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Analytics for the Event Owner

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David Haas

David Haas

Director, Technology Solutions

FreemanXP

Three basic building blocks for any event’s digital marketing plan

Most event organizers spend the vast majority of their time and energy creating amazing content. Sometimes the digital marketing elements of the event don’t receive the same time and attention. This is a big problem — if your web, email, social media, and digital advertising don’t convey the same passion and energy that you placed on building the amazing content, your event or brand experience won’t ever reach its full potential.

Reviewing benchmarks and setting goals

Benchmarks and goals are the two pillars that help your event grow. So how do you create realistic benchmarks and meaningful goals for your digital marketing strategies? As with events, you must find and follow the numbers to understand the human behaviors and interactions. 

Let’s take a look at these pillars:

Benchmarks by the Numbers: The Challenge of Attendance Growth

Industry

Benchmarks by the Numbers: The Challenge of Attendance Growth

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Benchmarks

Simply put, benchmarks are industry averages. They are high points that you’ve reached in prior campaigns. Or maybe your benchmark is based on knowledge of how well your competitor is performing. Regardless of your viewpoint, setting realistic benchmarks for your campaign is the first step toward success.  

For example, setting benchmarks for your email campaigns can be as simple as looking at the averages that your email campaign tool provides by industry. A better approach for most event marketers is to look at past campaigns and leverage benchmarks that might include open rate and click-through percentages. Keep in mind that this process is not so much about results but improving results.

Goals

Once you have your benchmarks in place, it’s time to establish goals. Rather than just looking at the number of people who visit your site each day, ask: what is the quality and relevance of visitors? As with events and brand experiences, it’s more about relevant traffic than sheer volume of traffic. 

With this in mind, it is beneficial to take a closer look at your registration conversion rate. How many visitors convert to registrants? Depending on what you wish to accomplish, meaningful goals to consider might include: 

  • How many visitors are reaching your site from each of your marketing channels?
  • How many visitors are consuming three or more pages?
  • How many visitors stay for three or more minutes? 

By answering these specific questions, you will be able to grasp the bigger picture of what it takes to make your marketing campaigns successful. And it’s always a good idea to accomplish larger goals by breaking them up into smaller, more actionable goals.  

Analytics

Beyond Email: Grow Your Event With Smart Digital Marketing Strategies

Best Practices

Beyond Email: Grow Your Event With Smart Digital Marketing Strategies

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Analytics are the fuel that drives your goals, especially because everything you do online is measurable. You should always compare the data you have collected against the benchmarks and goals you have set for yourself. 

There are many places you can collect data to fire up your analytics engine. Google Analytics, for example, provides a wealth of information packaged in a user-friendly interface. Most email campaign platforms have built-in analytics and benchmark data. The key element, therefore, is taking time to understand your data. After all, data isn’t always what it appears to be. A large increase in traffic to your website might seem great, but if those visitors aren’t helping you reach your goals and ultimately registering, your increase in traffic is not helping.

Setting up analytics properly

Setting up analytics is fairly simple. With Google, it’s as easy as signing up and choosing the domains you wish to track. Here is an approachable tutorial for Google Analytics

Reporting

When analyzing and pulling a report from your analytics sources, the most essential practice is combining all of the data into one place so that you can easily assess what’s happening. Most event marketers will export their data and compile it into spreadsheets for further analysis. This can be a daunting task. There are other analytics platforms, such as Super Metrics, that enable you to automatically pull in data from Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many others. These platforms can be huge time savers when dealing with large amounts of data. 

So, you’ve gathered the information... Now what? Experiment! Start small by making assumptions and determining if those assumptions are valid. You’ll often be surprised at what you find. Another approach is to look back at your goals and determine what channels performed best against those benchmarks. 

Cross-domain tracking

Boosting Event Numbers with an Effective Retargeting Strategy

Boosting Event Numbers with an Effective Retargeting Strategy

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In the simplest of terms, cross-domain tracking is an approach that Google has provided for tracking data across multiple domains. And this is super important for event organizers that use third-party registration systems. Without cross-domain tracking, it’s not possible to track your visitors as they move from your website to a registration site with another domain. This means that you lose the ability to track which campaigns are actually driving registrations! This is a big problem for many event owners.

Why do it?

Implementing Cross-domain Analytics (CDA) enables you to determine which channels and campaigns are performing best toward your goals. For example, if visitors are reaching website A, and then registering for my event at website B, I need CDA to track them from the first site through the last site where registration takes place. With CDA, I can now determine how well traffic originating on Facebook, coming through website A and then registering on website B is actually performing. And I can do the same for my email, organic social posts, and paid advertising. 

This may all seem technical, but after a while analyzing your site traffic will be as automatic and rewarding as listening to great music. In the end, good marketing starts with good data, offline or online. More than data, consider web analytics as music notes that, when put together in alignment with your brand’s goals, create a symphony that eventually results in engaging audiences that visit your site. That should be music to your organization’s ears.

Looking to boost your brand through digital marketing and other digital solutions? Check us out here.

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