First things first—you need to create the tool or dashboard that you will use to analyze campaigns. We think there is no better tool for Internet marketing analysis than Microsoft Excel. Sure, Facebook has its Insights, and you can get some data through Google Analytics or advanced statistical packages.
But there is a lot of value in collecting molecular data in a spreadsheet, which you can later roll up into whatever view you need to inform yourself and your management team. Last week, you decided the statistics that you’ll track, and you probably also now know exactly what it will take for you to get the numbers you need.
Make sure you collect the core metrics on a regular yet consistent basis—either daily, weekly, biweekly, or monthly. Otherwise, you’ll analyze one set of data against a slightly different period of time than another, and it will make your analyses inaccurate. Consistency is critical so you’re always comparing like data day-to-day.
Daily data collection is generally the safest and most revealing way to go. By choosing daily reporting, you are collecting data in its most useful molecular form. You can go back to any day in the past and see exactly what happened, but only if you’ve committed to recording data in a spreadsheet or other format that you can save to your hard drive. Otherwise, you are leaving it up to Facebook, Google, or any other service to save data for you.
You can also roll up data over a period of time—say a week, a month, and so on—and analyze how your campaign improved or maxed out at various stages of the project. Most important, you can analyze it on any vector you choose—be it the net number of fans you’ve added, total cost of your campaign, cost per fan, click-through cost, or any other metric you’d like to see.
Now there is one downside of choosing a daily reporting—like it or not, someone is on weekend duty! If you’ve missed a day, it may not be a big deal, though. If you’re collecting data on the net number of fans you have each day, you can make some educated guesses for days you aren’t able to get in front of your computer.
Daily advertising data can be pulled into your dashboard in a variety of ways well beyond the day after. But don’t make a common practice of this because it will poison your data over time and make assessments about how your properties do on different days of the week useless.