What is the difference between looking successful and being successful?
Many business owners believe they are the same thing. If you have enough customers, drive a nice car and can pay your bills each week, conventional wisdom says your business is successful. The same can be said for digital marketing. If a campaign looks like it is working, then it must be successful.
Ad vendors reinforce that belief. When they put together reports, they include the numbers that make it look like the campaign is performing well. But what do these numbers actually mean, and how do they relate to the success of the business?
Boiling down your marketing results to a single number cannot give you the full story.
Marketing metrics start with visibility. Impressions tell you how many people saw – or had the opportunity to see – your content, advertisement, post or email. When you measure views, reach or open rate, it is all about eyeballs.
But these high-level metrics are the easiest to manipulate.
Looking for more impressions on social media? With $5 you can boost a social post and watch the number of views skyrocket. Want to increase open rate for your email campaign? A catchy subject line can do wonders.
Impression metrics can give you an initial sense of confidence in your digital marketing strategy, but you need to go deeper to see the true impact.
Clicks = Engagement
Next comes the click. Typically, only a fraction of the impressions will take this next step. Click-through rate is the first opportunity to measure engagement.
But not all clicks are equal.
The only way to tell what a click means is by looking at what happens next.
Like impressions, clicks can be manipulated to artificially inflate the CTR without providing true value in each click.