You keep track of your tools and supplies. You've figured out the best way to create your art and make your products up to your high quality standards with minimal wast of time and materials...the same can easily be done for your marketing efforts. You set up, create and clean up meticulously. You have your process and you know roughly how long it's going to take.
Think of marketing platforms and channels as your canvas. The people who know your canvas exists are your followers or subscribers. The number of subscribers and non-subscribers are the number of views and impressions. The number of people who come up to your work and have a conversation with it or you translate in the marketing world as comment, like, or <3 your work.
Would you ignore a person who walked into your booth and had a question or showed great interest in your work? I know you wouldn't. It's just rude, and you're not rude. You've put yourself out there and you want people to have a conversation about and with your work. Think of marketing as setting up a virtual booth or virtual exhibit and chatting with people as they pass by your work. Think of analytics as deciding which craft or art fair to go to and how you are going to approach people once you get to the art fair.
I know it seems like a hassle...Marketing is enough of a pain the behind that just doing the bare minimum seems like a full time job. This is why it is important to work smarter not harder. Using Marketing Automation tools you can create content quickly then with all your extra time and effort saved, you'll have some left over to go the extra mile to see what's working and what's not.
So now for the nitty gritty of marketing analytics for artists & artisans:
There are two types of analytics tools: Built-In and External. Built-In are the insights you can find without leaving the platform. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have built in reporting on who's looking at your posts and what kind of engagement/interaction you're getting. The benefit of looking at these is that they are easy to find, read & understand, and free. The downside is that they can't give you a cross-platform view of how you are doing overall or a comparison of which channel/platform is getting you a high return on investment (ROI). And you want a high ROI. After all, if you're not eventually getting sales from your marketing efforts, what's the point?
The second type of analytics tools, External tools are services that connect to your accounts. The benefits of an external tool is that they often can analyze the relationships between social media or marketing efforts as a whole. For example, HootSuite, the content management software measures and optimizes all your marketing efforts from email to social media and looks at whole host of other aspects of marketing missed by the Built-In tools. The downside is that these services are usually either limited in how many accounts you can connect for free accounts. If you have a sizable following, it is definitely worth investing a little money here.
Here's a short list of External marketing analytics tools:
- Simply Measured - Free tools & paid services available. In depth look at single a single platform
- Iconosquare - Free trial & paid service available. Competitive analysis of Instagram (This link is for the Art category, change the category to your interest or industry to see the top performing brands)
- HootSuite - Free tools, Free trial, & paid services available. Very powerful management, automation and analytics tool to look at and optimize cross-platform performance.
- Buffer - Free & paid services available. Engagement and top post analytics available for multiple platforms but no comparison between platforms.
- Followerwonk - Free & paid services available
Here's an infographic that explains the basic differences:
Great, now that we've got that locked down, how do you pick a which platform and which analytics are the most important to watch?
Well, it depends. Take a look at your business goals and your competition to gain insight into what your goals are...
For example, if you want to be a name brand, you want your name to be everywhere. Your goal is going to be reach/impressions and engagement rather than sales and conversion rates (# of sales/number of leads). On the other hand, if you want to quit your day job and only work on your art, you are going to focus on high ROI performing channels.
If you're not sure and just want to jump in, do it! Start by looking at your Built-In analytics for each of your marketing platforms then use a free tool to compare them. At this point you'll know which numbers get you the most excited. For example, if you're thrilled that you have only 200 followers, but you've made a sale to 50% of those followers, then your goal is keeping a high conversion rate. If the same number worries or depresses you, you are interested in growing your following - look at analytics related to reach, impressions and engagement.
Post any comments/questions below and have a great day!