What Your Marketing Metrics May, or May Not, be Telling You

Marketing has long been faced with a perception that its results are difficult to accurately measure. Consequently, many business leaders are skeptical of investing money into marketing efforts, because they aren’t convinced they can tie the dollars they put into marketing to their bottom line. When it comes to online marketing, in particular, a lot of metrics have been developed to help evaluate the effectiveness of marketing efforts in the absence of the ability to measure a concrete ROI.

But, not all metrics are created equal, and not all make sense.In an article for Forbes, John Hall argues that some of the more commonly used online marketing metrics aren’t as useful as is popularly assumed.

Number of Social Shares

Hall argues that shares alone don’t tell you much about how effective your content is. Instead, you should be looking at who is sharing what, and where. What do these shares say about your audience, your content and your media channels?

Number of Followers

This is perhaps the most used and, perhaps, misused of social media metrics. As Hall suggests, a following of one million probably does more to boost ego than build market share or boost revenue. “True influence isn’t measured by how many accounts follow yours; it’s measured by engagement,” he writes.

Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is certainly important, but Hall argues it’s too vague on its own. Indeed, being aware of a brand is only an initial step. That awareness needs to lead to engagement, preference and ultimately sales.

Time on Site

It’s difficult to know what visitors to your website think about or do with your content. Tracking how much time they spend on your site is an attempt to gauge how interested they are, but it’s not a lot of information to base that guess on.

Site Traffic

Site traffic, like time on site, is an attempt to glean information on engagement from limited data, but again, it’s imperfect and incomplete. “You want the right people coming to you and engaging with the right content,” says Hall, “and that requires a closer look at sources and site behavior.”

Marketing is crucial to driving revenue, and online marketing – particularly through social media – has to be a key element of any marketing strategy in the modern business environment. At the same time, it’s important to use proper metrics when putting together your marketing strategy. While there are a number of metrics used to track the effectiveness of social media and online marketing, it’s important for marketers and business owners to understand exactly what those measurements mean and what they don’t mean.

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About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We are adept at evaluating and analyzing communication efforts and working with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content, through both on- and offline media to achieve desired results. Our background in business journalism, marketing, PR/media relations and online communications makes us well-positioned to serve the needs of 21st-century marketers.

We serve clients who are looking for help creating content for a wide array of channels—from social media posts to full-length manuscripts, and everything in between. We focus primarily on service-related B2B topics and work with a number of independent consultants interested in building their thought leadership through online channels. For ongoing content management, our first step is to fully understand your goals, objectives and competitive landscape.

Then we’ll conduct a thorough analysis and assessment of your digital presence, compared to competitors, and recommend a communication strategy to achieve your goals. But, we also regularly take on individual projects – white papers, blog posts, contributed articles, etc. If you’re interested in learning more, let us know!

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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