Do you find yourself struggling to measure the success of your digital marketing efforts? Perhaps you fear the unknown when deciding online budget allocation? Well, we’re hoping this article will help serve as a starter guide in showing you what to initially focus on when it comes to lead generation. Read on, and let us know what you take from it.
Importance of tracking
Right then, to kick things off, let’s talk about tracking. When running any kind of digital marketing campaign, not just lead generation, learning and optimising as you go is essential to its success. Despite this fairly obvious fact, it’s surprising just how many companies forget, or even deprioritise, initial tracking. I do get why: sometimes decision makers don’t want to waste time on conversations around tracking. However, like it or not, you need to get this right before you start the campaign.
It doesn’t matter if your goals — such as email sign-ups — vary either. Even if there is a complex user journey that spans different channels, each conversion goal is as important to track as the next. One of the most productive things business owners can do is advise stakeholders to take the time to decide what goals and metrics matter to the business the most. This will really help an agency understand exactly what you want from the campaign.
Google Tag Manager
Admittedly, you don’t want to track every button clicked on your website, but at Curated we generally advocate tracking as much as possible — you can decide what matters for reporting later.
If you’re running lead generation campaigns on several channels, such as Facebook and Google (even Bing, if you fancy), you’ll be provided with unique snippets of code from each. These are known as tracking tags. Now, the old-fashioned way to use these was to tediously add them to all pages of your website. However, this is where Google Tag Manager comes in handy. It allows us digital marketers to manage all tracking requirements in one place — without the hassle of bothering your web team. It just streamlines the process, and everything is there to manage in one place.
Where to assign budget
Once you’ve established what you want to track, it’s time to start testing different campaigns and channels. This will allow you to build a track record of successes (and failures) to optimise from — becoming competitive in your niche, as a result.
So, let’s imagine you think your target audience lives on social media, but they don’t really utilise Google search. Now is the time to prove it, right? Well, I’d always suggest splitting your test budget up. This is dependent on where the demand of impressions is and likely conversion rates (CR), based on industry standards, are.
For example, if your industry benchmark CR on social is 1%, but google is 3%, we’d split a budget of £400 up into £100 on social and £300 on Google Adwords. These are very rough guides, but you get the idea.
Knowing where your leads are coming from
One of the biggest talking points in performance marketing these days is attribution and attribution models. Yet, the thousands of videos and articles available on this topic can seem a little confusing at times.
To make things as simple as possible then, think of attribution models as different ways to credit where a lead came from. So, just like a sales team process: from opening pitch to close, each contact with the customer along the way is like a ‘touch point’. The credit given to each touch point is dependant on which attribution model you chose.
What type of attribution models are there?
You might have heard of models such as First Click, Last Click, Linear, or Position Based.
Many online marketers commonly make the mistake of treating a lead generation campaign like an ecommerce campaign, and looking only at the Last Click model (i.e. what was the source of the final click that resulted in a lead capture).
Let’s examine an equivalent scenario in a different vertical for a moment. If you imagine each time a sales team wins a new client, the business only values the rep who closed the sale, ignoring any support team that helped in the prospecting process. Seems kind of crazy right? I’m sure you’d agree a sales team wouldn’t get very far with zero support, and neither should you when running your online lead generation campaigns. It’s like expecting your striker to score goal after goal with no assist from the midfield.
At Curated, we sometimes look at First Click, which will indicate where the leads are initially coming from, but our preferred methods are actually Linear and Position Based. Here’s why:
The Linear model gives equal credit to each touch point along the conversion path, and we tend to advise this model if your customer’s typical user journey is quite short and straightforward.
The Position Based model also gives credit to all touch points, however, it also gives a higher weighting to those touch points that appear closer to the user journey’s start and end. So, if your customer’s typical user journey tends to be a little longer and more complex throughout the research phase, then this model might provide more meaningful insights for your business.
Considering clicks and views
To see the easiest way to assess what your user journey looks like, look at the top conversion path report in Google Analytics. This report shows the clicks from various campaigns that appeared on the way to a conversion.
What if your campaign is not showing on the path?
For campaigns that are designed to boost brand awareness, they may not show on the click conversion path within Google Analytics. Google and Facebook are aware of this, though, and have built metrics into their reporting to show you which users converted after seeing a certain ad. These are called ‘view through conversions’. It’s an important metric to keep in mind when assessing the impact of brand awareness campaigns on your brand relevance.
However, we tend not to rely too heavily on this when optimising for lead generation. Very often, for example, a medium such as YouTube doesn’t show as a cost effective lead generator, but if turned off it may have a knock-on effect beyond its cost to run. So, for lead generation, you need to keep an eye on the conversion funnel.
The conversion funnel
There are often several interactions with a website that may influence the capture of a lead. Ideally, we want to see how each step is performing right? Well, we can do this through creating a goal funnel in Google Analytics.
If our customer’s typical journey is: browse blog material > download whitepaper > email signup, we can use this funnel visualisation report to assess who and where there may be some drop-off. Are they dropping off at the end of an embedded YouTube video, for example? This is an invaluable way to optimise targeting and landing pages, and can essentially form the backbone of how you want to measure the success of a lead generation campaign.
This should provide you with a decent starting point when kicking off a lead generation campaign, but if you have any questions regarding tactics, please just let us know and we’ll set up a chat. Thanks for reading guys!