First of all... Why?
A great question - why should I spend time interpreting the data on my digital marketing strategy?
To be an effective business owner or digital marketing professional, you need to understand your digital landscape. This is a vast topic, yet data is important to the entire process. Understanding who your audience is, how to communicate with them - and then to work out if your communication is effective. All of these points rely on data.
Throughout this post, we'll cover off a high-level view of the end-to-end process of collecting and organising your data into a meaningful story - one that can help you understand your successes and help you patch the cracks in your digital marketing strategy.
Pre-work you've (definitely) done
Before you try and analyse your data, there are some things that we're assuming you've done. In the interest of keeping this post concise and on-topic, I'll reel off quick descriptions of these points.
Have a digital marketing strategy (and document it somewhere)
Ensure you have a plan for what you want to achieve with your efforts online and document it somewhere safe.
This could increase follower count, increase follower engagement (comments, likes, shares etc.), increase total sales month-on-month etc.
Describe what content you'll be making, how it will be delivered online, and your schedule.
Get a social media analytics platform (Optional)
From tools like HootSuite and Salesforce Social Studio to Facebook Business Manager (Facebook & Instagram only), these tools will make your life so much easier (and who doesn't like easy?)
You can use the free versions for basic analytics or manually collect and analyse your data using tools like Excel or DataWrapper.de (more effort required here, folks).
Have a campaign in mind that will enable your strategy to exist
This could be a new content focus for a quarter, such as a theme for your posts or a topic you'll educate your followers on. Ensure your campaign has a consistent style so that your followers can keep track of what you're doing.
Crafting your Digital Marketing Story
Chapter 1 - Baselining & Metrics
Once upon a time... Sorry, wrong how-to article. Your first chapter in this story is getting a baseline of your current performance concerning the goal outlined in your strategy. For this article, our strategy outlined:
Increase shares of posts month-on-month by 25% on Twitter
You then need to baseline your current shares for your posts and ideally average this out to a monthly figure as we are tracking month-on-month shares. You could go more granular and look at post-to-post or week-on-week as well. Whatever gives you the level of detail in your data story you desire.
Chapter 2 - Run your campaign
Now it's time to put your campaign into action and keep an eye on how your performance is tracking. While you're in the middle of the campaign, it's best to try and focus on more granular detail than less.
In Chapter 1, we decided to look at a monthly average of the post shares; our target was to increase our posts shares by 25% each month. For example, if you had 20 average shares per post in March; you're aiming for at least 25 shares on average in April. Keep track of how your posts go by constantly updating your data analysis. Don't fret over your first couple of posts getting less than this, but if it continues beyond week 1, then you need to adjust your campaign and continue to drive the shares. Maybe add a call-to-action, asking your followers to share it!
Chapter 3 - The Post-Mortem
A grim term, but hopefully, this autopsy of your campaign has yielded the results you need to achieve your digital marketing strategy!
Grab your final data that reflects the duration of the campaign you ran and run it through the same analysis as we did in Chapter 1. Did we get those extra shares?
Your Data Story
You can use this same barebones analytics method to drive and track any metric that aligns with your digital marketing strategy.
Hopefully, this helped you out; if it did... give us a share?
Image Source: DataWrapper.de