The saying goes “what gets measured gets improved” and the same is true for your digital marketing analytics.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are an important part of monitoring your company’s marketing efforts and return on investment (ROI). However, it can be hard to know what to track.
Between Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, various social media channels, pay-per-click campaigns, Inbound marketing, and more, there is a lot to keep track of — which can be overwhelming to say the least.
To be successful, you don’t need to track every single metric, but you do need to keep abreast of certain ones. In our experience, we have found several effective strategies for defining marketing KPIs. Read on for our top recommendations.
- Tie KPIs to Your Goals
Digital marketing KPIs can depend largely on your internal strategy. Think about what you are tracking and what you want to achieve with it.
For instance, if you are building a Facebook presence, what is the goal of your Facebook page? Do you want to drive sales from Facebook ads? If so, then you would want to track Facebook advertising metrics, such as Cost Per Ad, Ad Clicks, Conversions, etc.
However, if you are using Facebook to build brand awareness, you might want to track other metrics, such as Number of Followers, Post Engagement, Post Reach, and more.
Or, perhaps you have a larger digital marketing goal — like you want to grow site traffic by 20% in the next year. If that’s the case, the KPIs you track should support this goal. You might be looking at metrics such as Link Clicks, Traffic Sources, Promotional Click-Through Rates, Social Shares, and the like.
Defining what it is that you want to achieve can help you determine what you need to track.
- Tailor Based on Your Industry
Certain types of businesses may need to track different marketing KPIs. This can be especially true for Business-to-Business (B2B) vs. Business-to-Consumer (B2C).
For instance, B2B businesses may focus on building specific relationships with other companies, so overall reach (e.g. “going viral”) might not be as important. For B2B, more often it’s about the quality of the leads, not just generating the most amount of leads possible. Website conversions may matter more, and you may hope to direct social media followers to your email newsletter or Inbound campaign.
However, for B2C companies, the emphasis may be on reaching as wide an audience as possible. You might be hoping to encourage customers to share photos of your product or service, increase post engagement, or rev up click-throughs to an eCommerce store.
Further, the marketing KPIs you track may vary based on your industry — a software company may want to track free trials downloaded while an insolvency company may want to track calls made for free consultations, and so on.
- Choose Lagging and Leading KPIs
Lagging KPIs are output-oriented, meaning they are items that have typically already happened. They are easy to measure, but hard to improve.
Leading KPIs are input-oriented, meaning they are items that can affect future outcomes. Often, they are hard to measure, but easy to improve.
For instance, take sales metrics. A lagging KPI might be “Total Sales Last Quarter” (easy to measure, but impossible to improve sales from the last quarter as they have already happened), while a leading KPI might be “Number of Sales Calls Made” (hard to measure, as it hasn’t happened yet, but easy to improve).
In the digital marketing field, this could translate in several ways. You may choose lagging indicators, such as:
- Social media clicks and engagement
- Inbound conversion rate
- Email click-throughs
But you should also consider leading indicators, such as:
- Social media reach
- Inbound downloads
- Email open rate
Both lagging and leading indicators should be considered in your analytic tracking.
- Don’t Just Select Quantitative KPIs
Similar to the previous point, you also need a mix of quantitative and qualitative KPIs.
Quantitative KPIs are those that can be easily measured — the number of comments on a social media post, for example.
Qualitative KPIs can’t be as easily tracked, but are important nonetheless. For instance, let’s say that Post A got 10 comments and Post B got three. It would seem that Post A did better, right? However, when we look at it qualitatively, Post A’s comments were mostly negative, while Post B’s comments were all positive. So even though Post B didn’t get as many comments, it resonated better with the audience.
This qualitative type of assessment can extend to other parts of the digital marketing analysis — take for example your content marketing strategy. You may want to track the number of posts released per week, but even if you are achieving that target, they may not be posts that align with your strategy.
It’s important to consider both in your analysis.
- Remember Results May Take Time
Keep in mind that tracking a digital marketing strategy is different than analyzing other dashboards, for instance monthly sales.
It can take a while for a marketing strategy to propagate, so don’t pull the plug too early. Building an audience doesn’t happen overnight.
Use both quantitative and qualitative metrics when tracking. And remember that depending on your business, digital marketing can be a slow conversion process, which is why it’s important that you have other sales strategies, like a great lead magnet, in place.
You can save even more time on your digital marketing analytics by working with a company who will do the tracking for you.
At DigiForce Marketing, we can help establish KPIs and measure them over time to get you the results you want. We are your marketing department’s best ally.
Contact us today to get started. Call 1-888-701-4441 or visit www.digiforcemarketing.ca.
What KPIs do you track for your digital marketing efforts? Let us know on social media. We’re on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.