How do you determine whether or not a campaign was successful? Are you part of the “good vibes” club? If so, it’s time to take a good hard look at, you guessed it, marketing metrics. Yes, times they are a-changin’ thanks to APIs, metrics tracking platforms, and engagement (to name a few). But, now it is more important than ever to get your stats in order to set campaign goals and prove ROI.
As we all know after reading this post, talking metrics before tactics is key. So, now that we know why metrics are so important, where does one start in collecting metrics? What are the key marketing metrics that you need to be tracking?
Have you ever said or heard someone say, “Metrics are just numbers.” If so, it’s time to change that mentality. What if I told you that these numbers tell us the percentage of success in a business?
“As a comprehensive tool, data is not only the catalyst for insights but also the input for predictive models, learning algorithms, and beautiful visualizations; a vehicle for personalized experiences; and an asset of quantifiable value.” [source]
Now I have your attention, right? Every business structure in any industry makes their business decisions from the metrics that are set for the business. All the more in digital marketing, where social media marketing can amplify a brand, give you a clear and smooth process on conversion and sales, and facilitate your brand’s promotion.
How Do Marketing Metrics Relate to Social Media Marketing?
Social media has been the most lucrative avenue not just for leisure and fun, but also for business. In fact, according to Pew Research, as of 2018, approximately 7 out of 10 Americans use social media to connect with one another, engage with news content, share information, and entertain themselves. With all of this in mind, you know that your social media campaigns have the potential to reach a lot of people.
When social media marketing metrics are integrated into the business and into campaigns, you will know which strategy gives the lowest value, what type of campaign creates the biggest bang for your buck, which platform best suits your audience, and what technique improves your ROI.
What is Social Media ROI?
Sure, numbers and graphs might make your head spin a bit, but mastering marketing metrics can save you from wasting your marketing dollars. It’s important that the key components of your business strategies are guided with the right marketing metrics to define your social media ROI.
To make it simple, social media ROI can be calculated by the growth of your followers, increase of event attendees, expand organic reach, higher rate of conversion, etc. Here are common social media metrics:
- Blog post analytics
- Facebook analytics
- Google analytics
- Instagram analytics
- Pinterest analytics
- Twitter analytics
- Twitter keyword report
But using the social media platform in your marketing doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use all channels. It depends on your business and your audience. At FORWARD Influence, it’s one of our jobs to help guide you and figure out how to create a results-driven Influencer Marketing campaign. It’s important to invest where the nature of your business reaches the right audience, but it’s also smart to diversify to gain more brand awareness. In other words, create a stellar game plan by being selective and setting goals.
Determine Your Goals and Set Marketing Metrics
Step 1: Determine Your Goals
When jumping into an Influencer Marketing campaign, it’s important to determine your goals. Having a set list of goals will make it easier to track your metrics. In order to set goals, ask yourself these questions at the outset of the campaign:
- How much is your budget?
- Is an increase in social media followers a top priority?
- Are product sales your goal?
- Are you hoping for increased traffic to your website?
- Do you want more foot traffic to your business?
- What other goals do you wish to achieve and/or exceed?
Step 2: Track Your Current Stats
The next step is to track your current stats so that you can easily compare metrics at the end of the campaign.
- Check indicators of social influence and growth.
- Make a record of your existing website analytics (i.e., visitors, referral links, SEO rankings, etc.).
- Record any current customer satisfaction scores you are tracking as well as customer ratings on external directories (i.e., Facebook or Google My Business recommendations).
- Make note of the numbers you already have (i.e., number of connections on LinkedIn, Facebook fans, blog subscribers and Twitter followers).
- Track your current social media ROI by taking note of channels that give you more revenue and areas in which you could improve.
Step 3: Set Metrics and KPIs
These stats related to a campaign typically specify the number of likes, number of sales, number of reach, etc. When recorded over a specific time period, these becomes your Key Performance Indicators (KPI). The stats help determine the points of failure(s) of our business flow or the success indicator(s) of marketing strategies. Metrics and KPIs are connected. Let’s say the KPI is the number of sales. To reach that goal, you need to set metrics along with it (e.g., number of likes, number of shares, conversion to newsletter subscription, etc.). These statistics, or metrics and KPIs, are used as an aid to make decisions in the face of uncertainty. They present real data about your progress instead of basing decisions to unknown factors.
4 Key Marketing Metrics You Need to be Tracking
Once you followed the three steps outlined above, now the fun begins … it’s time to start tracking your marketing metrics. So, when it comes to Influencer Marketing, what metrics are the most important?
Metric 1: Awareness
You want people to know about your brand, right? That’s a given. What’s also a given is that brand awareness can be a very vague marketing metric which makes it difficult to measure. The more you improve brand recognition and recall, the more likely consumers are to purchase your products. But, thanks to “word-of-mouth” marketing, you might think you have no way of proving how your brand awareness campaigns contribute to sales and your company’s bottom line. So, when it comes to Influencer Marketing campaigns, how do you prove brand awareness in a measurable way and prove the value of your Influencer Marketing strategy? Here are a few ways to track awareness:
If you’re managing a live event, track the number of attendees at the live event. In broadcasting your live events, you need to have the right plan, purpose, and audience to make it more effective. In addition, live videos can stir people’s curiosity and attention.
Most people mix up Impressions and Reach. Yes, they may seem alike, but they have their own attributes. Impressions are the number of times your content is delivered to someone’s feed. They don’t need to click or view it to count as impression. At FORWARD, we consider impressions to be defined as the following:
Impressions are the number of times each blogger posted to their blog and social media accounts, multiplied by their number of UVMs and followers, respectively.
The count increases every time the sponsored content is displayed to people. There are a few types of impressions:
- Organic: The number of times your content was displayed—for free—in a news feed or in a blog post.
- Paid: The number of times your paid content—such as a Facebook Ad—was displayed.
- Viral: The number of times content associated with your Page was displayed in a story published by a friend. These stories include liking, sharing or commenting.
Reach is the total number of people who saw your content. At FORWARD, we consider reach to be defined as the following:
Reach is the collective number of followers.
Due to different platforms and usage, your followers may not be able to see all of your posts. This may depend on post frequency and timing. This is why your Total Reach is sometimes lower than your Total Impressions. There are a few types of reach to consider:
- Organic: This represents the number of unique people who saw your content—for free.
- Paid: This is the number of unique people who saw your paid content, such as a Facebook Ad.
- Viral: This is the number of unique people who saw your post or Page mentioned in a story published by a friend. These stories include actions such as liking, sharing or commenting.
Good content can increase the overall awareness of a campaign. That’s like music to our ears, right? Attendance and Impressions may grow exponentially when good content is established. As we all know, it’s best to learn new stuff from people you already know and/or from people who have already tested a product. This is where bloggers and influencers come into place. With the increasing number of influencers doing this, it’s natural to incorporate it with your own taste and style to gain more audience. They can promote sponsored blog posts through social media posts, or diversify by posting videos. Here’s what to consider when tracking these metrics:
- Visits to the site via Google Analytics
- Number of blog post shares each influencer receives
- Social media engagement on all sponsored content
- Changes in the number of social media followers the brand has before, during, and after the campaign.
Metric 2: Call-to-Action
What’s a call-to-action? It’s something that makes someone do something. This helps increase the conversion rate of the campaigns which makes it one of the most important elements of a marketing campaign. Get people to click an option for purchase, download a coupon, sign up for a newsletter, like a Facebook update, request a free eBook download, etc. The possibilities are endless. Just be sure you are tracking everything.
What do we call all of these actions? Drumroll, please … engagement. People are engaging with the content. As marketers, we love that, don’t we? Engagement is the bond with your customers, viewers, and followers. You need to be as involved with them as possible to maximize potential conversion. Your active involvement increases the calls to action and leads your customers to like, comment, download, share, etc.
Metric 3: Conversion
Simply put, conversion is when a person who is not associated in any way with a brand and/or product transitions into a person who is associated with the product. These people do specific actions that increase your calls to action, clicks, and engagement, and may give way for a long term relationship with them.
One way to measure conversion is to check the sale rate or customer purchase. When visitors become customers, the ultimate goal is for them to make a purchase. Some businesses even offer free trials or discounted trials to prove the worth of their products.
From generating leads to having those leads convert to customers, email marketing and subscriptions are in place to maximize the conversion. These are convenient because these are done with automation. With these, you let your customers get nurtured and constantly engaged with information about trends and what’s new in the business.
Metric 4: Qualitative
The quality of a product, service, and event can spread through word-of-mouth marketing. In the digital marketing world, word of mouth is called referrals, reviews, and testimonials.
It’s always nice when people make a recommendation and then the other person goes out and purchases the product. That’s an amazing win for any company, especially in the world of Influencer Marketing. Unfortunately, this metric is a bit difficult to prove and sometimes requires follow-up.
People often check reviews for services and specific products, and use them to get an impression of the product and/or service. If influencers like a brand, encourage them to leave a review on sites like Amazon, Facebook, Google, TripAdvisor, Walmart, Yelp, and more.
Customer testimonials help build trust and credibility, as well as increase website conversions. These testimonials can come from your influencers and their followers/readers which you can include in your marketing materials and stats reports.
In summary, marketing metrics prove a campaign’s success. Choosing the right avenues and platforms can directly affect metrics. A well thought strategy can ignite the possibility of a long-term relationship with customers. It’s imperative to track the four key marketing metrics to help see whether or not a campaign missed, met, or exceeded the goals set at the outset of the campaign.
Check out these posts to take additional steps to ensuring your campaigns generate ROI:
- How to Create Results-Driven Influencer Marketing Campaigns
- 6 Influencer Marketing Campaign Management Best Practices
What are some of your key marketing metrics that you track?