Let’s get technical! But not too crazy. Every digital campaign varies with potential needs versus objectives and purpose, and along with that comes certain metrics that help create a plan and evaluate the performance of those goals.
Here are some foundational metrics to consider and understand for how digital campaigns are generally measured.
Your targeted audience size is measured by how many people your ads have the estimated potential to see, or have already seen the ads. Digital platforms such as Google and Facebook (Meta) will provide this metric within their platforms and reporting capability, but a quick manual way to calculate is impressions/frequency.
Simply, the number of times a person within your selected audience and reach will or has had the opportunity to see your ad. For example, a reported or estimated planned frequency of one (1) means on average a person is seeing your ad one time or is capped to only being served the ad once, a frequency of ten (10) is then on average the ad view is ten times. Frequency is a tricky metric to plan and measure correctly for the effectiveness of campaigns. Marketers need to be considerate of negative effects from the message and creative fatigue that could result in diminished returns or negative sentiment from audiences due to seeing a highly repeated frequency of the same ads. However, it could depend based on objectives or type of campaign that a higher frequency is needed to reach a final goal, for example, a new lead or purchase
This metric indicates how many total times your ads have been served.
It is important to note that while an ad may be served to your audience it may not be indicative that it was actually viewed or in full view on screen (ad view is cut off, poorly formatted…etc). Partnering and connecting ad campaigns with an ad server provider such as MOAT to further validate served impressions would be a great way to help with knowing transparency in delivery.
Related to impressions, digital planners normally work with CPM, cost per thousand, when planning costs and weight of impressions. It is established for every thousand impressions how much an advertiser is willing to pay. It’s important to evaluate this as it could determine what platforms, placements, and formats may be worth a higher CPM price or where it may be more efficient to plan a lower CPM factored with performance expectations.
Clicks & CTR (Click Through Rate)
The number of clicks on ads is a great indicator of how well they are performing if the intent is to engage and drive audience traffic to a website, or where the objective is to push to an audience. While clicks may not always be a top priority as a KPI, for example for top-funnel goals of simply increasing message awareness and frequency for share of voice, top of mind goals then it may be secondary, however, if goals are based on some form of conversions knowing the CTR gives insight to many factors. Low click-through rate, clicks divided by impressions, could indicate perhaps a weak creative or poor targeting and placements. Over time you may establish certain benchmarks to optimize for and improve effectivity.
CPC, or “cost-per-click” dividing media spent by reported clicks, is a related KPI to consider. In general, the aim is a high CTR and a low CPC.
Conversions, CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition), ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)
Track everything! This is possible with digital analytics, and there are three main metrics to consider. If the goal is tracking an actual action from a campaign, say leads or purchases you’ll want to be looking at the conversion metric and cost-per-acquisitions. Conversions are the tracked final actions that are the result of a campaign. Though these conversion goals need to be set up through social platform pixels and events, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager…it is well worth to ensure this is properly showing the end result of the campaign efforts.
Cost-per-acquisition, total or per platform spend / # leads, will give a sense of efficiency against the media spend in acquiring new customers if this is an objective. ROAS, revenue generated & attributed to ads/ad spend, for purchase driven objectives this is a great metric to consider in evaluating the general effectiveness of campaigns.
For more info like this weekly subscribe to our newsletter! We cover all areas of digital from SEO, SEM, Influencer, Email Marketing, and more to help keep to date on all best practices and stay informed on the latest industry updates.