How To Evaluate Digital Marketing Strategies: Best Practices for Meeting Goals

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Creating a digital marketing strategy is just half the battle. You still have to ensure that your marketing strategies actually work to help you reach your business objectives - which is the focus of this article.

You need to schedule regular digital marketing meetings where you review strategies and come up with action plans to drive your marketing and sales results. 

For the most part, these meetings should be attended by key decision-makers who play a role in running digital marketing programs, such as the marketing director, project managers, traffic generation staff, and anyone else who is part of your strategic marketing team. 

Everyone can benefit from attending, including designers and IT staff, content writers, SEO specialists, and more — even if they aren’t necessarily the focal point of the meeting. 

But, for your meetings to be productive, you must have a clear plan for evaluating your digital marketing strategies so you’ll know exactly what you need to do more (or less) of in order to meet your goals.

With that said, here are the best practices for evaluation that you can use the next time you sit down to a meeting so you can review your strategy effectively and come away with major action items that will move the needle for your business. 

Determine Specific Statistics to Track

The first thing you need to do is determine specific statistics to track, and in what time frame. These are the success factors that will show you whether or not you are headed in the right direction.

So, you might look at key performance indicators (KPIs) such as:

  • Cost per lead
  • Sales revenue
  • Client value
  • Lead to client ratio 
  • Website traffic to lead ratio
  • The volume of organic traffic
  • Inbound marketing ROI
  • The conversion rate of landing pages

When you've decided what's important in your business, you’re now ready to set goals prior to launching a successful marketing campaign for your business.

Let’s take a look at some of the marketing metrics you will use to measure the success of those goals.

  • Overall website traffic
  • Traffic by source
  • New visitors vs. returning visitors
  • Sessions
  • Average session duration
  • Pageviews
  • Most visited pages
  • Exit rate
  • Bounce rate
  • Conversion rate

These are the metrics that matter the most. But, of course, there are other metrics you might consider in addition to these, including:

  • Impressions
  • Social reach
  • Social engagement
  • Email open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Cost per click
  • Cost per conversion
  • Cost per acquisition
  • Overall ROI

Commit to a Timeframe

Action items without accountability will lead you nowhere. 

As previously mentioned, you must schedule weekly (or, at a minimum, monthly) digital marketing meetings. You also need to set criteria and targets for each action item so you can leave the meeting with a clear plan of action to help you meet your goals.

Your action plan should specify the following:

  • What Will Be Done: For instance, run a social media contest throughout the month of May to attract potential customers.
  • Timeline: Specify the start, review, finish.
  • Who's responsible for what?
  • Estimated Cost: For example, new team members, travel, event stands, printing, etc.
  • Measurable Projected Outcome: For example, 15% increase in email list, 5 new partnerships, 200 conversions, etc.

So, whether it’s a day, a week, a month, or a year, you need to include a concrete timeframe and make sure that in each of your meetings, you include a review of all your online marketing targets and goals, including reviews of things such as web stats from:

  • Google Analytics
  • Webmaster tools
  • SEO reports

By conducting a thorough stats review on a regular basis, you'll be able to highlight the areas where you're excelling in your online marketing efforts, as well as where there is room for improvement according to the measurements in your digital marketing goals and targets. 

Examine All Components of Your Strategy in Isolation

A comprehensive digital marketing strategy includes a lot of factors, such as:

  • Your unique value proposition
  • The competitive advantage you hold in the market
  • Your target audience demographics
  • Key marketing messages
  • Your brand voice and style

It explains your objectives, as well as how you're going to execute them. 

It formalizes your concepts and ideas and identifies who your target buyers are, including their buying behavior, purchasing power, demographics, and much more. 

It also defines your exact plan for marketing your products and services, helps you secure financial backing, and keeps your marketing focused.

As you can see, your strategy for digital marketing encompasses a broad area, and, for you to get effective results from your overall strategy, you need to examine each of the different components in isolation to see where improvements are warranted.

So, for instance, you might examine the following:

  • Digital stats reviews
  • Goals targets and ROI
  • Usability and conversion analysis
  • Competitive website reviews
  • Design and development updates
  • Content marketing updates
  • Online traffic generation
  • Monthly action items

Assess for Redundancies and Points of Failure

This step involves sifting through your strategy to find weaknesses and threats. You can use the SWOT analysis which is old-school but has been proven to work effectively. 

SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. 


It’s a comprehensive audit system that helps you identify any factors (both internal and external) that might affect your future marketing performance. 

Strengths and weaknesses refer to internal factors, while opportunities and threats refer to external factors. 

If performed properly, this analysis will help you find the things that differentiate you from competitors. You can use it as a core part of your overall planning process where you can set operational and financial goals for your business. 

With a concrete plan in place that takes potential problems into account, you’ll have an easier time creating campaigns to help you accomplish these goals.

If you are up for creating an old-school marketing strategy, here are some questions you might ask yourself to determine your weaknesses and threats so you can assess redundancies and points of failure in your strategy.

  • What are your weaknesses?
    • Which of your internal processes need improvement?
    • What does your customer feedback say needs improving?
    • Are there any factors that contribute to a loss of sales?
    • What technological limitations are you facing?
  • What are your threats?
    • Are there any obstacles or barriers keeping you from achieving your objectives?
    • Have changes in technology made your product less favorable or obsolete?
    • Are any of your competitors working on producing a better product or service?
    • Are you facing any cash flow issues?

Brainstorm with your team to define problems and find new perspectives. 

Even if last year's marketing plan worked great and brought spectacular results, it doesn't mean that the same plan will work in the future. 

And with the rapid pace of change in the digital world, you need to be able to adapt your plan whenever necessary. 

After all, you and your competitors launch new products all the time, changes happen in your industry, and your customer base shifts. That's why you must always update your marketing strategy before launching any new campaigns.

Determine If Conversions Happen Where and When Desired

With the right digital marketing strategy, you will have a competitive advantage in the market. All your marketing goals will be in one place and you will have conducted extensive market research. 

Furthermore, you'll be focused on the best product mix to help you achieve maximum profit and ensure the growth of your business. 

In short, a strong digital marketing strategy is the foundation of all your business’s future marketing campaigns.

You can use it to:

  • Win new customers
  • Increase revenue and sales
  • Encourage existing customers to spend more
  • Boost your brand's visibility on the market
  • Ensure cost-effective channel management
  • Increase market share
  • Confirm your brand identity and tone of voice
  • Strengthen customer loyalty and reduce churn
  • Support the launch of PPC, PR, and commercial campaigns

Some of the top strategic priorities for businesses are also the most difficult digital marketing challenges, and it can be hard to overcome these barriers to success, as evidenced by the graph below: 


But, since your strategy explains all your objectives and the steps to execute them, it's a great tool for determining whether conversions are occurring when and where desired.

So, regardless of the types of conversions that you want to achieve, an evaluation of your digital marketing strategies will help you get clear on where and when conversions are taking place so you can make better-informed decisions for improvement.

Create a Marketing Plan 

And now comes the fun part - creating your marketing plan. 

Your marketing strategy is all about what you want to achieve for your business. It’s your long-term game plan that will guide you in reaching and engaging consumers, converting visitors into customers, and so on.

It's a constant that you will refer to regularly each time you plan a campaign, launch a new product, work with an influencer, plan an event, or conduct any other marketing activity in your business.

It covers all your assets, including your website, blog, and email programs, social media channels, etc., and is a powerful tool to help you write an effective marketing plan.

Your marketing plan is all about how you’re going to break down the big picture shaped by your digital marketing strategy and deliver your key messages, which platforms you’ll use, your timeline, and how you’re going to measure success.  

It’s the roadmap from which you’ll build all your marketing campaigns. 

Whereas your marketing strategy is more about "what" and "thinking", your marketing plan is more focused on "how" and "doing", as shown in the example below: 

The bottom line is that developing your marketing strategy poses a huge challenge. But it’s only your first challenge. The second one is writing your marketing plan. 

Together, these two documents will guide you, your team, and your business as you do the following:

  • Determine your goals
  • Find your voice
  • Target demographics
  • Analyze competitors
  • Work with USPs
  • Determine KPIs
  • Improve SEO
  • Launch successful marketing campaigns. 

Here’s a simple step-by-step plan to create your marketing plan:

Step #1: Report on Last Marketing Plan

One of the main reasons for reporting on your previous plan is to see whether or not your campaigns are working as expected or if changes need to be implemented. 

Another reason is to show the big picture and demonstrate how you dealt with the priorities. 

For instance:

  • Were the results you achieved good or bad? 
  • What was the return on investment (ROI)? 
  • Did you meet your targets and achieve your goals? 

You only need to show the bottom line here and not get lost in details.

Step #2: Set New Goals

Your business goals can be anything from:

  • Boosting sales
  • Increasing brand awareness
  • Entering new markets
  • Raising more revenue
  • Reaching new audiences
  • Getting funding
  • Increasing profits

Fine-tuning your business goals could involve things such as:

  • Increasing your website traffic
  • Getting more subscribers to your newsletter
  • Improving conversion rates on your product pages
  • Getting more fans and followers on Twitter
  • Boosting engagement on your blog
  • Increasing your email open and click-through rates
  • Reducing the bounce rate on your website
  • Improving your average cost per click
  • Getting higher keyword rankings on Google

As you can see, there are improvements to be made to your digital marketing strategy in a wide range of areas from email and social media to SEO, paid search, and much more. 

All you have to do is set your goals according to what you want to achieve. 

But, it’s crucial to ensure that your goals are SMART, as outlined in the image below: 


Step #3: Determine What Channels To Use In Your Marketing Strategy

Creating a marketing plan requires developing a marketing strategy that is likely to include several different channels. Some of these channels may include:

  • A website (and each of the pages on the site)
  • A blog 
  • Social networks like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, SnapChat, Quora, LinkedIn, etc.
  • Email
  • Online Course Platforms
  • Mobile apps

These are just a few of the many digital marketing channels you can use as part of your marketing plan. Determining how to use these effectively will require setting time-sensitive goals, designing marketing funnels, integrating these channels within the correct part of the funnel, choosing what type of content to create, and figuring out what tools will be needed to optimize each of these channels.

For example, when building a website or blog, you might consider using professional web design tools to ensure that your pages all share a universal template that reflects your brand culture.

Additionally, you may design various email sequences for different parts of a customer journey. Then you could use email automation tools to automate the sending of these emails based on the actions taken by a user.

Step #4: Create Your Marketing Plan for the Year

Once you have your goals in place, it's time to create your marketing plan. For instance:

  • If you have a goal to increase monthly website traffic by 15%, you can run a Facebook ad campaign to send more visitors to your website.
  • If you want to increase newsletter subscribers, you might create blog posts with compelling calls to action (CTAs) that entice more readers to join your email list.
  • If you want to improve your email open rate, you can try using catchy subject lines that encourage users to open your email. 
  • If you want to grow your following on Instagram by 10%, you might run a competition where one of the requirements for entry is for users to follow you on social media. Also, you can use Instagram account marketplaces to acquire existing accounts with a huge following.

Make a plan for each of your assets to show, overall, how you intend to achieve your vision. So, for instance, you might have a plan for the following:

1. Blog: 

  • Goal: Increase blog subscribers by 50% in Q4
  • How we're going to achieve this: [insert plan here]

2. Email: 

  • Goal: Increase email click-through rate by 15% in the next 3 months.
  • How we're going to achieve this: [insert plan here]

3. Social: 

  • Goal: Grow TikTok followers to 200k by Q3
  • How we're going to achieve this: [insert plan here]

4. Paid: 

  • Goal: Increase visitors to the website by 5,000 per month in the next 6 months.
  • How we're going to achieve this: [insert plan here]

Once your strategic priorities for the next year are set down, you are ready to start creating your marketing campaigns. 


A good marketing strategy will be a roadmap to help your business achieve its objectives. You can measure and analyze results according to the goals you set to see which direction you're headed. 

You can also target consumers relevant to your products as a way to boost your conversions and increase sales. 

Furthermore, a great marketing strategy will prove the impact of your digital marketing campaign on brand awareness, recognition, reputation, and a wide range of other objectives. 

Use the best practices in this article to help you create an effective plan for evaluating your long-term digital marketing strategies so you can build a sustainable competitive advantage.

Did this article answer your questions on how to effectively evaluate your digital marketing strategies to ensure that you meet your goals? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Written by:
Ron Stefanski is a website entrepreneur and marketing professor who has a passion for helping people create and market their own online business. You can learn more from him by visiting

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