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Digital Engagement Series: Analyze, rinse, repeat

Gaining public participation and engagement is not an easy feat, but with a strategic plan for audience targeting, messaging, branding, channel optimization, reengagement, and automation, you will be on the road to success. The last step of our steps to better public engagement series features how to “analyze, rinse, and repeat”. This post features ways to leverage data for better engagement and success down the line…


There is a reason “big data” is a buzzword in 2015… Data used in marketing, or marketing analytics, is the practice of measuring, managing, and analyzing marketing performance to maximize its effectiveness and optimize return on investment (ROI).

Shoot-from-the-hip marketing efforts are a thing of the past. Marketing analytics offers profound insights into holistic audience preferences, and above all else, lends to the discovery of “if” and “how well” our communication efforts perform.

Data uncovers a whole new world to your communications efforts. You can find out:

  • Who opened your messages
  • How many topics each person subscribes to
  • Who has clicked through to specific content within your messages
  • Which links generate the most activity
  • How much your subscription base has grown over time
  • Which messages are being shared

(Check out this blog post that elaborates on how data can be used to better your communications efficacy.)

Conversion Optimization Testing

Conversion testing comes in two forms: an A/B Test where you compare two variables, take for instance, you send an email to 50% of your audience in the morning and 50% in the afternoon to compare open rates, and multivariate testing, where you can test the conversion of multiple variables. Both types of testing uncover the most effective way to communicate with your audience.

You can test anything that may impact how your message resonates, including:

  • Subject lines
  • Email content
  • Images/video
  • Email length
  • Email format (templates)
  • Time of day your communication goes out
  • Landing pages
  • Call-to-action buttons

 Goals With No Numbers Are No Goals At All

In our Digital Engagement Trends Report, nearly 35% of government survey respondents plan on improving their use of data analytics. Many public-sector organizations think that the job ends with execution of tactics, but that is not the case. With the majority of government communicators not utilizing analytics to its full potential, you can see this is a huge opportunity for growth.

Remember how we talked about the acronym “SMART”? The “M” in SMART, as you may recall, stands for measurement. Your performance objectives – like agency goals and objectives – should always be measurable. When setting quantifiable goals, you can analyze your campaigns to gain a true picture of its overall performance.

Here are some examples of questions that answer if high-level, quantifiable goals have been met:

  • Did event reminder emails increase attendance?
  • Did text message with recipes contribute to lowering instances of diabetes?
  • Did your landing page convert more website visitors to fill out an online form?
  • Did your Facebook campaign increase your share of voice online?
  • Did your automated email campaign lead to higher voter registration?

Insight for the Future

Insights gleaned from data allow you to tailor your message to create a stronger impact with your audiences. Analytics also allow you to make a business case for a particular communications tactic, too, in the face of budgetary resource challenges.

More than 20% of survey respondents plan to start measuring more advanced analytics in 2015, according to the Digital Engagement Trends Report. With data at your side, your public engagement efforts can improve ten-fold with a little testing, measurable goals and objectives.

Tie up your communications by measuring your success!