Advertising platforms make it seem incredibly easy to reach your audience. You just spend x amount of money, and you’ll start getting traffic that makes your business successful. But that’s not really exactly how it works.
Some of it has to do with just how many ads are out there. The average internet user is shown over 1,700 banner advertisements per month, for example, but might notice only half of them. Another thing is that you might not be using the best available data for tracking your ad campaign performance. For example, 76% of marketers fail to use behavioral data for online ad targeting.
In this article, we’re going to look at some ways you can figure out if your advertising campaigns are really working, if you’re getting organic traffic coincidentally from an unexpected source or if you need to try a new form of advertising to get more conversions such as Push Ads, a new ad format.
Subjective vs Objective Advertising Data
When you rely on subjective data to determine if your marketing is working, it typically means you’re going with a gut instinct based on the following scenarios:
- Traffic is up and sales are increasing.
- Customers are providing positive feedback.
- You’re receiving more inquiries through phone or email.
These are all good signs that an advertising campaign is working, but if you make conclusions based only on subjective data, you’re missing out on very important objective data.
Objective data helps you to pinpoint exactly why an advertising campaign is working, so you can fine-tune the campaign and get even better results in the future. Follow Up Boss recommends trying different strategies across different social media networks, as what works on Facebook may not be successful on LinkedIn, for example
Let’s take a look at what sort of objective data you can use to determine if your advertising campaigns are working.
Creating unique emails, websites, and phone numbers
This is somewhat equivalent to A/B testing, but for marketing campaigns. The idea is that you create unique emails and phone numbers to use in your advertising campaigns, and then monitor how many times those are contacted by inquiring customers.
There are tools to use that can help track this, like CallRail and DialogTech, which can display different numbers depending on the source of traffic to your site. So for example, Google Adwords traffic would see one number, and visitors from Facebook Advertising would see a different number..
You can do the same thing using different website domains. For example, using a .ca version of your .com website in an advertising campaign you want to test. With this kind of A/B testing, you’ll be able to figure out which advertising campaigns are actually driving the best kind of traffic.
Creating Google Analytics Goals
Google Analytics lets you set up goals which can track specific pages and actions visitors might take. So for example, you could set up a goal that records when a specific location loads, such as a post-registration landing page, and Analytics will record it as a conversion.
If goals are properly set up, you can use them for determining which advertising campaigns are sending the most valuable traffic, such as how many visitors signed up for information from an email marketing campaign versus Adwords.
Because Google Analytics offers useful insight into whether traffic is coming from direct, referral, or organic sources, it’s important to separate them and see how much of your traffic is a mixture of organic and referral from your PPC ad campaigns, and dig deeper into the referral traffic using goals so that you can see whether specific landing pages are converting visitors or not.
You can also set up goals for things like how long users spend on your site or specific pages, or events like videos being played and social recommendations. So there’s a lot of useful data you can record from Analytics goals, and you can use this for adjusting keywords and advertising spending throughout the day. It’s possible to customize the goals even more using Google Tag Manager.
Social media analytics
Social media campaign objectives are highly dependent on KPIs (key performance indicators) and metrics. Your social media campaign posts need to be positioned in a way to hit the main funnel level, and typically you want to set goals such as increasing brand awareness over the course of 3 months.
In a campaign for increasing brand awareness, the key metrics you’d pay attention to would be things such as the amount of page followers you have, post impressions and engagement rate, click through rate, and post reach. If your Facebook ad campaign doesn’t reach your target goals, you can use the metric data to figure out why.
So let’s say specifically you wanted to increase brand awareness over the next 3 months, in a specific geographic location. You could start by boosting social media posts with advertising in a 5 mile radius, and then track how much your post engagement and fan count actually goes up within a given timeframe.