by Dan Serard
Do you want to be the number one brand in the cannabis industry? Achieve your highest profit year to date? Make the largest impact in the community? All these business goals can be directly linked to your marketing efforts, but you need to know how to track them.
Making decisions gets much easier when you have the full picture. While some goals are simpler than others to evaluate, tracking your efforts efficiently is key to understanding exactly how much progress you have made.
Determine Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
First thing’s first: key performance indicators, or KPIs, are metrics that align with your goals. If your goal this year is to grow your social media accounts, your KPI will be the number of followers. If the goal is something more abstract like creating a more tight-knit online community, your KPI might be the engagement rate.
Identify a number of KPIs that align closely with the goals you have set to understand which numbers to keep an eye on as you launch campaigns and experiment with different marketing strategies. Here is a list of standard marketing metrics that you might be able to use for your goals across a range of channels:
- Return on Investment (ROI) — for ads or other paid marketing efforts
- Conversion Rate — for landing pages, forms, etc.
- Bounce Rate — to measure organic content, website engagement, etc.
- Average Time per Page/Session — to measure organic content, website engagement, etc.
- Open Rate — for email marketing
- Click-Through Rate (CTR) — for landing pages, email marketing, etc.
- Number of Followers — for social media marketing
- Engagement Rate — for social media marketing
Track Your Progress
Tracking progress is more than simply measuring your KPIs. Understanding exactly which strategies are bringing in exactly how much traffic, revenue, and clicks is critical to gauge the progress of your goal achievement.
For instance, suppose you are aiming to increase sales of a new product launch; your KPI might be units sold. However, if your strategy is to market this product on email, this will expand to include things like the number of clicks, click-through rate, and conversion rate.
Tracking your progress will include keeping an eye on these metrics. However, more importantly, you will want to know how much traffic is coming from which source. This will allow you to shift your strategies as needed. Consider these questions:
● How many channels are working towards the same goal?
● How often do you want to check in on your progress?
● What target expectations do you have for each channel?
One of the easiest ways to track the success of your digital marketing campaigns is to create tracked URLs. Also known as UTM links, tracked URLs are a bit of text attached to the end of a URL that gathers information every time the link is clicked. Google uses this bit of text to log the data for you so you can easily understand which links are gaining activity.
For instance, when you use the same link across multiple channels, you have to track the source to know which ones are actually working. You could also use tracked URLs to conduct A/B testing on organic content. For instance, maybe you want to share a blog post but do not know which headline will be most effective. You might use multiple headlines on Twitter with different tracker details to identify whether Headline A or Headline B is more effective in attracting your audience.
Here is how it works:
- Search for “Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder” and use the first link.
- Fill out the Website URL field with the URL you want to send your audience to.
- Use the Campaign Source field to identify the channel you are using this link on.
Examples might be “social,” “blog,” “newsletter,” and so on.
- The Campaign Medium field is to locate the marketing medium you are using. This could be something like “influencer-instagram,” “company-blog,” “loyalty-program-newsletter,” and so on.
- Lastly, assign a Campaign Name to track the product, promo code, or CTA that you are using. You could mark this by the date, holiday sale, or something else.
In the end, your link might look like this:
With Google Analytics installed, you can see the activity for your UTM links. You can view the traffic for each of your links in your Google Data Studio tables or in the Acquisition > All Campaigns section of your Google Analytics.
Metrics Are Not Everything
Sometimes, the most important reflections of growth cannot be directly measured. From sentiment around your brand to aspects like loyalty or quality of relationships, not all progress can be tracked to the T by using metrics. A data-driven approach to marketing is critical to quick decision making, but remember that sometimes your genuine interactions with customers and clients can tell you more than numbers can.
Pay close attention to the types of comments customers leave under your blog and social media posts. Be aware of the kind of experiences new and repeat shoppers have when purchasing your cannabis products. At the end of the day, your marketing success depends on your actions to provide your audience with true value.
Achieve Marketing Success in 2022
From website analytics to monthly reporting, there are plenty of systems, tools, and methods you can use to track the success of your digital marketing efforts. The key to hitting your targets this year is to know what to measure, track your progress efficiently, and understand the value of that which cannot be tracked.