How to measure your marketing results

If a marketing activity can’t be measured, did it really happen? Unlike the sound of one hand clapping, marketing is a very real and, in some ways, mechanical process.

It costs time, effort and usually money so it’s essential to understand where that is going in order to assess if you should keep going with your marketing activities, iterate slightly or change tack altogether.

Remember calculating your Cost Per Conversion? That’s one of the most vital metrics to track. There’s no easy or cheap way to get out of doing this manually but we promise that it’s worthwhile. Your other metrics will depend on which platforms or channels you decide to use. Be wary though — not all metrics are created equal, and they’re often skewed by platforms who want to get in your pockets.

You’ll also be able to use on your very own ACF Artists’ Dashboard.

Reach

Where can I find it? Most often used to quantify social media activity you’ll be able to access data about reach on your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn insights.

What is it? An oldie but a goodie, reach is the number of people who have seen your advertising. On platforms like Facebook and Instagram, it’s a complex formula that depends on the number of connections (Followers, fans and friends) that you have, how many people interact with your content and what your budget and audience parameters have defined as your potential pool of targets.

Is it useful? In a nutshell yes, but only when put in context. Reach is only part of the marketing equation, getting your message out there. It’s not the be all and end all, and in fact it’s something that marketers often refer to as ‘vanity metrics”. They’re the numbers that make executives feel good but don’t provide useful insights or actual results. Use in moderation.

Engagement

Where can I find it? Much like Reach, Engagement is a favoured social media metric. You’ll see it in all your social media dashboards.

What is it? It’s nice and straightforward — engagement equals interactions. It’s Likes, Favourites, Shares, Comments and Clicks. It usually includes negative engagements such as Hide, Unfollow and Report.

Is it useful? Much like Reach, Engagement is a classic vanity metric. On its own, it doesn’t help you understand why your marketing is or isn’t working. Reliance on engagement as an indicator can also skew your content towards the click-baity or the sensationalised to provoke a reaction.

Traffic

Where can I find it? Traffic is everywhere. Most relevantly you can find it in your ACF Dashboard. It’s also labelled as Profile or Page visits on social media platforms.

What is it? It’s the amount of visits a channel receives, whether it’s an owned platform (your website) or your ACF campaign page.

Is it useful? It is and it isn’t. As a whole number, it’s only going to grow (as people can’t retroactively unvisit your site) but the important aspect is the rate of growth as a percentage and the triggers that cause any spikes you can see. If you can correlate any spikes to your traffic with intentional actions then you can just keep on doing whatever it was that went over so well. The other trick is to look at the referral sources for your traffic. If it’s all coming from the same place can you diagnose what’s working there and replicate it on other channels?

Conversion rate

Where can I find it? There are hundreds of different types of conversions, often each called something different depending on the nature of the platform. On your ACF Dashboard we refer to Conversions as Donations, as that’s the action you’re trying to instigate. On Facebook, a conversion could be a click on an add and on your website, a conversion could be submitting a form.

What is it? It’s the completion of a goal that you’ve set for a particular set of users or visitors. In traditional retail, a conversion is a sale but for an advocacy group, a conversion may be a signature on a petition.

Is it useful? If you understand the different types of conversions that are relevant to you (there will be at least 3!) then it is the most useful metric out there. While donations are obviously important in terms of the support they offer you, don’t forget about other conversion actions – signing up to a newsletter or redeeming a discounted offer are also constructive conversion actions.

We recommend choosing an interval of at least a week to make sure that it isn’t too time intensive and you still develop meaningful insights.

We love hearing from all our ACF campaigners so please let us know if you have any questions or you’d like to give us feedback. You can reach us at hello@australianculturalfund.org.au at any time!