How to Use Analytics to Make Smart Business Decisions

Making decisions for your business is hard. Luckily, business owners can take advantage of analytics and data to help make all business decisions a little easier.

According to Google, “marketers utilizing five or more tools to analyze marketing data are 39 percent more likely to see improvement in the overall performance of their marketing programs.”

Of course, data will not make decisions for you, but it can help you narrow down your choices and provide you with peace of mind, knowing that you aren’t just guessing what to do.

However, before we can start using our analytics data we need to know what, exactly, marketing analytics are, and which data to be looking for. This will vary for each business, but in this blog, we will attempt to go through some of the most common marketing analytics to provide a primer for your business.

What Are Marketing Analytics?

Marketing analytics comprises the processes and technologies that enable marketers to evaluate the success of their marketing initiatives. This is accomplished by measuring performance (e.g., blogging versus social media versus channel communications).

Marketing analytics uses important business metrics, such as ROI (return on investment), marketing attribution (sales that are a result of a particular advertisement), and overall marketing effectiveness. In other words, it tells you how your marketing programs are performing.

Regardless of business size, marketing analytics can provide invaluable data that can help drive growth. As long as marketing analytics are carefully curated and properly implemented, the data collected can help a business of any size grow.

Most Important Analytics

There are countless different metrics and measurements you can use to monitor your business.

It may be tempting to keep tabs on a lot of metrics all at once, but for those just getting started, it is better to focus on some of the basics before graduating to bigger, more robust metrics.

For smaller businesses starting with marketing for the first time, it’s okay to have no audience at the beginning. During this time, it’s important to focus on the metrics that you can control, like how often you are posting or sending out emails, what kind of content you are creating, and more. Utilize SMART Goals to create goal markers that are clear, measurable, and attainable.

As you continue to grow your audience, and start to see some interaction and engagement, you can analyze and interpret data coming in. Some of the most important metrics you should be paying attention to include open rate, click-through rate, unsubscribe rate, and engagement rate. We’ve defined these below.

Open Rate vs. Click Thru Rate: These are email stats that share what percentage of people you emailed opened the email. Click-thru indicates which of those people (the ones who opened) continued to click on a link or engage with content within the email. On average, email open rates will be around 20 percent, while click-thru will sit around three-five percent.

Unsubscribe Rate: When you send a marketing eBlast (an email sent using an email platform), it must include a link for the recipient to elect to unsubscribe. This is an email stat that measures the number of people who choose that option against the total number of sends for that specific email.

Engagement: This varies from platform to platform, but generally measures the number of users who took action with your post (likes, comments, shares) against the total number of impressions. So for instance, if your social post was seen by 100 individuals, and you have one like, your engagement rate would be one percent.

Overall Benchmarks

Knowing the name of the metrics is one thing, but you may still be wondering what numbers you should be looking for. We wanted to share a quick overview of some of the benchmarks small businesses look for to determine their success within specific marketing campaigns.

A good open rate typically sits around 10 to 20 percent. If you are finding you aren’t reaching this threshold, you should consider changing up your email subjects, and also the content within. If someone feels as though your emails aren’t delivering value, they are not very likely to be excited when they see it appear in their inboxes.

Conversely, a good click-thru rate can vary a lot from industry to industry. This metric is almost always in the single-digit percentage points, with three to six percent usually being considered good. Address your click-thru rate the same way you would fix your open rate: deliver content that people find valuable and make your conversion opportunities compelling.

Like click-thru rate, the engagement rate on social media is also often in the single-digit percentages, and usually even lower than one percent. In fact, across multiple industries, the average engagement rate on Instagram in 2020 was 0.98 percent.

The Value of Digital Marketing

While low engagement rates may seem discouraging at first, over time, digital marketing efforts stack up. For instance, if you send a twice-monthly email to 200 customers, based on benchmark stats, those emails stack up to 960 opened marketing emails and over 50 clicks; meaning that’s 50 leads more than if you had done no marketing.

To take your knowledge to the next level, we have a multitude of articles that can help you create your next marketing plan, from planning out emails, creating buyer personas, engaging through social media, and growing your business through customer reviews.

Plus, for BBB Accredited Businesses, you can always schedule an opportunity to meet with our team to game plan your next marketing campaign.

Glossary of Common Additional Marketing Analytics Terms

Additionally, we wanted to share information about several other metrics that you should be looking out for and tracking as you get more comfortable with data analysis.

Acquisition/Source: Where do your website visitors come from, generally? Whether it’s paid or organic search, or through an external link, the acquisition/source breakdown will show you where your traffic is being directed from.

Bounce Rate: Bounce rate can directly measure the performance and quality of your content. It measures the percentage of visitors who leave your website with only a single pageview. If you want to get people looking through your website, you should aim to lower your bounce rate and increase your pages per session.

CPC: CPC, or cost-per-click, refers to the effectiveness of your paid ads. Based on your ad budget, how much are you spending for each acquisition?

Paid vs. Organic: This measures how much of your traffic is earned by spending money on online ads, and how much of your traffic finds your website on their own, whether through search, direct navigation (they type your website into the address bar), or links to your page.

Impressions vs. Clicks: The number of impressions indicates how many people were shown your content, whether it’s a social post or online ad. How many times did it appear on the screen for someone? Clicks, sometimes called conversions, show how often a user clicked or acted on the presented content to engage with it.

Keywords: Keywords are the words people are using on search engines like Google to find your website.

Tracking Pixel / Facebook Pixel: These are small code injections for your website that place a single pixel on the webpage. If this pixel is loaded, it collects data that helps you to track conversions. This allows you to remarket to people who you know for sure have taken some action on your website.

Track It All With THRIVe

All these metrics may seem a little overwhelming, but they don’t have to be. With a marketing analytics tool, you can stay on top of all of your metrics, across social media and email, from one simple dashboard.

That’s where THRIVe comes in. BBB’s THRIVe is an a-la-carte marketing solution that provides tools and integrations for all of your marketing needs. Whether it’s social media planning and scheduling, or reputation management, THRIVe does it all.

So what are you waiting for? CLICK HERE to get started with THRIVe today!

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