When you’re a small business owner, you probably have a lot to worry about while growing your business. Sometimes, things like measuring analytics or tracking your marketing campaigns are pushed to the back of your to-do list. But with the right set of tools and a directed focus, measuring the effectiveness of your marketing channels can be the big first step that your small business needs to scale on a limited budget.
Chances are, you’re already using multiple channels to promote your products and run different campaigns, like Facebook, Instagram, and email marketing. By tracking your analytics and monitoring the performance of each, you can make the most of your limited time and resources to focus on the right platforms, channels, and messages to improve your future campaigns.
Here’s a simple step by step guide to help track your multi-channel marketing strategy as a small business owner.
Set Your Goals
Any successful business endeavor starts with establishing your goals. When you set your goals, remember to follow a SMART framework:
Specific: Identify details like the reason for the goal, the deadline, the objectives, and the assigned resource persons.
Measurable: Make sure to measure the goal's success using concrete metrics and backed up by key performance indicators.
Achievable: Dream big, but remember to stay grounded with your realistic goals.
Relevant: Always look at the big picture for your business and connect your goals to other existing objectives to avoid redundancy.
Time-bound: Define and follow a clear timeline for accomplishing the goal.
Measuring your multichannel marketing strategy also means tracking the return on investment (ROI) of each campaign and channel. So, for example, if you have an ongoing search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, you need to project and then track the ROI of your SEO campaign. Or, if you run social media ads, you’ll want to measure your ad spend ROI versus a predetermined goal for that as well.
Identify Your Channels
Here are different channels that you may already have or should consider incorporating into your multi-channel marketing strategy:
Social media: Many customers use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and LinkedIn to discover businesses. And these customers rarely log out and spend an average of 144 minutes every day on social media. Within an overall social media campaign, you might be spending on a combination of paid and organic posts, influencers, and ads to promote your posts.
Paid promotions: Through pay-per-click (PPC) channels, advertisers pay platforms and publishers to post their ads in the form of images, entire websites, top search results, posts on social media, or email newsletters. For example, a law firm may use PPC and SEO results to drive customers to their website and get more calls booked for their business.
Email marketing: Email is still one of the most effective ways to get in touch with your users and customers, and email marketing services have built-in analytics software to track your campaigns, including metrics like open rates and click rates.
Public relations campaigns: You might already have or are planning to conduct a PR campaign, including getting featured on multiple websites or doing outreach to forge partnerships with other businesses.
Blogs, podcasts, YouTube, etc.: Include current content marketing efforts you currently have. Do you have a blog that publishes new valuable posts daily? Or are you promoting a podcast for your brand?
Focus on Attribution
In a nutshell, marketing attribution identifies and evaluates the touchpoints that may have led customers to make a purchase or finally convert. Since you have several marketing channels, attribution helps you measure which channels have the highest conversion rates.
Marketers use attribution to measure a customer's entire engagement with the product as well as optimize campaigns and spending on advertisements to improve ROI. For example, an e-commerce company can use marketing attribution to check where a bulk of their product page viewers are coming from. Did they end up purchasing after getting an email for a discount code? Did they purchase through a “Deals” page for an ongoing sale?
For additional reading around multi-channel marketing and attribution:
With so many available channels out there, single-touch attribution is going out of style. This is why multi-touch attribution is important. Continue Reading
Leverage the Power of Marketing Technology
The great thing about measuring multi-channel marketing strategies is being able to use powerful tools that will help you track and monitor the performance of said channels. Google Analytics, for example, is free and easy to use for even small business owners. You can use it to track attribution, clicks, and measure things like traffic and conversion goals on your website.
When you run a small business and track your campaign performances, it can be overwhelming to see all the different metrics and KPIs that you could be looking at. Here are some of the most essential measurable KPIs you should pay attention to:
Conversion rate: You can get your average conversion rate per campaign by taking the number of visitors on your business website who finished a purchase then dividing it by the total number of visitors on a given timeline. Use this to track the number of users who, for example, registered for an account, downloaded resources, signed up for a newsletter, or purchased from a recent email blast.
Cart abandonment rate: If you run an online store, an important metric to track is your abandoned cart rate. This refers to the number of visitors who leave behind items in their cart during checkout compared to the number of visitors who actually complete a purchase. Measuring this rate can help you implement effective retargeting campaigns to recover those carts.
Customer retention rate: This tells you the percentage of customers retained by your business throughout a specific period. You can get this using the formula below:
Synthesize Your Data Into Insights
As you track your campaigns, you'll be able to extract a lot of data about each one's performance. But the most important step isn't merely tracking your data; it's about turning that data into actionable insights that will guide and inform your next business decisions.
Google has shared a framework for marketers who want to turn their data into valuable insights, including knowing what to pay attention to and how to make sense of the numbers and graphs you'll be seeing as you measure your channels.
Turn Insights Into Powerful Campaigns
In the previous point, we said to turn data into insights. Now, the final step is to turn those insights into actionable steps. Armed with rich insights about your customers and campaigns, you’ll be able to adjust your future marketing efforts more effectively.
Use the insights you gleaned from top-performing and even low-performing posts and campaigns to help you accomplish a number of business goals, like generating demand for products and services, increasing your website traffic, or getting more click-throughs on your emails.
As a small business owner, note that this skill may take some time to develop — but you’ll get better the more you do it. This is where constant experimentation comes in. But the best way to experiment is to experiment with the right data.
Track Multiple Channels in Your Marketing Campaign
You don’t need a huge team to be able to implement data-driven marketing campaigns. And the first step to better campaigns is tracking your current marketing efforts. Use the steps above to help you start measuring your multi-channel marketing strategy.