Yandex.Metrica

You don’t have to spend long on the internet to find lists of all the key performance indicators (KPIs) for online marketing that you could possibly measure. But is a list like that actually helpful?

  • Lists touting dozens of marketing KPIs are overwhelming and unnecessary—you can’t (and don’t need to) measure every possible metric to understand how a campaign performs in the context of your marketing strategy.
  • Generic lists don’t tell you which of those KPIs make sense for your clients and the type of campaigns your marketing team runs.
  • They don’t help you choose the most impactful metrics to measure your marketing efforts for each type of campaign.

Based on our experience working with 1,400+ agencies, we think it’s more useful to share the top 3 marketing KPIs for each of the 3 main types of marketing campaign: brand awareness, acquisition and conversion, and engagement.

Note: Need a better solution for monitoring and reporting on your marketing KPIs? Try ReportGarden free for 7 days to see how our marketing agency software can improve your client reporting.

Why the Type of Campaign Matters

With all of the tracking tools on the market today, it’s no secret that you can measure dozens and dozens of campaign metrics. But can doesn’t mean you should. For one, not every KPI offers valuable insight for every type of campaign.

If you need an example of one metric that’s often tracked and almost as often meaningless, look no further than web traffic page views. If you’re running a campaign designed to increase conversions, do you need website traffic KPIs? Traffic is one of the easiest and most commonly tracked marketing metrics, but it can’t tell you much about how effective a conversion campaign is.

That’s why it’s important to tailor your KPIs to the particular type of campaign you’re running—so you can be sure they offer meaningful insight into campaign performance.

Brand Awareness KPIs

 

Marketing KPIs for Brand Awareness: Search Rankings and SERP CTR, Ad Impressions, Media and Social Media Mentions.

Brand awareness campaigns, as a group, are one of the hardest to quantify—how do you quantify “awareness?” That’s part of why choosing the right KPIs is exceptionally important here. For gauging the performance of brand awareness campaigns, we recommend these 3 KPIs:

  • Organic search rankings and search click-through rates
  • Ad impressions
  • Media and social media mentions

Search Rankings and SERP Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Marketers know that building more brand awareness is all about getting the client’s brand in front of more and more people—and ranking high in popular searches is one way to do that. We recommend tracking SEO rankings for non-branded keywords because it can give you a sense of how many searchers are seeing the client’s brand there.

Taking it a step further, the CTR on your search results can tell you more than how effective the meta-information is. It’s also a good measure of how recognized and trusted the brand and domain name are.

Ad Impressions

When it comes to paid ads, regardless of the platform, there are about a million and one metrics you can track. That said, the most important measure of a good brand awareness campaign is ad impressions. How many people have seen your ad?

Facebook, Google, Instagram, and pretty much every other digital ad platform will always show you impressions—in part because it’s the best way to gauge how many eyeballs your ad budget has bought you.

Media and Social Media Mentions

A good brand awareness campaign doesn’t just get people thinking about your client’s brand—it gets them talking about it, too. When it comes to social and other kinds of media, mentions can have a snowball effect on brand awareness and familiarity. That’s why we recommend tracking those mentions, and particularly across social media.

When you track media mentions, you can also keep a pulse on brand sentiment, and ensure awareness campaigns are producing the results you intend.

Engagement KPIs

 

Engagement KPIs: Social Media Engagement, Website Engagement, Non-Revenue Conversions.

When your campaigns are designed to build a more engaging relationship between brand and audience, choosing the right engagement KPIs is key. But engagement can mean a lot of different things, so here, we recommend the 3 most important categories of engagement you should be tracking:

  • Social media engagement
  • Website engagement
  • Non-revenue conversions

Social Media Engagement

Regardless of whether you’re running marketing campaigns on social media or elsewhere, social is where a lot of engagement with brands happens—so it’s key that you’re measuring that engagement. Tracking social media shares, comments, likes, and mentions will give you a better sense of how the audience is engaging with the client’s brand in this space.

Website Engagement

For most marketers, the majority of your campaigns likely point people to your website. Social media ads, content marketing assets that rank in search engines, branded paid search…all of it is designed to get people to your website. So it makes sense to keep track of what website visitors are doing when they get there.

That said, website engagement is a huge category of metrics in itself, so here are the most important web engagement KPIs we recommend tracking:

  • Session duration
  • Page depth
  • Repeat visitors

Non-Revenue Conversions

If we think of engagement campaigns as typically falling into the middle of the marketing funnel, then it doesn’t always make sense to judge them based on conversions. After all, they’re designed to deepen the relationship between audience and brand, but not necessarily to monetize it yet.

For that reason, we suggest setting non-revenue conversion KPIs for your engagement campaigns. Non-revenue conversions can be almost anything you create a goal for in Google Analytics. Here are a few examples of what that can look like:

  • Email subscriptions
  • Form fills
  • Landing page visits
  • Minimum time on site threshold

Acquisition and Conversion KPIs

 

Acquisition and Conversion: Conversions and Conversion Rate, Lead Generation, Cost per Acquisition CPA.

Acquisition and conversion oriented campaigns are often considered the easiest to track and optimize—largely because there’s a direct line from the campaign to sales revenue. That said, there are still some customer acquisition KPIs that are more valuable than others.

For conversion and acquisition campaigns, we recommend tracking:

  • Total conversions and conversion rate
  • Leads generated
  • Cost per acquisition

Conversions and Conversion Rate

With all the metrics and KPIs available to today’s marketers, it’s easy to overcomplicate things. But if you’re running a campaign designed to drive conversions, it’s a safe bet you should be measuring both total conversions generated and the conversion rate.

While total conversions is essentially the bottom line of any acquisition campaign, the conversion rate can also be useful in helping to gauge effectiveness and further optimize campaigns.

Lead Generation

Although acquisition campaigns often have the most direct line from marketing to conversion, there are still other factors (like time, the sales team, and more) that can complicate measurement.

For that reason, it’s good practice to measure the most immediate result of an acquisition campaign (the KPI that marketing has the most control over) and that’s how many marketing qualified leads (MQLs) are generated by the campaign and sent over to the sales team.

Cost Per Acquisition (CPA)

Similar to conversion rate, CPA is another metric that can add context and clarity to the bottom line. If you’re rolling in conversions, it’s easy to call the campaign a success—but what if you blow the budget out? What if those conversions are costing the client more than the resulting new customers are worth?

By measuring CPA, you can ensure that each conversion comes at a customer acquisition cost (CAC) that’s acceptable to the client. Not to mention, regularly setting and hitting lower CPA benchmarks means you can afford to turn over more conversions and increase the return on investment (ROI) clients see from working with your agency.

Choose the Right Marketing KPIs for Your Campaigns

With all of the options that come along with digital marketing campaigns today, it’s easy to get lost in all the metrics and KPIs—but you don’t need to track every metric under the sun.

By setting marketing KPIs that truly gauge what success means for each client and each type of campaign, you can ensure your team has the most insightful data in their hands. That way, you can spend more time running and optimizing campaigns, and less time drowning in data.

Note: Need a better solution for monitoring and reporting on your marketing KPIs? Try ReportGarden free for 7 days to see how our marketing agency software can improve your client reporting.

Cameron Brown

About Cameron Brown

Environmental activist, cleantech advocate, and design thinker. Cameron is a freelance writer and marketer based in Los Angeles. To connect with him, visit https://camerons.space.