Advertising Impressions & How to Track Them: A Guide
Ad impressions can be one of the most confusing digital marketing metrics to understand and track. Here's a guide to help you track impressions.
Major League Baseball returned for an abbreviated season this past July, which means players and coaches can once again track their stats (think hits, strikeouts, and on-base percentage) to improve overall team performance.
In a similar way, marketing goals help brands focus on what they want to accomplish — and more importantly, what they need to do to get there. And key performance indicators, or KPIs, are the metrics that signal a brand’s progress toward those goals.
Sounds simple enough, right? It is — to an extent.
It starts to get complicated by the sheer number of KPIs you can potentially track, according to marketing platform CoSchedule. At a high level, they include: general marketing metrics, such as brand awareness and customer lifetime value (CLV); website and blogging metrics, as in time on page and bounce rate; SEO metrics, like domain authority and organic click-through rate; social media metrics, including likes, comments, and shares; email marketing metrics, such as open rates and subscribers; and pay-per-click (PPC) rates, including cost per click (CPC), click-through rate (CTR), and return on ad spend (ROAS).
There are many, many more marketing KPIs than those mentioned here. And it might be tempting to track them all to feel like you really have a finger on the pulse of your business. Though it’s certainly better to have too much data than too little, you don’t want to waste time on KPIs unrelated to what your goals are. If an MLB player struggles with strikeouts, for example, the number of bases he steals may be important — but that data won’t help address his goal of striking out less. Instead, his KPI should be a strikeout percentage.
Similarly, marketers can track multiple metrics to gauge how effectively their brands are engaging with and winning over consumers. Still, it’s important to be more selective with KPIs, as they will change as the business evolves.
For more on the metrics for digital success:
To start tracking marketing goals with KPIs, you must clearly establish them. And be specific. In other words, a marketing goal should not just be to increase the number of email subscribers. Rather, you should zero in on a target, such as 5,000 additional email subscribers by September.
Consider the most important goal for your brand overall, as well as the most vital goal at each stage of the buyer journey. Then, attach a marketing KPI to monitor progress.
If your brand is new to this, your goal will be to build an audience or awareness as well as strong KPIs, including page views, followers, and subscribers. If your brand is more seasoned, you can graduate to boosting revenue with a specific marketing KPI, such as conversions.
Always keep your goals in mind so you know whether certain KPIs are bringing you closer to your goal. This will ensure you focus on the right KPIs and avoid wasting time and resources on metrics that ultimately aren’t useful for what you’re trying to accomplish.
Broadly speaking, here are the most common KPIs to help track the performance of online marketing campaigns:
Depending on your specific brand and goals, other KPIs may be useful. Examples follow, broken down by category. Remember to focus on the most relevant KPIs at any given moment because when your needs change, your KPIs change, too.
In terms of financial KPIs, revenue, or gross profit, is best known. It’s simply how much money you’re bringing in, which is clearly important. If revenue is increasing, you’re on the right track. If not, there’s a problem you need to identify and resolve.
In addition to revenue, there are many other revealing financial KPIs, depending on your specific marketing goals:
For more on how to build a campaign strategy for finance:
If you know how many customers you need in a given time period, you can calculate what kind of traffic you need to generate with the following KPIs:
The following KPIs help maximize leads and conversions by assessing how consumers engage with brand content:
For more on the different types of content to incorporate into your marketing strategy:
Once your marketing goals and related KPIs are set, you will have to monitor them with analytics tools like Google Analytics on a recurring basis. Then you’ll want to record the results and compare them to your goals. From there, adjust as necessary — including when you have accomplished said goals.
Though there are other KPIs to consider, this list focuses on those most important to marketers. By starting here, you’ll set your brand up for long-term success.
Last updated on August 16th, 2022.