We are somehow already halfway through 2018 — whoa — which makes it the perfect time to look around and take stock of your small business marketing plan. What’s working? What’s falling flat? How do you know one way or the other?
Small business owners are often so busy with other things (like, you know, running the business), that tracking the effectiveness of their marketing, or their marketing return on investment, often falls to the bottom of the to-do list.
But tracking your marketing ROI is not only vital for your bottom line, it’s also easier than you might think. There are lots of ways to get a handle on what is resonating with your customers, what is contributing directly to sales and what is getting lost in the mix.
Here are our Top 5 Favorite Ways to Measure Marketing Success:
1. Use promo codes.
Whether with print, broadcasts or digital ads, creating new codes for specific promotions is a quick and easy way to track where your sales are coming from. Create the code, ask your customer to use the code, count the codes, done.
2. Create simple landing pages.
Instead of sending everyone to your homepage for every promotion, utilize special landing pages to track website traffic. For example, instead of promoting www.ourbusiness.com, try something like www.ourbusiness.com/junesale. Google Analytics makes it easy to see how many people “land” there.
3. Utilize hashtags.
Creating a unique hashtag for a campaign is both a great way to get your audience engaged on social media, and it’s also an easy way to track, share and respond to your customers’ posts.
4. Track phone calls.
Create a Google phone number for an advertising campaign to measure how many people call as a result of seeing a particular set of ads. These numbers can forward right to your business line, but you can measure how many calls came through it.
5. Count contest or sweepstakes entries.
Run a contest or giveaway, promote it in a variety of ways and tally up where you snagged the most entries. This is a great way to determine where your messaging is most effective with your audience, whether it be on Facebook, through your newsletter or on your homepage.
If you want to go even further, here are 25 more trackable stats.
(Once I got started, I couldn’t stop the flow!)
Try tracking the number of …
- Print articles generated by a public relations or advertising campaign
- Press “mentions” about your brand or campaign
- Media inquiries
- Times a QR code is used
- Coupons or vouchers that are redeemed
- Social media subscribers (i.e., followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest)
- Social “interactions,” including likes, shares, impressions and comments
- New reviews via Google, Yelp, TripAdvisor, or even a plug-in on your own website
- People who subscribe to your newsletter
- Times your newsletter was opened
- People who clicked a link in your newsletter
- Subscribers on YouTube
- Channel or video views on YouTube
- YouTube views to completion (how many people watched all the way to the end of a video)
- New visitors to your website compared with return visitors
- Number of emails gathered in exchange for a freebie on your website (sometimes called a lead magnet, opt-in incentive or Freemiums)
- Sign-ups for customer loyalty programs
- The cost per lead
- The cost per acquisition
- Your website’s search engine ranking — is it getting higher?
- “Contact Us” form submissions from your website
- Your website’s bounce rate
- Sales increases for specific products being promoted
- Website traffic increases from a specific channel
- Attendance at in-person events
Phew! Ok, that was a lot. But the point is: Before you spend time, energy and money on marketing, pause to plan how you’ll attempt to measure its effectiveness.
If you’d like some help creating specific strategies to track your marketing return on investment, you can always reach me here!