How to Measure a Digital Marketing Campaign’s Success

ws5Tools for Measuring Marketing Success

Today I’m going to talk about measuring a marketing campaigns success. The act of marketing is expensive. It can cost a lot of money to run ads and raise awareness and it can cost a lot in time effort and energy. That’s why it is so important to track and measure your campaigns kpis or key performance indicators. These are the goals that you set up to indicate if your campaigns is working. Chances are you’ll be doing multiple things to raise awareness for your campaign. If you track your campaign properly you should know what worked and what didn’t. This way the next campaign will be cheaper and more effective because you’ll know what to do and what to avoid. In the end this will save you both time and money and get you the success you wanted.

Understanding what success is can be hard. Success is really about reaching a well defined goal. The more simple the goal the better. Some simple goals might be “getting users to visit a web page”, “getting users to fill out a survey”, or maybe “getting a user to place an order”.
A goal can have a sliding scale – that’s good because it can help us measure against other goals.

Write a blog article
Goal: get traffic to that article
We will look at the actions you might take to drive traffic to the article as well as the tools you could use to track its success.

The process for marketing the article will be to:

  • setting the goals for the campaign
  • Setting actions and deliverables
  • Define the metrics for success on the Campaign as well as each Action executing those actions
  • Monitoring results of actions
  • Analysing results of the actions against the metrics
  • Knowledge Share – figure out what was worth it and find ways to capitalize on what worked and remove resources from what doesn’t


Our Metric for success might be 2000 pageviews to the article’s URL. We may have additional metrics to judge each action’s success too. At this point though let’s talk about the marketing actions and deliverables we are going to execute in order to reach our goal of 2000 pageviews

Campaign Goal: 2000 pageviews of the article
Example: All actions should result in getting traffic to a blog article

  • Make an appealing graphic
  • Create a short description for Article with enticing text
  • Use to setup your link
  • Post link to article on Twitter
  • Post link to article on Facebook
  • Post link to article on Pinterest
  • Post link to Google Plus Communities
  • Post link on Reddit
  • Set up ad words campaign for article
  • Monitor Each Channel’s Results
  • Use shortener to see your link clicks in action (high level)
  • Use google analytics to see traffic results to your article

After you have mapped out all of your actions and deliverables for the campaign you can assign your subset of metrics for measuring success. If the overall campaign goal was 2000 total pageviews it might be good to take that total and divide it by each traffic driving channel – for example if you post links on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google plus you could make a goal of 500 clicks for each channel. If you get more then it is a success, but more importantly if the channel underperforms you will have a way of identifying problem areas – and hopefully avoid the same pitfalls in the future.

The tools to measure our campaign

Google Analytics, Url Shortener, and Google Webmaster tools URL Shortener (The first 24 hrs)

    • for shorting URLs and seeing clicks in realtime
    • Other URL Shorteners
      • there are lots of others
    • Gives us a way to track interaction in realtime
    • Lets you compare this link to all other campaign links
    • Super fast and Easy
    • Is part of the Google Analytics Suite
    • Gives us a short url to use on social networks

In Google Analytics (The first Week)

If you have analytics set up in your site there are some sections you should be interested in with regards to your content. The two main sections I look at most is the site content break down under the Behavior section and the social media traffic break down under the Acquisitions section.

      • Behavior > Site Content > All pages > Your Page Url
        • see your pageviews / time on page / bounce rate
        • if pageviews are low – may need to find new places to promote
        • if time on page is low – your content may need to be better
        • if you are concerned with people leaving (high Bounce rate) then you may need to find better ways to promote your other content
      • Acquisition > Social > Landing Pages
        • Will show you all of the traffic from every social network
          this will help you realize what social network is working the best for you
        • If you got no clicks from Reddit – then you may need tailor your content better for that audience
          If it never does well then it may be better to save those promotional resources for something else

google webmaster tools (The first Month and beyond)

Webmaster Tools are there to help you monitor the health of your site. It will give you the ability to check for broken links, errors on pages, and an overall view of the health of your site.  It also gives you information on inbound links, search queries and other tools for analyzing how users get to your site.  For the monitoring the success of your campaign you should use Google Webmaster tools to take note of any errors or issues on your site.  Webmaster tools aren’t as directly important to this specific campaign, but it still is good to identify issues users might have with the content and functionality of your site.

With Google Webmaster Tools You can see:

      • crawl errors / site map / errors with site / mobile usability
      • Crawl Errors are links that are bad – maybe this is a link to content that has moved
        • This is the real meat you are looking for. With Search Analytics you get to see what people search on Google to find your listing. For example if a visitor was on Google and searched “Tools for Measuring Marketing Success” and reached this page then it would show up in the Google Webmaster Tools Search Analytics. This tool lets you see every search query that was used to reach your site. You can do a reverse look up by going to Google and searching the searched query. Doing this you will get to see exactly how your link is indexed in Google.
      • Links to your site
        • This lets you see what websites are linking to your website. Any website that is linking to your content will be listed in this set of results. One cool bit of info is the list of the content that is linked the most. You can use this information to help formulate content strategy. For example if people link to a “funny cats” article the most – you may want to consider more content of “funny cats”
      • Indexed pages
        • All of the pages and urls that are indexed inside of Google. You can use this tool to make sure all of your content is being reached by Google. Take notice of sections that might be missing
      • Content Keywords

Social Media Analytics (First Week and Beyond)

These set of analytic tools are housed on each Social Network.  They will give you as sense of how your content is performing on the network.  These tools should be used to help you realize what types of content do well and give you an idea of how to make your content more engaging and perform better. For example, if your posts with pictures do better than posts without pictures, it would make sense to start posting pictures with each of your posts.

      • Twitter Analytics
        • Engagement
        • Impressions
        • clicks
      • Facebook Insights
        • Must have 30 likes on a page to access insights
        • You can see information like Audience Insights (demographic info)
        • Track likes and shares and clicks
      • Pinterest, Instagram, Google +
        • Pins, hearts and plus’s

You can really go over board with tracking, but at the end of the day you’ll get a better picture of how your campaign is doing.  You can usually get away with just using Google analytics, but using the URL shortener  for tracking for clicks can help you get a more immediate picture of how your promotions are working. This is about finding out where to cut the fat – not how to add hours of analysis.

Analyzing your Results

Keep in mind that analytics just keep track of your site – it doesn’t make your content good, it doesn’t sell products, it doesn’t do anything but keep track of what is going on within a web property. They let you know what people are looking at – how they got there – and how long they spent looking at it. You can also find out things about your audience – what kind of technology they are accessing your site with – where they are in the world – where they were before they came to your site. Analytics are there to help you understand your audience, and we use analytics to see how our marketing efforts pan out.

Knowledge Share

What good is all this extra work if it doesn’t teach you something?  As you are analyzing your data be sure to track your successes and your failures.  Take note of the differences, and if there aren’t any differences then try to figure out why it was a success on one channel and failure on another.  One thing to keep in mind is that each Social Network has a type: Facebook is the mall, whereas twitter is a gas station.  Instagram is a photo album while Pinterest is a shopping catalogue.  They are all different, so don’t be surprised if the same message doesn’t work for each channel.

As you go through all of your data and dissect what worked and what didn’t try to make up hypothesis that you can test out with your next campaign.  It is always important to learn and put those lessons to practice.