Setting Expectations For Digital Marketing Campaigns

Setting Expectations For Digital Marketing Campaigns

Under-promise and over-deliver is the mantra of many savvy business people.  They temper expectations so that the results can only be positive.  What are your expectations for digital marketing?  How do you measure results?

First, base expectations on how competitive the space is.  It typically takes four to six months to gather reliable data and analyze a campaign.  If the space is more competitive, it takes more time to see results.

Second, expectations should fit the campaign.  If you expect to drive sales, then your campaign should include elements like online advertising.  Get your hard numbers by tracking site visits and clicks through platforms like Google Analytics.  Analyze them to see where you can improve.   Expect paid ads to out-perform organic SEO at any point in the process, but especially near the beginning of a full-on marketing effort.  It’s easier to determine the ROI for a social ad campaign than an organic social media campaign, but the most effective ads are intended to improve brand awareness and reputation.  Most social platforms that offer advertising also offer very good tracking and reporting to help you determine your ROI.  The results of brand recognition campaigns are often more “soft sell” than hard numbers.

For social media marketing results, you can set expectations by determining a certain number of true or valid follows, shares, re-tweets, mentions, truly engaged company-customer conversations, percentage of positive reviews or number of website visits generated that would deem the campaign a success.  What are true or valid follows, you ask?  These are people who have followed your brand page because they are truly interested in it, as opposed to people who have followed because they were told (or paid) to do so.  Facebook and Google are getting pretty good at identifying social media accounts that follow loads of unrelated types of businesses, and have few or no friends, as accounts set up specifically for the purpose of trying to boost the follows on “client accounts.”

Like most print ad campaigns, you can expect very small percentages of click-throughs or e-mail opens.  As the online ad space has become more and more crowded, ad effectiveness has diminished faster than the innovations to improve that effectiveness.

On Friday we’ll address the reports that you can reference for results.