Many digital marketers manage their SEO campaigns like they exist in a silo. Pretending your marketing campaigns exist within silos is dangerous because customer engagement occurs across many channels.
Your various marketing campaigns reach customers at different points and through different mediums over the course of the consumer lifecycle – websites, social networks, mobile devices, television, and print are just some examples
Viewing your SEO campaigns within this broad context and factoring these multiple channels in your return on investment calculations will make your measurement efforts much more effective.
The number of channels you need to track changes with every new social network and technological innovation – this makes deciding what to track and how to track it one of the hardest parts of search marketing.
4 benefits of multi-channel attribution
People browse across different channels before they decide to become a prospect or customer. Each channel impacts their decision to become a prospect or customer.
Here are two examples:
- Someone might hear about your product or brand in a newspaper story or on a blog. Instead of clicking on a link that brings that person from the blog to your website, they could perform a search in Google or Bing!. This search brings them to you.
- More people are also searching out Facebook fan pages to “like” your corporate page because they saw it mentioned in a television or print ad.
More people are using more channels to find your brand and to decide whether they will become a customer. Measuring multi-channel attribution has four benefits:
- Gain a better understanding of the relationship between various channels and how to better use each channel in your overall marketing plan.
- Get a better understanding of the contribution each channel makes to purchasing decisions – whether offline or online.
- Improved management of SEO campaign as you gain a better understanding of which keywords are converting.
- Simply put: it can maximize your ROI.
End of last-click
Last-click attribution does not start measuring what influences consumer behaviour until late in the sales funnel. Multi-channel models understand that SEO marketing conversions are a function of a series of clicks, clicks that occurred throughout the sales funnel, and happen over a number of days or weeks.
By not tracking the earlier clicks, last-click attribution can’t truly measure your marketing campaigns ROI. On average, there are 2.79 interactions before conversion. When we ignore the 2.79 interactions in favor of the final interaction, things like SEO are undervalued.
Though measuring multi-channel attribution is necessary, it can be complicated. You need to consider:
- How to measure impressions and clicks
- The difference between clicks in different channels
- The difference between clicks early in the funnel and those late in the funnel
Without addressing these questions and measuring interactions across many channels, there can be a significant number of inaccuracies. Last-click measurement is too oversimplified.
These inaccuracies and this kind of oversimplification could lead to missing opportunities for investment in other media and channels that would see an overall improvement in your marketing campaign’s ROI.
3 parts of an effective multi-channel model
You need to develop a well-planned multi-channel attribution strategy to succeed. Without first knowing what your goals are, you won’t know what to measure and you will never know if you are succeeding.
Developing a strategy begins with an exhaustive analysis of where you are as a marketing department and business.
2. Not all interactions are equally important
Each interaction a customer or potential customer has with your company and its message has a unique value. Certain interactions – like viewing a television spot, a long visit to your website or a visit to your store – are more valuable than an AdWords click or Facebook ad impression.
3. Weight individual factors
To effectively measure multi-channel attribution you need to gather all of your business’s touch points with customers, both online and offline media. There are four pieces of information you need to gather from each channel:
- Average order
From the digital ether to bricks and mortar
An increasing number of customers use data gathered digitally to inform decisions made in physical locations – it’s a growing trend. If you run a bricks and mortar style operation, you need to find ways to link ephemeral online metrics with bricks and mortar actions.
A great way to do this is through post-purchase surveys. Collect email addresses from customers at the point of sale. Reach out to them with a short survey to get more information on their buying behaviour.
By acknowledging your customers become customers because of multiple interactions through various forms of media, you admit that you need to change the way you measure your market efforts’ effectiveness.