Social, content, email, SEO – the list of digital marketing strategies you can utilize to set your business apart from the competition is almost limitless.
But the truth is, the only way to see results from any of these marketing tactics is to track the metrics that really matter. Only then can you make informed decisions, adopt the best practices, and work together with your team to boost results without wasting your time (and money).
So, what are the KPIs you want to focus on when planning your marketing strategies? And how can your business boost these critical marketing metrics? The following tips should give you a good idea of where to invest your time. So let’s get into it.
Number of Comments
One of the best ways to see how well your marketing efforts are panning out is by looking at how people engage with your content.
However, while your social media engagement rate can tell a lot about the success of your strategy, it won’t necessarily provide the best data to inform future strategic decisions. So, if you’re looking to boost the marketing metric that means real attention from your followers (and is likely to contribute to your content’s performance on Instagram), the best thing you can do is to look at the number of comments on your posts.
Encourage Followers to Leave a Comment
One of the simplest ways to get people to interact with your content is to encourage them to do so. You’ve probably seen this strategy in action a million times, and the reason it’s still being used is that it works.
Something as easy as asking followers to share their experiences can be a great way to boost this critical marketing metric. Or, you can challenge followers to use a particular word in the comments section, as UltraLinx did. They simply asked viewers to use the word “Setup” in their comments as a fun experiment.
Ask Questions to Initiate Conversations
Another excellent trick to boost the number of comments on blog posts and social media is to ask questions. This is super-easy to do, seeing that it’s entirely enough to end your post with a question. Just look at how Mammut does it on its Instagram feed.
By sharing tips about overcoming the fear of falling, the brand is serving its audience with educational content, which effectively drives conversions on its own.
But what makes Mammut’s approach genius is that the brand encourages its followers to engage in conversation in the comments section. By doing this, Mammut is:
- creating a space for building consumer-brand connections
- putting out feelers for consumer sentiment
- improving the reach and visibility of future social media posts, thanks to a higher number of comments
Number of Social Media Shares
Another engagement metric you must track is the number of social media shares your content receives.
There are two main reasons why this KPI is critical for informing your digital marketing strategies. On the one hand, it shows whether the content you’re producing resonates with your target audience. On the other, it’s indicative of your customers’ and followers’ willingness to be your brand advocates.
Invest in Shareable Content
The best way to increase social media shares is, logically, to invest in shareable content.
When writing articles, producing videos, or recording podcasts, think about the following contributors to shareability:
- Format – People have been shown to favor certain types of content. Videos and images, for example, have historically proven to be the preferred content format of customers.
- Length – Backlinko’s 2019 study found that long-form articles received 77.2% more shares than those posts shorter than 1000 words.
- Prioritize Smaller Screens – As mobile web traffic accounted for more than 50% of all web traffic in 2021 (a trend that’s likely to continue), make sure that the content you post looks good on small screens.
- Timing – Experiment with scheduling your posts so that they’re published just when your followers are most likely to be online. Most social media apps offer analytical tools you can use to see when these times are for your brand, so don’t hesitate to use them.
Employ Mechanisms That Make Social Shares Easier
When looking to increase the number of social media shares your content gets, don’t forget to make it easy for your audience to share your content.
Include share buttons on all your distribution channels. For a great example, take a look at how the Damsel in Dior blog does it below.
You can also rely on tools like ClickToTweet, which turn your written content into bite-sized instances of easily shareable content that takes just a few seconds to make it from your website to your audience’s social media feeds.
Customer Acquisition Cost
You may be doing everything in your power to track and improve the performance of your content on social media. But what about knowing how much money you’re spending on each new customer you acquire through these channels?
Being aware of your customer acquisition cost doesn’t just show the profitability of different distribution channels. More importantly, it also indicates the efficiency of your digital marketing strategies. Plus, it can help you decide what tactics work for your brand and which ones only cause unnecessary spending.
Employ Better Targeting Techniques
The absolute best method for reducing CAC is to improve your audience targeting practices. This trick works, essentially, because consumers respond to marketing messages tailored to their position in the sales funnel.
Someone who is just starting to identify a pain point won’t respond to messages optimized for the bottom stages of the funnel. On the contrary, they will be searching for awareness-stage content, like how-to articles or educational videos.
So, to achieve a lower CAC and increase the number of leads you can capture, aim to produce content optimized for search intent. Maximize reach by correctly using keywords and hashtags. Finally, try to invest in both long-form and snackable content. That way, your audience will be able to choose what to consume (and find value in either option).
Simplify the Lead Generation Process
Another method you can utilize to reduce your customer acquisition cost is to optimize your website for lead generation.
Something as easy as simplifying the process can help you capture more leads without investing in paid advertising to reach the high number of touches it takes from awareness to conversion.
To start, you can take a closer look at your lead generation forms and decide whether they’re asking for too much information. Yes, consumers are prepared to give away personal info for the sake of a better experience. However, it’s still true that the more data you ask for, the greater your audience’s objection will be to giving you all the details.
A good rule of thumb is to only ask for the basics. Look at how Mrs. Property Solutions uses a three-field form, well-worded CTA button, and no-nonsense approach to helping people sell their property.
Another tactic you can try is to make converting easier by adjusting your website layout and CTA placement to better work with the way people browse your site. For example, including a visual CTA at the end of your blog posts – like on the Setmore blog – can help you maximize the ROI of your content.
Average Order Value
The goal of any business venture is to generate as much revenue as possible (while keeping costs low). And while acquiring customers may contribute to reaching that goal, it’s not exactly the best way to increase earnings.
This is where increasing the average order value comes in. By tracking and boosting this critical marketing metric, business owners can focus on maximizing the ROI per marketing action, whether by encouraging consumers to buy more or by making it easier for them to find value in higher-priced items.
Creating product bundles is the easiest way to increase AOV without having to make any backend website changes.
Simply put, by creating packs of products that complement each other, brands can help consumers invest in a better overall experience while offering some savings and boosting AOV at the same time.
Ugmonk does this perfectly, prominently marketing its bundles (or, as they’re called, kits) on its website and social media shops. This way, it’s encouraging consumers to choose the more expensive item, offering savings and added value, all the while getting more money out of every conversion.
Upselling & Cross-selling
These two approaches to increasing AOV are a bit more user-oriented than bundling, simply because they allow consumers to make their own choices about the products/services they want to buy together.
Free Shipping Threshold
If you look at recent consumer reports looking at elements that condition buyers’ purchasing decisions, you’ll find that most consumers nowadays want free shipping. In fact, according to the latest Jungle Scout consumer report, free shipping is the number 2 deciding factor for choosing products, preceded only by price.
But while offering free shipping may make it easier for you to boost conversions, it’s also not a bad idea to think about how you can use it to increase AOV.
Setting up a free shipping threshold is an excellent strategy for encouraging buyers to spend more with your brand. Plus, it’s easy to implement. All you need to do is add a banner to your site – like the one on the Impossible homepage – to let web visitors know that spending even a bit more gets them the perks they want.
Customer Lifetime Value
Average order value might be an excellent marketing metric to focus on when looking to increase the revenue of a business. But don’t forget that, for long-term results, you must also pay attention to customer lifetime value.
It’s no secret that retention pays off more than acquisition. Building lasting relationships with your customers deserves your attention as you try to get more out of your marketing efforts.
Prioritize Customer Service
These days, consumers expect to get the best possible service for their money. In fact, some studies have shown that 90% of consumers take customer service into consideration when making purchasing decisions.
Knowing this, it’s not a bad idea to look for ways to improve the service you provide. Something as simple as helping clients solve their issues on social media is a great start. Check out how Spotify does it.
Automating some aspects of your marketing is another way to increase CLV.
For example, segmenting your audience and serving them with highly-specific ads on social media platforms can help remind existing customers to re-purchase products. Or, it can encourage them to buy again by promoting special offers on products similar to those they have already purchased.
Average Session Duration
For discovering advanced opportunities to improve the performance of your marketing methods, the metric you will definitely want to pay attention to is average session duration.
In the simplest of terms, keeping web visitors on your website should be a top priority as longer sessions increase the likelihood of return visits and conversions.
According to Contentsquare, the global average across all industries is 4.41 minutes, indicating that there’s plenty of room for businesses to improve to boost this metric.
Improve Website UX
The most impactful way to ensure that people stick around on a website is to make the browsing experience as positive as possible. Research data has shown time and again that 41% of people don’t want to interact with sites that deliver a poor experience.
So, to improve your site’s average session duration, consider what you can do to boost UX:
- Invest in attractive web design.
- Reduce page load times.
- Ensure that all pages are responsive.
- Remove intrusive elements.
- Be concise and informative with all the information you provide.
For a slightly easier method of increasing average session duration, you can also look for ways to link to internal content on your site, helping web visitors discover relevant pages and encouraging them to stick around.
In addition to the standard method of doing this on your site’s blog section, you can also take a more proactive approach, like the one exhibited on the Medical Alert Buyers Guide site.
As you can see, this brand chose to put together an informative FAQ section. This section doesn’t just answer common customer inquiries but also leads web visitors to relevant pages on the site. It serves to encourage them to stick around longer, maximizing their chances of discovering the value in the brand’s offer.
Meet Search Intent
As you look for ways to boost the crucial metric of average session duration, don’t forget that the easiest way to fail at the task is to publish content that’s not optimized for search intent.
Don’t make this mistake. It will hurt not only this particular metric but also your brand reputation and your chances of acquiring new customers.
Do you spend money on paid ads on social media? If that’s the case, you want to ensure you’re getting as many relevant clicks as possible.
Sure, not all of them will end in a conversion. Nonetheless, by effectively grabbing people’s attention, directing them to your site, and getting them to start interacting with your brand, you can open up a world of possibility to continue targeting them, maximizing the chances of turning them into customers down the line.
To boost CTR on Facebook, the best thing you can do is make sure your ads stand out. An attention-grabbing visual, like the one used by Barner below, is a great place to start. Don’t forget that your copy has to be convincing as well, which is why this brand’s benefit-oriented approach works so well.
You can also ensure higher CTRs by:
- segmenting your audience and targeting narrower groups
- testing multiple ad versions
- relying on proven-to-work psychological tactics like FOMO
As for Instagram, you’ll notice that getting a high click-through rate differs slightly from Facebook.
Here, you’ll want to focus most of your attention on appearances. Not only will you want to make your visuals stunning, but you also have to ensure that they fit in with the rest of your content. Moreover, note that on this platform, text detracts user attention. So, instead of writing lengthy captions, focus on telling a story with visuals and choosing the best CTA for your brand.
Finally, as you look for the most critical marketing metrics to pay attention to (and try and improve), don’t forget to do everything you can to boost conversion rates.
According to BrightLocal, consumers have exhibited a growing interest in social proof since the Covid-19 pandemic. Stats for 2020 show that:
- As many as 94% of people made purchasing decisions based on positive reviews
- 92% of consumers decided not to put their trust in a business due to negative ratings.
- 79% stated that reviews held just as much weight as recommendations from friends and family.
With this in mind, you’ll definitely want to make social proof a part of your content strategy. For example, you can source user-generated content, as US Fireplace Store does, and show it off either on your homepage or your social media channels.
Alternatively, you can do this on your social media feed, like MongoDB did on Instagram.
Another high-impact thing you can do on your website is to invest in the user experience. The same improvements you would make to boost average session duration will also increase conversion rates.
If you want to give yourself a higher chance of achieving higher-than-average CRs, take a closer look at your CTAs (and place them so that they have the highest possible impact).
Points of Contact
Another high-impact strategy for maximizing conversion rates is to make it super-clear and easy for potential customers to get in touch with your brand.
A live chat feature, like the one on the Topo Designs website, is a great start. But make sure that you also provide alternative communication methods for your customers, like email, phone, and social media.
Boost These Critical Marketing Metrics
Now, you may be wondering whether focusing all your attention on these eight metrics will be enough to set your business apart. The truth is, these tips on boosting performance are just the tip of the iceberg.
However, considering that investing time and effort into improving the eight metrics discussed in this article holds the promise of high gains, these are great ideas for those just getting started.
Once you’re satisfied with these KPIs, you can move on to more social-oriented optimization tactics. Those will ensure that your brand gains even more exposure, builds even more trust, and becomes an organization that people will happily support.