Digital Marketing Measurement

KPIs and IAB Social Media Measurement Framework

Today I would like to talk about an important marketing concept I have referred to here and there in previous posts, but not yet directly addressed: KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

KPIs essentially define a set of values to measure performance in relation to defined goals. They need to be understandable (clear, unambiguous), meaningful (really representing what is important to evaluate success) and measurable.

In the context of digital marketing, a popular framework used for the definition of KPIs is the one developed by IAB, which refers, in particular, to social media measurement.

Here’s a brief overview on how it is structured:

I (Intent) – In order to identify what KPIs are most pertinent for your business/project/activity, the first step is to establish your intentions and clearly define your goals/objectives.

A (Awareness, Appreciation, Action, Advocacy) – It is important to group your KPIs in meaningful categories, in order to represent the bigger picture. Depending on your original intent, your activity may be driven more towards one category of KPIs as opposed to another.

For each communication tool involved (in this case for each social media platform in use), you should identify key metrics and associate a financial value to them.

For instance, some examples of possible metrics in each category considered in this framework could be:

Awareness – e.g. page-views (impressions), search rankings etc

Appreciation – e.g. user comments, video plays, Facebook likes etc…

Action – e.g. CTR, sign-ups, downloads etc…

Advocacy – e.g. referrals, re-tweets etc…

Soft metrics should be related to hard financials; for instance, Page-views/Cost Per Unique Visitor, etc.

B – Benchmark – Most metrics only make sense if compared to something else.

You can compare how one social media platform performs against other social media platforms in use.

You can compare how each social media activity performs against other marketing channels sharing similar objectives (apples with apples…).

Also, you can compare your social media activity against competitors sharing similar objectives.

You can compare your performance against historical data (past performances).

There are commercial tools available to create KPIs, such as Ngage from North Social.

One important thing to bear in mind is that KPIs should be pertinent and relevant to your business and goal, so oftentimes it makes sense to come up and create your own KPIs.

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