How To Pick the Best KPIs For Your Digital Marketing

February 13, 2019

Many people measure the success of marketing by focusing on the same key-performance indicators (KPIs), regardless of the advertisement or campaign.

But that’s not the road to travel if you want to achieve long-term results.

Instead, you need to go on a journey to discover the KPIs that signal success for your specific organization and marketing campaigns.

This journey starts with four questions. Your answers reveal the right KPIs for your marketing efforts and put you on the pathway to success.

1. What is the overall objective for your marketing efforts?

Often this is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about your company’s goals.

It might be to gain more clients or to increase sales.

There may even be multiple objectives, particularly if new products or services have been launched.

Regardless of the number of objectives, defining each one in a clear, concise manner will determine what you want your marketing efforts to accomplish.

For example, Nicole is the owner a local clothing store. The store specializes in trendy, gently used and new clothes. Her overall business objective is to increase sales over the winter season, which is typically a slower time. But she also has another objective: To increase visits from younger women between the ages of 16 and 22.

2. What strategy and tactics will help you meet these objectives?

“A marketing campaign” or “digital ads” is not specific enough to accurately measure the success of your efforts.

Consider the steps customers take before performing the desired action that supports your objective. Think about what problems your customer is trying to solve, and what his or her desires are. This reveals the channel and content that works best.

For Nicole, her strategy to increase sales and grow visits from younger women will be paid social media campaigns.

Her tactic to increase sales is a short, text-based video on Facebook and Instagram. It will be targeted to nearby customers with the call-to-action of “Get Directions.” She plans to highlight weekly promotions and focus on the brand names offered in her store.

To increase visits from younger women, Nicole’s tactic changes slightly. She develops paid social media ads for Instagram and Snapchat, and targets this campaign to women 16-22 who live within 10 miles of her store. Her ad includes a coupon that’s only good for one weekend.

3. What KPIs will signal the success of your marketing?

Now that you’ve defined the objective, strategy and tactics, you can better assign KPIs to assess campaign performance.

There are plenty of options. For a brand awareness campaign, measuring visits to your website, the amount of time people spent on your website, or the reach of social media posts would be good indicators.

For an objective to increase sales for a product launch, a KPI would include product purchases. Or, if the strategy is to increase product knowledge, a good KPI would be the number of views a product video gains.

Nicole’s KPIs were fairly straightforward. She analyzed a previous coupon campaign she had executed via print media. From that, she set a KPI for the number of offers saved on social media, as well as the number of offers redeemed in-store.

For her other objective, she looked at year-over-year performance in January. She then set the percentage increase in sales that she desired.

4. How do you successfully track KPIs?

If your KPIs revolve around social media performance, much of the relevant data can be found within the social media platform and its advertising dashboard.

If you’re working with a KPI that is website-related, however, you’ll need to use Google Analytics to get a firm grasp on campaign performance.

This means you’ll need to create a Google Analytics account and add a tracking code generated by Google to your website. You’ll also need to set up goals around your KPIs.

Goals can include anything from a click to watch a video to a click on your phone number to the completion of a contact form or a coupon download.

Additionally, it’s important that any site links shared through ads, social media posts, etc., can be attributed to the campaign in Google Analytics. An easy way to do this is by creating a trackable link, or a UTM, with this handy guide.

With all of this in place, you’ll be able to use the Multichannel Funnel report in Google Analytics. This report can reveal how different marketing initiatives contribute to goal completions on your website even if the site visitor does not initially convert as a result of a marketing campaign.

Nicole was able to easily track her KPIs through in-store performance and social media advertising dashboards. However, she also tagged all of the website links she shared on social media so that she could see the number of visits to her website that came as a result of her campaign.

She created goals on her website as well, tracking people who clicked the phone number to call the store and people who clicked on the map showing her store location. This helped her to see, through the Multichannel Funnel report, how her paid social ads may have influenced those actions.

Tying It All Together

Don’t settle for short-term results or the same old metrics.

Choosing the best KPIs to track the performance of marketing initiatives allows you to learn from your audience, and adjust your strategy and tactics for long-term success.

Unsure of how to get started tracking your campaigns? Contact our Google Analytics and digital marketing experts today.


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Fresh Creative is a full-service digital marketing agency serving international, national, and local clients. Local areas include Lebanon, Hershey, Harrisburg, York, Lancaster, Lititz and Reading, Pennsylvania.