Digital marketing has become the marketing bread and butter for companies of all types and sizes for a good reason; it’s an indispensable tool due to its affordability and proven effectiveness. In fact, according to one study 72 percent of marketers believe traditional marketing alone is not enough to keep company revenue growing. But if a brand can’t measure the key performance indicators (KPIs) and make changes to optimize efforts, then it can’t count on a decent return on investment (ROI).
The Challenge of Digital Marketing Measurement
The dynamic nature of today’s digital marketing efforts can make measurement seem a bit like trying to nail a puddle of water to the wall. The challenge is exacerbated by the fact that most people don’t know what metrics to use. Luckily, measuring those efforts accurately can be accomplished by utilizing some fairly simple techniques.
Digital Marketing KPIs
If the first step of a marketing campaign is to define a quantifiable goal, it makes sense that the next step is to determine the key performance indicators. Tracking the pre-defined KPIs throughout the life of the digital marketing campaign allows for strategic adjustments if it’s not on track to achieve the desired result.
The metrics or KPIs that need to be focused on depends on the type of digital campaign being used, whether that’s email, social media, landing pages, etc. By measuring the following KPIs you can quickly, and easily, determine the viability of the campaign to maximize you digital marketing ROI.
- Bounce rate. The bounce rate refers to emails that didn’t send properly. If an email is sent to an email address that is incorrect or inactive, the email will bounce back as undeliverable. Be sure to remove bad addresses. You don’t want to pay to send emails to people who aren’t receiving them.
- Open rate. This tells you how many emails in your campaign were opened by the person who received them. The more enticing the subject line of the email, the more people will open it.
- Unsubscribe rate. This is the number of people who receive the email and then request to be removed from your list so they don’t receive further correspondence.
- Conversion rate. Conversion rate measures the number of people who received the email, opened it, took the next step suggested, and ultimately, completed the goal of the email campaign.
- ROI. The return on investment for an email campaign considers the cost of the campaign and the conversion rate.
Social Media Metrics
- Impressions. This refers to how often the ad was in front of a reader who is a member of the target audience.
- Engagement. Are the people reading the post interacting with it? The engagement rate measures comments, shares, and reactions to the post.
- Number of clicks. The number of times people click on a link or ad.
- Click-through rates. The click-through rate of an ad compares the number of times someone clicks on the ad to the number of times the ad is shown. In other words, it’s measuring how successful the ad is.
- Shares. Sharing is the social part of social media. Measuring how many times someone shares the ad tells you that they wanted to tell others about it. This is one of the digital equivalents of word-of-mouth advertising.
- Campaign traffic. The traffic from a digital campaign should be taken to a unique landing page. The number of visitors to that page makes up the campaign traffic.
- Page views. The total number of times that the page is viewed.
- Unique and returning visitors. There’s no limit to the number of times someone can view a webpage. It’s important to measure the number of views that are from the same person versus the number of views that are from different people. One hundred views could represent 100 different people or one person.
- Conversion rates. The conversion rate of a landing page tells you how many of the people who visited the page followed through to complete the goal that you set for the campaign. If the goal is to get people signed up for an email list, then it’s the number of people who signed up for the email list compared to the number of unique visitors to the page.
- Cost-per-click. Cost-per-click is just what it sounds like: the amount it costs each time someone clicks on the ad. If the charge for the ad is per click, that number is pre-defined. If the ad charge is for the number of times the ad is shown, then the cost-per-click is determined by dividing the cost of the ad by the number of clicks.
- Conversion rates. The number of people who clicked on the ad divided by the number of people who became a customer or followed through on the end goal of the campaign.
- Shopping cart abandonment. If the website uses a shopping cart purchase system, the shopping cart abandonment rates indicates the number of people who put items into the cart but didn’t complete the purchase.
The dynamic nature of digital marketing that makes it more challenging to track is also the beauty of it. Gone are the days of investing the company’s marketing budget into a black hole and then sitting back with fingers crossed hoping you didn’t completely blow it.
In fact, sitting back with fingers crossed isn’t a viable option anymore. Giving up on measuring the results of a campaign as it unfolds can spell financial disaster. Whether you do it yourself, hire a freelancer to do it for you, or employ the expertise of a digital marketing company, tracking the appropriate KPIs and comparing them to the goal of the campaign is essential throughout the life of the campaign.