Measuring the Success of Your Marketing Efforts
You’ve spent hours selecting photographs of your catering company’s most successful events and typing out the attention-grabbing captions to match. You’ve carefully curated your brand’s social media pages to fit the interests and lifestyle of your customer avatar and made your name known amongst members of your target audience. The inquiries and bookings are flowing in for wedding receptions, company parties and more. You’re feeling confident about your brand’s expansion—now, how about quantifying it?
When trying to gauge the success of your marketing efforts for your catering and events company, there are a few data points to which you should pay particular attention. These points include the analytical information provided by various platforms on which your brand is active. Checking the relevant engagement and reach statistics is something you’ll want to do regularly, as this data provides you with insight as to which campaigns are, or aren’t, successful. Another good business practice is making sure you’re optimizing not only your social media posts but your website content, to keep your brand relevant and visible.
Build a Foundation with Consistent Content
Just as you make sure to update your company’s social media on a regular basis, you want to be uploading a consistent stream of content to your website. Because your site effectively serves as a digital storefront, its visitors (read: potential customers) expect to be greeted with the most relevant news and information about your brand. Keeping out-of-date information at the forefront of your landing page might invite skepticism towards the quality of your catering services.
Your website can be a great place to expand further upon the content displayed on your social media pages. Most people aren’t expecting to have all of their questions answered through an Instagram post or a tweet; in fact, according to one survey, roughly 65% of the former platform’s users don’t even read the captions.
This statistic shouldn’t deter you from making sure your posts are sufficiently though-out and attention-grabbing; after all, plenty of potential customers still make up that remaining 35%. What it should do, however, is to remind you that your website is a necessary point of contact between your brand and future customers. Maintain a blog or update page, where you supplement social posts about recent events with more in-depth information. Offer recipe samples, table decorating tips and advice for sending out the perfect invite. A consistent flow of such content will invite visitors to feel excited about working with your brand.
Social Media Metrics to Pay Attention To
There’s a lot of information out there when it comes to quantifying the success of your social media use through metrics, and it’s easy to lose sight of your target data. Thus, it’s helpful to approach your analysis already having in mind the most important numbers. Socialbakers suggests paying attention to a few in particular, including:
“Top of Funnel” metrics: The narrowing down of paying customers, from the original pool of individuals with a general awareness of your brand, occurs through a number of steps known as the sales funnel. Encouraging potential leads through the funnel requires closer and closer communication on the part of your brand.
Much like it’s inanimate namesake, the “top” of the sales funnel is the widest part, and thus includes the most individuals. The metrics relevant to this point will, therefore, be unique to those relevant to other points—and, as they demonstrate how successful your outreach efforts are in rousing interest, they require particular attention. Stats you should be looking out for include the number of likes and shares posts are receiving, reach (or quantity of views) of each post, and the click-through rate, or the number of clicks on each post.
Video metrics: Video is a great visual method for showcasing your brand’s story and best work, and not to mention an accessible one—more than 4/5 of all American internet users report viewing online video content each month. When gauging the success of your brand’s video-based marketing, pay attention to:
The average view duration, or “total watch time divided by total amount of views;”
Average completion rate, or the average portion of the video seen by viewers;
Audience retention, or the percentage of viewers watching from start to finish.
This information will tell you how interesting viewers are finding your video content, and which video elements may be encouraging, or discouraging, interest.
Paid Metrics: This information highlights the success of your paid marketing efforts. It includes Cost-per-Click, or the average cost “to generate one click from your audience on paid content,” and the rates of engagement on each paid post. Keeping the success rate of each paid post in mind will save you from wasting money on repeatedly unsuccessful advertising efforts.
Facebook is undoubtedly the most expansive social network, with more than 2.41 billion active users from across the globe logging in each month. Setting up a Facebook page for your catering company is thus a fantastic way to reach new customers, especially those who live locally to you. A page also allows curious visitors to explore more in-depth information about your brands—such as address, history and available booking times—in comparison to other social media, which may have a more abbreviated post format.
As a business owner on Facebook, you’re able to take advantage of the Facebook Pixel. The Facebook Pixel is a piece of “code embedded into a website that links individuals’ onsite behavior to Facebook user profiles.” Based on the types of pages a person is using, related ads will then be placed on their personal Facebook page. For example, if a user visits your Pixel-equipped website, they will later be greeted with an ad or your catering services on their Facebook page.
To install the Facebook Pixel, you simply need to install a piece of code on your website’s header. Once it’s there, you’ll have access to engagements, click-through-rates, frequent purchases and more.
If you’ve ventured into the world of online marketing, you’ve likely come across the acronym “SEO” at some point. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of receiving website traffic after appearing on the results page of a search engine. Unlike other marketing tactics, SEO is free, as it relies solely on the relevance of your content. There are, however, catering and event SEO services you can pay for, which will help you with the optimization of your content.
To get started with SEO for your catering and events business, try doing a keyword search on Google. Type the words “catering” or “events” into the search bar, followed by a space and another letter. You’ll see a drop-down menu with popular industry-relevant results; try optimizing your own content around some of them. You can also get SEO inspiration from industry topics you’ve consistently seen in articles and on other sites, or from questions you’re commonly asked by your own customers.
Google Analytics gives you access to a package of tools via which you can track audience engagement on your website’s various pages. As mentioned above, knowing how your site visitors interact with various elements means you can plan future marketing around the most successful methods. Google Analytics’ various components make this possible by breaking down stats into categories such as Intelligence, Reporting, Data Collecting and Data Activation. Each is accompanied by various sub-categories as well; within Reporting, for example, you can choose between Audience Reports, Advertising Reports, Conversion reports and more.
To start using Google Analytics, you simply need to sign up for a free account. There is a paid version, Analytics 360, however, this is formatted for larger corporations; for most catering and events entrepreneurs, the standard version should be sufficient. Once your account is set, Google will equip you with a tracking code, and you’ll be ready to use this dynamic tool to benefit your business!
Google Search Console
Another tool Google makes available to business owners is Search Console, which comes in the form of a portal. Like Analytics, it allows business owners to gauge, via data, the least and most successful marketing aspects of their digital storefronts.
As explained by Yoast write Jono Alderson, Google uses Search Console to communicate with site owners regarding “site issues, errors, or even penalties,” as well as some information on how to initiate troubleshooting yourself. Furthermore, it gives you information on site performance and highlights the optimization of weak spots. Like Analytics, Search Console is free—you just need to be the owner of a website to sign up.
Email Metric Benchmarks
Email campaigns allow you to communicate your company’s latest news, events and offers to a large number of leads simultaneously. Reaching out via email can be particularly efficient, as your target audience is likely made up of individuals who’ve already expressed interest in your brand. The fact that you’ve prior obtained their emails, signifies their prominence in the pool of potential customers.
Your email-based campaigns and other outreach efforts are there just as important to track as your website- and social media-based ones. Doing so requires delving into your email metrics, or measurements of recipient engagement.
Data points to examine include the rates at which emails are being opened and their content clicked on (or click rate), as well as failed delivery due to soft and hard bounces. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, a soft bounce indicates there’s a temporary issue with the delivery, such as the recipient’s inbox being full, while a hard bounce means the problem is more permanent, such a non-existent email address.
When it comes to making the most of your email campaigns, MailChimp suggests composing straightforward subject lines, and communicating with subscribers frequently to avoid amassing a list of stale addresses. There are several online platforms, Mailchimp included, designed to help you optimize your email-based marketing.
There are so many options for measuring the success of your catering and events company right at your fingertips. Delve into a few, and you’ll be on the road to building your best brand in no time!