If you’re reading this post, you are most likely in or preparing to get into digital marketing. In the world of digital marketing, it’s all about the numbers. We conduct experiments, and measure them against our goals using the metrics and analytics tools that are provided for us to use to learn and get better at our craft.
There are many tools out there, some free and some paid, but the easiest tools to access, use, and learn from are completely free. These are analytics tools that you should be using today.
Google Analytics is a free service available from Google, because Google wants us to know what’s happening on our web and mobile properties so we can see the impact of great marketing, and more importantly to them, great advertising buys. It’s relatively simple to begin using Google Analytics, especially if you are using the most popular blogging platforms. We’ve provided simple tutorials for how to setup your Google Analytics account, and how to connect Google Analytics to WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. Google Analytics is supported very well, and you can learn just about any task you need to complete on the Google Analytics Youtube channel.
The very simplest data you will get from Google Analytics is an overview of who visited your web site, where they came from (both geographically and from what link), how long they spent on your site, and what pages they visited. It only gets better, deeper, and more thorough from there. If you are operating a web property, Google Analytics is the very first tool you should activate, learn, and use on a daily basis.
Facebook has 1.4 billion users, and while marketing a business on Facebook is constantly changing, there is no debating the power of reaching any fraction of 1.4 billion people globally. Once you setup your organization’s page and get to just 30 likes, you’ll have access to Facebook Insights, which is their analytics tool. If you’re marketing anywhere, you want to see the data to measure your effectiveness, and when you’re marketing on Facebook, they provide a great free tool for you to do just that.
Insights lets you easily see your page’s overall performance (likes), learn which posts have the most engagement (clicks, likes, comments, and shares), and also see data about when your audience is on Facebook. From just these insights, you’ll instantly be more knowledgeable about how and when to post to get the most engagement on your page. In addition, you’ll be able to see, for each individual post, what the “reach” of that post is. Facebook’s organic reach – the number of people who naturally see your post in their timeline – has been the subject of much discussion lately, but you’ll be able to see for yourself exactly how many people saw and engaged with each of your posts.
Twitter offers a similar, and just as free, tool for all users, which they call Twitter Analytics. There is no bar to reach in order to get access to Twitter Analytics. Any active user can instantly get access to all of Twitter’s analytics data.
When you start using Twitter analytics, you’ll quickly realize that some tweets get lots of attention, and others just don’t. That’s why we digital marketers conduct lots of experiments, so that we will get to know what our audience tends to engage with and what our audience doesn’t care about.
Twitter analytics gives you a full view into each and every tweet, as well as your overall performance, biggest follower, top tweet, top mention, and top media tweet. For your aggregate performance, you’ll see your total engagement rate, meaning what percentage of your followers and your followers’ followers saw your tweet and engaged by favoriting, retweeting, replying, or clicking on your link or your embedded media.
Each of these analytics tools is crucial to your daily knowledge of how your tactical marketing efforts are performing. Attempting to engage in digital marketing without these tools and other analytics and measurements is like flying a really fast airplane with no instruments. You can guess where you are and how you’re doing, but you’ll never know for sure without the numbers.