Digital Advertising Performance Metrics

Take a deep dive into digital advertising KPI analysis.

Data Standardization Worksheet

This worksheet begins with the standardization of your performance data. We’ll walk you through how to combine these mismatched data sets in a step-by-step process so that every metric is speaking the same, common language. With all of your data standardized, it’s easier to locate the strengths of each platform and hone in on ways to optimize campaign performance.

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Rob Kirkpatrick, Marketing Director, BombBomb

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Steven London, co-founder, FlashHouse

Digital Advertising Performance Metrics

What are some of the most common digital advertising performance metrics? How do they differ from more traditional marketing metrics?

Let’s take a deep dive.

When it comes to traditional metrics, you knew very little about what was happening up until the point of commitment. When someone purchased a product, you could find out whether they saw you in the news, television, radio, or a door hanger. But you didn’t really know what was happening up until that point. You didn’t really know how many people saw your advertisements and just ignored them. You just had to guess.

But digital advertising is much more in-depth. With digital advertising performance metrics, you know exactly how many people have seen your ads. You know when and where. And you know what they did next, whether it was ignoring it, clicking on it, or even bookmarking it for later (as you may be able to see them visit at a later date).

Digital advertising gives you more information. But that amount of information can, itself, be difficult. It can be very hard for companies to comb through all these performance metrics.

This is why most marketers separate them into KPIs. Key performance indicators are the most important metrics; the digital advertising performance metrics that really indicate how well an advertising campaign is doing. But even then, many digital advertising companies find that they’re just tracking too much data. The data has to be automatically gathered, consolidated, and analyzed, or it’s simply not possible to scale marketing campaigns and to make the decisions that are needed.

Today, there are a number of marketing platforms that are specifically designed to track advertising performance metrics. These metrics can vary from hits, to follows, to commitments. And these will vary depending on the company, as well; some companies need to track different metrics altogether.

Digital Marketing KPIs

You need to align your digital marketing KPIs and your goals. But there’s a difference between digital marketing metrics and KPIs.

Metrics are really any statistic that you’re using to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. KPIs are the metrics that are most important. KPIs have to be aligned with your goals. If you’re trying to boost revenue, you may want to look specifically at commitments. If you’re trying to boost brand awareness, traffic alone might be your focus.

Advertising metrics and KPIs are both important. But it’s not feasible for a company to track all metrics. Metrics can number in the hundreds depending on the advertising campaign. So, KPIs have to be tracked and adjusted such that they give a good overview of whether or not the company is moving in the right direction. Tracking commitments isn’t going to help you determine if your brand has additional reach, it’s only going to track whether your brand is good at securing a commitment.

And over time, the digital marketing KPIs for an organization can also change. Some companies need to change their KPIs frequently. Others might have different digital marketing performance metrics depending on the strategy and the product that they’re highlighting.

Facebook Ad Metrics

Facebook is one of the most popular digital advertising platforms. It’s not surprising, it also has one of the highest ROIs. What are some Facebook ad metrics?

Facebook lets you boost posts and events. A lot of Facebook metrics when it comes to boosting have to do with engagement. How many people liked it? Followed? Contacted you? Facebook also has metrics for paid ads, such as impressions and hits. And Facebook has metrics for events, such as “going” or “maybe” or “not going.”

When you create a Facebook campaign, it asks you what you want to do. In so doing, it’s aligning its KPIs with your goals. Facebook does this seamlessly and supports your advertising in that way. But unfortunately, Facebook can only help with ads on Facebook or Instagram.

What is a good CTR for Facebook ads? The average conversion rate for Facebook ads is going to differ depending on your ad campaign. For the most part, it’s better to compare your performance today with your performance yesterday and constantly strive to get better. As long as your ROAS is positive, then you know that you’re bringing in more money than you’re spending.

Facebook is one of the tools that advertisers can’t ignore. But it’s not the only tool out there.

Display Ad Metrics

Display ads are ads that are displayed on websites, whether they’re static banner ads or video ads. Display ad metrics are among the most common:

  • CTR. A click-through ratio (CTR) is how many people actually click your ads after seeing it. You want a very high click-through ratio. Otherwise, you’re essentially wasting your time and throwing away money.
  • Impressions/views. This is how often people see your ad. If your impressions are high but your clicks are low, then your ads aren’t providing enough value, or they aren’t being shown to the right demographics.
  • CPC. This is your cost per click. This is very important. Today, most systems operate by bidding. You can say you want to spend $50 a day on your campaign but you don’t want to pay for more than 0.20 a click. Or you can let the system figure out how to spend your $50 most effectively. Your CPC will vary depending on channel, audience, and even keyword.
  • Commitments. In general, your display ad platform can’t tell whether someone bought something from your site alone. It needs a tracking key. You need to insert that tracking key on your eCommerce portal or you won’t be able to get this information.

These display ad metrics tell you everything you need to know about the campaign. But consider that you could have display ads on Facebook, Google, and Bing. How do you consolidate? Through a platform like Lumenad.

Google Ad Metrics

Google has multiple types of ads. For display ads, the Google Ad Metrics will be the same as above. Google also provides search ads. These search ads show up on the search engine results page. For these, Google will also have queries.

For instance, your ad might be showing up for “birthday florists” but not “wedding florists” because “wedding florists” is far more competitive than birthdays. You might need to increase your budget to show up for weddings because you might need to spend more per click.

Google ad metrics are many and varied. But they are all targeted toward getting clicks. When it comes to ads, clicks are the most important aspect. If you’re only getting impressions, you’re not engaging the customer. You might not even be spreading brand awareness, because they may not be looking at your ad at all.

The great thing about Google Ads is that it comes with Google Analytics, which provides a complete solution you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your Google advertising campaigns.

How To Measure Advertising Effectiveness

There are many methods for measuring digital advertising effectiveness. As noted, it really doesn’t mean looking at metrics; it means setting specific KPIs that tie back to business goals.

A startup SaaS company is going to measure its digital metrics differently from a local automotive business, so there’s no universal answer regarding how to measure advertising effectiveness. A local automotive business wants people to walk in the door. If people aren’t walking in the door, the campaign is a failure. A SaaS company that’s recently started up wants daily active users. If people aren’t logging into the app, then the campaign is a bust.

Before you start measuring your advertising effectiveness, you need to understand your overall goals for your campaign. Once you have those goals in hand, ask yourself which metrics would best work in conjunction. For the local automotive business, they want to have a lot of traffic and clicks from people who are local to the business. They want likes and follows from local demographics. And they want people sharing their content about local events. Everything is hyper-local for this business.

For the SaaS company, they want people downloading their demos, filling out surveys, and using their product. Nothing is local and everything is about commitment.

Digital Marketing Measurement Tools

Once a digital marketer knows which metrics they want to measure, how do they measure it?

That’s where digital marketing campaign analysis and digital marketing measurement tools come in. These measurement tools are either per platform or consolidated.

Google Analytics, for instance, can be used to track Google Ads. Facebook Insights can be used to measure Facebook Ads. And products such as HootSuite or HubSpot can be used to measure an array of channels.

Lumenad doesn’t just connect to multiple digital marketing channels. It doesn’t just consolidate information. It also transforms that information, so it can be better compared amongst multiple strategies and multiple channels.

Importantly, digital advertising performance metrics measuring tools have to be easily customized. Because different companies may use different KPIs, it’s essential that these marketing tools be targeted and tailored to the organization’s chief concerns. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to use the product to actually improve upon and optimize a marketing strategy. It may not even be able to be used to determine how the strategy is doing.

There are dozens of digital marketing tools out there. But the fewer a marketer uses, and the more comprehensive they are, the less time a marketer needs to spend chasing down information.