Trending is the ability to predict the future performance of your campaigns based upon past or real-time data. The most simple way to predict trends is to create a spreadsheet with the data metrics that matter to you the most.
It is usually best to only look at one main goal at a time. I usually have several spreadsheets, tracking sales, clicks, costs, events, etc. Having all these metrics within one spreadsheet would result in a spaghetti factory. Confusion and mayhem would ensue. No Bueno :)
Once you have your spreadsheet created, Trending is as easy as plugging in some numbers, graphing and analyzing the results.
Basically, you want to enter the data every one to seven days. With a scaled campaign, I usually input data every three days. The great part about this strategy is that you don’t have to be consistent. You can enter one day and then five days. It’s up to you. In this example, we made certain each interval was placed in a different row.
If we want to see the performance of a webby, then we have the number of attendees on the left, the major events within the webby along the bottom and the days or day-parts will be represented by the line on the graph. This will allow you to see the data visually. No more guessing.
Once you see a couple of graph lines on one spreadsheet, you will see a trend not only from left to right but from top to bottom, as well. This is important.
Look at the gap between the lines, from top to bottom. In our example, gaps indicate an increase in the number of attendees. If the slope is uniform, then the events are consistent over time. If the gaps close, then in our case, it would indicate attendees are leaving the webby at a certain point as compared to the other day-parts. Once we see where this drop is occurring, we can monitor or change that portion of the webby.
If the slope rises, then we know a different audience is probably watching. It means that a particular subject is resonating with the new audience. Or, if months pass between webby presentations, it could indicate that subject matter is now more relevant.
Trending takes some practice, but it’s another valuable tool a marketer can use to make decisions based on real data over time. Spreadsheet gurus have far more complex graphs and analytics, but this simple visual has helped me over the years.
Hope this helps :)