At first glance, deciding to collect and analyze data is . . . well . . . boring to say the least. Unless you’re a data analyst by profession there’s a very good chance you’ve never dove too deep into the world of data. Most people in any sort of creative industry haven’t either, so you’re not alone.
Today, however, I want to take a couple of moments of your time and walk you through how to collect and put your marketing data into a narrative. This way, it can help inform your next promotional campaign or upcoming investment decisions. Because believe me when I say data can transform how you view your marketing strategies.
This post is going to center primarily around your website’s data. As a fashion brand, you’re likely using an e-commerce website as the central focus of your brand. Your main goal is drawing online users into your site.
While it’s also valuable to take a look at social media data and insights, they are still a bit limiting compared to the powerful analysis you can glean from your website.
Website Data Analysis
Let’s take a look at your website. It’s here that the bulk of your insights are going to be gained. I’ve personally used just a website’s analytics to create everything from social media strategies to video campaigns – all based on facts and data – with tremendous results.
Where Do I Collect Data From?
The very first step before completing anything else is to verify you have Google Analytics up and running. If you’ve run web-based marketing campaigns without Google Analytics you won’t be able to quantify your data and uncover how to make the next campaign better. Go ahead and set up Google Analytics on your website. If you have the free system already installed, that’s awesome! This is where you’re going to glean most of your data from.
What Data Is Important?
Arguably, all of it is important! But let’s start small. On a website, a few key pieces of data will inform you about your audience’s habits:
- Bounce Rate – This metric lets you know how many people are viewing just one page on your website before leaving. For instance, if you have a high bounce rate during the month(s) you ran an Instagram ad campaign, that lets you know people are interested in your product shown in the ad but not interested in engaging with the rest of your website.
- Channels – By what channels are visitors coming to your website? These may be organic, referral, direct, or social. You can see month over month comparisons of this statistic and determine how well your previous marketing campaign worked by looking at what platforms drove the most traffic to your website.
- Behavior Flow – This handy flow chart will help inform you which pages are the first ones drawing your audience to the website, what page they visited next, and what page caused them to exit your website.
- Time on Site – How long your users spent browsing your website.
- New or Returning Visitor – Typically viewed in a pie chart form, this piece of data lets you know which percentage of visitors for the month have been on your website before versus the brand new visitors.
How Do I Turn My Data Into A Story?
With a little bit of logic, this is not a hard task. You simply look for patterns or anomalies in your website data and draw logical conclusions based on the facts. Let’s take a look at a case study:
Scenario: You ran a holiday marketing campaign last year using Instagram ads and email marketing to drive more customers to your website. You want to use that data to help you create a more informed holiday marketing strategy this year.
Creating the Narrative: Navigate to Google Analytics and set your time parameters for the length you were running your holiday campaign last year. Look at how many users visited your website. Is it more than the previous month? The previous year?
Look at what channels drove your visitors. Was it Instagram and emails? Of the visitors that came from those two sources were they engaged with your content? Did they stay on the website longer than Facebook-driven users? Did they buy anything?
Try to put together a path of what the average person from your Instagram ads and email marketing did when they finally clicked on to your website.
What Happens After You Collect Data
For the sake of the example, let’s say your Instagram ads drove 3,000 visitors to your website and email marketing contributed 1,500 users. But digging into the data you see that 76% of the Instagram traffic left after viewing one page. Of the 24% remaining only 7% purchased something.
However, your email marketing visitors, while fewer overall, stayed longer, had a lower bounce rate, and a higher conversion rate.
Based on that data you can see that your email marketing crowd is much more likely to become a paying visitor and this year might be a good idea to spend more time and money creating an intentional email campaign and spend less money on Instagram ads.
Google Analytics is a powerful program and it can be taken a step further to create triggers and events that will inform when someone made a purchase, what channel brought them to your website, if they were a new visitor or a returning one, etc.
All this data collection and analysis can be confusing when you first get started. But it’s important to flesh out how your audience is interacting with your website and what you can do to capitalize on those interactions.
Use Google Analytics to support your theories about which social media platforms are actually benefiting you. The data can help determine if you need to start an email marketing campaign, and even what pages perform best on your website. Use this powerful new info to continue growing as a fashion entrepreneur.