During my last two years of career as a digital marketer, handling more than 20 clients of different sizes and industry background, the question I faced most frequently from almost all of my clients was “What to measure?” which is then followed by a set of similar statements or confused notions. The questions often took the following forms:
- How do I understand my campaign is performing well?
- What should I pay for: number of likes or number of impressions?
- Which is a better performance indicator: CPM or CPC?
- How do I know the people liking my posts actually like my products?
- Finally, how do I calculate the return against spending?
At this point I feel it is necessary to shed some light on this issue, as digital marketing is gaining more and more popularity day by day. First of all, the answer lies not in a single word rather varies extensively across clients’ brand positioning, objectives, and budget. Consequently, it leads to two situations: Most of the clients become frustrated due to the wrong performance of the wrong measure (Type II error) whereas others remain content for the time being with the better performance of a wrong measure (Type I error). Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? It indeed is!
To solve this dilemma, let’s have a look at the major KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) of digital marketing and the essence of each. Let us compare the different situations each different KPI is significant in.
Likes: ‘LIKE” may potentially be the most preferred measure to most of our brand managers for Facebook campaigns which is deemed a key barometer of the audience’s acknowledgement of their preference towards the brand. Unfortunately, in our country this gives a very wrong measure. If the targeted audience is flawed and unlikely to convert to your actual customers, those inflated likes are a mere waste of your hard earned money. From a case study of 20 different campaigns, we at GEEKY Social Ltd. have found that in Bangladesh more than half of the people liking different social media interaction points (Posts, Status Updates, Pages etc.) like them for no reason. They hardly notice what they like. There are even Facebook users in country whose only activity in Facebook is to click the like button in random posts. Now don’t shoot down on your agency after hearing all these! These are not “Fake Likes” rather “Dumb Likes”. Just make sure you don’t become too excited with the big figure of ‘Likes’ as they may not be supported by a significant number of responses against your specific calls for actions.
Engagements: The advanced level marketers find ENGAGEMENT to be a very useful measure for digital campaigns. Before explaining how important it is, let me first clarify what engagement means. Engagement is the sum total of Likes, Comments and Shares resulting from your post. Here, engagement is an important measure if you really carea bout being a digitally engaged brand. However, this is also an ineffectual measure if all your engagement is basically the sum of those dumb likes and dumb thumbs-up (i.e., Nyc & (Y) ).
RULE OF THUMB: IN THE CONTEXT OF CHOOSING BETWEEN LIKES AND ENGAGEMENTS, WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU OPTIMIZE YOUR CAMPAIGN FOR ENGAGEMENT ONLY IF YOU ARE CONFIDENT ABOUT YOUR TARGETING AND THERE IS A SPECIFIC CALL FOR ACTIONS. TO MEASURE IF YOUR CAMPAIGN IS ENGAGING WELL, COUNT ONLY WHAT YOU ARE EXPECTING FROM YOUR CAMPAIGNS. FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU ARE EXPECTING PEOPLE TO SHARE YOUR POST, THEN COUNT ONLY THE NUMBER OF SHARES. IF YOU WANT PHONE CALLS FROM YOUR CAMPAIGN, COUNT ONLY THE ACTUAL CALLS YOU’RE GETTING.
Reach: Other group of advanced marketers gives attention to the total number of people it is reaching. To me total number of REACH is definitely a good measure for any digital campaign only if the answer to these questions is ‘YES’.
- a) Is your brand name quite known in the market?
- b) Can people recognize your logo in a subconscious state of mind?
- c) There is no specific call for action apart from raising awareness?
- d) Do you want to show your post to the maximum number of people within your budget?
If the answer to any of these questions is a big ‘NO’, then REACH is probably not the right measure for your campaign.
Impression: First of all, REACH and IMPRESSION are not the same thing. Reaching 5 unique people 5 times during your campaign will give you 25 impressions and 5 reaches. Mostly the matured marketers use this measure. Don’t rush to thinking you are matured enough just because you optimized your last campaign for impressions when you had a low budget for a larger audience set. Optimizing for impressions is not a good choice if you are to target a big population with a low budget. Posts optimized for impressions are served multiple times to the available audience within available budgets. So, why waste money trying to reach the same audience again and again if you have many people to reach at your first go? Impression is a good measure when you have a big enough budget for a small target set and want to take their mind share away from your competitors. For a new brand, which requires creation of massive brand awareness, maximum number of possible impressions should be your prime KPI for any digital campaign.
Finally, if you have a specific call for action, only that particular action is your KPI. On this note brand managers need to make sure that their call for action and path of execution is clear enough for their audience. When you are aiming to create brand awareness for a new product or brand, try to get maximum number of impressions. If you don’t want to be wiped out from your customer’s mind share, do make efforts to reach them all eventually.
This article was originally published in Dhaka Tribune