Take five minutes out of your busy day to review your business marketing plan from 2018. You won't regret it!
In this post, you will ask yourself several questions to better understand if the advertising strategies you used this year brought you new business.
First, you will need to write down all of the marketing you spent money on. This can include, TV commercials, Radio commercials, billboard ads, newspaper ads, direct mailers, cold calling leads, SEO, Google Ads, Social Media, or sponsorships.
Now that you have noted all of the different types of marketing you used, remember to be specific. You will need to dig through some of your past financials for this next part. Find out how much you spend total for each of the marketing campaigns.
To help yourself better analyze, note each specific campaign separately to decide if the campaign was successful or needs improvement or should not be continued next year.
Understanding the details of each campaign will help you better adapt to advertising that is consistently successful. The topic and the ad can be extremely crucial to getting engagement and action from your audience.
For future reference, create a spreadsheet similar to this below to track your yearly marketing plan.
Now let us get down to it.
Log in to your Google Analytics account, to look for a few metrics that will tell you where people are finding your website. This allows you to determine which marketing strategy brought you the most visitors and the most engaged visitors.
Once you are logged in, use the search bar to the left -- search: "source"
Choose the "Acquisition > All Traffic > Source/Medium"
This tab is excellent, it will show you the source of where the user came from before landing on your website.
Direct = searched your website directly by www.yourdomain.com
Organic = they came from a search engine search (ex. Google, Yahoo, or Bing)
M.facebook.com = the user was on their mobile Facebook app before
CPC = "cost per click" - paid ads (ex. Google Ads)
A tip if you have not already done so, you will want to set up conversions [also known as Goals, in Google Analytics]. Learn how to set them up in your account by reading this post.
Once you have conversions set up, you can easily see which source is bringing visitors that convert into leads. But until then, you can check out some other pieces of data that will help you now.
For each source, you will see a column for Avg Session Duration -- this is my favorite metric in Google Analytics. It tells you on average how long those visitors stayed on your website.
A standard amount of time a user will stay on a website is 30 seconds. If you find that your visitors are staying for well over a minute, your website is very engaging.
Note which source is bringing the longest view time from your visitors.
We will move on to reviewing the Google My Business (GMB) traffic, this is considered your organic search traffic or local maps search traffic. Login to your GMB account.
If you do not know what a Google My Business listing is. It is a listing created to be shown in direct searches as a knowledge board or in the Local Map search. See the image below as an example of how it would be seen.
You will see on the left side [in your GMB account], the toolbar option for 'Insights' -- at the top the total number of impressions (times your business listing has been seen).
As you keep scrolling you will see insights for the search terms that your listing is being found for. The breakdown for where you were seen; in Google search or in the local map search.
Then you will see the 'Customer Action' graph, this is what will help you determine how many calls or website views came from Google.
Check your Google My Business insights regularly, you can only view as far back as the last quarter.
Now to see how your Social Media traffic did to contribute to your marketing plan. Log in to your Facebook profile, and visit your business, Facebook Page. Choose the 'Insights' tab at the top to see how your page is doing.
First, you want to change the time frame at the top to the last 28 days, that is as far back as you can go. Notice how much total reach your page has gotten in that time. A reasonable goal for a business that is putting effort into their social media profiles would be reaching 5,000 people in a month.
Next, take a look at the amount of engagement. Try to shoot for 30% of your total reach engaging with your content.
If you are not seeing these types of results from your Facebook page, consider stepping up your posting game. Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort level to create unique interesting and engaging content for your business.
Lastly, to be clear with you -- do not expect to see a large number of calls or new leads from social media. The point is to build a personality and awareness for your business. This allows you to be seen by the right people while they are socializing with others. If you continue to show up in their feed and share captivating content, you will see more users notice you more often.
View the 'Actions on Page' metric at the top, this will share with you how many times someone clicked on a button to call you, contact you or message you on Facebook.
After all of that information, you will be able to go through your sales by week and see how many new leads you received and track if any of your marketing strategies brought those new customers.
This can be time-consuming, but it can determine how your advertising budget should be used next year.
Interested in getting a full marketing plan analysis for your business? Let's meet up for coffee, when is a good time for you?