Happy New Year, everybody!
2016 is set to be a fantastic year for digital marketing; especially for those that are willing to adopt a creative inbound strategy that attracts, informs, and entertains their target audience.
Our regular readers over 2015 will know how much emphasis we put on creative strategy, and how we felt a good mix of the right inbound techniques were the best way to resonate with your market, whether local, specialist, national, or global.
We feel that’s going to be more relevant than ever in 2016, especially with a lot of potentially large-scale changes afoot. The European Commission, for instance, is expected to change the law on how companies handle consumer data and how it’s collected and distributed.
That will bring enormous change to the way companies that focus on an outbound model do business. Other changes are expected to tighten up the rules on how digital brands advertise; the FTC in North America, for example, has issued new guidelines on publishing native content, while the AdBlock story looks likely to rumble on…
So with that in mind a creative inbound strategy makes a lot of sense to not only help avoid all those woes, but to also get a key picture of what your users are doing and how they interact with your site.
Only, if you’re using a creative strategy to get yourself noticed online, do you need to be creative with your metrics, too?
Your Turn: Creative strategy is going to be essential to your success in 2016 and beyond. Which creative techniques have you used to help your company stand out and why? Let me know in the comments section below.
Page view to a kill
I ask because I’m intrigued by a recent article published by Wired that says page views – one key metric that business owners and online marketers have relied on for years – are dead and akin to a zombie that should be shot in the head and put out of its misery.
They’re not too keen on them as a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) as you can probably tell. They also lament how the page view as a performance indicator has led to a rise in clickbait-style articles and social media posts as companies look to try and inflate as many views as possible.
And they have a point with that, as we’ve mentioned before. Brian Madden, vice president of audience at Hearst Digital Media said last year, they point out, “Having one specific KPI like page views or time spent doesn’t make a lot of sense. It ignores the content entirely.”
The summary is that with so much money being pumped into digital advertising (51 per cent of UK adspend this year is estimated to go on digital services according to Carat) more and more companies will demand to know where that investment is going.
Which, again, is another reason why the digital inbound model for businesses is such a draw. As well as the changes to data collection, this year is expected to be the first time linear television viewership will fall.
As an advertiser what would you rather spend your money on? An expensive television or radio advert that hits a very broad demographic with no indicator of results, or inbound methods of data collection that give you valuable information on users’ journeys on your website and other areas that can help you grow?
What do you think? Is Wired right? Is the page view dead as a metric? If so then what other metrics do you use to measure success? Let me know below.
Although the Wired article makes a lot of sense we feel it’s a bit unfair to single out the page view. The key word to consider here is the ‘content’ that Brian Madden points out; page views may not be a KPI for Wired, but it’s essential for other companies.
Which is why we would like a real push for creativity this year, and an end to sweeping statements like the above when it comes to digital marketing. Each and every company is different, serves a unique purpose, and has its own customers and audience it wants to target. Discovering that is the first and most important part of digital advertising.
Page views are especially useful when auditing a site. For instance, if a retail site is getting hundreds of thousands of page views, but isn’t selling anywhere near as many products as it would like, then they’re useful to determine where that traffic’s coming from, where it’s going on-site, why sales aren’t converting and – most crucially – what can be done about it.
Wired also talks about time spent on page; that can also be useful in determining if traffic is genuine or coming from robotic sources. We understand what Wired is saying, and as they also underline that advertisers are looking for deeper metrics for content such as which part of an article people dropped off at or sign-ups for mailing lists.
Which are still being developed and are coming, and are a better investment than a paywall as News UK has discovered with The Sun. The simplest way to plan it is to not think in a digital sense at all; consider, in an ideal world, what you would like your website to do and the long-term results you’d like to get from it.
Then take a look at existing metrics and dilute which ones would help you most for growth. Think imaginatively, too, and consider things you’d like that may not even exist yet. The internet’s a big place, and there may be tools out there in development or plug-ins that you can use to measure things in creative ways.
Your core strategy will be essential for online growth and success in 2016. Plan it carefully and you’re sure to have the best year yet.
If you’d like to know more about online marketing, the lie of the land in 2016 and how it can help grow your business contact us to speak to a Webpresence representative today.