Be smart about digital marketing.
From conversion rates to SEO ranking, there are several metrics to consider when measuring the success of your marketing campaigns. — Getty Images/NicoElNino

Like all business activities, your company's digital marketing efforts must be measured and analyzed to understand how to best allocate your time and resources. However, with so many potential metrics to track, it can be difficult to know which ones are most valuable for your business.

It can be easy to get swept up in focusing solely on vanity metrics, such as the number of followers and likes on social media, but these don't illustrate the ROI of your digital marketing strategy and dollars. Ultimately, you'll need to decide on the key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell the story of your business's progress on its overarching goals.

Here are some of the most important metrics any business — whether it's B2B or B2C — can track to get a better idea of their overall digital marketing success.

[Read: How to Measure Content Marketing Success]

Cost per lead per channel

This is the average amount of money you've spent on a particular digital marketing channel to attract new leads and potential customers for a particular campaign. Digital Marketing Institute recommends tracking your cost per lead per channel to determine which channels generate the most qualified leads for your business.

Conversion rate

Conversion metrics look a little different for B2B and B2C companies, but they're still important to track.

"For B2B brands, we're tracking leads generated from the channel in question; while on the B2C side we're focused on site traffic from social channels and how well it's converting into sales," said Tyler Sickmeyer, founder of Fidelitas Development.

SEO rankings

Zoriy Birenboym, president of Eautolease.com, recommends focusing on your website's search engine rankings.

"Your Google stats and placement are very important, [as are the] positions of your keywords," said Birenboym. "Your website's domain authority and age are extremely important [too]."

Website traffic

Monitoring the traffic to your website can give you a lot of valuable information about your business's success. Nicole Pomije, founder of NB Talent Services, uses the traffic to her company's website to determine which marketing channels are providing the best ROI.

"I look at how many people have been on the website on a weekly basis as well as where the traffic is coming from," Pomije told CO—. "Is it from our social media sites? PR placements? Other? All of these are important."

[Read: 5 KPIs to Measure Your Business’s Marketing Success]

I am a firm believer that you have to spend money to make money…so if you have the means to spend, spend!

Zoriy Birenboym, president of Eautolease.com

How to find the right channels for digital marketing success

The true measure of digital marketing success is seeing the positive impact it has on your business's bottom line. From there, you can fine-tune your strategy and keep investing in what's working.

Here's how to determine which digital marketing channels are best for your business to try out and track.

Start with the channels your audience already uses

The first step to a successful digital marketing strategy is to understand where your target customers are already "hanging out" online.

"If you are seeing a lot of traffic and interest on Facebook, try running some sponsored ads and build on what is working," Pomije said. "Don't go elsewhere thinking you will grow your audience in more places. Use what works."

Sickmeyer agreed. "If you're targeting senior citizens, TikTok doesn't make sense right now," he said, but also noted that Facebook and Instagram have an incredibly wide reach and are appropriate for most audiences.

"[These platforms have] superior targeting and retargeting capabilities, [and] … screen time and opportunity for engagement are much higher there than other platforms," he added.

[Read: 6 Essential Steps to Creating a Brilliant Social Media Marketing Strategy]

…but don't put all your eggs in one basket

Yes, you should focus on the channels that are working best, but Pomije also encourages business owners to use a few different channels to reach their target audience.

"Get your website running properly, use your blog to gain more interest and give your audience something to read," said Pomije. "Use social channels and hire a PR firm to get [your business] in the media!"

Invest an appropriate amount

Birenboym advises business owners to make an investment if they want to see their digital marketing efforts succeed, especially through Google and social media.

"I am a firm believer that you have to spend money to make money…so if you have the means to spend, spend!" he said. "Build up your traffic [and] your name – you won't regret it!"

Ask for help

ROI measurement has never been more important in today's trackable, digital world. If you're struggling to keep up and identify the right channels on your own, you might consider hiring an individual or agency to help you.

"It's important for businesses and their marketing leaders to seek out honest partners that understand each client's respective strategy and can help advance it," said Sickmeyer.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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Published February 13, 2020