How to Gain a Single View of Cross-Platform Advertising Performance in Google Data Studio
Measure, analyze, and evaluate the impact of your paid advertising to create better ROI
If you’re running cross platform advertising campaigns, performing piecemeal analysis in each platform is a mistake. Ad platforms name and define performance metrics differently, so what looks successful in one place might look less than adequate elsewhere. Instead, digital marketers need to find a free tool that aggregates and cleans all ad platform data. This standardized data can then be used in Google Data Studio (GDS) to populate a performance overview reporting template that allows marketers to get both high level and granular views of their data. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how you can achieve all of this (ahem, for free, ahem) with Joinr.
In this article:
Aggregate data (but forgo spreadsheets)
Step one in evaluating any cross-channel or cross-platform paid advertising campaign is getting the data out of siloed ad platforms. For most digital marketers, that means downloading reports in Excel sheets (with possibly hundreds of lines of data), cleaning the data, and then trying to aggregate all that data in one sheet for analysis. 69.5% of digital marketers included in a recent survey told Joinr that aggregating paid advertising is painful.
So why can’t you just leave the data in the platform and evaluate each one individually? Sounds like a good plan, right? A lot of digital marketers think so. In fact 60% of the digital marketers that feel the data aggregation pain mentioned above said this is the way they evaluate their cross-platform campaigns – using piecemeal, in-platform analytics.
But it’s no good, we tell you. No good at all.
Overall campaign performance must be evaluated with all your paid ad data in one place, creating a single source of truth. We’ll get into that in the next section. But there’s another potential pitfall: Manually downloading spreadsheets and moving data around is a surefire way to introduce errors and waste both time and resources. In fact, according to research, 88% of all spreadsheets contain at least one error.
Instead, do this: Use a free tool to pull performance data directly out of ad platforms and into a central repository with zero human touchpoints. Maintaining the fidelity of your data from in-platform to aggregate is absolutely critical to getting accurate insights into campaign performance and optimization.
Put clean data in, get clean insights out
So what’s “clean” data, anyway? It’s data that has been removed from its platform of origin, standardized, normalized, transformed, and otherwise beautified.
Here’s why clean data is so important: Remember when we talked about in-platform analytics above? Each ad platform has its own set of performance metrics with its own proprietary definitions. Success according to Facebook Ads may not mean the same thing as success with Google Ads, and so on. So if you’re evaluating a cross-channel ad campaign that’s running on both Facebook and Google, but you look at the metrics in the platform siloes, you may misinterpret the data. What Facebook defines as wildly successful may look drastically different in Google. And actually, performance on both platforms could be lacking according to the KPI you’ve set for your campaign.
You could continue evaluating your campaign in siloes, but you won’t be able to optimize your campaigns properly without clean data.
Instead, do this: Use a free tool that not only aggregates data with zero need for manual intervention, but also transforms that data into standardized performance metrics that can be compared in an apples-to-apples way.
Focus on critical KPIs
Have you ever been caught off guard by a last-minute request for performance data? Scrambling to cobble together a report is not ideal. And if you’re using spreadsheets to do the work, you’re adding a layer of panic to an already error-prone method.
Now that all of your paid media data is aggregated and standardized, you need a clear view into the most important performance indicators at a moment’s notice. Keeping these handy and up to date can be a lifesaver when company leadership requests stats. Here are a few you might want to focus on:
- Ad Spend: The total amount you’ve spent by platform, campaign, ad group or ad.
- Impressions: The number of times your ads have been shown across platforms and channels.
- Clicks: The number of times your ads have enticed a viewer to engage by clicking.
- Conversions: The number of times your target audience has performed a targeted action from your ads, like making a purchase or joining a membership base.
You could live in a state of panic, wondering when you’ll have to dive into data and attempt to fish out some relevant stats. But your time and expertise are valuable. Wasting them on scrambling for information doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Instead, do this: Take the squeaky clean, aggregated ad data from the free tool you’re using and put it into a free reporting template in Google Data Studio that’s set up to provide a performance overview.
Get granular with your analysis
Details matter in paid advertising – especially when you notice a change in performance.
Are your conversions dropping off? Or maybe your campaign is not yielding enough impressions. While having a quick view into your overall cross-platform advertising campaign is key, the ability to view data for a specific data source, channel, and campaign, and then drill down into ad groups and ads will help you to identify where and why your campaign is faltering.
For example, you may find that there are certain days of the week when specific channels are more effective. Shifting budget and tweaking your ad schedule might be in order. Small adjustments in the elements of your campaign could lead to major optimizations.
You could make an educated guess as to what’s causing performance issues. But guesswork is not an efficient use of your time, or a good use of your advertising budget.
Instead, do this: Choose a performance overview report template for Google Data Studio that lets you get granular with your data views. After all, your clean, accurate ad data deserves to be fully leveraged to optimize every aspect of your campaign.
Share a unified view
You pour time, expertise, and creativity into creating strategic paid media campaigns. And that value is wasted if you can’t track the outcomes of those efforts and quickly make adjustments to campaign elements to boost performance. Aggregated, clean data that can be used to get actionable insights is the key to keeping marketers from encountering a major gap when it comes to analysis and reporting.
A simple, stunning, and easy-to-access performance overview report can be shared directly with your business stakeholders whenever you’re ready to show off your cross-platform advertising campaign performance. From campaign planning to delivering on KPIs, can your paid advertising campaign process be easier, more accurate, and more effective? Get free access to Joinr and use our GDS Performance Overview Template to stay on top of your paid media.