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Reviewing Your 2016 Digital Marketing Efforts

19 December 2016
Liam Saunders

As we reach the end of 2016, it is time to reflect and review our digital marketing efforts of the last year. Many of you may think that reviewing your marketing activities from 2016 is less important than planning for 2017, but in many cases reviewing has to precede planning if it is to be effective. A successful review will help you to understand what worked during the year and what did not work.

So, how should you go about reviewing your 2016 digital marketing efforts? As with most activities, it is always sensible to follow a clear and defined process. This article will outline our simple, yet effective four step process to reviewing your marketing campaigns.

Digital Marketing Review Process

1) Check Your Data

The trend of data driven digital marketing could not be neglected within this process. Checking your data is a great way to start your review process as it is likely to be a significant source of insights into your marketing activities from the last year. Google Analytics is a particularly useful tool for this, as it provides a comprehensive overview of all your digital channels. At this stage, you should try to find out what your most significant source of website traffic has been during the year. The Top Channels section within the Acquisition Overview dashboard is great for this. It will divide your website traffic into applicable traffic sources so you can see which channel is providing the greatest volume of traffic. It is also worth comparing the Top Channels section to the Conversions section and from these two sections you can identify which channel has provided the most conversions.

2) Study Your Successful Campaigns

After reviewing your overall data through a platform such as Google Analytics, it is time to explore your successful digital marketing campaigns in more detail. This should help you discover what has worked well, so you can successfully reapply it in the future. A successful campaign might be a series of social media posts that you made on Twitter or it may be a Google AdWords campaign that generated high quality leads for your business. Whatever it is, this stage is about finding out what worked. To do this, review each successful campaign on the platform that it was created in and examine the key success metrics. Pay particular attention to the marketing copy – you are likely to find that some of the copy was more engaging to potential customers than others. At this stage, you should be able to make a list of the aspects of the campaign that worked. You will be using this list at the last stage of this process.

3) Examine Your Unsuccessful Campaigns

Finding out what has not worked during past campaigns is as important as finding out what did work. If you have a clear idea of what does not work, you will be able to avoid it in the future. Start by looking for elements of your campaign that potential customers did not engage with. These could be anything from an advert in Google AdWords that failed to secure any clicks to a tweet that did not attain any retweets. Once you have found these elements, try to explore the reasons why they might not have worked. In the case of a Google AdWords advert, the advert copy might not be persuasive or perhaps your keyword bids were too low to attain a first page ranking for your chosen keywords. In the case of the former issue, you can conclude that different advert copy will be required for future campaigns. While, for the latter issue, you may find that your campaign budget was insufficient to maintain a sufficiently high keyword bids. Ensure that you record these findings as you will need to revisit them during the final step of the process.

4) Create a Digital Marketing Lessons Learned Summary

Now it is time to bring the work of the previous steps together by creating the ultimate review document. Your Digital Marketing Lessons Learned summary will be your guide to future campaigns. It can be anything from a simple two column list with successful marketing campaign elements and unsuccessful marketing campaign elements to an elaborate and colourful document. Whatever form it takes, make sure you cover the Why question more than the What. If you can understand why a campaign was or was not successful you will be in a great position to learn from it. Before you launch a new digital marketing campaign, you should review your document so you can apply the campaign elements that worked and avoid those that did not.


If you would like help with reviewing your 2016 digital marketing efforts, you can book a free digital marketing consultation with one of our digital marketing experts.

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