth checking who the client is and if they’ve updated their address details.
To cap off the day, we’re going to take a brief look at your Facebook metrics. Advisers’ use of Facebook varies considerably. Some use the platform to demonstrate personality and expertise, while others are yet to embrace it fully. A successful Facebook business profile employs a mix of informational and aspirational posts to sell their clients the dream and keep their firm top of mind. You also might want to use it as a chance to show your firm’s human side.
This is the total number of people that like your page. You can increase it either through word of mouth or advertising. The more people that like your page, the better, as it means you have a direct line of informal communication with both existing and prospective clients. It also will affect the reach of your posts.
This is the number or people that actually see a post. The more interactions a post gets, the more organic reach it will have. For businesses you may need to boost a post to extend its reach given the nature of the algorithm. If your paid posts are reaching people but they are not engaging, it may be worth revising your content.
These days people have a bunch of react options above and beyond the humble ‘like’ which reflect a suite of common emotions: laughter, tears, anger, shock etc. Facebook wants its users to be engaging with content in a meaningful way. This means that emotional reacts will score better than simple likes, as will comments.
Facebook like Mailchimp makes it easy for businesses to monitor these metrics in its business Insights section. This means you can sort all these metrics (reach, likes, react) by demographic, and figure out what sort of people respond to what sort of posts. This will help you refine both your content offering and target market.
The abundance of analytics tools online makes it easier than ever to measure success and tailor your marketing in a sophisticated manner. Knowing your metrics is a crucial first step to make sure your digital marketing efforts are on track, and most platforms, as we’ve demonstrated, make understanding their reporting simple and intuitive.
All the best for the new financial year, and if you need any more help, just give us a call.