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Mid-Year Check-in: How Is Your Digital Marketing Performing?

Follow these steps to perform a mid-year marketing check-in and set your business up for success.
Caitlyn Blair

7 Steps To Measure Your Digital Marketing Progress For The Year

The middle of the year can sneak up on you before you know it. This might be the best opportunity to kick your marketing efforts up a notch to hit your goals before the year’s end. Before you do that, it is important to measure the success of your marketing efforts so far. This will help you determine what areas you need to improve upon to meet your goals. Think of your mid-year check-in findings as the “State of the Union” for your business. Your findings will give your team valuable insights into their performance and lay the groundwork for growth. Here are seven steps you can take to perform this essential check-in and make the most of your conclusions:

  • Take note of your goals from the beginning of the year

If you are taking the time to conduct a mid-year digital marketing audit, you likely established some goals at the beginning of the year and want to gauge your progress. If you did not establish your goals at the beginning of the year, take a moment to reflect on what would be your reasonable benchmarks. To get you started, some of the most common digital marketing goals that businesses establish surround:

  1. Sales objectives (i.e. increasing the amount of revenue each month by 2%)

  2. Social engagement metrics (increased likes, followers, interactions, and unique visitors)

  3. Exposure to your target audience and positive feedback

Once you can recall and organize your goals, you will be able to move forward with measuring your progress on them. You might even take note of some of the goals that didn’t ultimately align with your needs and make adjustments for the future.

  • Measure your analytics through a content audit

The middle of the year is a great time to perform a content audit and make changes according to your overall goals. When doing this, it is important to consider what your content has achieved. In other words, what is the ROI from the content you’ve produced?

To measure this, note which platforms performed the best and how well they performed. Organizing these platforms into a comprehensive list is often called a content inventory. A content inventory will be your main tool for running content audits, checking the performance of blog posts and other pages, and managing your pages. Your content audit should cover quality, SEO, strategy alignment, and conversion optimization. You can use plenty of tools to do a content audit, such as Google Analytics, Web Gnomes, SEOptimer, and SiteAnalyzer. If you want to do the content audit yourself, you should go through the following forms of content:

  • Core website pages

  • Landing pages

  • Blog posts

  • Articles

  • E-books

  • Webinars

  • Videos

  • Podcasts

For each of these pages, you’ll want to track the following information so that you can understand which content is performing well and which is not:

  • URL

  • Author/team that produced the content

  • Time it took to produce the content

  • Title of content

  • Date content was posted

  • Type of content

  • Goal of content

  • Word count

  • Engagement and views of content

  • Track the data of your CTAs

Throughout all of these pieces of content, you most likely have call-to-actions or CTAs.

Measuring the success of your CTAs is another important step, and it will paint a fuller picture of how each piece of content is performing.

  • These are some of the metrics you can look at to gauge the success of your CTAs:
    • Click-through rate – Your click-through rate (CTR) refers to the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad is shown. Measure how many users who saw your CTA in an email or on social media clicked on it.

    • Submission rate – Your submission rate refers to the percentage of users who clicked on the CTA and then submitted a form on the redirect page. It will be helpful to compare the submission rate of your CTA against the click-through rate.

    • Views to submissions – This is the most powerful measurement of CTA success. It refers to the percentage of users who saw your CTA and converted it to a lead. This will require you to review your leads and track where they came from.

  • Identify your target audience and who has been consuming your content

Knowing your target audience and communicating to them is one of the most important parts of a successful marketing strategy. Your target audience is the specific consumers that will most likely desire your product or services. These demographics are organized by age, gender, income, location, interests, and other factors. You might think you have a good idea of your target audience based on who your typical customers are, but if you look into the analytics, you might be surprised at who you find. Here are some steps you can take to identify your target audience:

  1. Research your current customers

Your client base is only the tip of the iceberg regarding your target audience. However, it is still a great starting point and a good factor to consider when trying to understand your target audience. If you have not done so, take a look into some of the characteristics of your customers and create a list of the ones they share. A full picture of your current customers will help you understand what kind of content will cater to them.

Your key indicators will come into play in a major way here. These are what set your audience apart from other audiences and often come in the form of skills or interests. It might also help you to work backward. Specifically, think about who your products or services could best serve and compare that to the customers who are actually purchasing. This will help you create content that fills in the gaps to reach those you are not currently reaching. It will also help you to see and understand the members of your audience who you might not have expected to see.

  1. Research your competitors’ SEO rankings

When conducting a mid-year check-in, you can’t forget to note how your competitors are performing as well. This will help you understand how trends in the marketplace are affecting your performance, and it will help you understand your position in the market. You can conduct this research organically, or you can use tools like SEMRush Market Explorer to help. This tool will allow you to map out the competitive landscape, analyze the current audience size and market potential, and look at their choice of platforms and media placements. It will also allow you to take a look at your competitors’ SEO performance.

  • You should measure the following SEO-related factors in your competitors’ content against your own:
    • Total number of keywords with organic positions

    • Expected monthly organic and inorganic traffic

    • Most successful keywords

    • Consumer behavior based on search volume

  • Evaluate your KPIs and OKRs

Fancy abbreviations like “KPIs” and “OKRs” are often thrown around in digital marketing. They can seem intimidating, but they are actually quite simple in execution. These metrics refer to the goals you set at the beginning of the year in a more specific way. A KPI is a key performance indicator, and it should be measurable to a defined standard. Making it measurable will also make it easier to determine your progress when it comes time to do your mid-year check-in. KPIs keep your employees engaged, connect your purpose and culture, and hold your team accountable for the success of your business.

Some KPIs include social media reach and engagement, cost of conversion per lead, and lead to customer conversion rate. Most experts agree that strong social media engagement falls around 1-5%. If your social media engagement was not at that point at the beginning of the year, you should look at your progress over time and see if your marketing strategies improved.

OKRs (objectives and key results) are similar to KPIs, but OKRs tend to be more aggressive and ambitious. To determine your success in this area, measure the number of inbound leads and paying customers that you currently have against your numbers from the beginning of the year. Paying attention to these trends will help you to understand where your business has done well and where you might have made some mistakes along the way.

  • Make an action plan for your findings

As you can see, there are many different points you will need to consider when you are conducting your mid-year marketing check-in. These are not one-size-fits-all answers. Some of the factors might be more relevant to your specific business than others. To review, you will want to measure the analytics as well as that of your competitors using the metrics that make the most sense for your business. You will also want to pay attention to your conversions, leads, and the number of paying customers you have acquired throughout the year. Measuring these numbers will help you focus on the most successful marketing tactics and eliminate the ones that your business might not need. This is the point when you can create an action plan with goals for the rest of the year and the following year. 

  • Your action plan should include the following information: 

    • Your accomplishments from the year so far

    • Your mission statement 

    • Your shortcomings from the year so far
    • Goals for the following year

    • KPIs and OKRs to use in the future to measure success

    • Adjusted marketing budget for rest of the year and following year

  • Continue checking in on your progress

Doing a mid-year check-in can feel a bit exhausting, but you will find that this process is much simpler if you are able to check in on your progress more frequently throughout the year. Saving all of these performance measurements for halfway through the year can make the job seem more daunting than it is. Checking in more often will allow you to make necessary adjustments to your marketing campaign more effectively and keep your business on the right track.
A common model that many businesses follow to perform the most accurate and up-to-date check-ins is the quarterly check-in, which typically occurs every three months. If you measure your success this way, you can use your fiscal success to directly measure your marketing efforts' success.

Scorpion gives you access to powerful marketing insights. Contact us to learn more about how you can set up your marketing strategy for success.