Tracking your growth is essential, especially as a marketer. If you're trying to grow any brand, you need to make sure that you know what's working and what is not. This is where marketing metrics come into play.
However, tracking marketing metrics has been an exercise in justifying ROI (return of investment) for the longest time. To me, that is the wrong way to look at marketing in the first place.
Marketing is much more than ROI. It's brand awareness, but it also helps you better understand your customers and audience to provide them with better content.
When choosing what to focus on, you need to know what you can track to get to know your customers' needs and pain points. You can improve your marketing by looking at particular marketing metrics and how they can shape how you interact with your customers. Here are the four examples that can change the way that you look at metrics and strategy forever.
Social media: conversions over followers
Firstly, I'm a big fan of looking at social media metrics and growth differently. Instead of going for quantity, shift your focus over the quality of leads and audience. Most social media managers and marketers have had to incur conversations about why followers are not all about social media (I surely have).
You can have 10,000 people who follow you. However, if only 100 of them are your ideal customer, engaged audience, the number you will convert into the next step of the funnel is going to be low. Followers are not everything there is to social growth.
Start identifying and tracking conversions that would best serve your platforms instead.
You need to understand what conversions you want to focus on depending on your brand's goals, as your marketing metrics will have to align with the overall strategy. These conversion metrics may be different based on the other platforms because you will have your audience looking for different outcomes based on where you are interacting.
If you are looking at platforms like Instagram, conversions could mean sales, thanks to integrations, such as Instagram shops.
Examples of suggestions include:
- booking a discovery call through a private message on LinkedIn
- clicking on the link in bio on a specific account
- buying directly from a social media integration
Once you understand what type of conversions you’re tracking for the platforms that you're most active on, record them month by month.
Email marketing: click-through rates over open rates
Email marketing is a crucial level of marketing for both B2B and B2C. 87% of B2B marketers use email as a distribution channel. 79% of B2C marketers rely on email to spread their new articles or blog posts.
When it comes to email marketing, marketers know why it's essential to look at open rates. However, I find the click-through rates don't get the focus they deserve.
Open rates can tell you whether your headline and your tone of voice are enticing enough. It is a crucial metric. Without good open rates, nobody will be able to engage with the content of the email itself.
You will be tracking how many clicks you get from your emails, showing you whether the content resonates with your audience and makes them hungry for more. You have very little time to entice your audience, as nearly 42% of all email opens happen on mobile apps.
Click-through rates can reveal a lot about your audience and what they love. Looking at which links your audience clicks through in a specific email can tell you a lot about them. You can understand how your audience engages with the content of the email.
If it's a content-based email, this will be able to tell you what type of content your audience loves the most. If it's a sales email or a welcome email, it might show you what kind of services or offerings your audience is drawn to the most.
When starting to track the number of click-throughs, categorize them based on different offerings, different types of content you provide, or even different audiences. Every month, look at them and see if you can spot patterns around whom you're talking to and how to improve your content strategy.
Instagram: saves over likes
Instagram deserves one conversation by itself because there are so many metrics that we look at when understanding the platform's effectiveness. However, once again, vanity metrics such as Likes tend to get the spotlight.
Likes can be highly overrated, especially these days, with Instagram offering to hide them from the platform. I recommend you look at other marketing metrics, and one which I love to track when it comes to strategy is Saves.
Saves show great intent to get back to content and bookmark it over others. It may spark interest or become valuable to your audience. Saves may also lead to shares, another great metric to track, and one the recently Instagram unveiled to affect the algorithm.
If we look at Saves, such as bookmarks, we can see what content our audience loves the most and create more of that for our strategy. I love to look deeper into the post interactions on insights and replicate that in my clients' marketing strategy.
Being able to differentiate the different types of interaction and seeing patterns can help build a content strategy that reflects the interests and needs of your audience without them having to tell you.
Website traffic: new users over page views
When looking at Google Analytics, there is an extensive focus on page views and sessions. Nothing wrong with that. We all want to grow the overall sessions of our websites.
However, we can learn a lot about our users' behavior by ensuring that we track the difference between new users and recurring users.
Most marketers may look at them, but most people do not track them. When driving people to your website, you want to ensure that you have a healthy ratio of recurring users and new users. As we know, it can take up to seven interactions for people to buy from you, so you must have a combination of people coming back to your website as well as new people to bring into your vision and to get to know your brand.
Tracking both side-by-side and choosing a healthy ratio (I recommend a 60/40 split of recurring and new users) can be incredibly beneficial when setting up a strategy overview.
How to choose your marketing metrics
I hope these examples gave you a better idea of things you can explore when choosing marketing metrics for your strategy.
Whenever you're reviewing and auditing your marketing efforts and updating your marketing strategy, you must look at the best metrics that work for you. It may be that most of the ones I highlighted are not relevant to you, and that is okay. Following what we are supposed to track blindly without considering our brand's needs and goals is truly a waste of time and effort.
I wanted to provide you with four metrics that might be a bit different from what you see other companies track month by month. I hope this inspired you to shake up your strategy and maybe find a new way to track growth for yourself.
[Header image by Carlos Muza on Unsplash]