A business that launches a campaign without a clearly defined objective is akin to troops being led into battle without a strategy: it’s a recipe for disaster. Though concocting the creative content of your campaign might be the most interesting process for you (no one is disputing its effectiveness and importance!), it can’t take care of your business needs. To cover that aspect, you need the cold hard facts that only metrics can provide. Metrics show you what you’re doing right and where you need to make changes, which prove to be insightful and beneficial to any type of campaign. You can then use these metrics to make more informed decisions in the future.
To start, you need a clearly defined objective in order to measure if you’ve achieved what you wanted to accomplish. These objectives need to be specific, preferably with a certain number in mind. You can’t just say “I want to drive sales”; that’s too vague. If you changed it to “I want to drive sales by 50%”, that number is more trackable. This way you can see where your company was, where it’s headed, if problems begin to arise and the final outcome. The metrics have to meet the criteria where an objective can be measured accurately, consistently and efficiently. This will be unique to every business and their overall goals, whether you wish to increase traffic by a certain percent, a specific amount of items, gaining a wider audience, or pushing a product that has been discontinued.
Here are a few benefits of using metrics to further prove their value:
- Number of page views, from an ad or link, to the campaign and whether they increase over time.
- How much your overall website traffic and social media following is generated before, during, and after the campaign.
- You can strive for a certain number of new customers and/or followers.
- Discover what kind of new reach you gained as a result of the campaign, such as more sign ups for an e-mail newsletter or follower interaction on Twitter.
- These are very important as they help you to discover which social sites send you the most traffic and which blogs and news hubs are picking you up
- Helps to manage entire conversations and the influence that these ties have in your chosen social media platforms.
- Which of the sites are sending you traffic, as well as visitors that are engaging in your content.
- Knowing which sites sent you the best kind of traffic (e.g: new customers, increase in Twitter followers and Facebook ‘likes’) will help influence future campaigns
- Not all campaigns generate direct sales/leads from the initial burst in traffic and referrals but if they do, make sure you’re tracking where they came from.
- Examples include: StumbleUpon, Digg, Twitter, Mashable and Facebook
- You can get direct sales and leads from social media
- You may not see very moving results from your first campaign, but you can build a large audience and it’s essential that you’re tracking this.
- Track RSS Subscribers, Twitter Followers, Facebook fans and so on.
- This helps you to understand which funnel of traffic does best on your site.
You can’t control what you don’t measure. You’ll never gain insights into your business without metrics and will forever be shooting in the dark as a result. Initially you may be investing some money into your metrics, but this will pay off in significant dividends. Until you’ve identified which metrics will benefit you the most, you should put creative predominantly on the back burner. Your criteria might even influence how you word and design ads, so take that into consideration as well. Overall, outlining specific objectives for a campaign that is easily measurable will help to make your efforts more effective and can only serve to help your future plans.