In this day and age, there is an abundance of marketing metrics aka ways and methods to measure pretty much everything you can imagine. There is no shortage tools, technologies and platforms to get insights on things like user behaviour, content marketing, audience engagement, advertising campaigns performance, ROI, to name a few.
But with this abundance, analysis paralysis and confusion can creep in. There is just simply too much to measure. So, whilst I will share with you an extensive list of metrics, what they mean and how to measure them, I’ll highlight the metrics that matter to ensure that you have the right toolbox that can guide you on your performance marketing journey but more importantly, help you focus on the right marketing strategy.
It’s important to note that this guide doesn’t attempt to cover every metric on the walk of earth but rather, focus on the metrics that matter which can tremendously help you improve your performance marketing.
Before we dive into all the marketing metrics out there, I think it’s best to group them into meaningful categories. So, without further ado, here they are.
- Video marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Sales & Marketing Funnel
Advertising & Organic Reach
In advertising, depending on the advertising platform you are on (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) and the ad campaign type and ad type, some metrics will be different.
Google Search Ads
Impressions refer to how many times your ad was seen and served on the Google Ad network. Impressions doesn’t equal to how many people have seen the ad as some people might see the ad more than once.
CTR (Click through rate)
CTR measures the amount of times an ad was clicked vs. the number of impressions. This metric essentially helps you understand the effectiveness of your ad, targeting, bidding strategy.
CPC (Cost per click)
Your CPC is one way to understand the effectiveness of your ad campaign and benchmark against other ad channels, competitors, industry etc. It’s also a metric you can use to forecast ad budgets. Generally speaking, as more competitors flock to your industry, the ad channel, the cost of advertising and CPC will increase. Your goal is to minimise the CPC by using better advertising strategies and impactful creative and ads.
Impressions (Top) %
Top impression rate is the percentage of your ad impressions that have been shown above the organic search results. Generally, the higher this metric is, the higher your CTR is. But if your Impr. (Top) % increases and your CTR doesn’t pick up, it’s likely that your Ad copy / creative is not impactful or effective.
Conversions are the amount of actions that you have told the platform to count as a conversion. When you create your Google Ads Campaign, you’ll need to set up your conversions, typically done via your Tag Manager account and the Conversions Setup page on the Google Ads Account. The reason this is extremely critical, is because it tells you how your campaign is performing. Equally important, it tells the Ad platform what optimisations it should do to get you better results. When you choose a bidding type like Maximise Conversions, you leverage that feature of the platform.
Cost per conversion
Similar to the Conversions metric, the cost per conversion is a good indicator on the performance of your campaign. It is in fact one of the most important marketing metrics you’ll ever need to measure and monitor. It also helps you understand where the gaps and opportunities are. You can measure the cost per conversion for Ads, Keywords, Ad Schedule, Demographics, etc.
YouTube & Google Video Ads
Google counts a view when a person watches 30 seconds of your video or interacts with your video if their watch time was less than 30 seconds. Interactions include clicks or taps on calls-to-action, cards, companion banners, thumbnails or logos. Views are a good indicator of how exposure the video has.
This metric measures the percentage of people who watched your video after they first saw the video or thumbnail. It’s basically the number of views that your ad receives divided by the number of impressions, including thumbnail impressions for video discovery ads. Your view rate is one of the main factors that help your videos rank higher. The quality of your previous videos as well as things like the video title and thumbnail can help improve the view rate.
Average cost-per-view (avg. CPV) is the average amount that you paid each time someone viewed your video ad. It equals the total cost of all views divided by the total number of views. This differs from maximum CPV, which is the most that you’re willing to pay for an ad view.
Average View Duration
This metric gives you an estimated average time of minutes watched per view.
This one is pretty straight forward. How many new subscribers has your YouTube channel received.
Google Display Ads
Facebook advertising is an undeniable force in the digital marketing landscape. I have a whole guide on Facebook advertising that you can check out. Being a major player in the advertising world today, Facebook marketing metrics are incredibly important to understand, measure and work to improve.
Cost Per Result
Your cost per result metric tells you what the average cost of your ads for every result you have defined or was defined by default – depending on the campaign you are running. A result can be a lead or a purchase for example.
The ad impressions metric tells us the amount of times the ad was viewed. This is quite beneficial to measure especially if you are focusing on brand awareness. It can help you gauge your brand exposure.
The frequency metric indicates how many times an ad was viewed, on average, by people. For example, an ad frequency of 2.0 means that on average, people who saw your ad, have seen it twice. That doesn’t mean however, that every person who saw the ad has seen 2 times. Someone might have seen it 3 times and another person seen it only once. The average of all the people who saw the ad was 2 views. This metric is important to understand and ascertain things like ad exhaustion. An ad with high ad frequency is likely reaching the ad exhaustion point.
Your Ad clicks metric is quite important because it together with the Click through rate, the higher the number is, the better your call to action and cost per result is going to be. A major difference between Facebook and Google Ads is how you get charged in respect to ad clicks. Facebook doesn’t charge you for Ad clicks. Instead, they charge you for impressions. You might think is a bad thing. It’s actually the opposite. Being charged for impressions essentially makes you more accountable for a better ad experience. This is an opportunity for you to outdo your competitors through better creative and more engaging ads. Compare that to Google Search Ads where there is little creative involved and so, the opportunity to outperform your competitors is relatively smaller and more dependent on things like your landing page.
If you want to get the full list of the Snapchat marketing metrics, you can find them here.
This metric measures the number of Snaps watched to 97% of their duration. Given that snaps are typically short in time frame, you want to ensure that people have completed watching it. If someone has watched 97% of the video, it’s fair to say they’ve seen it.
Average Screen Time
This gauges how long on average people have spent watching your ad. Larger average screen time can be a good thing but not necessarily a measure of your campaign success. You can do more with less when it comes to ads. If you are focusing on brand awareness, then perhaps increasing this metric is a good idea.
eCPV (effective cost per video view)
Your eCPV measures the average cost per qualified video view, with a view counting as two seconds of watching or a swipe up, whichever comes first. If the eCPV is high, then perhaps your ad intro is not engaging or your audience targeting is off.
Swipe Up Rate
This measures the percentage of swipe ups that snapchatters did on attachments within your Story.
The effective cost per swipe up is calculated as the total ad spend divided by the number of swipe ups. If your eCPSU is high, then maybe your ad engagement or call to action are not very effective.
Impressions are the total number of times your post/Stories/profile have been viewed. Your impressions is one way to measure your brand exposure and reach. Important to note that the impressions metric counts the total impression and not the unique amount of people. So, if someone saw your post 10 times, all 10 times will be counted towards the impressions metric.
Reach is the actual number of individuals who have seen your Instagram post. A good metric also to measure is the reach rate which is how many people have seen the post vs. the amount of followers you have.
Although this doesn’t necessarily correlate to growth, it does help to monitor it and measure it especially if you are a big brand. If you see increase or decrease in impressions, clicks and sales, understanding where they come from is quite important. And one way that could happen is when your number of mentions change.
This is one of the most critical metrics generally speaking and most certainly in Instagram. Engagement drives everything from your organic reach to being highly sough after if you are an influencer. Engagement is a collective metric that looks at likes, comments, shares, and saves to determine how engaged your audience is. So what’s a good engagement rate? Although it depends on the sector and type of content, here is generally speaking some benchmarks.
- Less than 1% = Low engagement
- Between 1% and 3.5% = Average engagement
- Between 3.5% and 6% = High engagement
- Above 6% = Very high engagement
Posts with hashtags generally get more reach than posts that don’t have hashtags. It’s still a trend and a useful tool on Instagram. If your brand or personal brand has hashtags that people use, congratulations. You are in a very good place. Tracking your branded hashtags at this point is very good to add to your arsenal of marketing metrics. You can simple do that by typing the hashtag and Instagram will popup the number posts people have added for that hashtag.
Bio Link CTR
Your Bio is a very powerful tool. When people engage with your content, they will start visiting your Bio and or when you share posts that tell them to use the link in your bio, they might go to check it. The Bio link CTR is important to track as it tells you whether your call to action is effective or not.
It goes without saying that Follower growth is a metric that you should be tracking. New followers bring new levels of reach, potentially better engagement and ultimately sales.
Sales & Cost per conversion
Finally, as with any other online marketing channel, Sales and Cost per conversion are the ultimate metrics you should be looking at to assess whether your campaign, content and strategy are working or not.
Sales & Marketing Funnel
Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL)
Sales Qualified Leads (SQL)
Funnel Conversion Rates
Marketing spend per customer
Return on marketing investment
Lifetime value of a customer (LTV)
Customer acquisition cost (CAC)