Tune-Up Tips: Data Analysis Edition

September 16, 2019

(Editor’s note: This is part of a monthly series about tuning up different aspects of marketing activities.)

“Measurement is like laundry. It piles up the longer you wait to do it.”

-Amber Naslund, author & marketer

Your data tells a story but if it piles up uncollected, you won’t know what your story is. Collecting data about your digital channels shows how users interact with your content, what is working and what isn’t.

But it’s not always easy. Almost half of marketers struggle to increase customer engagement, improve the measurability of their digital marketing strategies and have trouble acquiring more customers online.

We share 3 tips to help you improve your data collection and analysis. We also outline and explain which key data points to collect for your email, website and social media channels.

Tune-Up Tip #1: Measure Consistently

Sporadic data measurement won’t help you interpret your data. Select which data points you are going to collect and measure them consistently.

Monthly data collection is generally recommended for website and email channels. Social media data depends on how the channels are being used. Monthly, weekly or per campaign is recommended for social media channels.

Tune-Up Tip #2: Benchmark Against Yourself

How does the data about your channels compare to industry averages?

There are 2 issues with this question. First, averages do not exist for every data point. Even if they did, averages factor in businesses of all sizes and outlier data points that may not paint an accurate point of comparison.

For example, pages on Amazon’s website are viewed over 1 billion times in a month. It is unrealistic to expect that same level of website traffic for a local retailer that also offers ecommerce on its website. Yet both data points are in the same industry. It is best to collect your own data points to determine what is the average for your business.

Tune-Up Tip #3: Set Aside Time to Review Your Data

So you’ve decided not to let your data points go uncollected and unsorted like dirty digital laundry. Excellent! But that is the first step.

In the bustle of meeting the day-to-day needs of running a business, it can be all too easy to keep reviewing your company’s digital data at the bottom of your to-do list. Review your company’s data on a regular basis (monthly, quarterly—make it work for you) to see what is working and what is not.

Data Point Overview

Which data points should you collect? There are dozens of key performance indicators you could collect and analyze for every channel.

The recommended approach is to ask what the goal for each channel is and collect the data points that speak to those goals. Here is our rundown of which data points should be collected and analyzed per channel.

Email

Volume

Definition: How many emails are sent in a defined timeframe

Value: Track to see how increasing or decreasing email volume affects other data points

Goal: Communicate with customers

Open Rate

Definition: How many subscribers open the emails you send

Value: A way to determine if email is the right method to communicate with your audience segments (high open rates mean yes; low open rates mean subscribers are not reading your emails—perhaps you need to adjust subject lines, timing, frequency or try a different channel)

Goal: Have subscribers read your communication

Click-Through Rate

Definition: Percent of subscribers who clicked on links in the email

Value: Shows if your email is driving subscribers to your website/social media channels

Goal: Direct subscribers to a specific webpage/other online destination

Subscribers

Definition: People who have signed up to receive email communication from you

Value: Shows how big your audience is; tracking unsubscribes shows how many don’t want to hear from you anymore; a sudden drop in subscribers could mean a group was upset with your company

Goal: Build up your audience (brand reach/awareness)

Website

Pageviews

Definition: How many times a user looked at pages on your website

Value: Shows if people are looking at your website’s content; measure unique pageviews to track how many times one user is looking at pages on your website

Goal: Communicate with current and potential customers

Returning Visitors

Definition: Measures how many website visitors have previously visited your website

Value: One way to measure customer loyalty; keep in mind that this resets whenever users deletes their cookies

Goal: Keep users coming back to your website (brand reach/awareness)

Device Used

Definition: Are website visitors using a smartphone, desktop/laptop or tablet to view your website?

Value: Google’s search engine gives priority to websites designed for mobile experiences; PC/laptop users tend to be older (or are viewing your website while they are working); smartphone users tend to be skimming for information

Goal: Understand how your customers access your content (Smartphone means on the go or browsing, laptop/desktop is likely used for in-depth research)

Ad Views/Blog Views/Product Page Views

Definition: Track the number of page views for specific pages that have value/meaning to your website, such as a weekly ad, company blog or product pages

Value: This provides insight into what content people are looking at (hot vs. not) and which pages may need to be optimized to rank higher in search engine result pages

Goal: Are users viewing the content you want them to? If your pageviews are low, it may be time to deploy search engine optimization improvements and use your other channels to promote your content.

Social Media

Volume

Definition: Number of posts/Tweets/Pins shared in a defined timeframe

Value: Track to see how increasing or decreasing email volume affects other data points

Goal: Communicate with current and potential customers

Audience Size

Definition: Number of followers

Value: How big is your audience; segment by demographics to see who your online audience is; a sudden spike or drop can indicate your company did something great or not so great

Goal: Brand reach/awareness

Reach/Impressions

Definition: Number of people who saw your content show up on their social media feeds

Value: Clicking a “like” button doesn’t mean that people are able to see your content; low reach/impressions means people aren’t seeing your content, which may need to be adjusted

Goal: Communicate with current and potential customers

Engagement Rate

Definition: Percent of social media users who interact with your content (like, comment, share, react, etc.)

Value: Shows what users like (and what they don’t)

Goal: Connect with your audience

Website Referrals

Definition: When a user clicks a link to your company’s website from the social media channel

Value: Shows if your social media channel is driving traffic to your website

Goal: Drive traffic to your website

Editor’s note: This is another entry in our monthly Tune-Up Tips series. Look for our next Tune-Up Tips: Text Messaging Edition on October 14, 2019.

Read the previous entries in our Tune-Up Series:

Tune-Up Tips: Social Media Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Email Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Digital Marketing Edition

Tune-Up Tips: App Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Websites Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Holiday Marketing Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Direct Mail Edition

Tune-Up Tips: Photography Edition

Service Tags: 
Digital Solutions
Social Media Management