Remember Magic 8 Balls? The plastic toy that evoked cryptic answers to your burning questions? With one good shake, a “prophetic” insight would appear. It’d be nice to have that clairvoyance for marketing purposes, right?

Then you could eagerly ask:

“Are our Instagram posts resonating with followers?”
“Do people read my email blasts?”
“Is our brand strategy meeting KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?”

Luckily, you’ve got something infinitely better: data. And like that toy, it can be found in your corner pocket📲.

Data Analytics: The Great Fortune Teller

We’re living in an age where every online interaction is trackable. B2B and B2C sectors can leverage metrics like audience reach, engagement, and demographics to reveal needs and behaviors. In fact, 36% of marketers admit “going with your gut” is not recommended or as effective as embracing data-driven decisions.

So, let’s talk marketing metrics for social media, email, and the web. We’ll chat about collecting insights from followers at each stage of the buyer’s journey. And, what to do once you get the data—that’s where refinement begins (hello, sales leads).

By the end, you’ll go from “outlook not so good” to “you may rely on it”—  marketing-wise, anyway.

Definition of Data-Driven Marketing

Data-driven marketing monitors customer activity to inform external content and advertising decisions. It’s sort of like shaking a Magic 8 Ball before, during, and after a marketing campaign. Then, feverishly asking:

How is this campaign doing?
How are people responding?

Data provides those answers, revealing customer engagement patterns and pinpointing what’s working (or not).

There are three major data goldmines:

Social media platforms
Google Analytics
Email metrics

From top to bottom, these data points illuminate the effectiveness of marketing efforts at each stage of the buyer’s journey. Let’s explore a few questions that data can sort and solve on each platform.

Social Media Marketing Metrics

Tracking social media metrics highlights the broadest part of your sales funnel. Specifically those who haven’t purchased from you but are still reachable and impressionable by all accounts.

The Meta Business Suite houses a wealth of metrics for Facebook and Instagram. LinkedIn Analytics offers similar data-driven insights. Research collected here answers questions like:

  • Who is engaging? Survey the demographic information of the people who like, share, and follow your business page.
  • How much are people engaging? Decipher the Reach Rate (how many people see what you post). Follow up with the Engagement Rate (how many people watch, like, react to, and share your posts). And assess the Click-through Rate (how many people click on your posts).
  • What do people say about my brand? Check out post replies, direct messages, and organic social mentions (how often your brand is tagged in people’s posts without any affiliation or prompting).
  • What’s my ROI? Note the Conversion Rate (how many people viewed your social posts and became paying customers). And dissect Return on Spending (how much was spent on social marketing/paid campaigns vs. how many customers it brought in).

Website Marketing Metrics

Google Analytics helps you understand the middle tier of the sales funnel. Specifically, it tracks those who are interested in your brand and actively visiting your website. To adopt this tool, all you need is a Google account and to provide basic details to verify your business. Google offers tutorials to get you comfortable with the technical side of things. Once you’re up and running, investigate:

  • How do people get to my site? Get a breakdown of how often people reached your site through various ads, platforms, and pieces of content (aka “heat mapping”).
  • How many people visit my site? Review the Users metric (visits during a select time frame), including New Users and Returning Users. Also, comb through Entrances (visits beginning on each page) and Exits (visits ending on each page).
  • How much time are people spending on my site? Check out the Engaged Session metric (how long people visit for more than 10 seconds). Now, notice your Bounce Rate (how often visits last less than 10 seconds).

Also, examine Average Engagement Time (how long users typically engage with your site). And other indicators such as Views Per User (average number of pages users see in a select time frame).

  • How often does my site make people act? Calculate the Session Conversion Rate (site visits resulting in a sale or other desired action, like sign-ups or opt-ins).

Email Marketing Metrics

Analyzing data based on your mailing list infers how current and returning customers engage with your brand. Some email platforms give you metrics; plus, CRM platforms help answer questions like:

  • How many people are reading my emails? Explore the Open Rate (percent of recipients who open a given email), but know its limits. Emails only count as “opened” when embedded images are received, however many platforms enable image-blockers. For best results, track trends on a weekly basis.

Also, check the Bounce Rate (amount of emails unsuccessfully delivered). Determine whether bounces are soft (a temporary problem with an email address) or hard (sent to an invalid or closed address).

  • How often do my emails make people act? Chart the Click-through Rate (percent of people who click on at least one link in each email). Then the Conversion Rate (percent who click and complete a purchase or other desired action). And the Sharing Rate (percent who forward an email or share to social media).
  • How much is my email list growing or shrinking? Review the Unsubscribe Rate (number of recipients who opt out of your send list). And tally your List Growth Rate (number of new subscribers minus number of unsubscribes).

Five Tips for Strategic Data Use

Once you’ve gathered all that valuable data, it’s time to put it into action. Ready to optimize your marketing efforts and ROI based on those hard numbers?

  1. Determine a Schedule for Tracking and Reporting

Consistency is key. Decide how often you’ll analyze data: weekly, monthly, quarterly? Add recurring calendar reminders to review and apply insights.

  1. Get the Story Behind the Data

Numbers, alone, don’t tell the full tale. Look for patterns and correlations. If email open rates spike after a sale, you know a promotion is working. If website bounce rates are high for mobile views, your site may need revamping.

Unsure what story the data is telling? Poll your current customers for feedback—and throw in a giveaway for their time.

  1. Use Data to Segment Your Audience

Demographic data reveals different audience groups (subsets) one can target. Use information concerning age, location, and interests to create tailored campaigns instead of blasting a one-size-fits-all message.

  1. Retarget with Laser Focus

Say a user visits a product page on your website but doesn’t purchase. Using this data, you can deliver highly relevant ads and content to nurture them further. That’s known as retargeting—providing personalized reminders about products people have expressed interest in, encouraging further engagement.

  1. Respect Privacy

As you leverage data, ensure you maintain ethical privacy policies. Be transparent about what’s collected and allow audience members to opt out if desired.

Feeling dazed and confused? Waffling over what data to track or how? Drop us a line—our marketing experts will guide you, whether you’re an innovative startup or an established corporation. That’s our #trueblue promise!

Even the Magic 8 Ball agrees: “your success is most certain.” You gotta love superstition… 😉