Metrics are a powerful tool for judging results, but what you measure really matters.
Many small business owners focus on the number of page “likes” or “followers” they get as an indication of how well they’re doing on social media. However, these “vanity metrics” don’t tell you much about how well your social media or content marketing efforts are working.
In a post for the KissMetrics blog, marketing analyst Lars Lofgren explains, “Vanity metrics are all those data points that make us feel good if they go up, but they don’t help us make decisions.”
Before putting a lot of stock into any metrics from social media insights or Google Analytics, first decide which numbers will realistically indicate how well your efforts are working. These will be things like new leads, sales, and net revenue.
After defining your key performance indicators, look at ways to measure them using the tools available to you. Otherwise, you’ll be inundated with a lot of numbers that may or may not be relevant to the health of your business.
In his eBook, “A Field Guide To The 4 Types Of Content Marketing Metrics,”
digital media entrepreneur Jay Baer breaks down content marketing metrics, and the basic questions they answer, into four categories:
Consumption Metrics – How many people read, viewed, listened to, or downloaded a piece of content.
Sharing Metrics – How many people shared a piece of content?
Lead-Gen Metrics – How often did consumption of content result in a sales inquiry?
Sales Metrics – How many orders did you receive, or how much money did you make because of your online content?
The last two in particular tell you how well your business development efforts are performing. They are far more important than likes and follows.
If your lead generation and revenue numbers aren’t where you anticipated or not at a level you need them to be to sustain and grow your business, you’ll know you need to make some changes and you can begin taking action.