Most marketers want an accurate understanding of their digital advertising results, but effectively harnessing and analyzing the data can be tedious and difficult. Anymore, it’s common to simultaneously manage multiple campaigns in multiple locations across multiple platforms – which quickly generate an overwhelming amount of information to track and digest.
In the age of big data, visual dashboards are essential. Instead of trying to copy and paste information from different campaigns and ad platforms into a master spreadsheet, dashboards are a much more streamlined and holistic way to measure and extract meaningful insights.
So what exactly is the information your dashboard should track during your next digital ad campaign? With four key metrics, nearly every marketer can gain a solid understanding of their ad performance. Keep a watchful eye on the following things to assess how your efforts are measuring up.
Four Key Digital Advertising Metrics Every Marketer Should Track
1. Impressions. The number of impressions represents the total number of times your ad is seen – or had the opportunity to be seen. Impressions track how many times your content is rendered on a screen, and not engagement metrics such as click, likes, or shares. It is a gross figure that counts multiple views by the same person.
Having your ad seen by the same person more than once is a good thing. Remember that people need to be exposed to information more than once before they begin to form associations. Just as the name implies, ad impressions indicate opportunities to help people form impressions of your brand. This metric is correlated with how top-of-mind you are.
Since impressions don’t measure interaction, some are quick to dismiss its value. But, impression data is a helpful complementary metric that puts other data into context.
2. Reach. The reach of your ad is different from impressions because reach reflects the number of unique people who saw your content. Someone who saw your ad multiple times is counted only once in a measurement of reach.
A dashboard is hugely helpful when it comes to aggregating reach information across campaigns and platforms. This gives marketers a sense, at-a-glance of how many total people in their target audiences they are connecting with.
Like impressions, reach data puts other metrics into better context. Dividing impressions by reach will provide an average number of how many times each person saw your ad. Comparing reach against an engagement metric, such as a click, will calculate the percentage of people who took action.
3. Calls-to-action. A call-to-action, or CTA, is an invitation to interact with your content in order to learn more. It’s important to track these measures of engagement, which might be a click to view a landing page, or a view on a video. By comparing these metrics against impressions and reach, you can derive other important measures of ad performance, such as click-through rates.
CTA measurement is a key indicator of how compelling your ad content is. An ad with high impressions and low clicks sends the signal that something is off. Marketers can then experiment by tweaking elements such as the headline, CTA language, creative or audience targeting.
CTAs can also be measured more granularly than just a click or view. If someone clicks through to a landing page, you can subsequently track how much time they spend on the page. If you have a good click-through-rate, but users leave the landing page quickly, it’s time to re-evaluate the landing page content.
Video views can also be measured by how much of the video is watched. Users that navigate away before watching 25% of the video likely didn’t find it interesting or relevant. If most watch only about half the video, it may be too long. Viewing 50-100% of the video is validation that the content is resonating.
4. Conversions. A conversion is a specific desired action. Each company defines which types of conversions are meaningful. Some businesses may consider a click or a video view to be a conversion, but others want more substantial actions, like filling out a form, contacting the company, or making an online purchase.
The conversion rate is a key measurement for marketers to assess how effectively they are moving their audience through the buyer’s journey. Comparing conversions against impressions, reach, and CTA engagement can help marketers pinpoint which parts of their funnel are, or aren’t, working well. The conversion rate is also necessary for calculating the ROI of specific efforts, as well as providing an overall sense of what it costs to acquire new customers via different channels.
Before you embark on your next digital advertising effort, consider the ways an organized and visual data dashboard can make understanding and reporting the results so much simpler. Learn more about our customized, visual motion dashboards or set-up a complimentary discovery call.