Don’t delay – review your marketing straight away

As the end of the year approaches, businesses need to take the time to look at how they are going to improve their marketing’s effectiveness and grow their business in the coming year.

What tools are you currently using for business growth? Are you reviewing their success? Are your campaigns actually generating your organisation new business?

No matter how brilliant, creative and unique a marketing strategy may seem to be, if it doesn’t generate results and return on investment, something needs to change.  Now is the time to go back to basics and simply look at what worked and what didn’t in 2012.

So where do you start? How do you review your marketing and what should you be looking for?

For any marketing campaign you undertake, analysis should be a vital part of your plan. If you have missed this step, or you are unsure what you should be reviewing, take a look at our 3 top tips for reviewing marketing effectiveness.

 

Email marketing – don’t ignore the data:

Many businesses understand the importance of sending out emails to their database, whether it be a monthly e-newsletter, or the occasional special offer.  A company invests time and resources into creating campaigns, but few measure the end result effectively.

There are many email software packages available to businesses, two of the biggest are Mail Chimp and Campaign Monitor. They allow you to review in-depth results generated from your emails, including open and click-through rates. The results are key to determining if your campaigns are effectively engaging with your database. An open rate indicates the percentage of people who opened your email, whilst a click through rate measures how many people actively clicked on a link and engaged with your communication.

The subject line and email address will influence the open rate most significantly.

The click through data reflects the level of engagement in your email. It shows exactly what information people are interested in. If you’re writing about multiple topics in a newsletter, click-through information can be used to determine which topics are of most interest to readers. Are the same people reading your emails each week, if so, are you following up the email with a telephone call?

Use you results to establish trends. Look at what time of day your emails are sent and what subject lines you include. Does your email include a hook?

 

Social media isn’t just for show – measure your engagement 

Like any marketing activity, in order for your social media activities and goals to be achieved, you need to put together your company’s social media strategy. Your strategy is just like your business plan; it enables you to define your social media goals and future objectives.

It is important to review the social media channels you currently use. What platforms are popular amongst your target audience and what content is worth ‘tweeting’?   In the past, a measurement of social media success was determined by the number of followers or ‘Likes’ generated through Facebook and Twitter. Google Analytics have taken their social analytics tools a step further, enabling you to drill down and measure the full value of traffic to your website coming from social networking sites. Follower engagement is also an import metric. How engaged are you with your social network? Is your content being retweeted? Are you interacting with your network?

The world of social media is constantly changing, what was popular last year isn’t necessarily relevant this year , stay on top of the trends and engage with your target audience effectively. There are many social media analytic tools out there. Some are free; take a look at Hootsuite’s free in-built analytics function or Topsy for instant social media insights.

 

Website – analyse your traffic

We can’t stress enough the importance of reviewing your website analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools out there for businesses, providing a wealth of insight and data into the performance of your website and marketing overall. It is invaluable for monitoring and analysing traffic, allowing you to evaluate both on and offline marketing campaigns. Simply installing analytics won’t give you the results you need; value is only gained when that data is used to drive action to improve your site.

The volume of results available can be daunting; however, if you break down the data into more manageable chunks, like: traffic, bounce rate, visitor flow and keywords, you can start measuring your performance more effectively.

For more guidance on what you should be measuring with your Google Analytics, click here.

 

No matter what marketing activity you undertake, return on investment is vital.  When reviewing your marketing you need to consider every element of your campaign, from data and content through to execution and evaluation.  Reviewing your marketing each year can be the difference between having an ok year and a great one. If you have failed to generate enquiries from an advert, email or campaign, something needs to change. Start reviewing today and make use of your findings….don’t ignore the data.

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