Advertising is often necessary to grow a business — but how much do those investments really generate anyways? Before advertising even starts, businesses need to pinpoint one thing: how to measure the impact of advertising. Whether that’s for content marketing, TV commercials or internet ads, advertising analytics helps ensure that advertising budget, however large or small, is being invested in all the right places. So how can small businesses measure the impact of advertising? Here are four ideas.
Always start with goals.
You can’t measure how successful an ad campaign was if you never set any goals for it in the first place. Start by putting your goals down on paper — and be specific. Of course, the eventual goal of any advertising campaign is to increase profits, but get more specific. Maybe the goal is to generate more sales of a specific product. Maybe the goal is to reach out more to a secondary target audience. Or maybe the goal is to improve brand image in the long run. Whatever it is, it’s impossible to measure if you don’t pinpoint it in the first place.
Determine the key performance indicators — and how to measure them.
Depending on the ad format you are using, you’ll have different key performance indicators or KPIs. Once you have a goal, determine how you will measure that goal with KPIs. For example, a social media campaign may have KPIs for website clicks, post likes and shares, and page likes. A content marketing campaign, on the other hand, may be measured by website interactions such as subscriptions and clicks onto a sales page.
Once you’ve determined what is a good performance indicator, make sure you have the tools to measure them. Some analytics are built in, while paid software can often offer a much deeper look into the effectiveness of the campaign. With your KPIs in mind, choose a platform that will allow you to measure that growth, whether that’s free software like Google Analytics of Facebook Page metrics, or paid software like Hubspot or Adobe Analytics.
Set a realistic time frame.
How quickly do you want to reach your goals? Once you’ve determined the actual goal and how to measure it, pinpoint a time frame that best fits the campaign. The timeline varies greatly depending on the type of campaign. Social media advertising may be a matter of weeks. Long-term campaigns likes content marketing to generate native website visits may require months, or even years to see the growth, since a blog post can be indexed by Google for years, but a Facebook ad, on the other hand, is generally only interacted with for the first few days.
Always keep the audience in mind.
Every business has a particular audience that they want to reach out to. As you measure the impact of your marketing campaign, keep in mind some numbers may be all inclusive while others may be only that target audience. For example, for a company selling baby products, 50 hits coming from mothers is better than 100 hits coming from the general population — which is going to include a whole bunch of people that have no reason to buy those baby products. Keep the audience in mind when building the ad, and keep the audience in mind when measuring the effectiveness of the ad.
Measuring the effectiveness of an ad helps small businesses to continue heading in the right direction — and avoid wasting advertising dollars.