Analysing Key Performance Indicator For Digital Strategies
The most common social KPIs are Engagement, Content Consumption and Conversions. They are also most commonly the most misconstrued:
- Engagement: How many users are engaging with your online content and the quality of those engagements? Engagement is a word that is overused. It is important to understand the difference between engagement and engagement of quality. Understand that content can be social but also pages on your site.
- Content Consumption: How is your content being received, and closely linked to engagement performance? In addition to metrics, research can allow you to test response to content e.g. propensity to recommend to family and friends, brand like me, etc.
- Conversions: Are you converting users? This is not necessarily sales. A conversion can be tracked and confirmed by a specific site action e.g. form completion.
If you have a clear vision of success and an identified KSO, it is easier to identify which of your available KPIs would combine to create your KSO.
It’s imperative that anything that your identity as success must have data available and recorded by your business that you can use to prove success. Too often when asked what success looks like brands respond with ‘Sales’ as their answer. My next question is “are you tracking sales on your site?”. The response, more times than I wish to admit, is clients announcing they don’t have an e-commerce site. Whatever your KSO is you must have data available that you can fully attribute the outcome.
At this stage of the process whoever is your superior should be aware of your KPIs and KSOs. Getting your superiors bought into the KSOs and KPIs at an early stage will allow for much easier strategy development because everyone involved will know what the expectations are.
One of the biggest benefits of setting clear expectations and KPIs is that you will now have set metrics that you will record consistently. Over time you will be able to develop your own benchmarks and track performance against what you know to be truly positive for your brand rather than trying to compare against your competitors which can be a dangerous road. You have very little information in investment so comparing to competitors involves looking at aesthetics rather than hard statistics.
For so long, digital marketing managers have been caught in focusing on singular metrics to measure performance. We introduce Primary and Secondary Data to make an effort to focus measurement on business performance.
Primary Data is the data point that you have a direct understanding of how it impacts your business. Measures like sentiment, organic growth, site activity are much more relatable to your business performance. The primary data is directly related to one of your KSOs.
Secondary Data is the other metrics available to you. They can relate to your KSOs but it requires more than one metric to prove success. For example, view retention on its own is not a measure of success. However, video view count and retention is because you can calculate viewed minutes by your audience. Add in total reach and it becomes even more impactful because you know how many people viewed, how many times and whether it was a view of quality.
Reporting and Measurement are often mistaken as the same thing. It is important to identify the difference for your business from the outset.
Reporting is something for more junior team members to ensure work is operating correctly. Measurement is how senior members of the team identify specific measures and how they are impacting the business.
Without accountability, there is no guidance. Everybody in your team should understand:
- What they are responsible for?
- What are their KPIs?
- How can they be successful?
- What are their daily/weekly goals?
Each department has specific strengths and expertise. This should create a need for divisions of the business to be accountable for very specific KPIs and KSOs.