Are My Marketing Initiatives Working?
I'm all about the data. I love being able to gauge if a marketing initiative I've implemented for my business has paid off... literally. So, when I here business owners explain how they became successful; "My business just took off one day..." or "I just kept at it and then one day I booked 10 weddings..." it just didn't make any sense. Something happened, they did something, changed something in their business strategy to gain success... it did't just fall into their lap with out any initiatives.
Then why would anyone answer how they became successful like the above examples? Because they may not know exactly what key initiatives they implemented to gain that success actually were. As an entrepreneur your're doing tons of things to help generate business growth... eventually one has to work right? But which one? Is one working more than the other? How would you even know? Creating a benchmark and being able to identify what works and what doesn't is where most business owners struggle because they can't define what actually worked... (or they don't want to share their secrets).
So, how do I know if my marketing initiatives are working? First a benchmark needs to be created. As an example I'll be using my statistics on the Knot (as shown in the graph below) to help understand where I started (i.e. my benchmark). I signed up on the Knot back in March. I registered under the Lite account option, so this meant I'm limited to 6 photos and my listing would be found after the vendors who paid for the Featured option (so generally around page 3/4 if you search Charlotte Wedding Photographers).
As you look at the stats above, you can see March and April page views are around 17/18 page views each month (respectively). Then there is a slight spike in May/June, but only 10 additional views then what I was receiving before (and there is a higher Google search return during those months on average for Charlotte Wedding Photographers). So I wasn't as impressed with the lift. However in July, my page views jumped from 27 to 57! What happened to get a 111% growth in just one month??? What did I do differently?
I know exactly what I did! I updated the 6 photos I had on my knot listing. I did't think the photos I had represented my brand or the breadth of portfolio I had. Since I was only allowed to display 6 photos, I came up with creative way to display more within the constraints (which I'll tell you about in a later post or you can click HERE to see the photos yourself)... and it worked! Though this marketing initiative might seem small, it has had a lot more merit and impact on my business then I initially thought it would. The key is I would have never known it worked it unless I looked at the data. The truth is in the numbers, don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.