How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Event Sponsorship with Analytics

May 18, 2018 by

There are a lot of articles on the internet about how to measure sponsorship effectiveness—and while many of them are quite informative, few offer guidance on measuring the impact of sponsoring an event.

Event sponsorship increases visibility in front of large audiences, fosters goodwill within your community and effectively highlights the human side of your business; and when measuring the impact of your brand sponsorship, what you do digitally is just as important as the event experience you create in-person.

Why? Because while connecting with the right customers and consumers through your in-person experience is important, it’s even more imperative that you maintain (and build) those relationships after the event is over. The best way to do that is by leading them back to your digital home—and you can use analytics to effectively (and efficiently) track that!

Here’s how to measure the effectiveness of your event sponsorship with analytics:

Determine the Digital Side of Your Sponsorship

Your sponsored event experience will take place in-person, of course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of creating a great digital experience, too. Consider this:

Will you be on the event website? If so, how can you track the leads that come from that website to yours? And either way, will you set up your own event landing page?

Is there an event hashtag? How can you track the social “noise” around the event related to your brand?

Do you have an email list or an app? How will you track email sign-ups, app downloads, click-through rates and more?

These are just a few of the ways you can maintain the connections you make during an event and start building beyond brand awareness to interest and, eventually, loyalty! But don’t expect that providing a great in-person event experience will translate into loyal fans for life. Consider the digital side of your sponsorship just as you consider every other aspect of the brand event experience.

Pick Your Metrics

Now that you’re clear on your digital sponsorship experience, you need to know how you’ll measure the impact and ROI. Of course, we’ll go over how to use web analytics to do that, but first you need to determine what you’ll be measuring.

And you’ve done this before: You’ve already picked metrics for the in-person brand experience, such as exposure, lead generation and sales activity. What does success look like on the digital side? How can you measure the success of this event sponsorship based on the digital experience you’re creating?

Here are a few helpful questions to answer:

How many new, unique visitors do you want on your site?

Which pages should they visit?

What do you want them to be doing once they get there?

How much time do you want them to spend there?

Which micro-conversions (such as signing up for your email list or clicking on a product page) best indicate brand interest?

The answers to these questions are all metrics you can (and should) be tracking through analytics. The goal is to prioritize what you’re tracking and measuring—all of the data in the world doesn’t mean much if you’re overwhelmed or confused or if the data is completely unrelated to the success (or lack thereof) of your sponsorship.

Set Up Analytics Before You Sponsor the Event

Before we can show you how to measure the effectiveness of your sponsorship with analytics, we need to teach you how to set up the right features! You may already use a service like Google Analytics to measure your site traffic—a very basic setup will offer some helpful information about how many people visit your site, which pages they visit and how long they stay there. But measuring the digital impact of your event sponsorship will require a little more preparation than that!

Start by reviewing the metrics you identified previously—each of these should align with an analytics reporting feature. For instance, if you want to determine how many unique visitors came to your site from the event webpage, you will track visits and their source. If you want to measure the number of people who clicked on a specific page, you’ll want to monitor traffic to that page. Align each of your metrics with their corresponding feature in your analytics service; then, set up a simple dashboard to analyze and report on the specific metrics you want to track.

There are a lot of features to explore within a service like Google Analytics—more than we can review in this article alone—and that can be admittedly overwhelming to figure out and set up. Luckily, you don’t have to! Because you know the exact metrics you want to be measuring, you simply need to identify the feature that tracks that metric and set the feature up in your dashboard. The Google Analytics YouTube Channel is a helpful resource for the step-by-step instructions needed to set up a dashboard on Google Analytics with the tracking and reporting features you need!

Measure Your Digital Impact

This final, important step—measuring the digital impact of your event sponsorship—is actually the simplest. Once you’ve done the work to create your digital marketing strategy, identify your metrics and set up the right reporting features, you just need to review the data following your event and determine whether that data matches up with the numbers you projected.

Did you get X number of new unique visitors from the event website? How many micro-conversions did you track in the days during and following the event? Which pages did your new visitors visit most frequently? How much time did they spend on your site? Of course, these aren’t the only metrics you’ll review to determine the success of the event—offline metrics are valuable, too—but digital impact will give you greater (and more factual) insight into the long-term value of your sponsorship.

Event marketing isn’t just about connecting with an audience in-person or getting your name out there—though those “metrics” are important, too. Event sponsorship gives you a unique opportunity to turn in-person connections into ongoing relationships and long-standing brand loyalty. And now, you’ll have the numbers to prove it!

Which metrics will you track for your next sponsorship? How will you measure the digital impact of your event marketing? Hopefully, this article has shown you how to get started with and use analytics to measure the effectiveness of your next sponsorship. Let us know in the comments below!

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Kristi Yim, Resonate Agency’s fearless founder, brings years of experience and boundless enthusiasm to her experiential marketing agency and clients. On this blog, she’ll chat about connecting properties, brands and audiences; best practices in experiential marketing and sponsorships; industry happenings and musings on marketing excellence. Follow along!