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Awareness campaigns are very important for companies, especially if they are newer brands or looking to enter new categories. Unfortunately, it's not always easy to determine whether an awareness campaign is providing a positive ROI. With the right strategies, expertise and web analytics implementation, you can get accurate insight into whether your awareness efforts are driving revenue or just wasting your marketing dollars.
Measuring Brand Awareness and Proving ROI
Whether it's a press release, brochure, social media campaign, online display, or TV/radio/print ad, awareness campaigns are typically designed to introduce prospective buyers to a brand, and not necessarily intended to spur a specific action. However, awareness is the first stage in the customer journey, and to assume that awareness campaigns don’t contribute to the bottom line is shortsighted. Here are techniques you can use to demonstrate the important role they play:
- Multi-click Attribution: PPC and SEO are often credited with driving the most revenue simply because they drove the click that resulted in the sale or lead. But what if a customer, days or weeks before making a purchase, saw a compelling display or social media ad that prompted them to visit your website to learn more? What role did these awareness tactics play in their decision to make a purchase from you? Multi-click attribution tracks users across all the different channels used to reach your website, even if they occurred over the course of weeks. Multi-click attribution will likely show that many of the PPC and SEO visits that resulted in sales were oftentimes preceded by visits from an awareness campaign. This insight is critical in determining the true effectiveness of your awareness campaigns and should inform your media allocation and channel mix.
- Vanity URLs: These are unique web addresses that are specifically branded for marketing purposes. The customized URL helps visitors locate a specific landing page on a company's website by providing a web address that's easy to remember and easy to share. If you were to use a vanity URL on a brochure, for instance, you could determine how much traffic was driven by the brochure by simply tracking the vanity URL in web analytics.
- Tracking phone numbers: Much like vanity URLs, unique phone numbers help you evaluate performance by associating any incoming calls from an awareness campaign. Available from Google Voice and other providers, the unique tracking number redirects to your normal phone, while providing the ability to track the number of people who dialed as a result of your advertising. Take it to another level with call recording to determine the quality of the calls.
- Campaign URL Tracking: Guest blogging, online distribution of press releases and partnerships are awareness tactics that can result in incoming links from websites that are frequented by your target audience. But how do you know the impact these incoming links are having? Campaign tracking URLs - special parameters appended to the incoming links - isolate traffic that comes in from these links so you can determine, using web analytics, the volume and quality of this traffic.
- Incoming Web Traffic Analysis: Effective offline campaigns still produce traffic to your website. This traffic may result from a user seeing an ad and typing your URL directly into a browser or opening their search engine of choice and searching for your brand or product name. Monitor changes in traffic - and sales and leads - during awareness campaigns to determine how effective they were in driving users to your website to learn more. For regional campaigns, isolate activity to the specific geography where the campaign was running for more accurate analysis.
- Redemption Offers: Redemption deals can be offered as codes, coupons or rebates that are redeemed online, allowing you to track them through your web analytics tool. Once a powerful and streamlined way to assess the effectiveness of traditional marketing campaigns, redemptions have lost some of their luster, thanks mostly to coupon sites. They can still be an effective component of your awareness campaign when thoughtfully designed and carefully executed.
- Surveys: When someone visits a website, a noninvasive popup can be used to ask that person where he or she heard of your company. The key to success with surveys is to make sure the questions eliminate any and all ambiguity. For instance, simply asking which search engine they came from will not tell you whether they came from an organic or paid result.
Without a direct sale or conversion, it can be challenging to measure the success of a campaign. With modern analytics and some savvy tactics, however, it is possible to get insight into whether an awareness strategy is worth the investment. That way, you can eliminate or invest in activities as you see fit, while justifying your marketing decisions to stakeholders.