Updated November 2022
In our last online marketing blog, we covered property development marketing and the ways in which it can offer real-time community feedback in particular via platforms such as social media groups, pages, advertising and also reporting data on Google Ads, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and general site activity. It was a point that resonated with us as something to expand upon beyond just property marketing, so this week we’re going to take a look at some of the best things about the accountability of online marketing and its reporting capabilities. Starting with Social Media.
Admittedly, this writer has only recently begun to interact with Facebook groups on a personal level, which has greatly increased my understanding of just how valuable they can be for my clients, who I’ve been utilising groups with for years now, but the understanding of why we should do that has been purely data-based until now. Since beginning to participate fully in groups and forming personal attachments to them, their subject matter and their members, I’ve come to understand it from the other side. The power of that kind of connection focused solely around a singular topic of common interest can be a huge boon to any business if harnessed correctly. And unlike Facebook pages, you can see people interacting in a much more honest and open way, rather than arguing with each other in the comments, which gives you a way better insight into your audience.
Comment about comments aside, your Facebook Page has the potential to be the central communication hub around which your customer base revolves. A place where you can make official announcements, talk about products and services, ask questions of your community and build a personality and brand. Not only this but unlike with groups, you can use its insights to get a very clear idea of demographics and behaviour as well as an understanding of how that community feels about you and the ways in which you’re communicating with them. This data can then be used to drive interactions moving forward and also feed into your paid marketing efforts.
Instagram has largely not yet lost its innocence. It’s a pure social media platform focused around a singular type of post with simple comment functionality. You can’t post links, just share content and put forward visual ideas. For this reason, the interactions you’ll get from customers are (usually) also purer. So while we wouldn’t say the information you’ll get from those interactions is the most in-depth stuff possible, you can sort of look around at how they’ve behaving around your posts and get a bit of a feel for them.
Paid Advertising Data
This is where it gets a lot less emotional and much more pragmatic on both the customer and business side of things. Which is not to write off the emotional aspect at all. Customers who are emotionally invested are very valuable, but you’ll start to see what they really value when ads are put in front of them. Sometimes this will conflict with who they act outside of when they’re being advertised to and sometimes it will relate directly, but no matter what it will provide you with a much better understanding of them and help you to speak more effectively to them.
Organic traffic takes two forms.
1. Those who have come to you purely through exploratory search.
And 2. Those who have searched for you, your products, or your services due to prompting via other advertising and/or marketing platforms.
The first type is a fantastic way to get a pure cold read of new customers as they have their first interactions with your business and your website, uninfluenced by any previous messaging. They’re simply looking for something specific and are assessing you for suitability when it comes to their needs. This data is hugely beneficial to have for obvious reasons.
The second type speaks to the need for broader thinking than just trying to reach out to customers through a single channel. It’s extremely common for people not to convert into sales the first time they interact with you, so having a presence that is not only cohesive across multiple platforms but speaks to them depending on where they’re at in their journey to point of sale is hugely important. The data you can get from them at every point along that journey will give you a depth of understanding that cannot be found anywhere else.
Once you’ve got potential business at your doorstep, what sort of behaviour happens then? Understanding how people react to your website and throughout the sales (or other types of conversion) process is probably the single most important suite of data that you can have. Online marketing tools such as Google Analytics and Tag Manager, as well as heat maps and various other technologies, can give you valuable insights in real-time and over time so that you can ensure your website is primed to not only convert but give you an even better understanding of your customer base. So don’t stop studying them once they’re “in the store” because the behavioural journey isn’t over yet!
CRM Data and Other Marketing Systems
There is no reason to limit your enquiry to major social and advertising insights. The nirvana of marketing insights are able to track customers and stakeholders from the first interaction with your brand through to sale and beyond. Following this trend, bringing all of the systems above together will deliver you the best view of your customer journey, allow you to judge the ROI on your marketing budget for each campaign and make deicions on where to budget your marketing spend in future.
Pulling this data together into one place is your best chance of getting the insights and action you need to take your marketing to the next level and preserving your sanity in the process. Read my top tips below for how to cross the chasm of data and make sense of the noise.
How to Bring it All Together
The best and most experienced marketers are able to use their skills and experience to draw meaningful insights from the data you get from individual channels, but even the best struggle to synthesise the bigger picture without help.
Top-performing marketing and business professionals rely on tools that process and combine data in one place. It takes some skill or an experienced provider, but the payoff is well worth it.
We recommend using a tool like Google’s Looker Studio (formerly Data Studio) to combine data from all of your systems and digital marketing platforms into one place. You can view data and make decisions much faster using a service like this. In my opinion, it is one of the best marketing investments you can make.
Don’t Ignore Google Analytics 4
If you haven’t already heard, Google Analytics 3 is being retired. The new version of Google Analytics 4, or GA4, is taking its place in 2023, and you have to set it up from scratch. Your can learn more about this new analytics platform and how to make the necessary transition here in our blog on what is google analytics 4 and how to migrate to google analytics 4
But that’s it from us for another day. As always you can leave a comment below or if you’d like to get in touch and discuss further with regards to your own business then please feel free to get in touch!