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Digital Marketing: How small businesses should measure their efforts

In 2020, digital marketing is a must for any small business. Yes, time and money can be a barrier to being competitive online, but the alternative – not having a digital presence whatsoever – has the potential to harm your offline marketing efforts, as many consumers will search businesses online after being exposed to more traditional forms of advertising.

But once a digital marketing strategy is in place, how do you measure whether it’s working for you? Regardless of the size of your business (or how complex your digital marketing strategy is), there are three key factors you should keep in mind.

Know your KPIs – inside and out

Are you looking to grow your business, and if so, at what rate? Do you want widespread brand awareness amongst a specific section of the community? Think about how your digital marketing efforts could help you achieve your goals, and set corresponding benchmark metrics. Once you’ve outlined the digital metrics you want your business to reach (for example, 50 new followers across your social media channels per month), you can start to track your progress towards your goals.

Be aware that metrics like “engagement” can have different meanings (i.e. be calculated differently) depending on the platform referring to it, while other metrics (like follower counts) are more clear-cut. This needs to be taken into account when measuring results.

Find the right social media analytics tool

Once you’ve set overall business KPIs and corresponding digital marketing goals, consider using digital analytics tools that will help you to measure and compare results with ease. This isn’t absolutely essential – after all, the native analytics tools on social media platforms will contain most or all of the information you need – but third-party tools can help you save time by presenting information neatly and drawing results from different platforms together, so that comparisons can be made quickly and accurately. If cost is an issue, consider tools that have features beyond providing analytics – like Hootsuite, which doubles as a social media scheduler.

Learn from digital marketing professionals

As a start-up, you may not be able to afford to bring a digital agency on board right now. But you can still learn from the experts: read digital marketing blogs and research reports that are relevant to your goals, consider using social media analytics tools agencies use themselves, and if you have any burning questions, reach out to your professional network. You never know who might be able to help.

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