Understanding your options for channels is a good step in the right direction to creating a kick-ass channel marketing strategy. The next step is being able to track progress and results.
As Lizzie mentioned yesterday, you have to think of your business goals before you start a channel strategy. Without any expectations or metrics, you’ll be measuring numbers or qualitative information that has no context. You might also not realize when messages have taken on a life of their own.
Here are three channel planning tips to make your tracking more effective:
- Create goals with timelines: Measuring the effectiveness of a channel is going to relate heavily to the types of goals you set. What is also critical is setting timelines for measuring progress against those goals. For example, if you’re going to try using banner ads specific to iPhone and Android apps, you’ll want to collect analytics on impressions, clicks, conversions and so on. The timeline you set, however, will help you know if the strategy is working, if you need new design, or if perhaps you need to switch to a different channel. You don’t want to embark on a strategy without a date to make your next decision by.
- Set up quantitative and qualitative metrics: Getting a highly viewed video on YouTube could make your brand immensely popular. You’d be getting your message out to lots of viewers, and sharing would make your video sticky. But if your content is off, you could be getting views because you’re up there with the dancing cats — it’s entertaining. Mistakes happen all the time, but qualitative metrics would help you know whether high numbers are from good content or because you’ve become the afternoon giggle break. You’ll be able to course correct by having that additional context.
- Use historical data for future planning — to a point: In some cases, relying on analytics and historical performance information could help you modify your strategy for better results. And in some cases, that historical data could keep you following a path that isn’t ideal. For example, a company that makes toothpaste could have great results in key channels that indicate product extension is in order. They launch a new line of mouthwash but wouldn’t necessarily have historical data on how well a channel with this new mouthwash messaging would perform. Search traffic might only link to toothpaste, but it doesn’t mean the mouthwash won’t be successful. It just means that the company has to be more proactive about capturing that mouthwash audience.
With any kind of progress tracking, you have to have the ability to measure results. You can set goals and requirements, but if you don’t have systems in place (through market research, Web analytics, CRM reporting, etc.), then you’ll be unable to really see if your channel strategy is working for you.
Once you’ve taken a look at the channels you use and assessed whether they’re right for you, it’s time to upgrade your strategy. When you’re ready to take that step, schedule an evaluation with The Starr Conspiracy. We’ll review the messages currently being distributed across your channels and determine if you’re reaching your audience in the most effective way possible. Then we’ll talk about what you can do to make your channel strategy kick some ass.