Brands and organizations are naturally interested in the journey of their customers, supporters or members. Where did they find out about you, what fires up their interest, what moved them to become a customer or client or patient, and what prompts them to act as an advocate?
The 2018 Gartner Multichannel Effectiveness Study shows that Social Media, Mobile, and Digital are the channels most effective for reaching people at every stage of the journey – and there are only a few points between them.
That’s great data, but it’s not enough to know which channels are best. You need to know exactly how your visitors are reacting across the journey, how they got to your site and what they did once they arrived there.
To raise awareness of a brand or product is a common business goal – it’s the first step of the stakeholder or customer journey. To reach these people you have to know where they go for information – social media is a very broad term.
You’ll also need to know what kind of information they’re looking for. Then you can craft your content and place it where it will be found.
For example, a company that distributes O-rings and seals surveyed their customer base and discovered that a fair percentage of recent customers had found information about them online. They hadn’t updated their website for some years and were not actively doing any inbound marketing, so the awareness was hit and miss. Once they had that data they redesigned and updated the site and embarked on a campaign of awareness content published on the right social media platforms.
Analytics comes into play once the content is out there. You need to know how it was received:
- Did it get seen, shared, clicked or commented upon?
- Are more people searching for you by name?
- Is the traffic to your site from your brand-URL increasing?
- Are your key messages being received and talked about?
- If not, what is the conversation around your brand about?
- What is your share of voice?
- What is the sentiment of those conversations?
All these can be tracked and evaluated so you have a clear picture of how well you are performing on the first step of the stakeholder journey.
Once you’re on their radar, the next step is to engender interest in your product, service or brand. This takes a different type of content – they already know who you are, so it should be content that gives them insight or knowledge about your brand or organization. Offer longer-form content and material that is useful to them in their journey towards becoming a customer or supporter.
In this part of the journey, you’re looking for return visits, downloads, time on site, video views and traffic to goal pages set up specifically for building interest.
If you’ve done a good job with the first steps, this one should not be too difficult. It will, of course, depend on what your conversion is – if it’s a purchase that’s easy enough to track. But you might have other goals – lead generation for example. But all you need to know is what the ultimate goal is and set up a system to track those conversions.
Google Analytics is an excellent tool for tracking conversions. You can set up goal pages on your site and then track visitors to those pages. You can even track assisted conversions and last-click conversions, so you know if someone came to your site, left and later came back and converted, or if they converted in one visit.
Now that they in the fold retention and advocacy is the next step. You want them to love the product or service and tell others how great it is. Word of mouth is still the best advertising and social media has become the ultimate word of mouth vehicle.
Monitoring mentions is the only way to do this. You need a tool that will gather and evaluate all mentions of your brand or product. You need to know if your social content is being shared and who is doing the sharing. How influential are they? Bear in mind that social media is just that – social. Just posting your content on various platforms is not creating advocacy. You want to know who is posting about you and what they’re saying. And you need to respond and create conversations with these advocates.
The Google Analytics PR Measurement Dashboard is an excellent tool for measuring effectiveness across the entire customer journey.
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