A campaign isn’t over once you launch it. In fact, the fun part is just beginning — if you find monitoring and optimization fun, of course. And you should, because it can lead to a more successful campaign and a happier client.
Let’s set the scene: say you’re a freelance marketer who’s taking on a new campaign for a client in the beauty industry. The client is eager to promote its new product to millennial women. So, you’ve launched a campaign that gets the brand’s videos, articles, and product pages in front of this target audience.
Boom. The campaign is running and you’re feeling good. But, what now?
Now you have to track the real-time results of this campaign so that you can optimize it along the way. Otherwise, you risk wasting your client’s budget on ineffective strategies and missing big opportunities to engage and convert customers.
Ready to get started?
Let’s first look at the metrics you should track and optimize for a successful campaign.
Export your metrics reports
On a platform such as Google Analytics you can export reports that give an overview of your audience’s performance. Just find ‘Reports’ in the righthand sidebar, choose ‘Audience’ and select ‘Audiences.’
From here, you can save, export, and share your reports. You can also see your metrics broken down into three categories:
Acquisition metrics track how many people have engaged with your campaign. These include:
- Users: The number of people who visited your client’s web page
- New users: The number of first-time visitors
- Sessions: The number of times users engaged with your client’s website, such as clicking on buttons and visiting new pages
If you’re running a native advertising campaign, you might also want to check these acquisition metrics:
- Impressions: The number of people who saw your ad
- Click-through rate: The number of people who clicked your ad to visit your client’s website
- Referral source: Where website visitors came from (which ad, social platform, or publisher site)
These metrics, unsurprisingly, tell you how many people you’ve reached with your campaign. They are usually indicative of how well you’ve spread brand awareness and expanded your audience. If these numbers look low, your campaign didn’t effectively grab people’s attention or entice them to click your ad or follow through to your client’s site.
These are the steps you can take to optimize:
- Change your keywords: Properly tailor these to your custom audience. You can use keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
- Try new distribution channel(s): People are increasingly losing trust in social media and deploying ad blockers to weed out intrusive ads. If you bank on social and traditional display ads, you could put your client’s budget in the wrong place. Consider trying new channels and strategies such as native advertising on publisher sites, where you reach already engaged users with relevant, non-intrusive ads.
- Add clearer calls to action (CTAs): People might like your ads but see no reason to click through to your site. That’s where these five steps for finding the right calls to action come in handy.
- Adjust your ad content: Your headline, image, article, or video might miss the mark with your target audience. There are plenty of resources to help, such as these title and thumbnail best practices and this guide to finding the right images and media for your campaigns.
The good news is that you don’t have to go back to the drawing board for that beauty client. You can make these tweaks while the campaign runs, and adjust as you learn more about your target audience’s interests.
Once consumers are on your client’s website, behavior metrics track how they interact with it, reporting:
- Bounce rate: The percentage of sessions where users didn’t interact with the page. They saw the site and then bounced
- Pages per session: The average number of pages viewed each session
- Average session duration: The average length of time visitors stayed on the website
So, maybe your ads are working. They’re reaching the relevant audience and enticing people to click. But once those people get through to your client’s website, they’re unimpressed or just confused, and they stop interacting with the brand.
Here’s how you can make these metrics soar:
- Optimize your client’s landing page: Make it intuitive to use and easy to navigate. Maybe there’s too much text up top. Maybe it’s hard to find links and CTAs to other pages. Maybe it doesn’t deliver on your ad’s promise. Whatever it is, if your bounce rate is too high and your pages per session are too low, it’s time to make a change. Use these best practices, checklists, and examples to guide you.
Getting consumers to visit your client’s site is the hard part. Once they are there keeping them engaged will be easy. With these optimization tactics you won’t miss out on converting these precious leads who’ve already expressed interest in your client’s brand.
Ah, yes, conversions. The ultimate metric. The end of the funnel. For many campaigns, it all leads to this:
- Conversions: The number of people who completed a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for an email list, or starting a free trial.
- Conversion rate: The number of people who completed the action divided by the number of people who visited the site. For example, if 100 people visited your client’s site and ten of them made a purchase, your conversion rate is 10%.
Not happy with these numbers? Here’s what you can do about it:
- Research your audience: Conduct qualitative and quantitative research about your audience’s pain points and perceptions of your client’s brand. Get to the heart of what they want and why they want it. Then figure out how to deliver it to them.
- Audit your landing page: Do a thorough sweep of your client’s webpage or site. Maybe add more enticing elements, such as customer testimonials, or improve loading time and mobile friendliness. For the latter, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Revisit your initial objective: Are you pointing your target audience towards the right action? Does it fit in with their customer journey? Go back through your campaign and ensure that you’re giving your audience all the information they need to take that journey and complete that action.
If you are using Google Analytics to track your campaign performance, keep in mind that the platform reports conversions as ‘goals.’ You can create and customize these goals to fit your client’s campaign and website, and see if people are completing a specific action.
Optimization is in the details
If you’re frustrated with your campaign or it’s not producing the results you want, you may not need to scrap the whole endeavor and start from scratch. You can make small tweaks along the way to keep potential customers engaged and your client happy.
Even if your campaign is running smoothly and on track to deliver positive results, there might be pockets of opportunity that you didn’t anticipate and that you can exploit to make your campaign even more successful.
That’s where optimization comes in. Download those reports while your campaign is still running, keep an eye on your metrics, and have this list of tactics at the ready. Then you can give your client the all-clear and be their go-to marketer for the next campaign.