With the financial year end just around the corner, most business is in auditing mode. Be it financials, systems audits or stock takes, this is usually the time of year for the “business spring cleaning” to be done. Auditing is a vital function for any business to keep on top of. It is time consuming and sometimes a tedious process however, a virtuous auditing process can provide time saving ideas, prove very stimulating and add invaluable intelligence for your business.
Digital marketing is no different. A clear and concise auditing program should be put in place to monitor your digital marketing footprint.
Some of the steps you would take are very similar to the process you would follow in any auditing process but, and it is a big but, in order for you to accurately and meritoriously audit your digital marketing, you have to understand the method and functioning of what system or platform you are auditing. This ensures that there is no ambiguity when compiling your reports. Some steps to consider are as follows:
Step 1: Metrics, metrics, metrics. Your metrics reports need to be checked and double checked and then checked again. Not only does this give you an insight into some of the effective parts of your digital marketing, it is fundamental in correcting the parts that may not be performing as well as you would like. Include as many headings into these reports as possible, headings such as demographics, geographic area, lead times, bounce rates, hit rates and importantly leads from social media platforms.
All of these headings will assist in building a more complete and rounded picture of your digital marketing strategy. You will quickly notice that all of these elements are interwoven and there is much “cross pollination” between all the different areas of digital marketing. This does in fact make tracing activity spikes and building effective campaigns easier whilst simultaneously eliminating the need to speculate when it comes to your data. Crucially as you will have noticed, auditing is vital for advancing your digital marketing as a whole. With auditing we believe “the more metrics, the better.”
Step 2: Complete a full website audit. This will include anything and everything about your website. Check all the links work, contact numbers are still the same and all other information is up to date. Complete the exact same process you use on your website for your mobile site too.
Whilst auditing your website, we have found that it is a great opportunity to consider any changes or improvements you’d like to make to your website in the future. Make a note of them and evaluate your options moving forward.
Step 3: Auditing your social media platforms. We are referring more to the “back end” of your social media platforms. Again it’s metrics. For example, “your total reach” on Facebook or the amount of new followers on Twitter.
Auditing all your posted information on these platforms will help you decipher what is working and what is not. This is very important for your future engagement on each platform. As for the “look and feel” of your business profiles, this is very similar to your website but this will be less time consuming.
There should be a vastly smaller amount of information on these platforms hence less time spent. There may be a slight requirement for interpretation when considering how well specific posts have done on various platforms however, this should be kept to a minimum and should not even be required if all your metrics are in order.
Step 4: Auditing all other aspects of your digital marketing. For instance, by following Step 1, 2 and 3 it will help considerably in completing your inbound marketing audit. This process will quickly show which social media platform is proving the best value and how well your “click through” is to your website. Consider auditing all other elements of your digital marketing tools too. Google adword campaigns, SMS bursts, mailers just to name a few.
Set aside as much time as probable when it comes to your Customer relationship management (CRM) system. There is a large element of database management in this regard and it can prove to be enormously time consuming but there are exponential benefits to completing this part of the audit. Don’t forget to defragment your database and back up (with a time and date stamp) once the audit and edits are complete.
Step 5: Audit and fix, little and often. We strongly believe in the “little but often” rule. Although it is always essential that you complete a full annual audit of all your systems, by doing little bits and often, say once a month or bi-monthly, when it comes round to the final annual audit it seems more bearable. We have found that auditing monthly reports goes a long, long way to streamlining and saving time on annual audits.
All business’ are different and go through different auditing processes but fundamentally, any audit should provide clarification and cause as little disruption to your business as possible.
External audits have proven very useful too as it eliminates a predisposed bias that sometimes arises from creating solutions and then auditing them internally.
We would love to hear about your business’ auditing process and how much depth you go into when auditing your digital marketing. If you need or require external auditing advice or services then please contact us here.