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4 Free Data Tools Necessary For a Strong Digital Marketing Campaign

These tools will help you take your digital marketing strategy to the next level.

Alison Martin
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Earlier this year, we outlined four easy steps to building a strong digital marketing strategy. Once you’ve established your web tools — your website, email list and social media platforms — it’s time to connect them and monitor activity across each platform. Using your customer data and the data your web tools provide, you’ll be able to gauge the success of your strategy and improve it.

To see the bigger picture, check out these four tools and see how they can help you take your digital marketing strategy to the next level.

1. Google Analytics 

Melissa Lopez, CEO at Katana Media, calls Google Analytics “one of the most powerful tools” available, and it’s free to use. Google Analytics can tell you which pages on your site get the most hits as well as where that traffic is coming from, whether that’s organic search (users find your site on Google), paid search (users click on your paid Google ads to get to your site), direct referrals (clicks from emails) or social referrals (from Facebook, for example). It will also track  data from paid Google ads if you’re using them.

Pro Tip: Lopez and her team use Google Analytics to track users and campaigns in real time and make adjustments as needed. Once you have an account, you can view your most popular pages, referral sources, bounce rates per page and time spent on pages. This will help you see how customers get to your site and how long they stay once they arrive.

2. Google Tag Manager

Together with Google Analytics, these two platforms make a formidable team. Tags (sometimes called pixels) are snippets of code that collect user information, allowing you to monitor form submissions, track surveys, generate site heatmaps and understand how users get to and around your website. This platform makes tag management easier for non-web designer users, and using it also allows for easy third-party tag management. “This way,” explains Brian Kroll, Regional Vice President of Sales and Strategic Accounts at Adtaxi, “you can apply the same segmentation and conversion tracking rules/strategies across all platforms.”

Pro Tip: Once you have added third-party tags from sites like Facebook (see number four), Twitter, Bing and other sites to Google Tag Manager, you can use Google Analytics to run reports and see how users interact with your different platforms, says Kroll. “There are some limitations with this tool,” he adds. “Namely in that it’s really only looking at post-click activity and not incorporating any elements of post-view value but it’s better than not doing any persistent user tracking at all.”

3. Your Email Marketing Platform Analytics

Email marketing platforms like MailChimp and HubSpot provide basic data on open and click-through rates. You can identify which links got the most clicks and what messages resonate  with readers. 

Pro Tip: Lopez recommends giving email campaigns seven days before looking at the data. People access email at all different times, and depending on the type of audience (general consumer versus interior designer) and time of the year, you may not always see immediate results.

4. Facebook Ads

The most popular social media site offers a ton of tools to track your traffic and your customers as they bounce between Facebook and Instagram. You can link your Facebook tracking to your Google account by adding the Facebook pixel to your Google Tag Manager account. This will allow you to track users and see where they’re going and what they’re clicking to on your site. 

To set up pixels, go to Create Ads and select Pixels from the top-left corner of the Ads Manager page. Follow the instructions or ask your webmaster for help.

Pro Tip:  Lopez recommends uploading your email subscription list to Facebook to create a Custom Audience. Facebook will link the email addresses with registered Facebook users and enable you to send them regular and retargeted ads. From there, you can create Lookalike Audiences, which look demographically similar to your Custom Audience, and start reaching new clients who may be more likely to purchase from you.


Be sure to catch the November and December issues of Furniture, Lighting & Decor for in-depth dives on Facebook advertising.

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